Archive for May, 2012

The #1 question asked by most people when I explain my new lifestyle as well as the #1 question asked by most people considering this lifestyle is…..

 But how will you make a living????

While it’s true that it is cheaper to not pay rent or mortgage, utilities, property taxes etc. etc. by living in a van or an RV most likely you will still have expenses such as car insurance, food and gas.

So if you are not lucky enough to have a nest egg saved up or some type of income coming in such as a retirement fund or social security…..or even if you do have an income coming in but it’s not enough to cover your expenses…..What do you do?

As I mentioned, way back when I started this blog, I came across the vandwelling lifestyle while I was doing research for a book I am writing.  While doing this research I have come across so many different ways of making money…..things I would have never, ever thought of on my own….things I never knew even existed….things I know others don’t know exist (I know because when I talk about them to others the looks on their faces is one of incredulity).  So I would like to share these ideas with you my readers.

Before we dive in let me please just point out a few things that I think would be obvious…..but I have learned in my life not to assume…..

  • Not everything I list will work for you……not everything I list will work for me even.
  • I am making no guarantees….I have found these ideas through research….I have not tested all of them….some I will get to, some I may not.
  • Although it is sooo tempting (even to me – though I consider myself pretty cynical) I really, really try hard to stay away from get rich scams….but again I make no guarantees……please do your own due diligence.
  • Some of these ideas may seem WAY out there……be considerate….don’t slam me…..you have no idea what some people are willing to do or what some people are comfortable with….just because you are not comfortable with it does not make it unacceptable…..I find that I am willing to do a lot more than most of my friends……but I have always been a little different 😛

So without further ado……..

Temp Agencies 

I thought I would start out with something that I know all about……temp agencies.

Temporary agencies, or employment agencies, are companies that act as the middle man between companies looking for employees to either fill a gap or to fill permanent positions and employees looking for work.  I started out doing temp work when I was 19 and fresh out of high school.  I’m now 43 and have worked for temp agencies many, many times over the years.

When I first started out doing temp work things were a little different than it is now.  Back in the day I would sign up with an agency (or two), maybe have a little interview with the agency, fill out some paperwork with the agency and then they would call me with assignments that lasted anywhere from 1 week to 3 months.  Once the assignment was completed they called me with the next assignment.  When they called me with assignments they would give me the specifics and then ask me if I was interested…..I would say yes or no and off I would go.

These days things are different.  Now most assignments are what they call temp to perm…..which basically means that the company gets to “try” you out before they decide if they want to “keep” you in a  permanent position.  You also get to decide if you like the position or not before you accept the position.  It seems rare that they have any actual temporary positions (where you might fill in while some one is on vacation or maternity leave) any more.

Now instead of the agencies calling you with the information and you deciding if you want the assignment or not…..you get a call asking if you would be interested in a particular assignment….if you are interested your resume gets sent to the company with a few other resumes and IF they like you then you get called in for an interview.

The third most recent thing that has changed has been the way that you are considered for positions.  Used to be you had to call in every week to let the agency know that you were available for assignments and they would call you when something came up.  This is still being done in some offices that I have encountered but now more and more I’m being told to go to their website and look for open positions and then apply.

The result of these changes has made it more difficult in my book to get true TEMPORARY work……but not impossible.  If you are looking for a permanent position it is a good way to go….I have obtained several really, really good positions through a temp agency and a lot of big companies and government agencies exclusively hire employees through temp agencies….so it is a really good way to get your foot in the door.  But if you are on the road and all you truly want to do is Temporary Assignments it can be a little challenging.

The first thing that I want to point out is don’t wait until you have $20 bucks left in your pocket and don’t plan on doing temporary work if all you have is 2 to 3 weeks to spend in one place.  Finding temp work takes a little bit of time.

Another important thing I want to point out is…….don’t think you can only do this if you have experience working in an office……NOT TRUE!!!  You might have slimmer pickings but there are a lot of assignments that temp agencies take on that have nothing to do with office work.  Recently I talked to a recruiter in a temp agency who told me they received assignments all the time for events where they needed someone to sit at the registration tables and sign people in.  If you are able to handle more physical assignments there are employment agencies who do nothing but assignments for house cleaning, assembly lines, farm work, construction work etc. etc.

If you are going to be staying in one area for a little bit of time and you are interested in trying the temp work route here is the process that I suggest….

(Note:  This process really does not differ any from looking for a permanent opening so if you happen to be reading this and are interested in looking for permanent work you can still follow this process)

1.  Once you arrive in town make a list of the temp agencies in the area – you can Google “temp agencies, the town you’re in” or “employment agencies, the town you’re in” to come up with a list of agencies.  Some of the bigger name agencies are Robert Half, Manpower, Kelly Services and Office Team. There will also be quite a few local agencies as well that you can check into.

