And Then There Was One… Income (Part 3: The “Non-Plan”)

The Adventure Rich family recently had the privilege to choose to shift to one income, allowing Mr. Adventure Rich to quit his job.  If you are just joining in, you can catch up on the story here:

And Then There Was One… Income (Part 1: Quitting)

And Then There Was One… Income (Part 2: Privilege and Opportunity)

And Then There Was One… Income (BONUS #1: AMA Questions Answered)

And Then There Was One… Income (BONUS #2: AMA Questions Answered)

And Then There Was One… Income (BONUS #3: AMA Questions Answered)

We also posted a call out asking for any reader questions regarding our move to one income.  Today, I will be providing a bit of a blended post.  I will be giving you “Part 3: The ‘Non-Plan’” while simultaneously answering the first round of “Ask Me (Us) Anything” questions.  The questions answered today are the ones directly linked to our non-plan.  The additional questions, centered around financial, personal and emotional aspects of our shift, will be answered next week in a Bonus Post!

The Plan, er, Non-Plan

Our current plan has a striking resemblance to our current budget… it is the “non-plan” (Get it?  Kinda like our non-budget?).  Let me explain.  In our current budget, we set up a basic framework, taking care of necessities and priorities, while leaving lots of room for flexibility and month to month flux.  It is not a line by line strict budget and is our own twist on Paula Pant’s Anti-Budget.

So while I will be covering our plan and answering questions about next steps, know that this is quite a loose plan and is subject to change.  You will likely read it and think “Hmm, but what about this?” or “Why not that?”.  Honestly, we probably have the same questions and are now mulling over them as we proceed!  And we are working to greet the new challenges with flexibility, patience, creativity, and grace 🙂

Our General Non-Plan

There were several excellent questions submitted around our plan and next steps.  I will be incorporating my answers in the next few paragraphs.  Here are the questions:

I’m curious if Mr. AR is planning to do the stay-at-home dad/home and property maintenance gig for now, or if he will be looking for part-time work or trying to work from home.  ~ Carissa

Will Mr. Adventure Rich start looking for a new job any time soon?  ~ Ms. Frugal Asian Finance

Do you guys see this as a temporary arrangement (until Mr. AR can find a job with a better commute and/or schedule) or are you hoping that this is a long term lifestyle change?  ~ Mrs. Farmhouse Finance

What’s next for you guys? Is Mr. AR going to become a stay-at-home Dad? Will he look for a job with more regular hours? Will you guys sit tight for awhile before making a decision about his next job?  ~ Laurie- The Three Year Experiment 

Alright, let’s start with the immediate or short-term plan.

New Job?

Mr. Adventure Rich quit his job with no job lined up.  His boss actually asked him several times what he planned to do before he finally asked Mr. AR, “No, what are you doing for MONEY?!?”.  He was quite surprised to find out Mr. AR did not have a job lined up.

Mr. Adventure Rich and I are very fortunate to have one income that is on the higher end of the spectrum for our area.  We certainly will need to remain frugal and limit certain aspects of our lifestyle, but we do not need a second income to cover necessities, expenses, reasonable luxuries (some home improvements, dining out, vacation, activities) and some savings right now.  This freed up Mr. Adventure Rich’s options as we discussed leaving his current employment a few months ago.

Stay At Home Dad?

Not exactly.  I will cover this a bit more in a question from Carissa below, but Mr. Adventure Rich is not stepping into a “traditional” stay-at-home parent role.  AR Jr. will keep his schedule (a blend of daycare and “grandma care”) with the one caveat… more flexibility.  Since Mr. Adventure Rich will not necessarily need to be at a certain place by a certain time, AR Jr.’s schedule may flex a little.  If they are having a good morning at home, AR Jr. may head to daycare at 9:30 am instead of 8 am.  Or, if my mom has an afternoon appointment, Mr. Adventure Rich may pick up AR Jr. at 2 pm instead of 5 pm.  Another perk will be sick days or “no daycare” days where I still have to work.  Mr. Adventure Rich’s flexible schedule will likely help us manage these expected and unexpected schedule deviations.

Small Business, Side Hustle or Blog?

I am going to call in a few “Ask Me Anything” questions to help me with this topic and Mr. Adventure Rich was kind enough to swing by with a few answers!

