When we decided to jump full force into this adventure after the purchase of our RV, we thought we’d just quit our jobs, start the engine, and head out...not the case! There are a few minor details to take care of before you quit the real world and live as a nomad.
1 Quit your job. We are respectable employees with jobs we loved so we gave our employers 3 weeks to a months notice. We also asked each of them to write us a referral for future jobs we may get on the road. You also have to take into consideration picking up your final paycheck and saying good bye to all the awesome people you work with, cue the waterworks!
2 Decide on a “home address”. We researched a few of the mail forwarding services available to full time RVers. There are quite a few out there, most of which have good reviews but we decided on mom. Yep, Brandon’s mom is going to be our personal courier. She’s free for the year, so it really was the best option! We set up an online USPS account where she can print labels for flat rate envelopes, her mailman picks it up from her front door and we get our mail wherever we are for that month.
3 Plan for a few surprises. Somehow the universe knew we were heading out of town and I got a jury duty summons 2 weeks before our leave date! We are headed back to San Diego for a good friend’s wedding in October so, being to good citizen, I am I decided to postpone it rather than try and get excused. Heck, if i get picked its $15 pay per day here in CA, that’s free money!
4 Sell Everything! EVERYTHING! Prior to moving into the RV, we downsized from a 1 bedroom to a studio apartment and thought we did a good job of selling things we wouldn’t need. Yet, when we officially moved into the RV, we still had a ton of STUFF! The amount of stuff you actually need day to day is incredibly minimal. I sold a ton of clothing on PoshMark, an app for used clothing, I sold most of my items for $15-$25 which after fees equals out to $12-$22, you just print the label and drop it off at USPS. We sold most of our furniture and larger items including a bike, guitar, and microwave on LetGo, an app like Instagram but for selling things. We also purchased a GoPro and a Macbook on LetGo from some poor college kids who needed the money instead of the gadgets.
5 Donate the rest! The amount of times we have been to Goodwill in the last 2 months is record breaking. Being in San Diego, our Goodwills are pretty particular in what they take, so we donated a ton of good condition clothing, dishes, appliances and more and we trashed anything we personally wouldn’t buy at Goodwill.
6 Sell your car. We tried to raffle our car at our going away party, but didn’t get enough participants to do it. We offered $500 per ticket for at least 10 participants, we only got 4. So we have yet to sell the car. It’s sitting in mom’s garage, which she is not happy about, but we plan to sell in October when we go back to SD for a week, we’ll keep you updated.
7 Vet and Doctor check ups. Our little doggie is a healthy 9 year old rat terrier. She has always been an indoor dog who rarely sees other dogs and with no need for flea medicine or any shots, other than rabies every 3 years. Now that we are headed out to the wild, we decide to get her fully vaccinated. We made a trip to the vet for her shots, incase we need to board her, and to purchase flea medicine since shell be spending a lot more time outdoors. As I write this she’s curled up on the bed like usual, so I’m not sure how much actual outdoor time she’ll be having but either way she won’t have fleas! We also made a trip to the eye doctor. I have always worn glasses and contacts but we recently discovered Brandon can't see a damn thing. Our friend Jeremy, (who sucks at fantasy baseball) works at Lens Crafters and gave us an amazing hook up with a new pair of spectacles for Brandon, which look good and didn't break the bank.
8 Save money! Since about the time we realized money doesn’t grow on trees, we started saving money. Apart from general savings, we put aside about $300 a month of money we used strictly for vacations and spur of the moment weekend trips. However, when we purchased the RV and decided on a leave date of August 1, we knew we’d have to amp up our saving skills. So, once again, Debbie Burke to the rescue. We moved home with Brandon’s mom. We invaded her house for 5 weeks, ate her food, used her washer and dryer, left her cabinets open (once of my worst habits and her biggest pet peeves) and forced her to take us to eat. If you have an epic mom like us, we suggest spending some quality time with her for a few weeks to save some dollars! The Debster is also a master couponer. She taught us everything we know about being frugal, getting free dessert and saving money- more on that in a later post! She took us out for Chinese the night before we left (which I, young grasshopper, brought the $5 off coupon). We asked “are you happy we are leaving tomorrow?” expecting her to tell us to stay, instead she had the largest smile on her face and yelled YES!
9 Plan and EPIC going away party. This isn’t necessary, but we have a ton of friends and we are master party throwers. We brought the RV out to Mission Bay for a day and had a beach day. We made some money off our friends by raffling off our inflatable flamingo, shark, turtle and giant island, also some Padre tickets and some free crap we got from ComicCon. Our friends are awesome so they all donated their tip money to our red gas can and acted so excited when they won the raffle. There were a ton of beers, tube steaks, friends and a few tears shed.
We’re probably missing a few things, but we were minimalists to start. If you own a home, have kids, or are a hoarder attached to belongings, quitting life may be a bit harder for you. But just keep thinking of the end result, finding a beautiful spot sleep for the night, grabbing a beer and deciding here’s good.