mooretrees journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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classical_Liberal
Posts: 1758
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

mooretrees wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:24 am
I reserve the right to change my mind!
Good move. I'm pretty sure I changed my plans at least four times in the less than three years I was journalling. :lol: I'm sure life will provide you with plenty of opportunities to try out semi-retirement, just make sure you are prepared to jump on them if they're interesting enough. By prepared, I don't just mean financially either, mentally/emotionally seems to be the biggest hurdle.
mooretrees wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:24 am
I realize the school bus + two year old sounds crazy
Luxagraf is a member here and has a pretty fantastic blog. He, his wife, and THREE kids live in an old restored RV roaming the country. Although they took a break and went down to Mexico for six months or so. You should check it out. https://luxagraf.net/

classical_Liberal
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Gravy Train wrote:
Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:17 pm
-I have a bad sense of humor, I'm sorry.
I've read your journal, I just tend to keep my mouth shut with martial/kid related issues. I have no experience and sou, augustus, jason seem to do great in that realm. So my lack of comments is not because of lack of interest.

Anyway, my actual point of this comment is that I read how you need an outlet for your humor, trust me when I say, I really appreciate a pessimistic, funny, quick wit. That baby shower thought made me lol. I think many on here appreciate such things, so don't apologize for it!!

mooretrees
Posts: 273
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

@Gravy Train absolutely no worries about hijacking, I really enjoy your posts/humor so keep them coming.

I've been bouncing around reading a few minimalism books. There are a lot of parallels with ERE and I've enjoyed the reinforcement. I've found myself feeling a teensy bit more relaxed at home since I've reduced our belongings in the house. I radically culled my sons toys, I literally have no idea how he got so many toys. I remember buying a few of them, but wtf? Anyway, since I've reduced his toys and organized them a little bit, he is playing with them more. However, he is really just starting to play with toys so it could be more of a developmental stage rather than a decluttering byproduct.

I've gotten rid of furniture, books, clothing, misc kitchen items, and while I can see progress, DH is literally clueless about it. So funny! I have managed to give a lot of kids clothes to other families, and donated the rest. We have had limited success with selling things in this area so really haven't tried too hard with this last pass of decluttering.

Our renter has moved in and seems to be a good, quiet guy. He is starting classes this week and should be busy with them and his girlfriend who lives in another town an hour or so away. He is very considerate and flexible and I think he will work out well as long as he is here. Progress continues slowly on the basement remodel. The electrical work is finished and half of the ceiling insulation is installed. The easy installation has been put up, now the rest of the work involves more cutting the insulation to make it fit in smaller sections. We have all had colds the last few days so work has stalled out.

I need to create some financial goals for the near future (6 months - 2 years). I still have debt to my Dad to pay off, but he isn't charging me interest and I'm going to be finished with it in the next six months. I think initially my goals are to have a modest emergency fund of $3-5K, a car that fits our lifestyle better (paid for in cash - we're thinking of an older CRV), and a good start ($5 -10 K) to our bus fund. I have floundered a bit since paying off the last of DH's loans and am realizing that the debt provided an external structure/focus that I found extremely useful. So, I need to recreate that structure with new goals. These are just initial thoughts and I'd like to come up with more precise timeframes that I'll post in a bit. Also, to be honest, I've let myself off the hook with being really aggressive with saving since we were paying off debt. Now the (student loan) debt is mostly gone, and I am nervous about whether or not I'll be able to really make inroads on retiring early. I need to do a better job of tracking money, and brainstorming with DH about short-term goals.

mooretrees
Posts: 273
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

I've been enjoying the 'yields and flows' thread. Though I don't have much to contribute, it's made me think about how I'm solving problems right now. Mostly, money is still the biggest problem solving tool I have. For example, I haven't been able to get myself to work out consistently for quite a long time. I'm seriously considering buying a years access to an online workout site primarily because I know two people who workout with it and they help each other work out consistently. So, really I'd be spending money on the workouts because I want to have people help me work out. I mean, I'm really buying the support, not necessarily the workouts themselves. I haven't done it yet because I feel a little embarrassed at doing it; I mean can't I just get more creative and solve this problem without money? But, I also just need to work out and spending some money on my health is a good thing? I know that this is a classic example of a heterotelic goal. But I kinda just feel like doing it and forgiving myself and acknowledging that I'm at a busy stage of my life...And I can address this at a later point and just get healthier in the meantime.

