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How to Live and Work in an RV


The most common question I am asked when I say that I live in an RV and travel fulltime is, "How do you make money?"

I mean, isn't that what it boils down to? Of course it is. Understandably.

It would be impossible to travel fulltime with no money coming in to pay for everything.

We're not rich. We didn't win the lottery. We don't have a ton of cash in our savings account. Even if we did, I wouldn't want to blow through it by funding our travels with it.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of families who ditched "the American dream" to live thier own dream. They are not all retired. Many have small children as well.

So, how do we all make money so that we can afford to live this lifestyle?

Truth is, for as many families as there are doing this, there are just as many ways to make money.

Over on our travel blog, I list out several ways to make money that I've learned about by talking with other fulltime travelers that I've met along the way.


But recently, I discovered a way to make money that I absolutely LOVE and I just have to share it with you.

Before you roll your eyes and think I'm trying to sell you something or get you into some sort of evil MLM business, I'm not. I swear!

I've been there and done that and I will NEVER get involved with ANY MLM business EVER again! I could write an entire book about the nightmare of MLM scams.

But, I won't. Let's keep this positive. I'm going to share with you what I am doing to make money while we travel fulltime.

Right now, we are living in an RV and traveling around the USA and Canada. We've been doing this since 2014 and love it.

But, in the future, we have plans to store the RV and temporarily move to other countries to explore more of the world.

The best part is, I can take this job with me. That's right, I can do it from anywhere in the world!

So, what is this wonderful, flexible, versatile job? 

First, let me be fully transparent because I want you to know that you can trust that I'm going to be up-front and real with you. That's just who I am. It rubs some people the wrong way, but hey, that's okay.


Like I said, we started RVing in 2014. That's when my husband retired from the military. We sold our house, four vehicles, and almost all of our belongings.

With the money made from those things, we were able to pay cash for our 2014 Crusader 40-foot 5th wheel and our 2013 Ram 3500HD. That means that the only monthly bills we have are: 1) Verizon, 2) life insurance, 3) Netflix, and 4) Hulu. We also have enough money in savings to live off of for about three years if we were desperate.

I mentioned that my husband retired from the military. He gets a retirement check every month. This has been what we've lived off of while traveling fulltime. And, it's been almost enough. Almost.

Unforeseen circumstances happen. Living in an RV that wasn't built to be lived in fulltime for years can result in unexpected maintenance repairs.

Heck, driving all over the USA for years means that tires wear out and need to be replaced much more often than normal.

Expenses like these as well as vehicle insurance, registration, and such can add up quickly if you're already living paycheck to paycheck.

We've learned a lot along the way. I wrote an article about ways to save money while traveling over on our travel blog. We do a lot of creative stuff to be able to do fun things for cheap or even free.


So, how do we pay for those above mentioned expenses if we're on a very limited budget? Quite frankly, we charge them to our credit card. Good thing it's a cash rewards card, at least we get a little something-something back out of it.

But there's a big problem.

I don't like having debt, of any kind, but especially credit card debt. It literally makes me lose sleep at night because I'm so stressed about it.

So, what have I done?

I've tried a number of things in the past. My hubby will roll his eyes if you ask him.

Why?

Because I've spent a lot of money (it takes money to make money, right?) trying to get a lot of different businesses working for me.

Multi-Level Marketing Businesses

I tried an MLM business. Oh my gosh, I must've paid close to $500 over the course of four months to buy marketing materials, business cards, and products to have on hand to sell.

You know what I got in return? Nothing. I got nothing. No interest, no help, only a handful of customers, no one who wanted to be in my downline.

What a waste of time and money. Never again!

Blogging

I tried blogging. I'm actually still doing it (obviously). But, not because I'm making money from it, because I'm not. I guess I'm just doing it in hopes that I can inspire someone to take a risk and live the life they want to live. And because I enjoy writing. It's my creative outlet.

I've spent several hundred dollars on my blog - buying domain names, paying for hosting, buying themes, etc. I know all about SEO, keywords, algorithms, and all that techy stuff. I used to work in tech, by the way. Does it work? Nope, not for the majority of us.

I also know all about social media and I'm ashamed to say that at one point, I was so desperate to prove my hubby wrong and succeed at blogging that I actually, gasp, paid for a few ads to gain followers, who would hopefully go to my website and click on an ad. Did they? Nope.

