SWB's path to financial independence

Where are you and where are you going?
SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Also, found kids bike just like our oldest son's bike next to the campground dumpster. It had some better things like good tires (his old tires were starting to crack with age), an adjustable seat and adjustable handlebars. Plus some reflectors in the wheel. And nicer pedals. So I spent some time swapping all that stuff over to his bicycle which also make it a little more boyish/gender neutral (his bike was a purple Disney girls bike that we took all the stickers off -- really nice metallic flake purple paint job protected by all those stickers).

Plus he has learned how to ride a bicycle before 4 without training wheels! Just last week, he figured it out. So he is excitedly pedaling around. I think starting with a balance bike really helped.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

I forgot to mention, right now my parents are still staying with us and instead of tenting, they are sleeping in the RV. So we have 4 adults and 2 kids in this trailer and it's working fine. We (wife, two kids and myself) sleep on the king bed on one end and one of my parents is on the queen bed on the other end and the other is on the fold out couch. So far, so good although it's definitely a lot of people in small amount of space so it's great for when grandparents visit but I full timing with that number of people in this trailer would be a bit tight :).

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

I forgot my 1st of the month post and of course with the markets today, the net worth has gone down. Ah well...

I took $50k of the $110k cash stash in the money market fund and put it in VSTAX. That should clear today at the market close price. Maybe I'll regret it but we'll see...

Also transferred $1,500 out of money market to credit union as my big name bank doesn't have any ATMs in the boondocks but the credit union is part of a network of credit unions that have free reciprocal ATM usage. This will get us cash with no fees.

I turned down the start of the new job. I'm supposed to get back to them shortly about starting in September or October or just parting ways. I need to talk things over with my partner some more but I'm fine really going any direction just need a good plan.

The RV life is going well. Today, I fixed the shower faucet leak that was getting worse and worse. I thought it was the cartridge so I turned a $2-4 job into an $11.xx job by buying new cartridges but it was really just the little rubber seals at the bottom -- one was worn out (cracked). At least that $11.xx included some plumber's grease which I'd guessed was the same as petroleum jelly but found it definitely was something else. That made it easier to insert the rubber bits into their holes.

I've also settled on a method of dumping our black and grey water and filling our 40 gallon fresh tank without having to move the trailer. I bought a big blue RV tote (a little over 40 gallons in capacity) with heavy duty inflated wheels. It hooks up to the hitch on the SUV and one can roll to the dump station at a sedate 5 MPH max speed. Or walk it over but where we are now it's a long hike with some incline. For the fresh water, I bought a couple more 7 gallon water containers and rigged up a hose from the hardware store with some fittings. I fill them up and then one by one drain them by gravity into the RV holding tank by putting them on something higher in the rear of the SUV and using the hose contraption. This works great although I think my hose is either non-drinking water safe or off gassing a lot still so we keep a spare blue container to use for drinking water. If the hose is still making the water funky, I plan on cutting up an RV drinking water hose (seems to be the cheapest way to get a section of drinking water hose around here). I can dump all our fluids in one run and refill the water tanks in two runs (or just remember to bring them along whenever we go anywhere and refill them on the way back to the trailer).

Since I stopped working, I've done a little bit on my side project and definitely used my computer recreationally but I've been outside way more. I've noticed my vision has improved for long distance -- I can see across the bay we're camping on. The other side is mostly forested with pines with lots of ridges plus a small city so plenty to look at for detail.

The day before we left Ann Arbor, an inflatable kayak popped up on FreeCycle with the caveat it had a leak. We figured why not? So we picked that up and the person getting rid of it even gave us a portable electric inflater (for the kayak type of thing and even car tires -- it has come in handy). Anyway, I eventually tracked down the hole and patched it and it's been fun dinking around with it. It (technically) seats 2 but we've had the whole family in it (all with life vests of course). I do wish we had our sailboat up here and/or some hard sided kayaks (a fishing one would be great although I'd use the sailboat to do some trolling as that seems to be the way to catch big lake trout/salmon here).

I've got a good tan going. Got a haircut and talked about Trump with stylist. Got something of a feeling for the people up here in rural Michigan. So far, I like it. I like it a lot. I think it's a bit too remote for my wife but Marquette might be just barely acceptable. We'll see...

