I’ve refrained from writing this post for a long time because, contrary to what my husband and kids might tell you, I really do not like telling people what to do. And I hate writing posts that inevitably lead to the each to his own reactions, comments, and feedback. I respect that everyone has their own set of circumstances and reasoning behind life decisions.
We receive so many emails and messages on social media from people who are saying a version of the following:
I wish we could own an RV. One day we will get an RV. We are on the five-year plan. We are on the seven-year plan. When we retire, we look forward to buying our first RV. Etc, etc.
And then the story of Driving Miss Norma went ripping around the internet over the last couple of weeks. I had two thoughts:
- That is amazing that Norma is living her life to the fullest.
- I don’t want to wait until I am 90 to have the time of my life.
In almost every single case, people who tell us they are waiting to get an RV cite financial reasons. It is not in the budget right now. They don’t want a payment. They are saving up. On the surface, these statements seem completely reasonable and even downright responsible. In fact, I presented them all to my husband over the course of buying our first pop up.
The arguments don’t really fly. Why?
Because so many of us (most of us, really) have payments on services like cable, internet, and cell phones which far eclipse the monthly cost of financing a travel trailer. And you can’t tell me that your cable is an investment. I’ve checked the programming.
So I’m going to keep my bossiness to a minimum here, and boil down my advice to all of our listeners and readers and social media followers. In my mind you have two options:
- Cancel your cable and use that money to finance an affordable travel trailer. We canceled our cable last year, so I can offer this suggestion without feeling like a hypocrite.
- Buy the cheapest preowned RV you can find and use the living daylights out of it until you can afford to upgrade. Our friends bought a pop up camper off the side of the road for $500. Then sold it two years later for $1,000.
Here’s the thing. I’m glad my husband fought against my ‘let’s wait and save up’ mentality when it came to buying our first pop up camper. That early $110 monthly payment brought more value to this family than all the mid week takeout dinners, cable bills, and smart phone payments that we ‘invested’ in over the years.
So even though it might sound like it, I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do. I’m trying to encourage those fence sitters to live life to the fullest now. Not when they are 90 years old.
Because for the record, we have never received a single email or message from anyone saying they wished they waited just a bit longer before buying that RV. Just sayin’.