Does Mr. AR plan on a side hustle?  ~ Fervent Finance

Is there a coffee bean roasting business in your future?  ~ Amy- Life Zemplified

Mr. Adventure Rich:

“I do not have a solid side hustle planned at the moment unless you count all the home projects I have. I guess if you think of Mrs. AR as hiring me as a handyman for our own house then I do have a side hustle. Only it doesn’t pay in dollars!. 😉

I do roast my own coffee at home (ooh, just remembered I’m supposed to write a blog post about that! Soon, soon.) and have often wondered if I could monetize my small batch roasting someday. This is something I plan to look into more deeply now along with a few other side hustle ideas. The key criteria for me is developing and monetizing something that I will still enjoy once it has become a business and ensuring that I can manage my time spent so that it does not create undesirable conditions for our family life.”

Mrs. AR chiming in!  I am really excited to help Mr. Adventure Rich explore some of the side hustle or small business opportunities that we have toyed around with.  We tend to be pretty good partners in crime (Partners in adventure?  Partners in mishap?  Ah, whatever you wanna call this crazy ride 😉 )  If he finds something that he is passionate about and wants to pursue, I cannot wait to support him throughout the journey.

Is he going to be blogging now?  ~  Ms. 99to1 Percent

Will Mr. AR participate more on the blog?  ~ Amy- Life Zemplified

Mr. Adventure Rich:

“I imagine I may find myself writing here a bit more now. In fact, my participation has already increased by 2x if you include this post! At the present, I think I need to develop a little more routine in this new phase of life before any content I could create would be consistent or hope to have any value. Some of my side hustle ideas and passion projects do include possible blogs and YouTube videos. At the moment they are still just sparkles in the eye. We shall see what the future holds!”

For the record, I’d love it if Mr. AR came to write on the blog.  I could see great DIY, adventure or philosophical posts coming our way (plus it would give me a break! Haha… no really.).

So What Will He Be Doing All Day?!?

Great question!  And a few others thought so too…

What will Mr AR plan on doing with all of his newfound time? Short term and longer term?  ~ Dave- Married with Money

What is Mr. AR doing with all his free time?  ~ Erin- Reaching for FI

Mr. Adventure Rich:

“Free time. At the moment I’m interested to see if this is a myth or something that really exists. My short term plan is filled with home maintenance, repairs and remodelling as well as spending more quality time with AR Jr. In the short time I’ve had off of work thus far, I’ve had two major revelations or perhaps just confirmations of what I already knew. 1) A home is not an investment! We haven’t looked at the number yet, but I’m sure our monthly expenses are going up a significant percentage now that I’ve had time to do “handyman” things around the house. 2) I’m developing a newfound respect for stay-at-home parents. While I will not be a true stay-at-home parent going forward, I did stay at home with AR Jr. for about a week recently when he was sick… it is definitely a full-time job (at least with a maniacal toddler like ours)!

In the long term, the plan is much more TBD. We have a fair amount of property here in Northern Michigan and there is potential to use it in ways that would require significant time and effort aside from the part-time work it already requires to maintain. Any such plans will require much additional thought and cost-benefit analysis from me and Mrs AR. Other ideas involve some possible web-based ventures and pursuing part-time work in fields that I could develop new skills in. I am especially interested in pursuing, or at least supporting, operations that develop and maintain community and culture in the areas where I have found great benefit (think good food, beverage and personal finance…ChooseFI!).”

Short-Term Plan Question:  Daycare

Will AR Jr. still go to daycare? I know a large part of that is socialization for the child, not just a break for parents….  ~ Carissa

I really like this question!  We are keeping AR Jr’s schedule the same.  He currently attends daycare 3 days/week and is cared for by my mom 2 days/week.  For us and for him, this is a beautiful balance.  He is an outgoing, energetic, and social boy.  He LOVES his friends at daycare and comes home singing songs, naming his friends, and excited for his next day there.  And the bond he has with his “na-ma” (grandma in AR Jr. speak) is incredible.  He gets to join her during her day… having lunch with family and friends, playing, visiting an elderly home weekly, and hanging out with grandpa on his days off.

We have seen great benefit from AR Jr.’s daycare and grandma days.  He experiences different authority figures, enjoys a social outlet, forms friendships, and has the opportunity to have a wonderful bond with grandparents.  This set up also allows Mr. Adventure Rich the free time to dedicate to his current projects and exploration of potential future plans.