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

I forgot to mention, the biggest downer that we appear to have finally resolved was mosquitos getting into the trailer. The mosquitos are thick up here -- thicker than anywhere I've been. And it seemed like every night, somewhere between 2-5 made it in (as mentioned above in prior post). I found all kinds of gaps and figured out methods to fill them but still, the damned things were making it in. I finally took a leap of faith and bought some window mesh screen and cut some test pieces and put them where our access/vent panels are for fridge. That seems to have solved it! Although it's only a been three nights without mosquitos and the weather has changed so still testing to verify.

suomalainen
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by suomalainen »

Been following along - it's a great little adventure! To recap since I think I got a little confused with some missing parts to the story - you resigned the old job without a next job lined up, with the idea that you would slow travel from MI to LA from July to December, correct? But then shortly after resigning you had also interviewed / had 4 job options lined up and it sounds like you accepted a full-time offer to start sometime in August? But then you backed out of that one? Is that right so far? And maybe you'll start in the fall with that one? Or ring back 1 of the other 3 at some point? What is the (loose) itinerary for the rest of the year?

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Ah, yeah, I didn't explain very well.

I resigned my job mid-June after lining up the next one to start in early August. So I already had the next job lined up. But I've been enjoying not working too much to go back to work and I also had some interesting contracting opportunities appear -- well, more a source of such opportunities. I also got offered remote contract (or employee) at a not-exciting but stable rate via an old employer. So it felt less risky to push back. So I told them I didn't want to start and was fine parting ways, gracefully of course (well, as much as possible). They replied that I could start in September or October and I need to get back to them shortly.

Loose itinerary is:

- Upper Peninsula of Michigan (mostly to see if we liked Marquette enough to consider living here)
- Ann Arbor in September (family wedding)
- lots of uncertainty here -- ideally, go to Chapel Hill area of North Carolina, then maybe Florida or go to Southwest (New Mexico), mostly just avoiding the winter up north but partly to see if some specific areas are places we'd like to live, late option was to add in Freeport, Maine (but have to watch out we don't get too cold)
- New Orleans in December (family wedding)

I'm not quite sure I can work the remote job while we live in the RV. It's hard to get quiet space with a 2 and a 4 year old. I am also outside way more so my day to day is different. My current thought is fuck it -- let's try. I'm ready to work in a different way that lets me be outside more. It requires confronting my inherent procrastination. If I could avoid procrastination, I could get my day work done in probably 1/3 of the time I have spent in the past (toss in a little bit of time on top of that to monitor communication lines to ensure I'm "available").

That said, I think it's like 80% procrastination and 20% something else -- time to think things through perhaps? But that time is not really productive in front of a keyboard so if I can figure out how to do the work without being at the keyboard except when necessary... And if not, just quit the job. Seems like not a big risk?

I should mention I think it's a range of potential ways to work:

- in RV / campsite
- escaping to the SUV (but heat/cold)
- driving somewhere else to work (but I take the only vehicle)
- everyone one else going somewhere else with the vehicle

We'd also need to only move on or near the weekends or make short hops in evenings.

classical_Liberal
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by classical_Liberal »

I hope you continue to enjoy the time off! I'm glad you made the decision to hold off on work for now. If your are still really enjoying the down time, soak it up.

When you do start work from the RV, you'll definitely have to create space in your days without the fam around. It probably seems daunting at the moment, but if it becomes the norm, everyone will get used to it quickly.

If you do winter in NM, check out the state parks pass there. You get a substantial camping discount to all of the state parks and can stay two weeks at a time. Might be worth it if you are going to move around, but stay mostly in the state.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

While camping in Marquette, ran into an interesting guy and his family that have been doing the living in a trailer/traveling for 5 years including some international stints and travel to Alaska. I didn't get a chance to ask how they did it financially but he has an old Toyota pickup truck, some surf boards, an A-style pop-up and a young family. From what I could guess by our conversation, they have the social/frugal side of things figured out extremely well and are able to get by on minimal money with few possessions. I still wonder about health insurance and all that but I don't know how to ask in person the kind of questions one would expect here.

