Thursday, December 16, 2010

All that wander are not homeless

This is a hard thing to explain to folks that are locked into staying put. As explained below, I have a house on wheels. I come "home" to the same house everyday after work. I sleep in the same bed every nite, I have a daily routine and my life is not filled with the chaos of not knowing "What's next?". I am not unemployed, I am a Workamper.

Millions of folks live and work this way. Many DO have Stay Put houses they return to after a job.  No one thinks anything of it.. they are not considered homeless. I am the same, except for the house. but I am not homeless!

My *Legal* residence is in Quartzsite Arizona. I have an Arizona drivers license, my vehicles are registered and insured in Arizona and I even have a real life street address. I have a kind friend that lets me use it, and I do spend 1 or two nites a year there. In my trailer.

My HOME, however, is in Oregon. That is where I spend my summers working. I was born there, and despite what any paperwork says, I am an Oregonian.

I CHOSE to live mobile. I did not suddenly end up on the street with no other choices and nowhere to go. My just about lifelong employer in my traditional "stay put and pay the mortgage" life helped me make this decision of working on the road, however, by laying me off and giving me a big nest egg to launch off of. I had been thinking of doing this anyway, but they did me a huge favor and push started me. That was nearly 2 years ago.

Given the choice of "Staying Put" and struggling to keep all that I had worked to acquire in an iffy at best economy, in a hard hit market I hated being in anyway (So. Cal), I asked myself "Why?" Most likely, as many of my co-workers that got let go the same day I did are now finding, the benefits and nest egg would be used up and everything would be lost anyway....except the mountain of debt.

I accepted a position as an RV Park manager the very day I was laid off and have not looked back into getting another 9-5er. I already had a decent RV that I used for recreation, so I took the nest egg, paid off most all my bills and hit the road relatively obligationless.

I have a month or more between jobs in which I travel and relax. Before, I worked my butt of just to get a few weeks vacation that had to be planned for financially and sometimes didn't happen at all.

I can live on very little but still live and eat as comfortably as I did "staying put" because I have very little obligation. Its not what you make, my friends, its what you don't spend.

I don't commute. There goes those expenses. I will probably have the same car for years because I don't put many miles on it anymore. I am off grid and generate my own power. This is not totally costless, there are some maintenance items to consider.. batteries need to be replaced, Solar panels and systems are not free (But once purchased.. no more expense) but I don't get a monthly bill from a utility. After 2 years, what I haven't given a power company has more than paid for the system. I may spend 20 bucks a month on propane in the winter. I spend a whopping 30 bucks a month in winter for an extremely private and open space, water, trash and sewer. In the summer, water, gasoline, propane  and even a vehicle are provided.. zero on the utility costs there.

I still pay for insurance, my cell phone and internet and a couple incredibly low balance CCs. I should just pay them off, but these days.. they take the card away if you have a zero balance. It has happened once already. (Don't get me started...) I have a small personal debt that I am slowly wiping out.

I live in very isolated areas, so no malls, no bars, no restaurants, so even if I wanted to dump the bucks into these activities, I couldn't. There is nowhere to dump.

And ya know what? I don't miss any of it.

1 comment:

  1. I've enjoyed reading your blog and have gotten some good ideas from it. Hopefully I will eventually be out on the road in my 10 footer Santa Fe trailer. I'm a little worried about finances though, I'm much older than you so don't know if there will be many opportunities out there for me to work....I'm hoping, though.