A different problem I've had has been getting childcare when we needed a break/have a project to finish ect. I'm sorta starting to solve it without money, though it is slow going. I've set up a support group for parents where we watch each other's kids, and it has worked out twice now. I had help watching my son and a few days later reciprocated. It's a slow start and I'm starting to realize that a lot of families are really busy. Swim lessons, school, martial arts etc. I hope to avoid a really busy life once our son starts school. Anyway, it's hard to have families that can do this helping each other thing if both parents are working full-time and they are busy with other activities. I'm thinking it's a bit naive of me in this current culture of super busyness that we could help each other out. Maybe it will still happen, but with different families that are moving more slowly? I've also kinda adopted an older coworker as our local grandmother. Her kids are in their 20's and she's ready for grandkids. She loves my son and has volunteered to watch him occasionally. I don't want to abuse her interest, but it is sweet to see them together. I've tried to include her in normal hang outs as I also enjoy her company. In a round about way I'm trying to say I'm trying to avoid being a mooch with her generosity.

I talked with DH last night about short-term goals. He looked at me blankly. So, I told him the ones I had thought of and he agreed. Not much of a planner that one. So, I'm going to try and save $1500/monthly after taxes. I think with the 401 k and HSA I should be right around a 50 % savings rate. Nothing spectacular but a start. More concrete plans to follow, I've got to go for a walk with my little one while the light/warmth are still here.

Frita
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by Frita »

These days in American culture it seems like help is more transactional (i.e., based on money exchanging hands) than an exchange based on social capital. It lends itself to being busy because one doesn’t have to invest in relationships and can buy dependability. I am so excited to hear about your budding friendship with your co-worker.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

I have done a poor job of tracking money and I've changed my tracking system a bit to help with that. I am not comfortable with excel and Mint doesn't recognize our credit union, so I track money with paper and pen. I do enjoy that, but I need to be more consistent or it just slips away and I don't know how well/bad we are doing.

I've been reading the "yields and flows" exchange from my Wheaton 2/3 level and really gleaming only a little bit from it. However, Jacob's comment about the buy nothing year experiment and the articles he posted have been rolling around my head. DH actually is on board with a six month or year long buy nothing experiment. I was pretty surprised he said he would do it. I read a different woman's account of her buy nothing year, it was okay. And she gave herself some pretty big exceptions, travel and eating out were okay during that year. She tracked her savings and seemed to max out at 50%. Anyway, I think we'll start in Nov and I have to come up with our 'rules'. I also have to decide if that means no travel at all. That one is hard as both of our parents are in the their late 70's and far away. And Thanksgiving with my sister is a sacred holiday. I'll think on it and see what makes sense. We also have two house projects that need to be completed so that would mean buying supplies. I think the point of doing this is to see how it feels to be voluntarily without the option of money to solve problems. And to get to the point where it is perhaps painful/uncomfortable to not spend money? And then be able to dial it back up to what is more appropriate?

Two events happened to make me think we are having some impact in creating a lending economy around us. Our friend who also has a wood stove called and asked if we had the chimney cleaning brush. It seems pretty specific to the task. We don't, but she wondered if we wanted to go in on one together. I was able to talk to another friend who does have one, and we can borrow it and clean both of our stoves. That's a small but excellent step in the sharing economy!

DH told me he was looking into our local auto parts shop's tool rental program for an upcoming project on our Suburban. It is diesel and it's charging system needs to be updated before it gets too cold around here. Usually his normal mode is to buy a new tool or two for each project and justify it for future projects. Sometimes that is totally true, but he has tons of tools in a messy disorganized garage. It might make the project a little more expensive, but then there is one less tool to store, maintain and misplace. I got a thrill of excitement that he is starting to think in a different way about tools! I've tried, with no luck, to start a tool exchange with friends. But, maybe it will happen organically over time?

Going forward, I want to continue to focus on social capital (friends helping with tools and kid watching), and money tracking. I think it is reasonable to be able to save easily 50% right now. I still have my dad's debt to pay back but it is only $150/month and I think I'll just pay it off in the spring with a big check.

