If I Want to Downsize, Where Do I Start?

After making the big decision to sell your house and everything in it for a life on the open road the next question is where do I start? How is this even possible? How do I make money? What about insurance? What will my family and friends think? What if I hate it? 

WHAT WILL I DO WITH ALL MY STUFF?

These are all the questions that came to my mind, and I’m sure they are some of the same questions that crossed yours as well.

let-go-of-junk

Let me start by saying this was not an overnight process. After making the decision to live in a camper full time in April of 2014, we took the next year to prep our house, our jobs, our peers, and our everyday lives in general.

We started by preparing our finances. This is the tricky part for most people. You have to make money to survive even if you get rid of the high mortgage and car payments, as well as all the other “must have” payments that linger over our heads FOREVER it seems. The truth is once you get rid of all these payments you free up the money that keeps us sedintary.

Its amazing how little it takes to live on once these chains are broken. The statement the more money you make, the more money you spend is very true.

How do I make money?

Again, I understand most people have jobs that require them to be there every day and this is a huge hurdle for living life on the go. The good news is that there are so many growing opportunites to make money online and from home. This may require some creativity and some boldness to step out of your comfort zone.

In our situation my husband owns his own business that he manages from home and also does web design. We also have a couple of properties we rent for passive income. I am a Registered Nurse at the hospital in my hometown. Nursing does offer travel assignments, which I thought about doing, and may try in the future, but at this time I think I might just keep that in my back pocket.

The other option, the option I chose, was to take a PRN position at my current job. PRN is an as needed position that allows you to set your own schedule and the hospital allows you to work depending on the nurse to patient ratio for that day. PRN is great because not only can you chose to work the dates that best suite your lifestyle, but you are also paid on a higher hourly rate.

The downside is you lose your insurance and benefits in exchange for this luxury as well as you are not guaranteed your hours like a full time employee. I struggled with taking this position because I am the insurance carrier in our household and it is a scary thing to give that up.

After much research and running the numbers, we decided it wasn’t as scary and risky as we thought to take out private insurance. So far, it has actually saved us money because we are young and healthy and thankfully we have not had to use our plan very much.

What will everyone think?

In the beginning, I dreaded this question. We got some crazy looks from people and I don’t blame them. A year ago I probably would have given the same look.

Time has prepared our family and friends and in exchange they have became super supportive and seem to be excited to see our journey. Others we meet that are new to the idea answer one of two ways. (1) They smile and give a blank stare like you are kidding and have a punch line coming at any second or (2) they will say how awesome of an idea it is. Once people find out your plan, they become intrigued and ask many of the same questions we hope to answer through our blog.

As for the people with the blank stares and who think we drank the crazy kool-aide, they just don’t get it yet. When we all look back on our lives we will wish we had worked more, spent more time away from our family, and bought that bigger house.

Wait that’s not true.

We will look back and wish we had lived our life to the fullest, followed our dreams, and have no regrets. That’s what this journey is all about.

In the end it just made sense. We could work hard and pay for the American dream lifestyle, or we could work smart and play more as a family. It has taken a lot of sacrifice and I know there will be more to forgo around the corner, but we are excited as a family to take this challenge to live on less but gain so much more life in return.

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