It was interesting to get his take on Marquette. We've been leaning towards renting here for a year to see if we can handle the winters. I'm the one that can make it to roughly end of January and then start getting a bit down about the winter dragging on. So if it goes into March/April up here... The only way to hack it I think is to do outdoor sports so if we do rent up here, I'm not going to hold back on buying equipment to get outside during the winter.

There is still the allure of staying with the trailer life and heading south when it gets too cold. Decisions...

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Learned a bit more about the interesting guy -- his wife is a nurse and I think they use her work ability to get by when needed but otherwise live off of savings. My wife was talking to her about how it's hard to rent when you don't have a job and she agreed and mentioned something about "even when you have 50k in your bank account". So I'm guessing they are able to live on much less than us and really stretch things in able to live the life they want. That said, their oldest is going to need to go to school soon so they are looking at settling down for that (potentially here).

Kids do seem to root people with their educational requirements. Unless one goes the homeschool/unschool route but that definitely seems to be the road less traveled with all of the fears and struggles that go with taking the less popular route. I think it's common to also think kids need some stable structure in their lives and extend that out to living in one area and growing up with the same peers. I suspect if I went to go look for research on that, I'd find studies going both ways but I also suspect it's difficult to pin point if it's the moving around or the home life. It always seems to come back to the home life and how much interest the parents have in the development of their children.

The other aspect about homeschooling though is that it puts a lot on one parent. I think my wife would rather teach and send our kids to school. Although I've asked her and I think it's one of those things she goes back and forth on. If we could get some help from my mother (if we settled down and they relocated close to us), homeschooling would definitely be more viable/attractive.

For me, one upside of my wife working is we can get on her health insurance so I'm free to do whatever job-wise (take risky contracts, not worry about benefits as much, etc). But I honestly would like what is best for our kids and for my wife over that -- I'm fine with figuring out how to make sure we all have what we need health insurance-wise.

Time away from work has been great. I haven't really done any programming in a month or so besides some minor bug fixes on the side project. But it looks like there will be some more work there. I also have been thinking about the system and way back had some ideas of how to architect the data storage/relations differently. I'll probably work on refactoring in that direction although with the slow uptake, it's a bit painful to put the time in on it. But I do think it would be enjoyable and interesting. The downside is almost inevitably introducing some bugs/glitches and having to jump on those so I am not rushing into it.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

We looked at some apartments/houses for rent in Marquette and so far weren't blown away. But we're looking at more tomorrow. If we find something we like, we'll probably settle down here for a year and I'll take that job. If not, we'll keep on RVing and I think I'll focus on coming up with another side business to keep my skills up to date (assuming we have health insurance figured out -- need to get back to our mailing address at a relatives to figure that all out). Or maybe take some other work. Or just not work.

I think my tan along with our washing machine and clothes line gives away our fulltiming status. It's interesting in the campgrounds. Plenty of retired folk during the week and families in spurts. People mostly keep to themselves besides casual conversation.

One odd thing we've noticed is that we barely ever see anyone else eating outside. We like eating outside with the kids as the cleanup is easier. Plus it's just nice to sit outside. The flies can be annoying on occasion and the sun can intrude but I'll take it. But it seems like most others with some kind of enclose living shelter that has a table (so not tents) eats inside. Or they are on vacation and eat out?

We're mulling over buying fat bikes. Not a cheap proposition but the trails here are amazing. If we stay, we'll definitely buy them but even if we go, it's tempting. But have to figure out if we can make it work with the kids (speak of, the oldest learned to ride a bike a month before he turned 4! he had a Strider/balance bike so that seemed to help -- he wanted to ride like the big kids with pedals and now he is doing amazing).

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

I'm also really enjoying deepening/strengthening my relationship with my wife. It's been amazing having time without the distraction of work. If I had the funds to be FI, I would not deliberately seek work. It does have me thinking about how to swing affordable health insurance and make just enough to cover our bills while the investments (hopefully) grow.

classical_Liberal
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by classical_Liberal »

Luke(SWB) feel the power of the dark side(Semi-ERE).