2.  Go to their websites and see if you can set up your profile on their website.  I would do this BEFORE you call…..you will save yourself some time because they are going to tell you to do that before they even talk to you.

3.  If you are able to search for open positions and apply on their website do so…..do this BEFORE you call them because they are going to ask if you have done this before they will even talk to you.  Plus, once you start applying for positions you are in their radar.  I applied for a few positions the other day that I wasn’t really sure were even still available and within one day they were calling me asking me what I was looking for and what my situation was.  Before I had applied for the positions online I couldn’t get anyone on the phone to talk to me.

4.  Once you have filled in your profile (if they have that option, some companies don’t) and applied for any openings that they have, give them a call and let them know that you are interested in temp assignments, that you have registered online and you would like to know if there is anything further that you need to do.  Some companies are going to tell you to keep applying for positions available on their website and someone will call you if you meet their needs.  Some companies are going to want you to come in and interview and maybe take some qualifying tests (ie:  for the type of work I look for I usually have to take a typing test and tests for MS Word and MS Excel).

5.  Check the websites daily for new positions and apply religiously.  This keeps you in their radar……sort of like how you used to have to physically call in once a week to let them know you still existed.  The thing is…..even if they don’t want you for that position they are going to see your qualifications and think of other available positions coming up that you would qualify for.  The other day I had a recruiter call me on a position that I applied for ….. it wasn’t the right fit for my situation but I told him what my situation was and he sent my name onto another recruiter who did have a position that fit my situation…..a recruiter that had an opening that wasn’t even listed online yet and they were the ones who actually called and gave me an assignment.

6.  When I first started traveling I worried about whether or not the agencies would have a problem with my traveling from city to city working or if I would have trouble explaining to them what I wanted to do, if they would have an issue with me having a temporary address in town and a permanent address states away.  I have found so far that they really don’t care and have been very understanding and helpful.  On this trip I have told them that I am visiting friends and family so maybe they have been more understanding because of that.  At one place I told them I was visiting friends but I also told them I was full time RV’ing (I didn’t tell them that I actually have a van with pretensions of being an RV) and they just thought that was the most awesome thing ever.  I’m sure that temp agencies will vary from city to city and from town to town but so far I have not found the censure that I thought I would find.


Read Full Post »


I’ve been in Omaha for about a week now and I’m glad to be here…..but my mettle is being tested and those are the cold hard facts!!

Things have reached a place where I finally have to put up or shut up as they say.  For the past 5 months I have been living off of a very large tax refund, a few gifts, selling my belongings, a yardsale and a few small assignments through Today’s Gal Friday.  But now my training wheels are slowly being removed and it’s time to see if I can ride my big girl bike J  It can be done is what I have said and now I have to prove it!

For now I am spending the week with a very good friend and that has just been lovely….I love staying in my van but nothing beats having someone wait on you, feed you, entertain you…… and a hot tub!!

But after this week I will be on my own with very little moolah left.  Even though my goal is to become completely self sufficient with my online endeavors…..I’m not quite there yet.  So I am having to sift through my ever growing list of ways to make money for alternatives at this point.

The past few days I have spent making the rounds of the temp agencies looking for temporary office work.  This is what I would prefer to do because I know it inside and out…..it is what I’ve done for 25 years….but if nothing comes of it I will move on to plan C!!

I thought that in light of my current situation this would be a good time to start posting some information on ways to make money on the road.  Since this is the #1 question asked by most people when I explain my plans as well as the #1 question asked by most people considering this lifestyle I thought it would be appropriate.  So starting Monday I will introduce Making Money Mondays….I hope you will stop by and check it out….maybe get some ideas for yourself!!

Read Full Post »

Not much to report today.  I got a very early start and was on the road by 7 a.m…..I’m not usually up before 8:30.  I stayed at the Walmart in Waynesboro, VA….I couldn’t believe how quiet it was….I never even put my earplugs in!  It was a 24 hour Walmart but I barely saw any cars.

The fog on the mountains was insane this morning…..soooo pretty but a little scary.  Thankfully it didn’t affect my driving.  By about 10:30 a.m. I had to pull over and take a break.  My leg is feeling ok but a couple of times while I was walking I had really bad “twinges”.  So I pulled over to a rest stop and put my leg up for 2 hours and took a nap.

The mountains were incredibly gorgeous but it was very hard to keep my cruise control on and quite a few times I had to practically stand on my brakes going downhill.  Needless to say this was REALLY worrying me since my right leg is the leg I injured.  So now I’m out of the mountains and very, very grateful.  I probably won’t be so grateful when I get sick and tired of looking at cornfields eventually but for now……GRATEFUL!!