Each paycheck I have around $190 going to the 401K, $185 to the HSA, around $90 from the employer match and I'm left with around $1800 for living. Our mortgage is $890 (includes taxes, interest, insurance) and the renter is paying us $400/month. So, he is covering close to half of the mortgage (basically paying the interest :cry:). Utilities are fairly fixed around $150-200 depending on electrical usage.

So, in a normal two paycheck month I should be able to save $1320 effortlessly. It would only be a little effort more to save another $1000, I think. We've reduced our groceries, phones and are in the process of selling our huge, inefficient Suburban. That truck costs us a lot of money. There is always something that needs fixing, it is TERRIBLE on mileage and so on. I know that not having a car would save us a lot of money. I am not sure we could do it. Or want to do it. If we still lived in an urban area it would not be a problem at all. Out here, well, it seems very constricting to not have a car. I have talked with a nearby friend about car sharing. He has an older matrix and an explorer with a trailer. He rarely drives and is an easy going guy who is really frugal. So, while it makes me nervous, I'm going to open the dialogue with him about car sharing. I don't know where it will lead and how long it might last, but it could interesting to pursue.

Tl:dr I am going to be better at tracking money, we're considering a buy nothing year and a car share experiment, I think we're only our way to saving 50% at a minimum.

Frita
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by Frita »

Following on the car share. When we lived in Denver, I saw there were companies that offered that service. Had we not had vehicles (sold one) and a parking garage spot with our condo, that may have been the way to go. I am curious how you’d work out a less formal arrangement.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

@Frita, I am curious how this will work out too. Many years ago I shared my car with a friend. I need to ask her if she remembers our rules. I seem to remember we both had it on certain days and we had to make sure there was some gas in the tank. I am pretty sure we didn't involve insurance and that there was no money exchanged.

I worked the weekend, which I love because it is so quiet (usually) and fewer people. But, I was thinking a lot about the buy nothing year and finally realized that I felt tremendous relief. I have sorta realized during this journaling process, that I enjoy having external structure. When I was playing soccer in college, I never had to think when I was going to work out, I just went to practice and games. The buy nothing year idea means I don't have to engage in consumerism at all, I am exempt from it. The relief is profound. I'm sure I'll come up against some discomfort and something I want to buy in the near future, but having the overarching NO TO BUYING as my default thinking seems relaxing.

Frita
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by Frita »

Shopping is overrated, especially when one stops doing it unnecessarily. Enjoy!
Last edited by Frita on Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

I finished Akratic's journal several days ago. What a fantastic guy he seemed to be. It was a really fun read, until the last post. And it would be nice to hear he was doing ok. What it made me think and reflect on, is that while people talk about ERE in the forum and are doing it, it doesn't seem like too many people have really reached the low spending and life satisfaction that Jacob has achieved. Maybe some of that is the basic human condition of taking our whole lives to learn how to deal with our emotions, history and learn from our mistakes?

Do people do the web of goals and not talk about it? I still don't have a solid idea of how to pursue this.

I also read about and am experiencing it bit myself, the disconnection that comes from pursuing ERE. When I told my mom we where considering a buy nothing year she laughed. Another one of my silly ideas. I wasn't surprised or really bothered by it, we don't see eye to eye on a lot of things. But that last post of Akratic about how hard it was to connect to people has stuck with me. I am not a lone wolf that doesn't need anyone. I mean, I really need like 6 people, most everyone else is not essential. And I am scared that I'll lose my connection with my two essential friends (sister and best friend) as I get deeper into ERE. But, those relationships have survived kids and a big move away being so close to them. I think I should be more hopeful.

Lemur and Jacob had an exchange back in the summer where Lemur mused about how to really save at least 75%. And jacob made the comment that it wasn't just that people had figured out how to lower their expenses, but to eliminate categories. I started to think about C40 and Giberto dP as two examples that might explain that. C40 seemed to be almost a machine at saving and GdP is struggling to get to 65%. I started a doc to compare their expenses but soon stopped. I should try again. I'm not sure if I have a real point here. But I keep thinking about it.

Money notes:
DH is on track to break $400 for groceries for the month, he's done all of the food shopping. I haven't had the energy to do much about it, he's home more than I am and it's convenient for him to go shopping while I'm at work. And I don't want to nag, that's annoying for both of us.
Our coffee business had a big purchase of green beans and it took me too long to pay the credit card off. I cancelled the card as I am not going to be the person who makes a rewards card work for me.....