Family father
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by Family father »

Hi SWB,
SavingWithBabies wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:05 pm
Kids do seem to root people with their educational requirements. Unless one goes the homeschool/unschool route but that definitely seems to be the road less traveled with all of the fears and struggles that go with taking the less popular route. I think it's common to also think kids need some stable structure in their lives and extend that out to living in one area and growing up with the same peers. I suspect if I went to go look for research on that, I'd find studies going both ways but I also suspect it's difficult to pin point if it's the moving around or the home life. It always seems to come back to the home life and how much interest the parents have in the development of their children.
Just thinking aloud but, maybe even more important than the school itself is the chance to practice and learn social and emotional skills..
SavingWithBabies wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:05 pm
I think my wife would rather teach and send our kids to school.
Both DW and I would too..

:oops:

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

@Family father We haven't talked about emotional skills which is timely to mention as our nearly 4 year old has started a slight rebellious or stubborn streak which I (and my wife to a lesser degree) have a hard time dealing with. But we have talked about social skills -- that is my wife's #1 fear with homeschooling. Basically, it's the elephant in the room it seems like. With a classroom environment, it seems like social and emotional skill development come along with it whereas homeschool one has to seek it out through after school activities (where other typically educated children often are) or home school groups or ...?

I don't doubt that we could educate our children well at home and avoid some of the downsides of the butts-in-the-seats classroom standard. But I think we both worry about the social (and I suppose emotional) aspects.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:55 am
Luke(SWB) feel the power of the dark side(Semi-ERE).
I wrote a reply a couple weeks ago but apparently didn't post it... So things that have changed:
  1. We liked Marquette enough to see if we can handle a winter.
  2. We signed a 12 month lease on a Marquette apartment for just under $1300 with everything except electric (heat is gas -- very important to make sure heat is not electric in the UP/Marquette).
  3. The job I'd turned down said they would work with me and were flexible on start and kept checking in. So I said I could start in October but then they added another phone interview step and ended up taking 3 weeks to say they didn't actually want me as they had hired two local developers. I think I dodged a bullet on that one -- I felt obligated to give them the first shot but in hindsight, that was silly and I probably should have put more weight on the earlier problems (for one, human resource person didn't have clear answers on how expenses worked for remote workers traveling to the NYC office). But it's clear they weren't really serious about remote even though they talked a good game. I'd suspected that but it can be hard to suss out during the interview stage.
So this is going to be interesting. It's always nicer to be the rejector instead of the rejectee but I do see a silver lining and I'm not going to settle/rush to get employed. I wasn't sure if we should get an apartment first or I should get a job first and obviously we decided to do apartment first (which surprisingly worked -- we ended up with a super nice landlord).

So I think the rough plan is:
  1. Find work that I want to do whether contract or employee.
  2. Keep thinking of startup ideas and perhaps try one if #1 takes a while.
  3. Ensure we have ACA health coverage -- this was tricky with our mail 6+ hours away but now we have our mail.
  4. Move to Marquette.
  5. Try working from camper with fallback of apartment (might be more of a Spring thing if it gets too cold by the time we're up there and I'm actually working).
In the meantime, I purchased a fat bike ($700 for a used one with a bunch of nice extras like a Thule hitch-mount rack -- basically, $700 for a package of things that originally cost $2700 4-5 years ago) and upgraded my phone ($300 -- my old phone is taking multiple seconds to respond to input sometimes which makes it difficult to use). The bike is part of our plan to not skimp on equipment that gets us out of the house during the winter. We're not going to go crazy but I know I can't live in a place like Marquette by holing up all winter. We're looking for a similar bike for my wife and figuring out how we'll be taking our kids with us :).

Also, we both liked RVing and while we're excited to try Marquette, we're not opposed to going back to it even if we like Marquette. Two solid months of it was fun. We didn't try boondocking (we always had at least electrical hookup) but that is something I do want to try as it opens up our options to free camping in the government land (I forget whether it is state or federal forests but on that land). For that, we need to change some things (aka spend some money) to make it the trailer more efficient -- specifically, upgrade the incandescent lights (at least the one ones) and perhaps add some off grid power (solar/small inverter generator). I'd also want to figure out a way to hitch mount our waste tote and do a DIY garbage disposal-based pump to pump the waste up to the (now elevated) tote. That would let us stay in place for longer as otherwise we'd need to move the trailer every 4-ish days to dump the tanks.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Progress: 53.9% ($647,500/$1,200,000)

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

We moved to Marquette. We ended up renting a U-Haul truck and a dolly. We put some things in the boat and my wife drove the SUV pulling the boat. Most our things* went into the U-Haul truck and we towed the sedan on the dolly. I did most of the moving with some help from my wife on the big things (our foam mattresses).

