Changing Financial Goals: One Family’s Story Of Swapping Practical For Crazy


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One of my closest friends from grade school through high school use to say over and over, “Life is what happens when you are planning something else.”

Changing Financial Goals. One family's story of swapping practical for crazy.

Sometimes when you are planning on reaching for a safe and practical financial goal, an opportunity to make a crazy, out of this world dream become a reality arises instead.

Our family’s safe and practical financial goal

Our big financial goal for this year was to finish renovating our second rental unit, get it rented, and then work hard to add enough money to what is left of the inheritance from my dad to purchase and renovate and rent a third rental home.

It was a stretching goal for us, one that would have us working hard and saving hard.

Our hope was the result would be more month to month income to help us help the kids with college now and help us with retirement later. It is was a very practical, safe financial goal.

But then we entirely changed our goal.

How practical became crazy

I remember the exact moment our practical goal started to crumble. It was March 12th, my birthday, and we decided to spend it together as a family of five. Our first stop on our family day was the gas station for gas needed for the trip.

While my husband filled the gas tank. I started a conversation with the children that completely changed our goal from practical to, “Oh, my word! What are we thinking?”

Me: “Hey kids look at the super tiny RV!” (one of those super compact ones)

Kids: “Wow that is small”

Me: ” That is the size of the one dad and I plan on taking on our cross country trip after you all leave home.”

Kids: “Buy something bigger, go a few years sooner, and we will all go with you.”

Me: ” Really, I always thought you guys didn’t want to leave your friends and normal daily life for that long?”

Kids: “But think of all the places we would see?”

And so began the crumbling of our safe, practical, and normal financial goal.

My birthday celebration was hijacked with a day long conversation of where to go on the trip, what to take with us, when to leave on the trip and how to pay for the trip.

The exact moment the normal financial goal was traded for crazy

We eventually got to the big word: BUDGET. Honestly, I thought that this is where our crazy dream idea would have to stay a dream. After all, we were not planning on doing this RV trip until the children were all grown and gone. With our youngest currently 13, we still had at least 6 years to figure out how to fund it.

But now with this new dream we had less than one year to make it happen, because in just over two years it is very likely that we won’t be a family of five living under one roof–our little birds are growing up and are getting ready to leave the nest very soon.

That short timeline presented a BIG problem. Unlike many RV traveling families, our main provider for our family, my husband, does not work at a “take it anywhere” type of job. My husband is an RN. He physically has to be at his job to work it. That leaves us with rental income and my blog income as the only sources of income coming in each month we are on the road. Currently, after taxes and expenses these two income sources average $1600 a month. Obviously we are going to need more than that per month to live on the road.

And in that second practical was replaced with crazy

As soon as the words “where would we get that kind of money in that short amount of time?” were uttered, the solution became obvious. We could swap our practical goal of investing our savings in a 3rd rental unit for a RV trip of a life time.

And then we started to panic

When we got home that night from Indy, I purposely set out to figure out how we couldn’t afford this trip. You see, the battle of the “what if’s” was setting in. I am the head numbers person for the family and I kept thinking, “What if I didn’t get the numbers right? What if something goes wrong with the rentals? What if the blog stops bringing in an income?”

But no matter how many times I came up with a valid excuse not to take the trip, a just as valid solution came up to take care of my excuse.

A few days later my husband started to panic. Being the provider, his main “what if” was–and still is–what if he can’t get the RN position he loves back after the trip? He was also struggling with “what if we don’t have enough put aside for when we get home to last us until he gets back to full time work again?”

We both had a horrible case of fear-filled “what if’s.”

After several days of fear induced flip-flopping, my husband and I decided the best way for us to give up on the practical goal for good was to become fully committed to the new crazy goal and the best way to do that was to buy the RV and start telling people  that we were going on a cross-country RV trip.

Changing Financial Goals. One family's story of swapping practical for crazy.

Here is the picture of our home for 6 months on the road–all 26 1/2 feet of it. It has a slide- out on the other side.

And yet we are still doubting

I would be lying if I said I am now 100% sure that this decision is the right one.

However, I do know that we are doing our best to be smart about our rather crazy decision.

We are paying cash for it. We are keeping back an emergency fund so that if we get home and my husband doesn’t get a job right away, we have funds to live on. We are researching ways to keep the trip as affordable as possible. We are over budgeting in all areas to make sure we have enough.

However, we are both in our 40s and retirement is getting closer than we want to think about and 2 rentals isn’t going to provide livable income for us and that is concerning. Plus, before that we have 3 children whom we would love to help with college expenses in any way we can.

But here is something else I know. This is our last window of opportunity to do such a trip as a family of five. It is now as five or later as two.

As I stated above, we were planning on doing this trip later with just the two of us. Essentially, we are just swapping timelines. We are going to travel now (well, within 6 to 8 months) instead of working, which means we will work later instead of traveling.

My husband and I have passions and talents that make us great at turning rundown, low-priced homes in good neighborhoods into livable rentals. The moment we get home from this crazy trip you can bet we will be itching to start saving up for another property.

We are not giving up our goal of retiring off of rental income. Instead we are simply putting it on pause so that we can enjoy the here and now with our children while they are still living with us.

(plus it also helps that we living in a town with extremely low real estate prices – the home we currently live in cost us $10,000)

We will get back to practical–but for now we choose crazy!

