Thoughts on hobo life.
Almost 3 months ago we closed on the sale of our house and became what we affectionately call ourselves, hobos. We gave away 60% of our stuff and put the other 40% in storage and moved into our motorhome. Our goal is to live simply and pay off debt and “reboot” our lives as we both approach the 40 year-old milestone. We see so many people living paycheck to paycheck without any choices in their lives because they have to work to pay the bills and they are suffocating under all the stuff they have. And even though they have all this fun stuff, they can’t enjoy it because they are stretched so financially thin.
We don’t want to be those people. We want to truly own what we have, not be renting it from the bank. We don’t want to live in anxiety over money and things. We are saying no to a lot of things now so that we can say yes later.
What’s the Dave Ramsey saying? Live like no one else today so that you can live like no one else tomorrow?
It’s been fun, but it’s also been challenging. Here’s a little update on the highs and lows of being a hobo.
Ticks- Have you ever heard of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever? I had, but didn’t think it was anything anyone really got anymore. You know, like Polio or the measles. Turns out that when you move to a camper and live in campgrounds you are way more likley to encounter ticks. And those said ticks are very likely to bite you and make you sick. 20 days of antibiotics later the spots, fever and headaches are gone.
Paying Off Debts- Think about how much you spend on your house each month. Mortgage/rent, insurance, electricity, gas, water, trash pickup, pest control, telephone, internet, cable, etc. Add it all up and then realize how much you could pay toward debt or put away each month with these costs reduced or gone entirely! Yes, it stinks sometimes not having space to spread out in the floor, but when I get to pay off a doctor bill or an old credit card bill, it makes up for it!
Mowing/Maintenance/Landscaping- Jeremy is totally loving not having to mow!
No TV- Well, that’s not true. We have a tv and thanks to a high tech antennae booster, we get ONE CRAPPY CHANNEL! I’m sorry if you work at Channel 24, but your channel is terrible. First, it’s a hybrid of the CW and MeTV. Neither of which are known for stellar programming, but it seems to be the lowlights of both are what we get. If you get up at 6:00 AM you can watch the Brady Bunch, which I’m totally down with, but then you get a dose of some self-important guy at 6:30 proclaiming himself to be “your favorite apostle”. Um, no. At 7 you get the news. I’m considering applying for a job there because, me with zero television experience, could read the news way better than any of their anchors. After that it’s a couple of hours of Matlock and Diagnosis Murder, followed by all the westerns ever made. I’ll spare you the details of the entire line up, but I’ve successfully resisted the urge to buy a microwave roaster, a multi-saw (FILLS ALL YOUR DIY NEEDS!) a year’s supply of Omega XL (NOT A FISH OIL!) and a 7 piece essential kit of IT Cosmetics. #winning
Reading- Since I’m not watching a lot of television, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies and lately I’ve been really indulging. Since we are trying to not spend and not accumulate stuff, I’ve found two great ways to get my reading fix. First, the humble library. You know that place we all use to go before amazon.com? And did you know that most libraries have eBooks now so that you don’t even have to physically go to the library? I just open up my iPad, go to the library’s website and download books for free! The convenience is a total win. The drawback is that eBooks are really popular and sometimes the wait for a book is glacial. Take the new Steven King book for instance. I just put myself on the hold list for it and I’m number 36 in line. Since you can keep the books up to two weeks, it will definitely be no longer than a year and a half before I get it. WOOOO!
The other way I’ve been sourcing reading material is the local thrift shop. Magazines are 10¢ each and books are 50¢-$1. I buy a pile for a couple bucks, read them and then donate them right back.
Kayaking- Since we stare at the lake every day, we’ve been thinking about getting kayaks. We’ve hummed and hawed over sit in or sit on for quite awhile and overall were just afraid to go for it. What if we purchased them, used them once and then hated them? After searching around at prices and styles, we found some that we thought we would like and that we thought we could get our money back out of if we hated them. We looked at our budget, dug out some old gift cards, sold a few items from our storage building (more on that below) and headed to hell-mart to make the purchase. Completely worth it!
Storage- The 40% of our stuff that we kept is in a storage building and it is a huge storage building. It’s full of things that I didn’t think I could live without or part with. Kitchen utensils, fancy dresses, side tables, papers from college, four wheeler parts, toys from when we were young, toys from when we weren’t young. That big storage building comes with a price tag and now every time I go there I look around and wish it were all gone. Of course there are some sentimental items that I don’t want to part with like baby books and wedding pictures. But for most of it, I’m just done with it. When we do wind up in our next place, I simply cannot imagine bringing all that stuff into it.
I realize that not everyone can just chuck it all and go hobo like we did. We are lucky that we have a really supportive child who doesn’t mind that we are “homeless” and she has her own apartment. Even if you can’t go at full steam, maybe you can be inspired to do something to free up your space and finances.
Stay Strong Y'all!
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