I’ve seen lots of things that I would love to stop and explore but it’s not that kind of trip this time unfortunately.  I’m anxious to get to Omaha.  My plan is to sign up with the temp agencies at the end of this week.  While I’m in Omaha (and hopefully working a couple temp assignments) I plan on taking a lot of side trips that I was never able to do while I lived in Omaha.  And just maybe I will do a couple of articles about how awesome Omaha is so that I can set everyone straight about Omaha LOL!!

Now I am in Morehead, KY at the library getting everything charged up.  I was looking forward to getting a couple hours of work done but it is so freaking hot in here I can’t even think straight.  I think as soon as I’m charged up I’m just gonna get back on the road.


Read Full Post »

One of the things that I like about vandwelling and the new life I have chosen is also one of the things that can be so frustrating……the flexibility and the way things seem to change from day to day.

I would love to tell you that I am on my way to Omaha…..but who knows what tomorrow will bring??  My plans have changed a minimum of 4 times in the past week.  I have finally left ….. I am on the road…..and I am headed to Omaha……let’s just keep our fingers crossed that things don’t change mid trip!!

Omaha At Dusk

The new plan is to head to Omaha where I have a lot of friends and relatives and hang out there for 5-6 weeks.  While I’m there I’m going to look for some temp work to help get the coffers filled up some.  I’m still working on Today’s Gal Friday and another project but things are not going as quickly as I would like sooooo…….hi ho, hi ho it’s off to work I go!!

I left this afternoon but didn’t get real far.  I took the splint off my leg and it’s doing pretty good but I don’t want to push it.  So I got kind of a late start and then had several stops to make on the way.

Right now I am in Waynesboro, VA.  I am sitting outside the Buffalo Wild Wings using their internet and it is pouring rain.  That probably doesn’t sound so great but I am just loving it!  I’m comfy cozy and the sound of the rain on the roof is so relaxing.  I really do just love being in this van.

It was still daylight when I got to Waynesboro and the fog around the top of the mountains was really cool….I kept trying to find someplace where I could get a picture but no such luck.  Then just as I was looking for the exit (of course) I ran into a bank of fog and could not see 2 feet in front of me…..it was really crazy…..I was getting a little nervous I wasn’t sure what to do if I couldn’t see but right before I panicked I saw the exit and the fog lifted enough for me to get to the Walmart.

Not my picture but very similar to what I saw in Waynesboro, VA

I used my lunchbox stove to cook some pot pies while I was driving here and they turned out perfect…..the only problem I had was that they were too salty so probably won’t do that again.  But the stove worked out perfect!  It won’t work so great in every situation but if I’m driving for a few hours it’s so easy to just pop something in there and let it cook while I’m driving!  I love it!!

Pot Pies For Dinner

Read Full Post »

Happy Mother’s Day!!

So I’ve been off of my leg for 3 days now……AND I have been bored to absolute tears!!!  I have watched movies, read books, worked online, watched Youtube, played on Facebook, read my email ad nauseum, read and replied to yahoo group forums, surfed TV…….I cannot take it anymore!!!

Tomorrow come hell or high water I am outta here!!!

I’m going to take the splint off and hope like hell that my leg feels better.  And then yes….I’m going to at least wear my tennis shoes and try not to exercise it too much….try to be gentle with it!


Today is Mother’s Day….not sure my kids have any concept of that or not?  Curious to see if I hear from them or not.  It’s funny because I always reminded them of Father’s Day for my X but I don’t think the same courtesy was ever returned.  And funnier still is that I get Happy Mother’s Day texts and FB comments from people who really don’t owe me a Happy Mother’s Day…..but it’s nice just the same.  My mom is off on her vandwelling adventure….so we said our Happy Mother’s Day’s to each other before she left.  It’s a pretty low key Mother’s Day this year.

I had planned on taking a video of my van for the blog this week but of course with the bum leg I haven’t been able to do that……so stay tuned, as soon as I’m able I’m going to do that.

Read Full Post »

Leg Splint….Have to keep off of leg for 3 days 😦

Well I guess I must have worked a little tooooo hard at the yardsale this weekend.  I spent 4 hours at the ER last night making sure that I didn’t have blood clots (which thankfully I did not!!)…..turns out I have tendonitis in my right leg.

I’ve had problems with my legs for a long time.  They would ache and ache and ache for seemingly no reason.  I would walk around the house doing different NONstrenuous activities and after about 20 min they would start to ache like I had been hiking for hours.  Finally I went to the Dr and it was discovered that I was low in Vitamin D.  So for the past few years I have been taking a Vit D supplement…..most days (I suck at remembering to take medications).  And for the most part this seemed to fix things.