How about you? What dreams are you pushing to one side because they simply are not financially practical according to the widely accepted norms of society?  Is the risk of going for them worth the possible payoff? Are you willing to face the “what if’s” head on?

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3 Things I Am Loving Lately: May 11


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3 Things I Am Loving Lately What about you

I hope everyone had a relaxing Mother’s day weekend. I know I did. I purposely planned to have a relaxing weekend, and that is exactly what I had.

I am finding that as I apply the principles I learn in life management courses like Make Over Your Evenings, the more I am living my days at a more relaxing speed. I am not doing less, I am just doing it all in a more routine way. Forming habits really does simplify life.


First thing I am LOVING lately……

Finally accepting that my body figure has changed

It has taken me a while to really figure out that my body shape has changed these last few years and what clothing suited me in my 30’s don’t in my 40’s.  Gravity is unkind! Well that and a slowing metabolism mixed with my love for sweets. Anyways my point is I am loving my orders from ThredUp more and more now that I have figured out what styles suit my figure and what  colors look best  on me.

In fact there is barely a day that goes by that I am not wearing some article of clothing that I got from ThredUP.

It does take me a while to pick out my items. So I like to shop with a cup of tea and some good tunes borrowed from Hoopla.

Psst…. You can enjoy $10 in credit to ThredUp when you use my referral link. They sell clothes for kids, as well as maternity clothing and women’s clothing.


Second thing I am LOVING lately…

Mom and daughter time

A Mother’s day tradition every year with my daughter is slipping out in the afternoon for 1/2 prices Starbucks Frappes. For years now the sale has always been over Mother’s day. If they change that we are so set in our tradition now that I might actually pay full price—gasp, did I just write that.

I am also loving the new My Starbucks Rewards changes. At first I wasn’t sure if I would like them or not but I seem to be earning rewards faster than I once was.

You can sign up here (you need a gift card to register )and when you do you get a free drink just for registering and another one on your birthday (got to fill out your account info so they know when to send it) . They send out emails filled with extra ways to earn more points, or special member only deals– so make sure to opt in for email.


Third thing I am LOVING lately…..

A good novel and a goal met

If you read my Mother’s day post you know that one of my desires for Mother’s day weekend was to read a novel from start to finish. I am proud to say I made my goal.

I chose to read Wildflowers from Winter a book that I got through Paperbackswap. I LOVED IT so much that I went into my Paperbackswap account and put all of Katie Ganshert’s other books on my wishlist.

psst…. you can save $3 on off Paperbackswaps standard membership when you use my referral link and list 10 books you are willing to swap with others. Paperbackswap is a great resource for homeschoolers and bookworms.

What is something you are loving lately? Tell me about in the comments below.

Let’s get to know one another this year! Join me on Facebook and/or Instagram. Those are the places I hang out and chat.

Psst…. Stock up on Tide, Batteries & More at Great Prices

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 10.02.05 AMScreen shot from Zulily

Right now Zulily is running one of my favorite deals. You can choose from selected items from (sort of like an online Costco or Sam’s club)  at reduced prices and get free 2 day shipping on orders of $50 or more.

I usually grab the family sized tide for $19.99 that takes me almost 1/2 way to 50. I then add in my hubby’s favorite Honey Nut Cherrios 2- 55 oz boxes for $7.99, a 54 oz jar of organic coconut oil for $16.79 and a 500 count box of Ziploc sandwich bags for $9.99 and I am over the 50 free shipping limit . Two days later the box of goodies shows up at my doorstep. No need to run out to the store and grab anything – LOVE that.

There are lots of other great grocery items to choose from! Click here to head over to Zulily and view the selection (to find it enter boxed into the search bar at the top of the web page.


Family Birdie Bracelets: $5.99 Today Only (May 9th)


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Family birdie bracelet

These adorable Family Birdie Bracelets ( regularly $16.99) are $5.99 each over at but hurry this low price is available today, May 9th only.

Shipping is $3.50 for the first one and .99 cents for each additional bracelet you add to your order.

You can add up to 8 birdies and 8 beads.

These would make great Birthday and Christmas gifts!

Click here to order yours.

Psst—A New Kindle Deal!

Rest Assured

Rest Assured: A Recovery Plan for Weary Souls is marked down to $1.99 in Kindle Format right now.

This is my current read and I am about halfway through and really liking it. It is opening my eyes to things I am allowing to add stress to my life when they don’t have to.

Price could change at any time be sure to check before you buy

Click here to get your copy.

Other Kindle deals still available

The Abundant Mama’s Guide To Savoring Slow: Simplify, Embrace The Chaos, and Find an Abundance of Time At Home ($2.99)   I grabbed a copy! Oh and Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom is going to be periscoping about this book all week . So you can grab a copy and join in the scoping fun!

Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith ($1.99)

Happy Wives Club: One Woman’s Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage ($1.99)

Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn’t Give Up (.99 cents)

Remember you don’t need a kindle to enjoy these great kindle deals. Go here and download the app to your tablet, smartphone or computer.

Psst…. my favorite way to pay for kindle book deals is with Amazon gift cards earned through Swagbucks and/or  InstaGC

Plus! Have you checked out my Hot Deals Page where I share deals, coupons, free samples and more.