Quitting your job and hitting the road before retirement age is a popular dream for many and its one that I highly recommend pursuing – if you are the type of person who can live with a fair amount of uncertainty and are ready to cope with the many challenges of making money on the road. Being a younger full-timer is never without its ups and downs but thankfully you can overcome these surprises with simple foresight and planning.
There Will be Breakdowns
Whether you have a new rig or a “classic,” every RV will face repairs. Sometimes they’re simple ones you can do yourself and sometimes you need to pay to call in the experts. Are you handy and confident enough to pick up a wrench when things go wrong with your engine or house systems? If so, you can save a ton of money. But if you’re not mechanically inclined, having enough rainy day funds saved for repairs will help you get back on the road, and stay on it.
Have Multiple Income Streams
RVers who make money on the road must always have many different ways to make money. Recently we re-learned that lesson when we discovered our annual (paid) summer workamping job start date would be delayed over one month. This delay means that we’re losing out on a few thousand dollars of income that we’ve relied on for eight years running. Thank goodness we have other ways to make money traveling! The financial implications of a late start date hurts our wallet a bit, but not nearly as bad as if that was our only source of seasonal income. We are using our delayed start date to ramp up our existing income generation methods so that when we finally do begin our paid jobs, our bank accounts will be as healthy as ever.
Keep a Rainy Day Fund
Saving money is hard but it’s necessary if you want to feel a little more secure in your decision to pursue the nomadic lifestyle. From paying for unexpected health bills to covering the cost of rent when you’re forced to stay somewhere because of mechanical issues, a healthy savings account will steady your nerves when you must pay the experts to help you get out of a bind. I was a terrible saver until I followed the advice of financial gurus and initiated an automatic monthly transfer of fund from my checking to savings account. Now I don’t even think about that money. I’m squirreling away until I need it for an emergency — and thankfully, it’s there!
When it comes to being a young nomad on America’s highways, always remember that your ability to move where the income possibilities lay is one of your greatest assets and victories over “ordinary” sticks and bricks dwellers. Pursue the income opportunities that match your skill sets and goals and you can’t go wrong as you build up your savings account and prepare for unexpected expenses on the full-timing road of life.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.