Here it is, the backup plan I’ve been referring to since Papa was laid off last month. Are you curious yet? Drum roll, please! This Spring we are moving our family of five into a camper.
::: Gasp! ::: What?! You ask? Yes. Assuming a job similar to the one Papa just had does not come along soon (which may happen) we are letting go of the house and moving into a camper.
The thing is, probably most people in our situation would respond in fright and try getting two or more lower wage jobs to make up the difference so they can keep their house, or force their SAHM to put their kids in daycare so she can get a minimum wage job too. Personally, our house isn’t worth it. We have decided together that keeping our family healthy and together is far more important than grasping at straws to keep our house for a few more months.
We’ve looked at all sorts of possibilities, but given our goals and our current society, we’ve decided to suck it in and move before we’re desperate. Our backup plan has been tweaked a few times, but has been in the works for at least two years. Let me say that again. Everything we are doing now, has been in the works for at least two years. Nothing we have done to this point has been a rash decision, and we don’t intend to start making any now. Honestly, it has taken much longer for this scenario to play out than we figured would happen, but if we play our cards right, we could end up reaching our long term goals much sooner. If you find yourself without a job, don’t assume it’s the end of the world. Stop, breath, and think: What are my options? (Be open to every idea) What would be best for me and my family? How can I use this situation to our advantage? Whatever you do, don’t panic. Life still goes on.
This of course is a flexible plan, subject to change quickly, but broken down into seasons, this is where we see ourselves headed this year:
- Prioritize belongings. Think - in use, store, sell, or trash.
- Buy a camper with tax refund and spend rest of winter preparing it for our family. We’re thinking 30-32′, 3-4 bunks and queen bed, and hopefully a slideout, used, in good shape.
- Continue paying our mortgage as able, keeping in mind our top priorities are food and utilities.
- Papa will take on odd carpentry jobs for family as they present themselves.
- If by June we have not found a job paying enough to sustain our current living standards, we will foreclose on the house. Selling would be lovely, but houses don’t move in our town, especially ones under construction.
- Move into camper on family property we will be inheriting, or into nearby campground, and begin gardening vegetables and medicinal herbs.
- Go mostly organic in our diet.
- Raise more chickens, possibly for meat.
- Begin clearing a piece of the property and setting posts to begin construction on a cottage so we can move out of the camper and into a (hopefully) permanent home.
- Produce herbal remedies to sell through parties and bring additional income to family fund.
- Work my way through Confessions of Our Faith, which I’ve already begun, before I begin Teaching Minds, Training Hearts with Buddy in the Fall.
- Be more intentional in providing learning opportunities for the kids.
- If Papa hasn’t found a suitable job (which will be a LOT easier without a mortgage), either move our mobile home to an adequate winter location (at a campground or family member’s house) or find an inexpensive apartment. Unless by some miracle we are able to finish construction on our cottage.
I asked Papa how to close a post like this and he said, “I don’t know, but you’re digging us into a hole. In a good way, that is”. Well, at least now you can see why I delayed posting all this for a few weeks. It’s not a light matter, but although we are pessimists in action, we are at the same time optimists. Living in a camper is not a great solution by any means, but there are positive things to this plan, and we are choosing to see them, so if the day comes when moving is our only option, we can show our kids by example how to be thankful in ALL circumstances and still make the most out of life, no matter what it brings.