Sunday, April 28, 2019

Retiring in a 5th Wheel

For those of you who surf YouTube much, you surely have come across the Traveling RV family vlogs.  If not, let me explain.. These are folks who usually sell their family home, invest in an RV of some sort and take their family on the road. Many of them home school their children since they are usually not in one place for a long time. They take to the internet and share videos of their adventures capturing many views to get a look into their lives.

Up until recently, I have wanted to retire in a tiny home. It would free me from a mortgage thus leaving me with the funds I need to travel. I have been researching tiny homes and families for a while now and was set that would be for me. Enter the traveling RV lifestyle.

So, how many times do you find yourselves glad to be going home from vacay so you can sleep in "your bed"? Well, imagine if you had your bed with you. Imagine being able to live your traveling dreams out and bring your house with you. I am really fascinated by this idea. In fact, the more I watch these vlogs, the more I find myself consumed by the fact that this is for me. I can imagine traveling to my favorite places, visiting friends I have not seen in a long time and even furthering my research in genealogy. (Yes, genealogy is my hobby) And for about the same price as I would have paid for a tiny home, I could make this a reality.

Haven't seen any of these vlogs? Check out some of my faves:

The Chick's Life - RV Travel
Eat See RV
Enjoy the Journey.Life

What are your thoughts on living full time in an RV? What would be your concerns?  Do you like to travel? Leave your comments below!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Are you a VLOG ADDICT?

If you catch yourself tuning in to vlogs more so than your local news, chances are you are a vlog addict.  I can say with a fair amount of certainty that I am a vlog addict. If you do not know what a vlog is, it is like a blog but instead of writing about your subject, you are videoing it!  Below are some of the most popular vlogs that my family enjoys:


Saving Money
On any given night, especially weekends, I find myself watching vlogs.  Now, I could be out at the movies, shopping or anything else that would cost extra money, but it doesn't cost me anything to watch vlogs. Furthermore, I have learned a variety of frugal ideas from various vlogs! The Frugal Freaks    Lydia Senn (Valuable information!)    Centsible Living with Money Mom

Family
As a family, we enjoy watching other family's. What they do for fun, what they like to cook, where they like to go and so much more. YouTube is filled with lots of family vlogs to choose from that your family is sure to love! Our Tribe of Many (We don't miss an episode! Love this family!)    Large Family Table (We LOVE Jamerrill!!!)     Lydia Senn    Raising Arrows      Phillips Fam Bam (One of our families favorites!)     Homestead Tessie

Gaming
My son, he loves his gaming, especially Fortnite. Well, there are streaming gamers whose vlogs are not only entertaining but support the gaming industry and you can learn some valuable skills from watching them play your favorite games. Typical Gamer   Preston Playz #typicalgamer #myballito

Foodies
Cooking, recipes, freezer meals and more! Is this up your alley? Loads of content creators will vlog straight from their kitchen. You will feel like you are in the kitchen cooking with them. They share their recipes, their money saving tips when it comes to meal prep and sometimes you get to go along to the store and shop with them. Jamerrill Stewart Large Family Table  Amy Maryon

Homeschooling
We are not a home-school family, but if we were there are plenty of channels dedicated to home-school. Lots of creative ideas to be had.  The Internet has a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips to aid in your home-school adventure. Large Family Table

Budgeting/Money Matters
Lydia Senn
The Frugal Freaks
Debt is Dum


Shopping hauls
Do you enjoy watching what other folks like to buy from the store? Would it help you with meal preps to see other folks groceries as they are unloaded? This is a very popular subject on YouTube! Anything from Dollar Tree hauls, Walmart hauls, DG hauls, Aldi hauls and more.  Many of these are showing how they coupon shop or how they shop for the best deals. A frugal friend would surely learn some good tips from these channels!   Thrifty Tiffany  Penny Pinching Granny

So you see, if you are not familiar with vlogging, you are definitely missing out. So kick back, go to YouTube and start entering your keywords to search whatever you are interested in.

Let me know in the comments some of your favorite channels.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

My Gastric Sleeve... The process has begun!

The process is under way.  Now that my insurance has decided to cover weight loss surgery, I have jumped right on board. I had to wait until our new plan year began April 1st.
Once April first rolled around, I was finally able to call and see what all I would need to do to get things rolling.

The first step was that I had to enroll in a Bariatric Resource Group. This entailed me calling them and answering a few common questions, i.e. height/weight/BMI and if I had any issues related to weight. I quickly answered those questions and was told that I met the basic requirements. The customer service representative then advised me that she would need to schedule a phone appt for me to discuss things more in depth. She told me they would schedule this call as it would take about 45 minutes.

Friday, April 5th I was on the phone for more like an hour with the nurse. She asked me questions about my health history, she took down the names and doses of all medications I currently take, we talked about my reason for wanting surgery and then we talked about the surgery itself. There is a great level of commitment on my part for this surgery. I have to be willing to commit to a liquid diet before and after the surgery. There will be certain things I may not be able to eat again. Diet Coke, which has been like a long time best friend will probably be no more. The nurse told me that I would be off work anywhere from 1-2 weeks.

At this point I am super excited. Its definitely the surgery I want to have. I want to be able to move easier, I want to feel better and I want to see my kids grow old.  Several friends have had this surgery at different hospitals with different doctors. I had read about a certain doctor that I wanted to use, a friend had even used him. I was set.

My insurance requires that in order for me to have the surgery, I have to choose a facility that is recognized as a "Center of Excellence". Well friends, in Oklahoma that means you have, wait for it, 2 hospitals to choose from. TWO in the ENTIRE STATE! The COE hospitals are Norman Regional and Integris Baptist. Along with using a COE hospital they have specific surgeons for you to pick from. In my state that is 3. Yep, just 3 surgeons to pick from. I was bummed. The surgeon I had my heart on was not covered and I was not familiar with any of my three choices. I think the nurse must have picked up on my sense of confusion and quickly added, these surgeons we provide coverage to have to meet some pretty high standards. My insurance will not pay for just any surgeon.

So I have picked my choice and as it turns out, another friend had her surgery with this surgeon and she is very happy with her choice and she did great. I am relieve now and overall reminded that I am very grateful that my insurance is even covering it. Some friends have went to Mexico because their insurance doesn't cover it!

My nurse had told me there are various tests that will need to be done prior to surgery. She asked me if I had been on a 6 month weight loss program in the last 2 years. (This is a requirement for surgery) I explained to her that I had been on weight loss meds since August of 2018. She told me she would send me a form for my doctor to fill out and then I need to call the surgeon and make an appointment.

After the phone call was over, I received an email from the nurse with my provider choices and a form for my doctor. I immediately went on the website belonging to the surgeon and was able to watch an online seminar about their facility, the bariatric surgery's they offer and more. After watching the video, there is a packet that I downloaded, I think about 8 pages or so. In the process I also emailed them to let them know I was interested in their facility.

When I got home from work Monday night, I had a voicemail from their office. I quickly called them and they were letting me know about paperwork and I told them I would be filling it out and emailing it to them. So, yesterday I emailed my packet to them. They responded by letting me know that they would be entering my information, getting a hold of my insurance for proof of coverage/deductible info as well as reaching out to my doctor. After this is completed, they will call me to set up my initial visit. I feel overwhelmingly blessed.

So this is where I am at as of today, Wednesday, April 10th, 2019! Stay tuned for the next updated.