I wanted to update about what we've done to that end. It is hard to believe it has only been a month! For starters, we gave a car back to my dad. That cleared our debt to him.
Next week we're transferring to an even smaller apartment! Four months ago we lived in a two-story, three bedroom (1½ bath) condo. We currently live in a two bedroom / two bathroom apartment that is 900 square feet of space. It has seemed very cramped after the condo, which had a HUGE kitchen! Now we're going to lose 250 square feet, but we'll be dropping our rent by $145! Our new apartment is across the courtyard from us, so it makes for an easy move. However, we move next Wednesday! This seems like an extra big hassle because 1) I'll be in full-on working schedule. and 2) I just can not get my mind on Giftmas because we have too much other stuff happening. Our lease will still end in August, perfect for our plan. Besides, what better way than to take steps down to the size of an RV? Better than going directly from three bedroom with a huge kitchen to an RV!
We (especially my husband) had been planning to purchase a nice television. However, we've agreed to wait until we get our RV and get one that suits it. Most impressively, this was his idea.
On that note, Elmo has also gone through his DVDs and took a bunch to Vintage Stock. You get a better deal if you take store credit and he was able to get the ear piece he has really been wanting! That ear piece also takes up much less space than the DVDs he traded. He has a huge DVD collection, so minimizing it had been a concern of mine. He came up with the idea on his own, though. We've also been looking around for ways to travel with his movies.
I've been selling items on CraigsList. I listed them, sold one or two, then I had to re-list at lower rates. I sold a couple more and then lowered rates again. I re-post about once per week because listings are shown in date order by default. I'm coming up with more and more stuff to sell, I think.
We've decided what sort of transport we'd like to get, including a 5th wheel dually truck with a diesel engine and automatic transmission. We want to get the Vegetable Oil conversion, the entire point of getting a diesel. Of course we'll want a 5th wheel travel trailer to go with it! Oh, and we need the truck to have an extended cab to hold (eventually) two car-seats!
I discussed our plans with my dad. I had trouble getting up the nerve for this one, but it went well and he seemed supportive. He thinks we should definitely stop at 1 baby then, but I keep telling him we're pretty set on another one. I think he is watching for something good for us. If we get a fixer-upper of a trailer, he'll be able to help (supervise, anyway) the renovation of it. This could potentially save us a lot of money.
We've dropped our NetFlix account to half the price it was. We tried out Hulu as a cable television replacement, but we didn't like it at all. Even the selection wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Still, we're going to cut out cable television when we move across the way. That will drop our cable bill by more than half as well! (We also get internet through our cable company.)
I've purchased and read Extended World Travel – How to Take a Break from the Rat Race and Travel the World with your Family. It was a great starting point, but I've already come a long way since then. I've just finished reading Un-Jobbing The Adult Liberation Handbook and am starting in on the Appendix of resources now. It was a good read and a good reminder - don't feel deprived. I may need to remember that as I'm cutting out unnecessary expenses. Next up is The 4-Hour Workweek.
I have finally figured out what to do about my water dilemma! It seems simple now, but we rent a water dispenser and have 5 gallon jugs of water delivered (they take back and reuse the empties). I just can not drink tap water. We only spend about $25 per month on it, but we can't take that on the road! Then it hit me... a filtration pitcher! I can use that now and take it on the road. So, that is on my list to purchase this weekend. Then I can stop the water service with the move next week, too.
I've been setting stuff (mostly clothes) aside to take to Goodwill. I'm planning to run that errand this weekend, so it gets done before the move!
My vision board / to do lists are growing (sticky notes on the pantry door and the wall). I've researched several possible ways to earn money and even started contacting possible sponsors for the travel. Even with the light at the end of the tunnel (next Fall), some days it breaks my heart to walk out the door, headed for work. Still, I'm proud of how much progress we've already made.