As you can see, I’m very late on posting this monthly update. A lot happened in July, especially at the end of the month, which derailed me a little.
Where to start, where to start? Well, on the last day of the month, Whitney fell while coming out of the bathroom of a restaurant and fractured her radial head on her right arm. Luckily the fracture was stable and non-displaced so she didn’t require surgery or a cast, but has been wearing a sling for the past two weeks. The day she fell was actually the first day of the last week of our travel contract in VA, so she wasn’t able to work the rest of the week. She’s doing pretty well now and regaining her range of motion, although the fracture is no where near healed. She is only having slight pain now and has already started rehabbing it herself.
The last day of our contracts in VA was 8/4/2017, and we started our new jobs on the following Monday in western North Carolina. We really wanted to go to Illinois for the remainder of the summer, but these awesome outpatient jobs in NC fell in our laps and we couldn’t pass them up. We also weren’t having much luck finding two jobs in Illinois with a campground nearby because most of the jobs were in or close to Chicago. Our new jobs are hospital based outpatient, which is always our first choice when looking for new assignments. In addition, these jobs are by far the highest paying jobs we’ve had to date, paying a whopping $200/week more after taxes compared to our last contract in VA which was also a high paying contract. I finished out the VA contract strong with one last near 60 hour week and finished the 17 weeks there with a total of 162.5 hours of overtime!
Obviously Whitney’s fracture has caused problems with starting a new job. She attended orientation and was hoping to take one week off and then start working since outpatient jobs are not as physically demanding as other settings, but that didn’t work out. Since this is a hospital system, they have rules that don’t allow “light duty” work, so she was told she wouldn’t be able to work until she could lift at least 25 pounds with her broken arm… She was very upset about this and thought she might not be able to work for this entire contract, which is scheduled to be 9 weeks. But today she found out that she may be able to return to work in a week and a half, meaning she would only miss four weeks of work which would be fantastic. She has been enjoying the time off though and getting plenty of rest.
Our new campground is pretty nice. It’s the cheapest we’ve paid so far at only $400/month with all utilities included and is only a 15 minute drive to work. The Great Smoky Mountains are beautiful, and we are excited for Whitney’s arm to heal so we can do some hiking and river activities before it gets cold here.
For the blog, July was a huge month. We received over 13,000 total page views for the month, which is likely due to me going on a posting spree. I posted eight articles in July and Whitney posted one as well. I spent a lot of time on a few of those posts, and I believe that they were some of my best to date. So I was excited to see they got a lot of attention. Due to having such a big month (for us at least) I decided to go ahead and buy the “FifthWheelPT” domain name so that you guys no longer have to include “.wordpress” when visiting the site. So welcome to the new Fifthwheelpt.com!
Financially, I made a lot of progress in July due to all of the overtime work. Since our plans changed quickly on our new assignments, we weren’t able to have the work done on the camper, so that is going to be pushed back a few months which means less money paid out in July. The truck repairs that I mentioned last month ended up being relatively minor. It just needed a new starter which was a few hundred dollars instead of the $1,000+ we were anticipating.
I am now well over halfway to financial independence after working only 25 months so far. My projections now have me reaching FI in less than 2 years, which still seems unbelievable to me. With this cheap campground we are staying at currently, I’m actually close to being able to support my living expenses with my investment returns already, but, of course, cheap campground rent won’t last forever so I will continue to save.
I’m excited for August with these higher paying jobs. It should be no problem to meet my savings goal for the month, and I should also be receiving a bonus for all of the overtime I worked during our last contracts, which will lead to a significant boost. Considering it’s the middle of August already as I write this, I don’t have much time until the next update, but I’m sure I’ll have some other crazy things to talk about next time.