Our renter is adding a nice influx of money early in the month. Now that that credit card is gone, the extra money will get funneled into either remodel supplies (insulation and sheet rock) or saved.

We looked at a local school bus today that we thought was for sale. One of my coworkers is part of a local church and told me they had two buses for sale. And so we biked over there to check it out. It was fun being inside it and day dreaming. It was good to realize that we want a taller bus. We're both smaller people but the ceiling was still too close to us. It was an older bus and had very little rust visible. The PNW hasn't used salt for the snow until this last year so rust is likely not to be a big issue, we hope. Turns out it wasn't for sale we learned. But, it was the second bus we have looked at and it is energizing to see a bus. Which is good! While having a renter has reduced our housing expenses, the school bus is still the real radical solution that will change the game for us.

Sent $500 to savings after paying the credit card off, just to make the point that we have the money to do that. It used to be that I would get nervous that we would dip too low in the checking account between paychecks. Now I worry less. It's still the reality that we work better with the money out of sight. Best to move it to the savings account and pretend it's not available.

wolf
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by wolf »

mooretrees wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:56 pm
What it made me think and reflect on, is that while people talk about ERE in the forum and are doing it, it doesn't seem like too many people have really reached the low spending and life satisfaction that Jacob has achieved.
I think spending and life satisfaction are two different things which are only partly connected. When I started ERE I started to use Maslow's pyramid of human needs. I stopped thinking that life satisfaction and satisfaction of needs must have to do with spending money. In the last few years (and also before that) I challenged every amount of money I spent. In addition to that I thought of more creative ways and solutions how I could satisfy my needs (and wants) with as little or almost no spending at all. If you think long enough, have great determination, be creative and willing to challenge your own boundaries, you will try out things you haven't done before. As jacob also did, I challenged all my personal boundaries, I tried to "move" my boundaries, going to extremes. For example trying to live without a fridge, without internet, without extra heating in winter, cutting my hair myself, walking 3 hours in winter to get somewhere as kind of transportation, going by bike in every weather condition during spring, summer and autumn, eating only twice a day, using only two electrical devices at the same time, etc. I wouldn't have tried all those things, if I had conformed to society's rules and norms. And when you try such "extreme" things (for me they are pretty normal now) you maybe note that you could satisfy your needs with less spending than before. For me it was all about satisfying my needs. On top of that I questioned my so called "wants". Do I really want to .... (travel, passive entertainment, wearing trendy clothes, latest gadgets, etc. ... ) No, I don't want anymore, or at least I could try to live without those things for a while (--> no buy year ;-) Nowadays, I don't differentiate between needs and wants anymore. I don't label things/experience with need or want anymore.
But I understand what you mean, from an empirical point of view on the whole (western) society, there are only a few people who have reached low spending and are (or would be) still satisfied with life.
mooretrees wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:56 pm
I also read about and am experiencing it bit myself, the disconnection that comes from pursuing ERE.
Yes, that's a thing. At least I experience it also by myself. As I was trying out more "extreme" ways of doing things and living life in the past view years, the disconnection grew. I can't really discuss any of my ERE pursuits with friends, collegues, neighbours, relatives. And I only discuss it partly with close familiy. To be honest the disconnection grew, but it didn't decrease my life satisfaction. But on the other hand, new connections grew, especially with you here in this forum. It's two-folded. And then there is the whole social aspect of ERE living. I call this my social and emotional module of my web-of-goals. It wouldn't be wise to think of ERE as a disconnected, lonely and isolated person. There is definately a danger to that, if you are already an extreme introvert. But I try to improve my social skills and increase my social capital. And with that I can (re)connect. My goal is to build a so called nonlinear social network. I think I can not find a whole group of likeminded people (besided this forum) which fits perfect to me. So I started to think of bidirectional relationships which each satisfies a special interest of mine. I call this nonlinear, because there will be idealy many of such bidirectional relationships. I hope to establish many connections. Each one would fulfill a special interests. That will be much easier, than to find the one group, which fit all of my expectations. So, yes, I experienced disconnection from pursuing ERE as well, especially in the beginnen. But for myself it transforms, it could be improved, you can change this as well as you like.

horsewoman
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by horsewoman »

mooretrees wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:56 pm
I finished Akratic's journal several days ago. What a fantastic guy he seemed to be. It was a really fun read, until the last post. And it would be nice to hear he was doing ok. What it made me think and reflect on, is that while people talk about ERE in the forum and are doing it, it doesn't seem like too many people have really reached the low spending and life satisfaction that Jacob has achieved. Maybe some of that is the basic human condition of taking our whole lives to learn how to deal with our emotions, history and learn from our mistakes?