I do have our blogs monetized by placing some Google ads and some affiliate company ads that are relatable to the content, as well as some Amazon product links that are in-line with the content. I try to be as unobtrusive as possible with the ads. I hate pop-ups and trickery, so I don't do those things.

But, I do have to pay to keep my blogs up and running, so I need a way to be able to make enough money to cover the costs.

Would I love to be one of those (less than 1%) bloggers who makes a six-figure salary from my blog? Absolutely! But, alas, it's just not happening no matter what I do, so I digress.

Mystery Shopping

I've dabbled in mystery shopping and this is actually a viable way to make money, but it does take a lot of effort, like putting on clothes and makeup and leaving the RV/house. Lol.

I still have an active account and I'll check out jobs every now and then. I mainly apply for mystery shopping jobs that involve going to eat at a restaurant where they cover my meal costs and pay me.

Free food? Sign me up!

But, I want to make REAL money!

Like, enough to pay off our credit card debt and fund our travel lifestyle.

And I don't want to have to pay to work (for materials or products). I want to be paid to work! I want to work from my RV and not have to put on pants or makeup if I don't want to. I want to work at night after my baby and kids go to bed, when I'm usually up anyway doing nothing, or blogging.

I want to get paid well so that it's worth my time and effort.

How does $20-$24 an hour, set your own schedule, wear what you want (or don't wear what you don't want), work when you want and take days or weeks off if you want, and love what you're doing sound?


Let's get to it!

So, about a year and a half ago, I found out about this company called VIPKid. I can't remember how I found out about it. I just know that I was very interested and I started the application process but never finished it. I had questions about if the company was real and legit.

Looking back now, I wish I had jumped in back then, but I'm glad I got another chance.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I saw a post from one of my best friends (who happens to be a teacher). She posted on Facebook that she had started working with VIPKid and loved it.

As a matter of fact, I had seen several people in various Facebook groups, including fulltime RVing groups, mention that they were working with VIPKid and loving it.

I decided that I needed to finish my application with them, but it had been too long, so I had to start over. No big deal. I was determined.
What is VIPKid?

VIPKid is a company based in Beijing, China. They service Chinese children ages 5-12 years old who are learning English as a second language.

If you are hired by VIPKid, you will start out as a teacher to these children. As you gain tenure and experience, you can move up to other jobs, even work in their headquarters in Beijing, but I don't know much about any of that yet.

VIPKid has done all of the work for you.

They have premade classroom materials and a fantastic app/program where you will teach.

You literally only have to show up and teach what is right in front of you on the screen.

I'll explain more below.

First, let's determine if you're eligible.

The Application Process

The initial application is very easy. It's just a few basic questions to check and see if you qualify.

To qualify to, you need to have the following:
1) A Bachelors Degree. Any Bachelors Degree will work, it does not have to be teaching related.
2) Teaching experience. You don't have to be a teacher. If you homeschool, volunteer at your kid's school, have tutored anyone, have trained adults in the workplace, have coached a sports team, etc. It all counts towards teaching experience. You also don't have to have a TESL/TESOL certificate. You'll get this for FREE from VIPKid once you're hired.
3) A computer/laptop and a headset with a microphone (see below).
4) A good internet connection. You have to be able to keep an open connection with China for a 25-minute class. I use my mobile hotspot and it works fine.

Do you qualify? Once this is determined, you will be invited, via email, to do an interview. There are a few different ways to do this, so you can choose what you're most comfortable with. I chose to do a recorded interview because I was terrified of doing a live, online interview.

If they see potential in you during your interview, they will then invite you, via email or by logging in to their app or website, to do a mock class demonstration, called a mock demo.

This is where I froze last time and almost did this time. Public speaking terrifies me and the thought of a live, online class where I'm being judged by someone who holds my fate in their hands is enough to give me an anxiety attack.

I had to push through.

I just wanted to get it done. So, I looked at the availability schedule and booked myself for the earliest time possible, which happened to be like two hours later. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep if this was looming over me, so I just needed to get past it.

I had already watched hours worth of videos on YouTube about VIPKid as well as the videos they send links to in their emails and on their website. So, I had an idea of what they were looking for.

Hint: Lots of body language (they call it TPR, stands for Total Physical Response), big movements, loads of enthusiasm, a huge smile constantly, positive reinforcement, a rewards system, and a professional and educational background.

