The Cash Cow Roundup

September 9, 2017

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. 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.

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28 Comments on "The Cash Cow Roundup"

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Buck
Buck
Ha, I love the “read the article” response, good job! I lived in 495 sq. feet for five years with my girlfriend, now wife and french bulldog. It’s not all that bad, you get used to having less stuff. But once we decided to have kids we made the move to a house. I understand why the tiny houses cost so much though. Not many of them are mass produced and the expensive parts in a house are the kitchen, bathroom, etc. An empty 15×15 bedroom with some carpet and drywall is pretty cheap to make. But I do think… Read more »
Julie
Julie

I’m obsessed with tiny houses too! I even went to a tiny house meetup where we learned about how to buy a tiny house, where to get land to put it on, etc. After living in a tiny apartment for 6 months though with a big dog, I just don’t think it’s in our future.

Jayson
Jayson

Living in a tiny house must be really a great way to save more money and to spend less. How long have you been living in that kind of house? What do you like and hate the most?

Jacob Lumby
Jacob Lumby

Please read the article.

Lisa
Lisa

I absolutely LOVE the idea of tiny homes! One of the many reasons why being – there’s much less to clean! Haha

Kristin
Kristin

Yes! I’m obsessed with the tiny house concept too and have spent way more time than I care to admit ogling on Pinterest. It’s just so imaginative what people do with limited space. In college, I lived in a 230 sq ft apartment. It didn’t feel as cramped as one might think. But I wish I would’ve tried something creative with it.

Natalie
Natalie

Thanks so much for including me, Vanessa! I am just now seeing this. I hope you had a great 4th!

Brad
Brad

A tiny house sounds like such a great idea. No mortgage. Less of a footprint. You should go for it.

Meagan
Meagan

I have a friend who is seriously considering a tiny house gig of her own. I suggested she try living out of an RV for a while just to see if she could get used to the limited space.

It’s something I would consider if we didn’t already have a house and land mortgage free. Plus the addition of a baby might make things a little cramped too, I don’t know. . .

Even Steven
Even Steven

Funny you mention the documentary, this week I get home and my wife was talking about how we should buy a “tiny house”, she explained what she watched. I’ll say it’s not in my my plans but I certainly can see why people like the idea.

SavvyJames
SavvyJames

Although it is just me and the wife, a tiny house just wouldn’t work for us. However, I love the concept, and as you note, the design possibilities are quite extensive. Someone looking at a tiny house is really only limited by their imagination. Those that seek tiny houses and those that seek the largest house possible – often one they cannot truly afford – is an interesting juxtaposition.

Aaron
Aaron

Thanks for including us – appreciate it!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
Tiny Houses are awesome! I read/ follow several blogs about them. I love that thinking of creative ways to solve problems- like a loft bed and composting toilet. In the UK, a guy has invented something called Hive housing, which basically is hexagonal and slots together- to create infinite configurations. I don’t think it’s really taking off yet. There are too many stupid regs here about housing which means it would practically impossible to site a tiny house. Plus, land prices are soooo horrendous- I doubt having a tiny house would actually save anything. However, there are a number you… Read more »
J. Money
J. Money

Glad you liked the article! Now going to check out that post about Hidden Cash – was literally thinking of doing something similar the other day – love scavenger hunts! 🙂

Clarisse
Clarisse

I think, I should go for a tiny house. It’s better to live in a tiny house rather than living in a big house but has a big mortgage! There are lots of awesome design about tiny houses.

SavvyJames
SavvyJames

There is also a documentary entitled “We the Tiny House People” which is pretty good. It is available on YouTube >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDcVrVA4bSQ

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