Do people do the web of goals and not talk about it? I still don't have a solid idea of how to pursue this.
This is actually a point I have thought about as well, or rather were I feel a lot of disconnect to people on this forum. It feels like most people here are really high earners for whom it makes (of course) more sense to put their energies into earning more instead of spending less. Prioritizing both seems very difficult, and in case of a family comprised of different personality types, pretty much impossible to me.

I gave some consideration to your question about the web of goals, and the not talking about it. I think I have had a "natural web of goals" for a long time, meaning I did develop it not by consciously thinking about it but because it corresponds with my personality. I remember making a mind map about my goals many years ago (long before learning about ERE and the concept of web of goals). I was able to connect a lot of goals and I distinctly recall that I wrote in the middle "the Midas touch" - meaning that I had a feeling that I was able to make some money (--> gold) out of everything I did for a hobby, but in the end this making money inevitable soured the experience for me because I got greedy and after a while fed up by the moneymaking aspect of it.
Since I never really worked on developing this web of goals I believe that there is a kind of person - I call it a "system thinker" who is naturally building his life this way. And it is pretty difficult to recognize things that come easy to you as something special and thus feeling the need to talk about it. Like when I tried to teach my friend horse back riding, who started as an adult. She could not develop the absolutely necessary eye for her surroundings (--> anticipating all the 12547 things what will invariably spook your horse, and so being prepared for it) because she was so busy with staying on the horse and trying to persuade a 600 kg-animal to do what she wanted. Since I learned all this as a kid I'm subconsciously scanning the surroundings all the time, it feels completely effortless. My friend gave up riding because it was too stressful for her and I did not know how to teach her this.
This long story is supposed to explain why I think that people don't talk about web of goals much - there are not many actionable steps that translate easily into another persons life. While writing the horse story above my mind started to run on like - "Don't write so much about horses, it must be boring to other people... don't talk so much about yourself in someones else's journal... you are not qualified to wax poetically about web of goals, you're such an amateur... bla bla bla..."
This is what holds me back, it makes me feel vulnerable and I feel stupid. maybe it is like this for other people as well!
mooretrees wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:56 pm
And I am scared that I'll lose my connection with my two essential friends (sister and best friend) as I get deeper into ERE. But, those relationships have survived kids and a big move away being so close to them. I think I should be more hopeful.
I can relate to the disconnect since very few people can understand that DH and I both work part-time and thus abstain from making lots of money. I realized that I try to talk little about what is different and instead emphasize what connects me to this particular person. With my brother its music and our kids, with my friend it is horses and music, you get the picture. This keeps the disconnect at bay. Luckily there is this forum to geek about saving and investing :)

classical_Liberal
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Wanting to get out of debt and save a little is not a huge leap concept for any of the lower Wheaton levels. They may not think it's possible, but they'll likely admire you for trying. If you want to do a no spend year, frame it in a way people will understand.

I think the disconnect people feel is real, particularly when your thought processes are focused on FI. It's really our interests or our history that bind us to people. If our interests are very different than others around us, it causes that disconnect. Less time together causes a lack of creating a "history" or maybe better put "interactions" with others. If you need to, leave the FI talk for here, maybe meet up if there are other locals nearby. Find specific interests/activities you enjoy that may be part of your FI plan to do with others to keep those interactions going, at least on the level of that specific interest/activity.

I don't know if it'll help you, but I found The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge an eye opener. If you are interested in organizational (ie business) dynamics it is a fascinating brief on systems thinking.

mooretrees
Posts: 273
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

@wolf Thanks for your comments. I think you are right about spending and life satisfaction only being slightly connected. Since I've started pursuing ERE (more just ER since I'm 43), I've sorta assumed that if you got control of your free time by having hobbies that were satisfying and cheap, and optimized most of your expenses so that you could live on very little, that those pursuits would naturally lead to a happier life. So, I've been shocked to see people who achieve the goal of a lot of money saved, very low expenses and then seem to flounder once they quit. I think that area of figuring out where to go with your time and energy once you have lots of it it a very interesting question. Jacob has not indicated that he ever struggled with direction once he retired.

