Camper Living- Step One of the Plan

I mentioned last time that we want to become debt free. We won’t likely be able to find a house and pay cash, but we’re hoping to find a bargain that will allow us to pay it off quickly. Camper living is step one of that plan. Well, I suppose selling our house was step one, but you know what I mean.




Living in the camper gives us freedom to take our time finding just the right home at just the right price. Even with storage fees for all our stuff, the campground is much cheaper than apartment living. If we were in an apartment, we would still have to put some stuff in storage.

It isn’t always easy, though. There have been a few times that I was ready to throw all caution to the wind and just buy something pretty. We almost put in an offer on a house that matched almost nothing on our wish list, but (thank God) came to our senses. It was gorgeous, though, with multiple decks overlooking a pond.

Every real estate listing I have found that matched our criteria has been snatched up before I can even pick up the phone. How does that happen?! I can only trust that God is saving us from ourselves.

So, what is on our wish list? A single-level home on acreage with lots of trees, and ideally {for me} a creek running somewhere through the property. Sounds kind of impossible when throwing in the we-want-to-be-debt-free criteria, doesn’t it? We’ll probably have to compromise somewhere, maybe lots of somewheres, but I’m still hopeful.

Back to the debt-free idea. I truly feel like God is nudging us to get there, the sooner the better. Dave Ramsey reinforces that theme on his radio show each day. Beans and rice; rice and beans is one of his mantras.

Since we have sold the house, we are actually debt free at the moment- it’s a great feeling. We know we’ll need to get a mortgage to buy another home, but we want to minimize it as much as possible. Crazy? Maybe, but think of the freedom of not being indebted to a bank. Freedom to do and go as God leads.

It’s really hard to stay on track with so many temptations out there. Do you have any suggestions for keeping our eyes on the goal?




Partying here:

Imparting Grace


  1. This is a great and extremely smart plan Sheila…and I bet you two have so much more “together” time!…your perfect home is waiting for you….My mom always stressed to us that good things come to those who wait…

  2. Gosh, I envy you! I think you have a fabulous plan. Something just right will come along at the right time. It’s in the plan for you:) Happy weekend, you happy camper. XO

  3. Gods timing and mans timely can often vary greatly. In my own life when I haven’t waited for God I have regretted it.

    Stay true to course as He so wants to give us the desires of our heart.

  4. Rochelle says:

    Hi Sheila,
    Not sure what “burb” of Atlanta you live in (north, south, east or west) but I am 60 miles NE of the big A in a quaint and historic small town at the end of GA 400. The wishful real estate agent in me (don’t have a license so I get nothing out of this) knows of a moderately sized “cabin” home in Yahoola Valley, built in 1995. 3/2 on about 2.5 acres for a GREAT price. Again, don’t know what your budget isor what your definition of acreage is, but it is surrounded by trees, you can hear the creek from the property, don’t know if it actually runs through this lot. If you are interested, check out MLS 7273125 on Best of luck in finding your special piece of paradise.

    Rochelle B.

    • Rochelle, I grew up in the north GA mountains, so that sounds perfect for what we want some day when we retire. Unfortunately, we have just recently moved to SC, where hubby’s new job has taken us. Some day…. 🙂

      • Rochelle says:

        Sheila, I know the headache of finding that perfect spot, especially in a new area. I’ve done it 13 times in 19 years. Just remember that with patience, trust and faith, God will lead you to that special place. I never thought after all my moves I’d end up back in my hometown but here I am. I have lots of family in the Upstate of SC, too. There are some really pretty areas there, even though relative to the majority of the state, the mountainous parts are small. Which ever region of SC you are in, I know you’ll find a small slice of paradise to call home. I truly appreciate your willingness to share your faith through your blog. God will bless you through it. Best wishes for your house hunt. It is there, waiting for you to discover it. 🙂

  5. First, know that you are a huge inspiration and so very interesting living in the camper and looking for a house. I like this idea and who knows, we may be doing just this soon ourselves. We are working hard getting to the debt free point of living and I have to say it is often difficult.

  6. We’ve reached our dream of being debt/mortgage free & it IS worth the wait & hard work. In the 1980’s we bought our 1st & only house – a little one level home on a lake with fields & woods, our little paradise. We paid the mortgage off in 10 yrs & back then interest rates were over 9% on a mortgage. We were able to refinance after about 6 yrs in & got it down to a little over 7% – we were thrilled!

    A few yrs later we paid off the rest of our debt & have been living debt-free since 2004. I was 32 when we paid off our mortgage & our son was 7. What freedom to raise him through his teen yrs with no debt! It was worth it to be so tight when he was small. We lived with one old used car, no cable, internet, no vacations, eating out, ect. We actually haven’t changed our lifestyle that much. The only things we’ve added are great DSL & a little more into our grocery budget – we still rarely eat out (why would we want to living where we do), don’t have cell phones & we’ve bought two used cars in 27 yrs of marriage with no plans to replace either one any time soon.

    My husband kept me on our goal. Every month he’d write on our calendar how much we owed. I was a SAHM & it would get pretty lonely at times. One small thing that helped was that we gave each other a weekly allowance in our budget. Back then it was $2 a week – now it’s $4 a week. Enough for a weekly coffee or I usually let mine build & go out to eat with a friend. We were each accountable for every penny that came & went except for our allowance. Twice a year during tax season & in the fall he gets a yearly bonus with his job, we would each get a chunk to add to our allowance. I always let mine build to have fun money for social time with friends – or had/have friends over for social time.

    I think if we can do this anyone can. We were in the upper range of lower class in our income when we started. We’re in the lower range of middle class now & live very comfortably. Keep your eye on your goal, not what others have & you’ll do well.

  7. I agree with the idea of buying acreage and putting the camper on that while you build……
    “an expandable house” sounds like an interesting idea!
    Missed you during Haven—

  8. Hey Sheila! Glad to see you are still hanging in there. Debt free is a good way to live. When we owe we are slaves to what and whom we owe and slaves to our jobs. We are also debt free, or were, except now our car threw a hissy fit and we had to get another one, which we hope will be our forever car. We could pay it off, but that would suck a lot of savings, and we are not youngish anymore. so that one we will work with. We live in a paid off double wide mobile home, in a court. we do have monthly rent, but it is still way cheaper than a mortgage. My father in law could never understand this. Thought we were foolish for paying lot rent. But if we had a mortgage, it would not be 400 a month by any means! We can just sell and go now that we are free..and when hubs retires we will do that next year. It is a good feeling. so my suggestion is , when you get the urges, remember the freedom you have right now to pick and choose, and how it feels, and how it feels to not be a slave to the pay check, or the boss, or the bank…

    Or just post another “help” post like this one , and we will encourage you! ♥♥♥

    • Good points, Bernice. Being debt free means that those unexpected expenses like a car going kaput doesn’t throw life into a tailspin. Sounds to me like you and hubby have made the best decision for yourselves.

  9. Sheila, I think you are on the right path! You are so smart to listen to God and let Him direct your path! I know your heart and know how much you trust Him. I know He knows where you should be and He’ll send you there when the time is right. Sending hugs, love and prayers your way! I totally agree with being debts free!

  10. Save every $5 bill you get.

    Find acreage, put the camper on it & build an expandable house! Or build a basement & live there while you build the first floor,

    I had friends that built their garage first, lived there while the house was being built

    Come visit us in Wilmington for a weekend!!!!

  11. Hmm I think you need to post these words somewhere as a reminder
    Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you,

    You’ll get your home, keep faith, I do know the nightmare of waiting for a house in the right price range, in the meantime enjoy the feeling of debt free while it lasts 🙂

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