Housing

Camping / Living in a Prius

We moved to a tiny house in 2015 and got rid of the tent, portable toilet, and other camping gear. I thought we were done with primitive camping until I was inspired by the videos below.

Tried it out this past week (1 private campground and 2 national park campgrounds) and it has more benefits than costs! Little setup or tear-down. Bad weather like snow doesn't collapse the tent or freeze us all night long. Prius acts like a power generator. Music in the car does not affect the neighbors. Inspires others to think outside the box. Can arrive at your site later and can leave at checkout. And no worries like you have with an RV (fuel costs, tricky roads, grey water).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89dqnJn3fUg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W86B-6BHrJA


Tiny Home Living

We purchased our park model trailer for cash. We could only guesstimate our expenses. Now I can see how much they are. My goal of $860 a month (which I determined back in 2006) was pretty good!

All numbers are per month.

HOA dues = $58.33. This covers sewer, water, use of the lodge, road maintenance, etc.

Electricity = $110 in the winter, $20 in the summer. We use two electric space heaters during the cold months. Looking into a wood burning stove.

Propane = $37.50 for heat and cooking

Gasoline = $30 thanks to driving a Prius

Food = $400 since we dine out a lot and buy from the health food store. Can't grow anything w/o a hoop house.

Insurance (home, auto, health) = $308.33


Pre Pay Your Mortgage

I use a FREE Excel based mortgage spreadsheet to see how the life of my mortgage would change if I paid a little more each and every month to the principal. It amazed me! By paying just an extra fifty dollars a month, I was able to shorten the length of my loan by five years and ten months and save more than $18,000 in interest!


How to cut your homeowner's insurance

HousI got my homeowners insurance and the premiums rose 20%. My dwelling figure (replacement cost) went up despite lower copper and lumber prices. State Farm bases everything off this number as a percent. Personal property is 75% of the dwelling for example. The Insurance Information Institute said personal property should be 50% - 70% of the dwelling.

So I called and said I have no intention of rebuilding the exact same house in the exact same location, I was able to name my own replacement cost for the dwelling!

If you are ever in this situation, you can try what I did and raise your deductible at the same time.


The Best Bailout Plan Would Have Been To Rescue Homeowners

How? By simply paying off their mortgages. Since 2/3 of GDP is consumer spending, the savings would have gone to buy products/services. That would have kept the unemployment rate from rising.

Here is what my research shows:

The quarterly survey published by the Federal Reserve, called the Flow of Funds Report, shows the total value of all home mortgages in the U.S. was $11.2 trillion through the third quarter of 2008.

According to a team at Bloomberg News, at one point last year the U.S. had lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 trillion to rescue the economy.

Here is what they did:

$9 trillion given to 8000 banks.