@wolf, I also like your idea of the 'nonlinear' relationships. Of course I love having people that I have lots of connections too, but it is true that all friends can't be everything to me. So, I think sorta what you are saying is that dialing down the expectations from each person and focusing on what you do connect over is providing some good glue to relationships. I like that focus on what connects you rather than what is different. Since I became a parent I feel more connections/sympathy with many more people than I ever did before. While before I might not have had much in common with the religious fundamentalist that I work with, now we can 'bond' over our kids and their interesting growth.

@horsewoman I love hearing about your life! The horse story and ability to learn some new task was perfect! I think that I am not naturally a systems thinking and so I am having an especially hard time getting some inroads on implementing that way of thinking in my life. Also, I often don't comment on something or somebody's journal because I don't feel smart or 'ERE' enough to add anything. So, I'm with you there.

@c-L I'll check that book out. I'm digging your semi-retirement posts, pretty fun and providing a lot of day dreaming material for me, keep posting!

I had a conversation with a coworker over the weekend that is still bothering me. I am the lead in blood bank. It's basically a volunteer position where I write policies, maintain equipment and have general responsibilities for the area. She was criticizing me because I am not very responsive on my cell phone and I haven't called back after she called with questions. She kept saying how annoying that was. She didn't seem to think that it was acceptable that I wasn't available after work. I tried to explain that I wasn't paid to be available (we have a supervisor that is paid for that and is always on her phone), and that I wanted to live my life without being tethered to a phone. Most days I rarely check my phone. I think what I am encountering is the difference between our attitudes about cell phones. She lives with her phone within arms reach (at least what I see at work) and thinks that being easily reachable is most important. I disagree to my core. I believe that my cell phone is for my convenience not anyone else. I'll get over this conversation, but it was frustrating to hear criticism that I don't think is valid.

We started burning wood in the wood stove. This alone makes me love my home so much. I didn't grow up with wood heat so it is still a marvel. The very air is warm and only in certain areas. I don't need the kitchen or the second bedroom warm, so I love that just our living room is cozy. And it is satisfying that heat is coming from our work in the woods cutting trees. A strange side effect to that is that my son thinks going to woods is only about cutting wood. When we say we're going to the mountain, he says "cut trees?" Need to take him hiking more!

I've started reading the "Overworked American" by Juliet Schor. It was published in 1991, so I wonder at the stats as they relate to today. I am digging it though and trying to read it slowly. Nothing of note to share yet, but her last chapter is about escaping the work-spend and overcoming consumerism so I'm curious what she has to say.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

We went and checked out a skoolie yesterday evening. The guy has been living in his rig for eight years and slow traveling. The two reasons he went the skoolie route as opposed to an rv were his piano and the wood stove. He had a regular looking (to my uneducated eyes) piano with several straps keeping it in place in the front of the bus. His bus was bare bones, very very simple. It made me realize we've been watching conversion videos that are FANCY! He didn't put in any insulation and so would spend winters in California. It was sorta dirty and grungy, and he left all of the original metal walls and ceiling in place. I want ours to be a bit nicer, more wood on the floors, walls and ceiling. He made his composting toilet, that is the route that I want to go. Bucket + toilet seat + peat moss + a fan= simple and effective. Plus the commercial composting toilets are around $1,000. That's too much.

Anyway, it was really cool and made us realize that we could bare-bones our skoolie and get into it in one building season. I think we both want much more insulation that he had, floors and ceiling covered or else we'll freeze in our area. But it we don't get really fancy, we might have a shot of getting into the bus by fall of 2020. It is energizing!

I was thinking about a comment @gravytrain made about how crazy it is to imagine living in the bus one recent evening. We have a small living room and only have a loveseat and rocking chair in it. We rarely sit in the rocking chair and regularly have all three humans plus one or two animals on the loveseat at one time. So why do we have all this space if we're usually right on top of each other anyway? The bus might be more or a 'right-size' for the way we seem to be living.

mooretrees
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Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Ha ha, no worries @gravy Train, didn't feel negative at all. I know that the skoolie idea is outside the social norm for living with children these days. It seems like the normal way to raise kids these days is to get a bigger home to deal with all of the people. My sister and her family have a 5000 sqft home for their family of five. It is HUGE. And recently my BIL said he wouldn't have traded a square inch of it and that they needed all that room to handle their three active boys.