The job I turned down then they convinced me to be in a holding pattern ended up falling through. They apparently had hired some people locally but I think it was some kind of political struggle between an older manager employee who wanted local and the new higher level manager who wanted to do more outsourcing. It's always hard to tell from the outside but frankly it felt like I dodged a bullet.

So what to do next for employment? I'm not sure. I have some easy low stress options like be an employee ($120k + benefits) or a contractor ($120/hour) at one prior employer. Or try to find some contract work through a developer network ($150-160/hour). I could also go back to one of the companies I interviewed with but didn't end up going with (but I have to think that through -- kind of like dating where you don't want them to think you're settling for second best). I ping some other direct leads for freelance so we'll see if anything shakes out.

I've been enjoying not working. Only stress has been ensuring we have medical coverage. We qualified for subsidized health insurance when we were near Ann Arbor however at first my income estimate put our kids on medicare. I fiddled with the estimate and put in a more correct one which I think would have none of us on medicare and a roughly 50% subsidy on the monthly premium but I somehow need to get proof our kids aren't on medicare. I don't really know that they aren't so it's confusing plus when I ran the healthcare.gov application up here, it looked like the subsidy wasn't the same. So I have some work to do to chase down things and figure out what is going on there.

I thought I'd be more stressed about the monthly burn. But I'm not. It's just money. Logically though, I know I'm not at ERE/FI yet and I need to keep accumulating so let's see what happens on the making money front. In the meantime, I'm trying to enjoy my time off as much as possible.

* On the things front, we did a good job of downsizing however we also ended up moving a lot of things that clearly need to go. The majority of that type of thing is my hobby things but there are also some kitchen appliances/misc and other things that we just don't need anymore but we also didn't want to throw away. So it made sense to move them and then try to get rid of them up here. So that's the plan with a bunch of extra things. It would be great to move back into an RV in a year with nothing in storage. Or at the very most, the smallest storage unit possible. The RV experience made it very clear we don't need so much stuff and anything we need we can always buy again (typically used).

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Housing

With the move, our housing costs have gone down quite a bit. We're paying $1275/month for the apartment which includes everything except electricity. Overall, the apartment is nice although we're not used to sharing a structure with another tenant so we have to get used to hearing other people's music (but they have to hear our kids so we probably have the better end of the stick). Unlike our prior rental, the washing machine is coin-driven so our laundry expenses will go up a bit however the water/electricity/gas for the washer and dryer is not on our bill so maybe it won't make much of a difference. We bought our $130 laundry machine[*] we were using in the RV into our rental and have it setup in the bathroom so we'll use that to do a fair amount of the laundry. It's one of those light plastic machines that cost about $90-140 on Amazon. They have a spinner to get most of the water out and then you need to hang dry.

Negatives on the apartment are a beat up over-the-range microwave (handle broken off, some of the corner trim cracked off, some paint missing where grabbed in leu of handle) and a worn out linoleum floor in the kitchen. But, and somehow I'm very proud about this, I found almost the exact same microwave at a thrift store in practically new condition (impressive as it was made in 1997) for $9.99! It's a slightly newer model of the existing one so it used the same wall mount. I swapped out the beat up microwave and now I don't have to look at an eyesore every time we use the kitchen (and the lights work in it too).

My brother suggested asking the landlord if we an do the linoleum floor ourselves and take the cost of materials out of the rent check. I think that is a good idea and I'd be happy to do the work myself to have a nice new floor. So that is the next project.

As for the old microwave, it works but it's pretty beaten up and it is old (neither have the rotating plate feature) so I'm leaning towards ripping it apart and using the transformer to build a spot welder for battery cell welding. I want to build some lithium battery packs for the camper/boat/car to get some practice as one day I'd like to have an off grid cabin with solar. In the meantime, I can equip the camper with solar and more battery capacity. But first some smaller projects with batteries to get started. I also think I might have some other uses for a small spot welder but have to do some experiments to see what it can do.

