The Cash Cow Roundup

Photo credit: Gualberto107 at freedigitalphotos.net.

Photo credit: Gualberto107 at freedigitalphotos.net.

I have a confession to make.

I can’t stop looking at tiny houses.

Tiny houses are typically around 400 square feet or less. But what a tiny house lacks in size, it makes up for in character. The owners have to be creative in the way that they use space, resulting in unique and customized homes.

At first glance, I thought the people living in them must be nutty. Who would live in a house the size of a bedroom? What could possibly make someone want to do that?

In reading various online blogs, I discovered a number of reasons why people choose the tiny house lifestyle, and it made me fall in love with the whole tiny house movement.

Some people choose to live in a tiny house because they want to leave a smaller ecological footprint.

Others like the idea of living minimally and focusing more on experiences and people, rather than a large home filled with meaningless things.

And yet, still others live in tiny homes for financial reasons. Tiny houses are tiny, so most people who own them don’t have a mortgage. Furthermore, a lot of tiny homes are built on trailer beds so they are taxed as personal property instead of realty.

Personally, I like the idea of living in a tiny house because of simplicity. To make it work, we would have to drastically reduce the amount of personal belongings kept in the home, and the items that remain would be meaningful, useful, and intentional.

On the other hand, Jacob and I aren’t so sure about the tiny home market. Spending $25,000 isn’t so bad, but a lot of purchasers are spending far more than that. We do not understand why anyone would spend $100,000 on a tiny home when traditional homes can be found in that price range. Tiny homes tend to depreciate for a number of reasons, and the target market is much smaller than a regular home.

So ultimately, we like the idea of living a simplified life with less clutter, but we don’t think it makes sense to seriously consider a tiny house given the current resale market.

If you’ve never seen a tiny home, check out tiny home #1 and #2. You’re sure to be pleasantly surprised. If you’re really interested, the first one can actually be rented for $100 per night. This is definitely not a good deal, but if you’re debating whether or not to build one, $100 might be worth your stay.

Another option is to watch Tiny, the documentary about a couple who builds a tiny house. (The film can be found on Netflix.) After only 1 hour of watching what took this couple 1 year to build, you’ll be inspired to declutter your house and focus on what really matter in life.

So I’m curious. What’s your take on the tiny house movement? Would you ever live in one or do you think the idea is craziness?

Good reads:

While geeking out on tiny houses, I’ve also found some other good reading material that you might enjoy.

1. Free to Pursue wrote a killer article about how to shop like the French.

Until I read the article, I had no idea that we shopped like the French. Neither one of us has been to France yet, but I have a feeling we’re going to like it when we visit.

Free to Pursue brings up 6 great points, but I loved the points made about shopping for whole foods and buying full fats. Most Americans are so misinformed and afraid of fat that they don’t take the time to read any real research on the topic.

2. Aaron from Three Thrifty Guys did a fascinating interview with the creator of Hidden Cash.

Maybe I’m late to the game or just live in a town that is 5 hours away from any major city, but I had never heard of Hidden Cash before. Aaron describes it as “an anonymous person(s) hides cash and provides clues via Twitter as to its whereabouts.”

The idea started because the creator, Jason Buzi, and some of his friends wanted a creative way to give back to their  community. The interview asks all the questions you’d want to ask if you got Mr. Buzi one-on-one, and Jason Buzi does a great job of answering them.

I don’t know if I like the idea of putting random amounts of money in an envelope and leaving it for someone else, because I would want to know that the person I gave money to was in need and deserving of it. But that doesn’t mean the interview isn’t worth your time. If anything, Hidden Cash gets people talking about giving, which is awesome.

3. Natalie at The Finance Girl wrote an awesome article on how she saved $4,000 on her car by using the power of Google.

When I read this article, I wanted to reach through the computer and high five this girl. You can become 100% more self-reliant, intelligent, and creative about solving your problems simply by typing and clicking. It’s so easy, and yet the majority of people would have shelled out the $4,000 without a second thought. Google everything, people.

4. Kelli has generously offered to provide a free printable budget binder to help people get their finances in order.

CCC Around the Web

We wrote for a few different blogs and were interviewed several times recently.

Jacob discussed the path to financial freedom on the Haven Life blog. If you are considering term life insurance, consider reading our Haven Life Review. They are such a great company and team.

We also discussed using credit responsibly in an interview with GoBankCards.

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