So how did we pay for all this travel? We monetized our stuff. That is a fancy way of saying we sold everything.
We began the process of selling our possessions before we turned our Dallas house into a rental. We started a concentrated effort in the Summer of 2010, and it continued for almost three years before our targeted departure. This is when I started tracking our sales from half.com, ebay.com and craigslist.com.
After the fees from eBay and PayPal, we netted $21,895.90. This included the sale of our 2003 Pontiac Vibe GT (which we originally bought used and sold for $4,300). This amount is about what we expect to spend per year on the road.
The process takes patience and persistence. We sold about 500 items in the course of three years. Surprisingly, over half of the items (65% to be exact) were sold for less than $20. This movie is just a sampling of some of the items we sold.
It takes time to photograph and list the items. So for a majority of the time we were working for less than the equivalent of a minimum wage job, but the small amounts dollars add up.
Craigslist can be annoying, but the beauty is that people come to your house and pay you to take your stuff. This comes in handy with large bulking items, like our Mahogany bedroom suite, that had to be moved down three flights of stairs.
I am estimating that an average middle class family could conservatively net at least $10,000 over the equivalent period (and not by having yard sales, as you will not get the best price selling this way). If you are renting a storage unit, your cash flow is going the wrong way (out).
Make no mistake, this is not a get rich quick scheme. In fact over 90% of what we sold was for less than we acquired it (in nominal dollars). We recovered anywhere from a quarter to three-quarters of what we paid, which was eye-opening in the fact that we spent so much on things that mattered so little.
The vacuum, pots, pans, dishes, vehicles, etc. were all necessary and useful, but those items were in the minority.
So unlock the bank of stuff surrounding you and take a dream vacation.