Tiny Living is all the rage right now. I will admit that for a time I was obsessed with seeing every episode of Tiny House Nation (Zack can do anything, amirite?). It’s okay, it can happen to the best of us. I love that a movement is taking hold of living more and having less, and that dreams are still possible even without hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a McMansion. People are electing to live in just 400 square feet or less, and are coming up with inventive ways to transform their spaces so that they can be dual-purpose and still comfy.
“Oh, the living room? That space is ALSO our dining room, pool table, home office and a porch.” Whatever the idea, I am absolutely in love with the concept of creative ways to live with less so that you can own your home outright (for usually under $50k, from what I’ve seen!) and travel the world if you wish.
This obsession with the Tiny House community is my and my husband’s #1 reason for moving into tiny living. We unfortunately don’t have an awesome custom house built just for us, but we have decided to move into a 2001 Itasca Suncruiser RV which is pictured above (which has a motor, not to be confused with travel trailers or 5th wheels that need to be pulled.) We have officially been there for 1 week, and are starting to adjust to the fact that we will be around each other pretty much 24/7 when we are home, and if one of us asks the other to go “get them something from the kitchen pretty please,” it’s only a few steps away. A little hard to get used to for a couple that spent three years in a 2 bedroom 2-story townhouse!
Reason #2: It will make sense for our bank account! $$
This fact is true only because my parents are pretty much the sweetest people on Earth. However, the idea could be true for you too. Let me explain.
Our original idea was to find a great price on an RV (any type, motor or not), have a low-interest loan on it, and whatever monthly payment we would need to pay on this RV (because we definitely did not have $20k lying around, let alone $10k for a crappy RV) would go into this asset that we would begin to own piece by piece. Now before you scream “FRAUD! You don’t listen to Dave Ramsey!” let me just say I HATE debt. I passionately abhor it. However, this is a very creative solution to our money that will in the long run help us get ahead with some debt.
So, the one that we wanted (above. Isn’t is a beaut?) because it was a PHENOMENAL price, was $25k. It’s a 2017 Coachmen Catalina Travel Trailer, which you of course have to find a truck to tow. But we were willing to make the sacrifice of a motor for such a low price (MSRP, suggested retail price, is about $40k according to the manufacturer) because we would only have to be towed once or twice a year and it would be a few hundred dollars to hire a man with a truck. (My family now has a great connection for this, thanks to asking Camping World for their recommendation of a “freelancer.” It’s genius, I’m telling you!)
If memory serves me correctly, the loan would only have to be 5 years for us to afford the monthly payment of $450. We could have lengthened it out even more so that our MINIMUM per month was lower, just in case we had a hard month when the car breaks down. So if we lengthened it out to 10 years, it was somewhere around $300 I believe. (Now don’t check my math on this in detail, because I don’t have the breakdown in front of me and we never ACTUALLY went through with it. And if we ever decided to try it again in the future, we would obviously be very careful about the math.)
Anyways, the other part of the equation is the RV park we found, which I will tell you more about later in a different post. It is quote colorful. 😉 The RV park we found about 20 minutes away from where I work is only $550 for a spot to park, including utilities. We were living in what we THOUGHT was a pretty good deal for an apartment in Northern California, which had a rent of $889 and after utilities came out to almost $1000 per month. Rather than dump $1000 of our hard-earned cash into the hands of the apartment complex owners, we would be paying a maximum of $450 RV payment + $550 space rent = $1000 per month. The exact same price in both living situations, except for the fact that SOME of our rent money would be going into an asset, and when we would sell the RV we would get some of that rent money BACK to put into whatever our living plan was next, or debt. Anyone could use this idea to their advantage and get some of their expenses back into their pocket, even though this type of “home” depreciates.
We were not able to get an RV loan because we have never had a car loan before (See, we ARE on board with Dave Ramsey!) So my parents graciously offered their old one to us to rent (and still put money into the asset) and when we all sell it together, we will get a percentage of the sale based on how much we put into it. Pretty cool right?
Reason #3: Endless Possibilities for our future. My husband wants to be a professional golfer (keeps getting injured/sick so that dream hasn’t happened yet, but it may still be in the cards!) so if we were to start touring full time, we could just drive our home to every tournament instead of paying ridiculous hotel fees.
Or, we could move pretty much wherever we want in the country (although I love NorCal, not sure we would leave but who knows?) and take our home with us, all we need to do is find a new spot to park it. The full-time RV lifestyle gives way to a lot of freedom, in more ways than one.
And thus is why we are trying to live in 350 square feet together, just the two of us and our kitty cat. It may not be the living solution for everyone, but I truly believe we are onto something for ourselves. Sometimes the most unconventional and creative solutions are the ones that change your life in a drastic way for the better. At the moment we are committing to just one year to see if this will bring us closer together and better our financial situation. We are keeping an open mind until that point, and then we will decide if we want to buy our own RV or go back to “normalcy.”
More pictures and updates to come as I decorate and personalize the place the way we want it! Have you decided to live tiny? Please let me know in the comments your personal reasons of why!
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