The Cash Cow Roundup

Photo credit: Gualberto107 at

Photo credit: Gualberto107 at

I have a confession to make.

I can’t stop looking at tiny houses.

It’s becoming a problem, because I’m completely obsessed.

I mean, the design possibilities are seemingly endless. What isn’t endless is the size of the house. Tiny houses are described a living spaces that are around 400 square feet or less.

But what a tiny house lacks in size, it makes up for in character. Tiny houses are ity-bity, so the owners have to be creative in the way that they use space. This makes the homes well built, custom, and oh so cute.

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

I then discovered that there are a lot 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. Righteous.

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

And yet, still others live in tiny homes for financial reasons. Tiny houses are well, tiny, so most people who own them don’t have a mortgage. Surprisingly, a lot of tiny homes are built on trailer beds so they avoid the taxation of a real home with a foundation. Now this is really cool.

As far as I go, I like the idea of living in a tiny house because life seems so simple. You would have to drastically reduce the amount of junk you have, and the things that you did have would be meaningful, useful, and intentional.

Jacob likes the idea of tiny houses because there is no mortgage. We’ve been toying with the idea of not having a mortgage by owning our home outright from the get-go, and a tiny house seems like an interesting way to do this. We are 2+ years away from having to make another housing decision, but we weigh the pros and cons of tiny living quite often.

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?

Cash Cow Round Up:

Even though I’ve been geeking out on tiny houses, I’ve also read some class A literature from around the PF dome. Check out my favorite reads from the past few weeks because these bloggers have got it going on.

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 do.

Free to Pursue brings up 6 great points, but I loved the points made about shopping for whole foods and buying full fats. I was relieved to see this article because  not enough Americans buy foods like this. Americans are so misinformed and afraid of fat that they don’t take the time to read that it’s actually healthy for you.

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. J Money from Budgets are Sexy writes a hilarious article about how his old car keeps making him money.

He tells a story about how his parked car was hit, and with some repair creativity and some major personality he actually ends up making money on what he calls his Franken-Caddy. Put this down as reason #18 why driving an old car is awesome.

4. 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. It’s astounding how simple life gets when your first knee-jerk reaction is to Google your problem.

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.

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

Did you read any of these fantastic articles the past few weeks? Which ones did you think rocked socks?

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