Housing: Furniture

The only piece of furniture we bought new was a shelf. We bought some used things: a heavy duty wood dining table and four chairs for $50, two table lamps for $10, a framed poster print for $5 and (another) shelve for $10. Otherwise, we were able to use what we had. And oddly enough, we actually like the used items we bought more than what we would have been able to buy new. Being flexible both on timing (not having to have it right away) and style resulted in finding items we like and that fit our needs.

Health

I went off my keto diet when we started RVing. I've slipped weight-wise back to about 245 pounds. I know now that roughly 5-8 of that is water weight but I was at one point near 217 but probably closer to 220 when I stopped keto. But that is still ~20 pounds. I'm ready to go back to keto though as I miss it and I don't feel as good. I'm also starting to find carbs to be sort of like how we find restaurant food -- nice to try every once in a while but not something I want to consume regularly (we prefer our own cooking).

We joined the YMCA here as my wife wants to go back to her classes. They also have very affordable childcare while you're using the facility (can't just drop them off) which as a bonus gives our kids some social time with other kids (and away from a parent). It's also time for the kids to learn how to swim. So I think this time around, I'll be doing keto and start to do some more regular exercise (including bicycling).

* This is our portable washer: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01ALBMIEI/

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Travel Trailer/Camper

I decided to attack the alignment issues that allowed mosquitos to invade earlier this summer (until I figured out where to block the entry places but that adds 10-15 minutes to the setup and teardown times). I got the shells aligned to fix the problem at the top of the roof between the front and the rear. So that is at least part of the problem gone. Long story short, there are a 4 points on each shell where one can adjust them up or down and of course changing one doesn't simply change that one area. But I think I got things overall better than they were before and I've thought of some simpler/quicker ways to block the remaining problematic areas.

Boat

My desire to learn more about fiberglass boat maintenance is now being fulfilled. I discovered a significant amount of water in the hull of my boat. The way it was built there is a big area between the cabin/cockpit and the hull that is sealed off and has flotation foam. But over time, water makes it's way in and gets stuck and then there is the freeze-thaw issue and fiberglass gets cracked and plywood becomes saturated with water and begins to rot.

So today I poked a screwdriver through an area after finding some water intrusion in an odd spot. The screwdriver went right through and I sucked another ~9 gallons of water out with the wet vac on top of the other ~5 I'd already sucked out of some storage lockers.

The timing isn't the greatest but I'll rip out the rotten wood and get a solid idea of what is ahead of me in the spring. The edges of the cockpit floor is a known weak spot as it tends to crack over time as the tub was not well supported from below. So I suspect that will be part of the repair and that is the most visible part (the rest is mostly out of sight).

It does look like someone tried to repair this boat before and didn't do that great of a job (just kicked the can along to the next owner). Realistically, that is probably to be expected however I do want to learn more about fabrication of panels (potentially using vacuum forming) and gel coat repair so I'll probably go above and beyond to meet my goals instead of what some might argue makes sense to settle for.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: SWB's path to financial independence

Post by SavingWithBabies »

Employment

With Winter coming, it seemed like a good idea to start adding more money back to the coffers. I landed a contract via the developer network I mentioned before. It's twenty to forty hours per week at a good rate. Even if I only work the low end of that, it'll more than cover our expenses. Plus I can still contribute the rest of my employee 401k limit for the year ($2500 to go) and do something like 20% of the total revenue as an "employer contribution". As this work typically involves video conferencing, I signed up for faster internet ($65/month for 400 megabit cable connection). There is also a coworking place in Marquette that I might try to get out of the house and meet local people.

Camper

We paid to store this in an indoor storage facility. We drove about 1.5 hours away to get a $55/month rate. We should only need it for 6 months.

Boat

Still need to decide if I'll store it at the city marina (they let you store it in the parking lot there) or join the yacht club and pay to store it there. I have to go get the numbers to compare. I'm starting to think I should have joined a yacht club and done racing just to get better at sailing as I think this journey might be me learning as much as I can to sail and then bringing the rest of the family on board. So the yacht club might make sense? And it might be within 20-30% of the city rate (both the membership and the storage fee at the club).

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