Even if you are living in an RV, money is something to always consider. One thing that has always surprised me, and we are guilty of from time to time (more often than not) is that we see the new extra cash as just that, extra cash. Not money to invest, but money to spend and enjoy.
Folks, this is pure lunacy. We know it, you know it.
When I first started on this journey by myself in 2010, I wrote a post about my costs living in the van. Yet, I was completely unable to have any money in the bank. I attributed it to the fact that I had never had the chance to actually enjoy the money I was working so hard for. This was partly true, and I had a great time. Then, as I was getting into the swing of things and getting ready to actually be smart about my money, other things cropped up. I ended up leaving the van for a few years, and typically living in rather expensive rental houses that ate up most of my money.
Now, I’ve never claimed to be smart with money, and that has always been a thorn in my side. Recently, I read an article on Facebook about a guy and his wife who “retired” in in their 30’s. This intrigued me, and I wanted to know if he was doing anything that I could possibly duplicate. Not so much to retire, but to get myself, and my family on the right track. I went over to his blog with skepticism, as most of these types of blogs are so dry that you need water to survive the opening paragraphs.
Not true with Mr. Money Mustache! This guy is funny to read, and his blog makes a lot of sense. The best part? He’s not one of those people that are only willing to give you information in order to make yourself financially smarter, by paying him $49.99 for his “quick and easy steps to financial freedom!“. Nope, this guy gives you his advice all for free!
A lot of it comes down to changing the way you live. From things like brewing coffee at home, rather than a daily Starbucks, or using a bike more than your car. These are all things that we understand in principle, but never truly consider being able to help us out. A lot of things are those little “luxuries” that we don’t really think about, things that we do everyday, for years. When you think about the overall costs, it’s staggering.
Think about it, lets say you enjoy a $7 coffee from Starbucks, everyday on the way to work, five days a week. $7 really isn’t a lot when you think about spending only $7. Now, think about that $7, five days a week, for an entire month. That’s $140/month on coffee. I spend $9 on coffee grounds a month.
But Mr. Money Mustache doesn’t stop there, oh no! He wants you to think about this daily habit on the longer term. $7 Starbucks coffee a day, is $140/month, which is $1680/year, which is $16,800 over TEN years. If you put that money away, rather than buying a coffee, imagine what you could buy!
I’ll admit, I’ve done this kind of math before, just not over a decade. The thing that my financially illiterate brain always complained about was that it would be ten years before I had that money, so why bother? Stupid, Stupid, STUPID!!! Now, I’m not a buy a coffee a day, type of person, but I make other equally silly purchases that literally nickel and dime me to death.
Reading this blog, and talking about it with my wife, has given us a new lease on our financial lives! We have a plan, and a goal. Some of the stuff, doesn’t quite apply to us (housing things, considering we are in an RV). However, no matter what, a lot of it applies to us. I’m not even through his first year of posts yet, and already making plans.
Hop on over and have a read for yourself if you haven’t before. I’d love to hear your stories about your own financial journey. Living a fulltime lifestyle is certainly where this type of frugality is nearly gospel!