From the pages of I RVing: Fall 2022

Financing Your Fantasy RV

Here’s how to stash cash for life’s next gear, whether you’re chasing the RV dream or cruising toward retirement.

Make the decision official

We hear this from RVers all the time: It’s not really real until you say, “I’m serious. Let’s do this!” Having that convo helps steer a lot of choices that will help you transition to a more mobile lifestyle. Without having THE TALK, you’re probably stuck daydreaming, just flirting with a future you actually need to plan for. Once you’ve had THE TALK, you (and any adventure-loving family members) are now on the same page. Which means you can do more than dream together—you can save together.

Do this: Sit down with the fam (or a clean notepad) and lay out what it would really take for you to finally make the move to the RV lifestyle— soon, by stages, or on retirement.

Save more as you scale up

Saving up involves a combination of debts and credits, inputs and outputs, assets and liabilities. But harnessing your earning power can be easy. Some folks try a simple equation: THIS is how much I need, so THIS is my goal. That can work, but the problem with that is that it sets a limit on the size of your savings. (Booo!) You want your mobile nest egg to be farm-sized, so the better option is to set aside a percentage for savings and retirement accounts. That way, you save more as you make more.

Do this: Choose a percentage of income and set it up to directly deposit into savings each payment period. As the scale of your income goes up, so will your RV options.

Flex your financial plan options

There are a few no-brainers in financial planning—like maximizing your employer’s 501(k) match (if you have one available), capitalizing on compounding interest by starting to save early (that’s for you newbies out there), and contributing to a retirement-specific account where you keep more of your hard-earned dollars (good for all the peoples). Any options you have can give your plan a little more muscle.

Do this: There are financial advisors aplenty available, some of which will help you plan for free. Meet with one to put your Class-A or fifth-wheel plan into motion.

Rent to learn as you earn

This might be the best bit of advice from our RV readers. You don’t have to park in place while you save up. As you wait for the big bucks to build up, take some rentals for a spin and learn what suits your lifestyle best. You’ll pick up likes and dislikes, get your spouse’s take on floorplans (good one, Jim G.!), and figure out which matters most to you.

Do this: Schedule an RV trip where you can rent your dream—and experience the reality. Everything you learn will help bring your future mobile Shangri-La a bit closer.

3 Tips You Can Bank On

  1. Automate your savings. It’s more fun to watch the savings climb when you don’t have to watch the checking account shrink.
  2. Track progress with an app. Mobile applications like Mint, You Need a Budget, or PocketGuard can help you follow your financial progress.
  3. Give your savings a raise. You’re likely used to your income level, so just stay there. If your income increases, consider saving more.



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