And the shoes……I know I shouldn’t wear flip flops or high heels or shoes that have little to no support……but I’m just not ready for sensible shoes damnit!  I don’t like tennis shoes….they make me feel clunky and frumpy.  And sensible shoes that are actually cute and stylish cost a freakin’ mint!  But I guess my hospital bill is going to cost me more than some sensible shoes will  😦

Ughhh…..Clunky = Frumpy!!!

So this weekend at the yardsale I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday lugging things up the stairs from the basement and from the garage.  Then Friday from 6am to 4pm standing and lugging things around and then Saturday from 7am to 4pm standing around and then lugging stuff to Goodwill.  ALL IN MY FLIP FLOPS!  They were my comfortable ones though 😀

Sooooo cute!!!

I know, I know, I know……bad, bad, bad!  I’m vain and lazy what can I tell you?

Needless to say by the end of the weekend I could barely walk.  But by Monday I was feeling fine.  Tuesday….little bit of pain in my right leg….nothing too serious, didn’t really pay much attention to it.  Wednesday….no worries.  But Wednesday night I was walking down a flight of steps and all of a sudden I had this horrendous ripping feeling in my calf.  It hurt like hell all night….I couldn’t flex my foot without hanging from the chandeliers, I couldn’t put any weight on it…..not good.  Thursday surprisingly it started feeling really pretty ok…..I was really surprised!  I just assumed it was a pulled muscle and I treated it as so….ice, elevation etc.

But then people started in with the worrying……maybe I had a blood clot?  I was a nurse once upon a time….I know all about calf pain and blood clots…..so the seed was planted.  And then I started to wonder…..if I have a pulled muscle or a torn tendon…..WHY does it feel so much better???  Maybe I did have a clot and it moved on…..Ahhhhh crap I don’t want to die in my sleep of a freaking stroke.  So off to the ER I went.  Annoyed the entire way cuz I just knew that I was going to end up with some astronomical bill just to be told that I had a pulled muscle and to stay off of it.

4 hours later……no blood clots and a diagnosis of tendonitis.  I’m pretty sure these crutches alone are gonna cost me $300 at the least 😦  So color me annoyed to the nth degree.  BUT I am glad it wasn’t something more serious.

And I guess I am getting old because I need sensible shoes and I just wrote an entire post on my health issues……..ahhhhh crud!!!

Sensible Shoes……Yuck!!!

Read Full Post »

God is Laughing

I love the saying by Woody Allen “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans”.  And boy is he laughing at me this week!!!

My plans were to leave tomorrow for Nashville but I’ve had a slight bump in the road.

Sunday morning, about 2:30 a.m., after my wonderful Saturday night date I had to make a mad dash from the van to my mom’s house for the bathroom.  I spent the rest of Sunday laid up on the couch within easy access of the bathroom.  Today I’m not feeling so great yet.

Then on top of that….the friend that I was going to visit in Nashville is now coming here to Virginia for the weekend…..sigh……

So now I will wait till next Monday to leave for my trip.

It is probably for the best honestly.  I need to spend some undistracted time working on making some money.  I have come across several “work from home”, virtual type jobs that I’m really interested in looking into and I have finally gotten my website to the point where I can start advertising and listing it on Virtual Assistant Sites.

One of my favorite, favorite websites is a site called The Rat Race Rebellion.  I have known about this site for a very long time and it’s been recommended to me several times by people I trust.  It is a site that researches work at home, virtual, telecommute job listings for scams and then lists the ones that are reliable.  Lately I signed up for the daily email that sends out new job listings and have come across several listings that I am interested in.  I thought I would pass them along for any of you who might also be interested in these types of openings……

www.wegolook.com – this is a site that sends out “lookers” to check out items that a consumer might want to buy on line.  For example if you wanted to buy a car on eBay that is in a different state from you and you were not able to look at it in person you could have this company send out a “looker” to check it out for you, take pictures and generally make sure it is not a scam.

www.cloudcrowd.com  – this company will take projects from companies and break them down into smaller tasks and then farm them out to people who work from home.

www.leapforceathome.com – with Leapforce you can sign up to become an “agent”.  The information on what you actually do is pretty vague so I’m not real sure about this company but from what I gather “agents” do analytical research online to see how companies are ranking on the internet.  You do have to take an exam and apparently if you fail it…..you don’t get to retake it.

www.getsetservices.com – this is not really a work from home position but it is one that I’m interested in because the openings are all over the states and you can travel to them, complete the job and then move on.  Get Set Services is a merchandising company who provides set ups for brand new stores.  For example…..if there is a brand new WalMart opening in Texas, I can apply for the position, travel to Texas help merchandise (put new products on the shelves and racks) the new store and then move on to the next store in a new state…..if I want to.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »