Category Archives: Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings #4: Tiny House for the Win

I’m over hear doting on tiny houses and their many upsides.While everyone is thinking bigger, and bigger.  What’s up with that?

A Note to New Readers: My Weekend Wandering series is a time I take to wander off the main focus of this blog and discuss any other topic.  Usually including videos that I found inspirational, informative or controversial. But if you'd like to talk about money read about how we obliterated debt in just 3 years.

FYI, this post does dive into money, so stick around.

Like all my weekend wandering posts this one is going to be chock-full of videos and the idea is that you watch them and be inspired. I won’t be summarizing their awesomeness. Today I am wandering into the realm of tiny houses.

I have gotten quite infatuated with the idea of tiny living and these videos should show you why, but just in case it isn’t crystal clear I’ll specify why I would really enjoy it for me and my family. That’s right, I’m talking about a family, of 4 no less.

First of all, I don’t support or understand this new trend that every kid needs their own bedroom. Seriously, can some one explain to me this thought? See I was raised different in a lot of ways and its because of my heritage. So honestly why does each kid need their own bedroom? Leave me a comment below to cue me in to this practice. It’s super foreign to me.

Its an important question to ask because tiny house living isn’t likely to support that requirement. Making good use of space means bunking together, bunk bedding that is. The first video is a single guy but I could easily see my family in the unit.

If I had to say one thing about it, it would be. “Can I move in and try this out, like now!”

All right now that you’ve watched that video lets get this discussion started.

Cost, starts high gets low

Now this first video is a great way to start the discussion on cost. The owner had a lot of specialty items, that means big $$ up front. Even so, tiny homes are still much more affordable. You just have to have a long term investment mentality. Get the good stuff now and pay less over your lifetime. For example it might cost you more to get your tiny home all set , then most people put down as a standard down payment. but then you get to enjoy all the perks.

How exactly will you save money after the purchase?

Small space, means no room to store unneeded items. Most tiny home dwellers report having to become  more intentional about their lifestyles. This translates into their purchases because it all ends up back in the house. Cutting the volume of the items you buy will undoubtedly lead to a smaller overall costs.  Hooray! for saving money.

Small Space, means small utility usage. Another perk reported is the wonderful side effect of lower monthly bills. Smaller square footage means less energy spent on heating and cooling. Bye Bye big electric/ gas bill.

Small space, means smaller over all cost of purchase. Like I said  earlier there are throngs of people buying houses without putting much money down. Not even 20%, but knowing you could buy a tiny home out right if you save might be motivation enough to accumulate enough to pay in cash. Can you say paying cash means hundreds of thousands of dollars saved in interest over the course of a standard 30 yr mortgage. THAT IS BIG $$$$$. I’m seeing hearts and stars just thinking about it.

Small space, means smaller tax burden. Okay I am making some assumptions here, but it is my understanding that the yearly tax of a house is based on the value of the house. Tiny homes cost less so that means they are worth less (not worthless, I’d say this makes them near priceless). But comment below if you do real estate and set me straight.

Finally for us, and to be more specific when it comes to the 2 mobile houses below. It is no small thing to say that if we were willing to give it a go, we could own one out right . Right now! Seriously at 30 – 40 K we could own it already. After all just this year we are setting aside 30K for a down payment on a more standard house. Like I said above stars and hearts people.

Flexibility

I included lots of different possibilities for Tiny House living (and you can binge watch more if you just keep watching all the attached videos). Not all offer this perk but oh how my heart sings at the idea. The video above and below show case yet another feature. Flexibility, with a capital F.

I am the Roamer, this is the Traveling Wallet, if you still can’t guess I have a deep rooted desire to travel. I know, its my fault I haven’t screamed it from the mountains. But I do, and the idea that these homes let me, you, go where ever the wind takes you. Well sign me up.

For me this also screams upgrade. I know that’s hard to understand when you are sitting in a 2,000 sqft house but hear me out.

You see I have this desire to do what some would call crazy travel. Living out of a suitcase travel. Camping in tents with nothing but the stuff on our backs. Much like this amazingly inspiring family has done.

A portable tiny house would be a great way to make sure we always have somewhere to stay and have our stuff with us. Compared to tents a tiny house is huge. It’s also a huge upgrade in comfort and amenities. You see what I’m saying now.

This following video really make tiny house living look so good.

Okay so what did you think?

Me in one sentence ” I can have a full kitchen? Man this just keep getting better and better” okay that was more then one sentence.

As I was doing research for this post I just came across so many, many videos with so many different floor plans and options.  It truly is an amazing and inspiring lifestyle for me.

Mr. Roamer doesn’t think this is very feasible for us right now, with 2 small children. He does say once they are grown he could see the allure and would be willing to try it. I say great. Being open to the idea is already a good sign. 

Ready to question the status quo of home buying?

Instead of planning your purchase with the thought of hosting Thanksgiving dinner once a year and hosting a couple of friends. How about asking what is my daily life going to look like here.

Most of us don’t really use all the space we have.  By asking what is my daily life going to look like you are asking, “What is the use of this home 80% of the time?”

I am planning my home by my 80%. Not my 20%. 80% is what I want to cover. For the less usual 20% I’ll get creative.

So, do families really need 4,000 sq ft for a family of 4? Did you know that homes in the past housed more people but where smaller in foot print?

Now a days we call those homes starter homes and we think that each kid need their own bedroom. ( I don’t understand this idea as my family (5 people) was raised in a 2 bedroom house from age 10 until 18.) Even now my family of 4 lives in a 950 sq ft apartment.

So if you’re going to say… But Roamer how will you have guests stay over or even dinner parties. Honestly that is not my life 80% of the time. If we do have visitors I would gladly offer them the space we do have.

And we do that even now. Making it a house of 6 for up to 10 days.

We have air mattresses and space enough to lay them out. If that doesn’t suit them they can always say no thank you. But it just doesn’t make sense to me to buy a 3 bedroom house just to have a guest room for the few and far in between times that does happen.

Did you know that even if you house guest for a whole month… That’s right 31 days, its still less then 10% of the planned yearly usage of your home.

Okay…okay

Well what about big 10 people dinner parties. My reply to you would be.. did watch the first video? Seriously how sick was the dinning table.

So what do you think? Are you tearing down those old ingrained ideas of good, bad… normal? That is my goal for my weekend wanderings. To make you think outside the box.

So could you live in a tiny home? What about just down sizing?

The Roamer traveling wallet

 

 

Videos by:

Please visit these sites for more tiny home inspiration. Also check out life edited.

Weekend Wanderings #3: Breaking Down Barriers

New Readers Note: My Weekend Wandering series is a time I take to wander off the main focus of this blog and discuss any other topic. Usually including videos that I found inspirational, informative or controversial. But if you'd like to talk about money read about how we obliterated debt in just 3 years.

Work has gotten crazy busy in the new year and if you read my first Weekend Wandering post then you know that Fridays is the day I set aside some time to be inspired and engaged.  With the crazyness at work I had no time. Until last Friday!

The videos I watched did not disappoint. Not me at least.

The first video that caught my eye had the words tolerance and tourism in the title.

hmm that sounds interesting.

Check it out.

Yes! that is the kind of travel that I want to do. It’s the whole reason that I want to travel. To meet new people to expand my horizons my understanding. To be immersed in the local culture not just to see it, but to feel it, to taste it.

In case you didn’t catch it he said he started a company call Medji Tours.

Have you used this service? Please tell me about your experience in the comments.

 

To me its an amazing goal to position travel as a way to break down those cultural barriers.

To hear stories of people letting go of ingrained beliefs, to open the doors to these strangers, these”enemies”.  I think this in honorable work.

On the topic of taring down walls and barriers the following video shows us how we don’t have to travel anywhere else to experience other cultures. To confront ingrained biases. That we can have the experiences talked about in the first video, where we connect with others right here at home.

Watch the following video.

Did you watch it all the way through? Or did you stop when you noticed her main topic was black men?

I’m not black and I’m not a man, but that didn’t stop me from associating with the message. I take great pride in knowing myself and as she spoke I identified with many things. My biases… my weakness.

She focused on black men but its not just about black people
It’s about Latinos
It’s about Asians
It’s about Religions
It’s about Gender
It’s about your sexual preferences

It’s about admitting that we do not see things as they are. We see them as we are. Unfortunately most of us aren’t objective all the time. We need to admit it.

I know I have some biases I need to work on. I admit I suffer from them and yes they were scripted into me. My parents surely suffered from it, likely it was scripted into them as well. For being Latina and a minority for having biases nailed on me I don’t want to do that to others.

So you don’t have to travel to break down those barrier. In America (specially California) we have a multitude of cultures available to us right at our door step, we just have to walk towards them. I was really touched by this talk. I would have cried if I wasn’t at work that is how intensely I felt it. I felt the tightness in my chest and back when I’m holding emotions back.

Yes, I have been on the receiving end and I could relate and though its hard to admit I have been on the delivering end also.

I don’t want to teach that to my children.

I want my children to have a different script… one of understanding.

I honestly believe travel is a great way to do it. I completely agree with the first talk.

In my about me page I tell you I want to ask you questions that cause you to think. I hope this wandering has done that, made you pause and question the “norm”.

If you haven’t discovered the wonders of TED or TEDx talks I HIGHLY recommend it.

The Roamer

Weekend Wanderings #2: The Easy Life

Welcome to my weekend wanderings. I’m the Roamer here at Traveling Wallet. I hope you enjoy these videos. I know when you make big goals you often need inspiration and motivation and that’s what I hope you’ll get here in these segments.

Do you feel like life is hard? Are you running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to climb some corporate ladder? So much to do so little time.

I often like to ponder such questions. Sometimes I don’t have all the words, or know all the right things to say. In these times I’m happy to defer to the experts.

In my head I made it a goal to include at least 3 videos for all my weekend wanderings but today’s video is so powerful and insightful it needs no other.

When I watched this video all I could think was yes.

I can relate with this speaker. I often think of and can’t understand why life is so complicated. Having what some would call silly wishes to live in the past. With an ideal that life was simpler, slower, and fuller all at once.

To me it seems the focus of this talk was having wisdom. Not just intelligence but wisdom. The wisdom to filter out all the noise in our current society. And my goodness are we living in a time of noise.

He admits it will be hard. People will call you poor they will think you’re crazy. I can see that. That is why I wish I was born in a different era because then I wouldn’t have to go against the grain. It would be normal.

But I see now with this video and this community that I can have that easy life. Today in this time, This ERA!

Passing it on to the next Generation

Part of living the easy life is breaking out of the endless cycle so I also wondered how can I teach my kids this. That the carrot we are told to chase is nothing but an illusion.  I wish I could sit my son down and have this talks wisdom wash over him. But though this talk is powerful it would not engage my son enough to have him listen.

Children’s books are a great way to introduce ideas. I remembered of a book which hints at a similar philosophy. Unos Garden.

Do you have kids? I recommend you this book. It has wonderful art

Shows the simple life, balance between people and nature
Shows the simple life, balance between people and nature

Uno's Garden

In this book children journey through and can see the effects of over production.  The effects it has on the people and on nature but it then also guides to a life of balance between people and nature. Essentially showing them living a much fuller simpler life.

Talk about counter culture.

Okay Okay so I guess I remembered I saw another video which touches on the same topic. So I will also include it here.

Another great example of simplifying life.

So to answer the question posed by the video, What are my basic human needs?

Freedom, Love, Learning and Growth….. Stripped down that is what I want to focus on here at the Traveling Wallet, but also what I want to strive for in my day to day life.

Freedom = Financial Independence (aka Early retirement)

Love = Parenthood( aka being with my family and raising my children)

Learning and Growth = Travel (new experiences, new people,new ideas and new perspectives)

Per the video food is a given basic human need, which is also applicable to me.  🙂 Another area that could fall under learning and growth.

So I guess equally applicable could be the tagline: Freedom, Love, Learning and Growth

I’m excited to take and share this journey with you. Most of us will take it a bit different. Both these people took a different approach then us FIers. They didn’t wait to have enough money to be free from societal constraints  indefinitely. They jumped right in.

I hope these videos inspired you to keep on your journey and seek other who share your dream.

Are you ready and willing to live an easy life.  To be call strange maybe…. even crazy?

Leave a comment tell me what you visualize as an easy life?

Weekend Wanderings: Include Language in your Journey

I have a little ritual I developed at work to cope with my dissatisfaction. I had listened to 7 habits cast and realized that effective people take responsibility for their lives.

I was feeling rather passionless when I started but I found that watching some TEDx talks always gave my mind a work out whether it was inspirational or informative or controversial. It got my juices flowing. So I’ve made it a point that every Friday I schedule 30 min. To be inspired.

After watching these I find a few that just are Wow and I want to share them. I use to email them out but it felt weird to just include specific people. And it seems limiting.

But now, I own a blog a place where I can share my thoughts and anything else. So introducing my new ( what I hope to be segment) Weekend Wanderings.

I for see it mostly being ted talks but it gives me a medium to share any other useful info as well. *

This weekend languages.

Watch the following videos and be inspired. I am bilingual and I can relate with Tim Doner’s message.

Some stuff just doesn’t translate. One word for me has always been Amor. In English you have love but love is used for. I love you so much honey and I love hot dogs so much. There aren’t to different words to express the different levels of affection that you feel for these two things. Unless you really do “love” hot dogs as much as your partner.

Any who enjoy the following video. As Tim Doner explains the values of language.

So if you watched the video all the way through then now you know the importance language has to culture. To building relationships.

Most FI people have this urge to travel. Well think about really getting submerged in the culture through language.

What about financially are there any benefits. I don’t know? Have you wanted to become an expat of your country. Networks are touted to be a key foundation step for business. Think of the doors that would open if you knew the local tongue.

What about locally? I live in California. I’ll be the first to admit limited data on whether there are better wages for multilingual people. But few can argue that there are most definitely more opportunities.

There have been many job descriptions here in California where Spanish speakers are preferred.  So at the very least there is potential financial benefit.

So now that you all are interested here’s another video with some tips for how to pick up language.

Language is very important to me, and its not because of the financial benefits. It’s because its part of my culture who I am.  Its so important that it’s one of the reasons I haven’t moved closer to work. My son is currently enrolled in a Dual Immersion School where he learns English and Spanish.  I don’t want to lose this program and its benefits.

I also truly believe that when you talk the local language you get a much more intimate glimpse into a culture. So I am excited to put these techniques to work as I brush up on Mandarin Chinese.

I also have to admit that I wouldn’t mind having the top 3 most widely spoke languages in the world under my belt. With my goal to travel learning foreign languages is just part of that bigger plan.

Finally, I’d like to close with this video.

I’m happy to be learning the PF language. I do relate. I understand debt, I understand wanting to follow a different path. I understand having big dreams!

I’m so glad to have found people who speak my language.

* I will work to tie everything into a financial perspective since our focus here is how money affects all our other life journeys.

What have you done this weekend? How do you stay inspired?