The mock demo lasts 30 minutes. The first 10 minutes, the mentor is giving you information and tips. The next 10 minutes is when you pretend that he/she is a 5-year-old Chinese student and teach a class. The last 10 minutes, the mentor provides feedback on how you did and how you can improve.

Within the next 24 hours, you'll get an email notifying you if you passed or not. If you did, you can continue the application process. If not, don't worry. You can try again.

Luckily, I passed, which was more of a relief than anyone realizes.

After you pass the mock demo(s), you'll have to submit your information for your tax forms and consent to a background check. Mine took less than a day to come back clear.

Then, you just need to upload proof of your degree and sign your contract.

What is a contract?

VIPKid has a contract that lays out all of their rules, standards, and expectations. It's really helpful to look back on for guidance when questions arise down the line.

The contract also gives you your pay rate.

What is the pay rate and how is it determined?

Pay can vary from $7 per class up to $10 per class and is determined during your mock demos.

Personally, I don't think that's fair because you're extremely nervous and it's literally the first experience you have working on their platform, so it's completely unfamiliar.

Keep in mind that the pay rate is PER CLASS. Each class is 25 minutes long, so once you get some experience, you can book two classes per hour.

There are also incentives that add to your base pay. If you show up on-time and complete your class on-time, you get a $1 incentive per class. If you teach a short notice class (that a parent books with less than 24 hours notice to you), you get a $2 bump per class (I LOVE short notices)! If you complete 45 or more classes per calendar month, you get a $1 incentive per class.

So, let's say you get a base pay rate of $8 per class. Your class goes as planned and it was a short notice class. You'll get paid $11 for that class. Do that twice in one hour and you're getting paid $22 per hour! Work 45 or more classes per month and now you're getting paid $12 per class, or $24 per hour for short notice classes and $20 per hour for regular classes! Not bad!

You set your own schedule, so it's entirely up to you how much or little you work and what hours you work. You can scale your business to make as much or as little money as you need.

You are an Independent Contractor.


Sign me up!

If you are interested in learning more, I'd love to help you.

I hope you found this information valuable. I'm truly speaking from my own experience. I believe in this company and I am having a blast teaching "my" kids from China.

More about my journey with VIPKid.

I admit that, as of the time I'm writing this, I am still a newbie. I've learned a ton and I'm having so much fun. My anxiety is gone and I love seeing my kids every day.

The application process took me four days to complete from start to finish. That's super fast. Normally, it takes up to two weeks, so nothing to worry about.

The day after I signed my contract, I opened up some timeslots. I was shocked when I got booked for two classes the NEXT day! I was SO nervous.

Then, I got booked for three classes the day after that, and one the day after, then two the next day. I was literally in disbelief.

Some new teachers don't get booked for weeks or even months and my first week was filling up quick. How and why?

I'm happy to share what I did that I think helped get me booked quick. I'd love to be your mentor.

What is a mentor?

As your mentor, I will walk you through every step of the process. I'll send you videos to watch that will help you. I'll give you tips to help speed you through the application process. I'll share some secrets that I think helped me get booked within my first 24 hours. And I'll be with you, sharing my experiences, tips, and tricks well beyond your first week.


What do I get out of it?

I'm not trying to hide anything from you. I get a referral incentive if you sign up and list me as your mentor. The referral fee is $100 that I will get a one-time payment of once you teach your first class. After that, I don't get anything else. But, I'll still be with you, along for the ride.

That's it. It's a lot, for sure. And I'd be thrilled to get it. Every little bit helps.

The great news is that once you become a VIPKid teacher, you will get a referral link also. You can become a mentor to friends, family, coworkers, strangers, or anyone and start getting referral incentives for yourself.

Here's how to sign up:

Go to VIPKid.com and start the application. This link should connect me to you in the system and alert me that you're signing up so I can help support you.

Just to be sure I can walk you through everything, you can manually enter my referral code: THERE0126 to ensure we get connected in the system.

Before you do your interview...

I didn't realize the importance of having an "educational background" during my interview (because I had not been hired yet, after all) and I got dinged for not having one.

Here are some things that you will need for your educational background and to complete your classes:


If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or comment below.

I truly hope you enjoyed this article. Please share it with your family and friends. You never know who may need to see this and I appreciate your support more than you know.

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