Helloooo, Poppets!! Today we are going to talk about how to prepare for an extended hiatus from life as you have previously known it. While it’s super fun to watch hundreds and hundreds of YouTube videos (I admit nothing), read endless blogs and scour the internet for others who have done it the fact of the matter is: every situation will be unique. There are so many things to plan for, it can become overwhelming.
“WHAT DO I DO WITH MY STUFF?!?”
There’s a reason this is the longest paragraph in the post: we humans are very attached to our stuff, just ask George Carlin it’s the meaning of LIFE. Fortunately for me, this question was not a very hard one. I don’t know if it’s because I am getting older, because my kids were growing up and moving out or I was sick & freaking tired of CLEANING 2,300 sq.ft. of house and THINGS. So, the house that I bought in 2012 HAD TO GO, I always knew this was not my forever home so I was not attached to it. Renting it out was not an option for me, dealing with long distance management, crappy tenants, potentially expensive repairs or covering unpaid rent sounds about as much fun as a root canal. Once the house issue has been addressed, you will then need to look at the stuff IN the house. Again most of the stuff in the house had begun to feel like a weight around my neck. It was not pleasurable to have so much junk. Aside from mementos from my babies, photos, some furniture from my Grandparent’s estate (some of which had belonged to my GREAT Grandparents) and documents that needed to be kept EVERYTHING was either sold, given away, donated or garbage. OK OK OK I did keep two bins of Christmas decorations and four boxes of kitchen toys. Anyone that knows me knows that downsizing to only four boxes of kitchen stuff is a HUGE accomplishment, we all have our vices. I put the remaining items in the smallest storage room available and paid 2 years in advance with some of the sales proceeds. One other large thing was a used car that I had just bought in January = expensive payment that I needed to get rid of. The car will be sold and I’ll have to pay the difference, if any, out of pocket. No way around that unfortunately. HOUSE STATUS: SOLD!!
(well, it’s in escrow anyway) BELONGS: MINUSCULE
“WHAT ABOUT MY MAIL?”
This one was easy, I have spent the last year weeding out unnecessary paper mail as much as possible: GO PAPERLESS with all of your statements! There are a plethora of companies out there that will give you an address and receive your letters and packages for you but give that address out selectively. I don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to sort though digital junk mail while trying to enjoy a Mai Thai on a beach. Ya feel me? Only give it out to banking institutions, creditors (if you have them), the feds (the IRS in particular wants to know where you are at all times, even on potty breaks). The one I chose scans an image of an unopened envelope and puts it in your inbox. From there you decide what is done with it: open/scan/email to me, trash it, return it to sender or physically mail it to me. I signed up for two years in advance and got a few months free and BOOM done. PAPER TRAIL: MINIMIZED
“HOW WILL I COMMUNICATE?”
Phone calls can be accomplished with Skype and WiFi that can be found all over for cheap or free. Voice mail can be managed online with a free account from Google Voice, you can even take your old number with you. Google Hangouts is perfect for chat and receiving text messages from your Google Voice number. If all else fails I plan to resort to smoke signals or tin cans connected with string. STRESS ON WORRIED FAMILY MEMBERS: LESSENED
“WHAT ABOUT MA MONEH?”
After researching quite a bit I decided to go with a checking account through Charles Schwab. My plan is to keep a minimal amount of money IN the account (just in case the card is lost, stolen or fraud is perpetrated) and transfer it over as I need to. Charles Schwab refunds ALL ATM fees at the end of each month, which can be a sizeable amount when you are moving around all over the place. The savings will enable you to travel longer 😀 CHA CHING!
How about you? Are you or have you decided to reinvent your life? How did you deal with your old life? OR do you have other questions that I didn’t touch on here? Ask away!
The solutions offered here are the ones I came up with for me, I’ll have to let you know later what works and didn’t work.