I've benefitted from my son being the youngest of 11 grandkids on my side, barely any toys are coming our way from my family. My DH's side isn't too active sending crap our way either, but when they do send stuff it is pure junk. I get rid of it pretty quickly and since they never visit I don't have to worry about offending them.

We visited another skookie yesterday. It was so pretty and bright! He had wood floors and walls but the original sea green metal ceiling. I loved the combo. He was very tidy too and parked it at the local ski area during the winter. He had a wood stove and a propane heater and seemed to do just fine with the weather. He had parked at a local RV park near to town and paid $250/month. I can save a ton of money if that is what our rent will be!

We left the skoolie really excited! Well, I did. But, we have a ways to go before we're ready to pull the trigger on the skoolie. Sorta in order of what needs to happen:
1. Save at least 10 k for purchase and some materials (spray foam insulation + wood for walls, floor and ceiling)
2. Organize workspace (right now DH's garage is a MESS and it would be a pain to start a project in it's current state)
3. Get rid of 85% of our stuff - literally can't wait for this one!
4. Figure out where to park the bus once we're ready to live in it
5. Figure out insurance for bus, will try USAA as they are our current provider
6. Figure out solar - this is my task.
7. De-nail maple flooring from elementary gym tear down (this should work as our flooring in the bus) - do we sand off the gym floor markings before or after it is installed? Or just leave them??

And many more tasks to come. One thing we've decided to do is to keep the initial build as SIMPLE as possible. It's overwhelming to think of it as a finished totally tricked out living space. Really we need to be able to: sleep, cook and poop in it. Everything else is gravy. I see a lot of people making a miniature home, rather than living in a different way. We'll see what we come up with.

As far as money stuff goes: the first paycheck of the month mostly went to mortgage and bills, only put $200 into savings. Might put another $200 in late this week once the bills clear. Next paycheck should mostly go to savings. It's always easier to save what is yet to come, but I think I can easily put $1500 of my paycheck into savings. This should be the first month we'll come close or surpass a 50% savings rate.

mooretrees
Posts: 273
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

Hmmm, @bigato I was sorta planning on waiting but I see your point. Learning to live with much less before would make the transition easier. Is that what you meant? And yes, I've noticed that it is slow going to get rid of stuff responsibly. We've not had much luck selling things, but perhaps we weren't listing them at a 'selling' price.

Peanut
Posts: 510
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:18 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by Peanut »

I remember seeing a bed and breakfast Skoolie in a house magazine once. Of course it was super cute and tricked-out but I couldn’t see spending even a weekend there w kids. That’s just me and it might also have been a minibus, and I’m not someone who’s into RVs either. We live in a condo that is juust big enough but our kids are still very young. Anyway, would just suggest trying one out for a few days or a week if possible to really understand for each of you what it feels like living in one.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1758
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

There's no better part of life than getting excited about some type of big change. I know the schoolie has been on your mind for awhile, so taking these first steps must be REALLY exciting. Congrats!

mooretrees
Posts: 273
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mooretrees journal

Post by mooretrees »

I have lightly looked for one to try out @peanut, it would be fun to have a full weekend, good beta as some say. I'm not worried though, we have a three bedroom, two bath house right now. But, we all sleep in one bed, and only occasionally go into the basement to do laundry. We mainly hang in our living room especially now that the wood stove is cranking. So, we're paying for more space than we need by a long shot.

Frankly, I'm sick of cleaning the three rooms we live in, sick of paying the mortgage, sick of living the middle class dream, sick of laundry and especially sick of being tired from early morning wake-ups and 10 hours of mostly being bored at work. I think the middle class 'dream' is bullshit, and having been raised that way, I'm doing all I can to raise a super weird nature loving kid who knows how to start a fire, build some stuff from scrap and is suspicious of the consumerist lifestyle. So, if that means home schooling in a skoolie, well, there we go!

I think perhaps I'm responding too strongly to peanut's comment, but in a way I'm also getting ready to deal with this concern over and over again as we go forward. If there is one think I've learned from the short years I've been a parent, is that I know my kid. He wants (at this point) to be around us, to run around and to feed the dogs cheese. I'm willing to make a mistake and move into the skoolie, but the last thing I'm worried about is being in a small space with a child.

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