Financials: Not our favorite subject but we figured we would share with you guys a little behind the scenes with our income situation so it might help some of you later down the line. Some people that travel full time have jobs where they are able to work from their computers, some are photographers or they just have seasonal jobs where they work half the year and travel the other half.Some people out there on the road even get paid to travel. Well, long story short none of that applies to Stef and I. As much as we wish it did we worked for a year straight, saved every penny we made, sold everything we owned and hit the road hoping for the best and living on our savings. We hit the road in early June and were able to travel freely until August, although we were not financially hurting we always agreed to pick up any work if it was offered to us. Stef was able to pick up work through an event company and ended up working a weekend gig at a children's hockey camp in Maryland. A little further down the coast in Virginia, I was to pick up some hours through some friends working a security job at a local bar in Portsmouth. While in Portsmouth we also visited some of Stef's family friends and they offered us both a day labor job which involved us ripping out a kitchen floor. Leaving Portsmouth we headed to Charlottesville Virginia where Stef and I both had an opportunity to work at Oakhart Social Restaurant And Bar, picked up a 1 day yard work gig for Stefs Uncle in Asheville North Carolina, I worked in The Broken Spoke motorcycle shop for a day and we even got to help rip down the famous Wall Of Death in Maggie Valley NC.
Before we left Chicago in June the plan was to stop in Birmingham Alabama, visit some really close friends, take in the city to see if we would ever want to live here and pick up some more work for our next leg of our journey. We have been in Birmingham since October 10th, parked the camper in our wonderful friends Bowles and Allison's backyard and Stef had a job about a mile from where we are parked. Me, on the other hand, was not able to find work for about 3 weeks. One of my good buds Jonathon set me up with about 4 different restaurant/bar jobs that all looked very promising by the interviews but they needed time to find room for me or just took to long to get back at me. I ended up talking to some friends that work with Stef but in the Vinyl Wrapping And Sign Dept. They told me they were losing a couple of guys and if I wanted I could come do a trial over there for a day. It ended up working out great and they day I decided to work there I had about 3 of those bar jobs calling me asking when I could start. I kindly said no and started my new and exciting job learning the ways of Vinyl Wraps and vehicles.
In our heads, we thought we would have left by Jan 1st and headed west. We had a few hiccups with the van, we acquired a dog, and probably ate out and drank too many beers. Granted it's been fun and we do love it here theirs still a lot to see so we buckled down on Sunday and wrote out a complete (well estimated) budget plan to get us out west. Our next step was to...
-Write down our current balance in our checking
-Add our upcoming income for the remaining weeks we have worked here in Birmingham.
- Subtract our bills for each month
* Camper, Van and motorcycle insurance.
Before we left we downsized our lives and that included our bills as well. We did a suspended service on our cell phone's which only allows us to us it on wifi and have a flip phone to make calls and send texts. Which we will talk about in a later blog post all of its own. With the bills taken into play theirs always other expenses to consider while traveling.
- Van/Camper repairs
- Medical bills
- Emergency plane tickets back home
- And anything else that comes to mind..
Now that we see what our Bank account will look like before we leave and actually feel ok with the number in it, we try and figure out our next stop and if we have any opportunities for work there.
Our plan now is to head towards Austin Texas and see everything in between here and there on two-lane highways like we always do. We have some awesome friends we will be parking the Frolic with right outside of Austin and we hope to be able to pick up work, explore Texas, save a little cash and eventually hook up again and get on the road. We understand this is probably a crazy way of life for most people, and some of the time it's really hard for us as well. But with the hard times come the amazing people, beautiful places and insane memories we have from each place. And in the end, that's what life is all about.