I’m up here in Vermont taking care of all of the final logistics before hitting the road for nomad life in October – man oh man are there a LOT of logistics!
A big piece was buying a vehicle that can pull the Scamp trailer.
This has been a point of stress for me over the last couple of months because I haven’t had a car since living in LA 10 years ago. Usually, when I’ve needed a car it just appears, but this purchase involved more strategy.
When I was telling a comedian friend about all this, he said “You want to pick a car that terrorists use, you know? They have a knack for choosing cars that run forever, under all different extreme conditions…and they always drive Toyotas.” Thanks, Rob.
Meanwhile, when I was talking to my brother, I said I was thinking of getting the most eco-friendly option with just enough power to pull the Scamp – some kind of hybrid station wagon perhaps.
To this he said, “but sis, when you need the power, you need the power!” and insisted that I need at least a V6 engine.
After some research, I decided on a Toyota 4Runner.
The car guys I know (sorry – I don’t know any car gals) say 4Runners just don’t quit. Plus, with a towing capacity at 5,000+lbs, it can easily pull my 1,500lb Scamp.
Also, it’s got 4WD for when I make friends that want to go back-roading in the Colorado woods or out into the Arizona desert. And it definitely has the power to handle the winding mountain roads of the Northwest.
I planned to cashflow the purchase (obv I don’t do car loans – they don’t call me the Fiscal Godmother for nothin’). So my budget was $6,000-$9,000.
Over the past 22 months, since I figured out how to be the boss of my money, I’ve raised my net worth by $70k. $36k of this was getting out of debt.
After that, my plan has been to cashflow the truck, buy the Scamp new (which is $13,500), plus have a $10k security fund and $5k repair fund in the bank. Then I’d LOVE to be able to invest $6k in a Vanguard VTSAX all market fund before the end of the year. Also, I need to support myself each month.
All this to say, getting this purchase right was important.
It’s part of the whole balance of this life change. Ideally, the 4Runner would be born between 2003-2008, have 130k to 180k miles, and be in relatively good condition. Not fancy, no swipey-swipe screens, but solid. Hopefully with good bass in the sound system.
So finally, after a couple months of searching, I found my truck on Craigslist right here in Vermont one town away from my dad’s house!
I call it Flo. As in “Florence the Machine” because the woman I bought it from was named Florence and she was cool. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be “in the Flo?” (as my friend Megan said last week when we were driving Flo to the beach).
Technically Flo is an SUV, but has a truck engine and feels like a truck so can I pleeeease call it a truck? I know that’s obnoxious but I really want to call it a truck.
Flo has 141k miles, was listed for $8,250 (but I offered $7,500 and the seller accepted), and was born in 2007. The engine in great condition. One owner. Boom. Done.
Anyway, today I was sitting in Flo’s passenger seat, parked on the side of the street outside my dad’s house getting work done (you know how when you get something new you just want to hang out with it?). I was listening to Adele and editing some writing.
Then I looked up at the street and was suddenly struck by how much has changed in the last year.
A year ago, I wasn’t even thinking of leaving New York. A year ago I was living in DUMBO, BK. I had just finished getting out of debt. I was tired. Physically tired. But mostly tired of pushing so hard. I was about to take off teaching a bunch of trainings around the country for Equinox in the fall.
But since I had changed my money habits so dramatically, by January I had enough of a cushion of cash that I started to feel more freedom of choice. I had the choice to stay in NYC or to leave.
As I sat there I thought about all those small, significant steps it took to get to that position of freedom to make a change… those steps were no joke. Each one took effort.
This note might sound like it’s about financing freedom, and in a way it is, but I’m really interested in the small steps – those little daily tasks that add up to a big change.
To wind up sitting there in Flo, with my financial plans on track, having totally transformed my life, it took countless small, gradual, calculated steps.
Yes, there was an initial big urge to make a big change – a declaration to myself. But that could only be implemented in small, measurable steps. And taking those steps has made the change so complete.
The sum, you see, the sum of those steps is a totally new beginning… and it’s this new beginning that’s really blowing my mind. Everything is different. Everything is new.
What big change do you want to start taking gradual steps toward, I wonder? Or are you sitting pretty right now?
FYI I’m launching the Wealth Realization podcast at the end of this month. So stay tuned. And hey – I’ll see you at the BREAKTHROUGH retreat in the Catskills Sep 27-29, right? Hope hope.
At least sign up for the FREE BREAKTHROUGH Process Zoom Video intro Sunday, Sep 15th at 4pm EST!
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