Short Term/Current Non-Plan Summary

The Path into the Unknown (just kidding, we know what’s over that hill!  It’s our mailbox 😉 )

In sum, our short-term or current plan is as follows.

  • No current job or plan to look for a job
  • Initial work:  Home improvements, property and yard work, miscellaneous projects, more time with Mrs. AR and AR Jr, more time for reflection, planning, reading, and thought
  • AR Jr. remains in current schedule/set up with a blend of daycare and “grandma care”
  • Become involved (or more involved) with our local community and friend groups
  • Explore side hustle or small business ideas.  Possibly test/launch said side hustle or business.
  • If he gets bored or wants to, get a part-time “fun-ployed” job or a job he can learn from (adventure guide, brewery/coffee roasting job, etc)
  • Be open to stumbling upon a full-time job he likes and will fit well with our goals

Please Note:  This is our current plan with our current financial situation and with my job intact.  I’ll be covering some scenarios if we were to need another income or need to replace my income in the Bonus Post.

Long-Term Non-Plan

The long-term plan is verrry open to negotiation right now.  If we find an awesome balance as is, awesome!  If Mr. Adventure Rich finds a side hustle, entrepreneurial venture, part-time or full-time job that fits our goals and desired lifestyle, we want to be open to it all.

This one income set up could be a phase, it could be a “breather”, or it could become our new normal… we shall see!

Long-Term Plan Questions:  Location

Home Sweet Home

RV Life?

As for the AMA, I asked in Part 1 comments if you will now travel the country in an RV? You work, he drives?  ~ Ms. 99to1 Percent

Great question!  I think this warrants a post of its own someday, but Mr. Adventure Rich and I are more “roots” people than “wings” people.  We like to go on small trips and explore new areas, but we like home and having our home base.  We find incredible satisfaction in becoming engrained in the community we are in by forming deep relationships, participating in activities, volunteering, and helping to improve and contribute to the community in whatever way we can.  This was a big factor in our move to northern Michigan and our home purchase… we love the area and want to settle here, hopefully making this area our forever home.  So while Van/RV life sounds like a perfect option for some folks, it isn’t quite our jam 🙂

Another factor in the Van/RV life I think I would find difficult would be work itself.  I have a home office with a dedicated space, desk and set up for my job.  My job requires my attention and focus.  I have occasionally worked on the road (at a coffee shop for a day or at my in-law’s house for a week during holiday visits), but the lack of my personal setup is hard and I struggle with distractions and focus.  Add in an energetic talkative boy and a small space and I think I’d go bonkers trying to keep up with work on the road!  I’m sure there are many people who would be able to rock the RV + Work life, but I would personally struggle here.

Now, that being said, I do want to take advantage of my PTO time and Mr. AR’s free time to do some local excursions as a family.  We are hoping to take a few 3 day weekends to explore places here in MI like the Beaver Island and the Manitou Islands (maybe do a Manitou 1-2 night mini-backpacking trip with AR Jr!), Grand Rapids/Ann Arbor/Detroit (amazing museums, zoos, etc!) or just have a staycation.  We are also thinking about a week or two of camping in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula this summer (though, the camping will be in tents 🙂 ).

Location Changes?

You guys moved for Mr AR’s job, right? Now that he no longer has that job, has anybody said anything? In particular, has anyone asked if you’ll move back?  ~ Dave- Married with Money

No one has asked about our location and I think at this point, it would be a very hard sell for me to relocate.  We settled here intentionally and with the hope of making northern Michigan our forever home.  Life could always throw us a curveball that changes that, but we would likely either exhaust all options before moving or need a VERY compelling case for leaving.

Do you plan to move to another city/state?  ~ Ms. Frugal Asian Finance

No!  Haha- I’m really hoping we don’t leave anytime soon 🙂  We love our hometown in northern Michigan and made the move here with the hopes that we will stay here.  Granted, we don’t know what life will throw at us, but making MI our forever home is one of our goals.

Wrap It Up Before This Gets Too Long!

Alright, there you have it!  Our short-term and long-term non-plans which include opening up time for projects, exploration, testing ideas and seeing where things go.  This is my year of focus areas and our current path fits well with my goal to be more flexible, take advantage of life’s adventures, and embrace the “good” discomfort that comes with so much uncertainty.

I cannot wait to answer more of the questions in our next post, stay tuned!

Always an Adventure,

Mrs. Adventure Rich