Next month, it will be four years since I moved into my Tiny House!!
People say to me all the time “You’re so lucky!”
The truth is- I made my own luck.
After my last divorce five years ago, I was in a pretty diabolical financial situation. As a single mum of two, I was renting a unit I really couldn’t afford- even with government subsidies. I was on payment plans for all my utilities. I woke up every day dreading the postie. And I certainly couldn’t remember the last time my poor car had been serviced.
It’s at crisis points like this in your life that you have a choice.
Are you going to “just keep swimming” for the rest of your life?
How long can you keep paddling like hell beneath the surface, on the verge of a breakdown, while telling your friends and family “I’m ok”?
You. Have. A. Choice.
In my case, I knew the tell-tale signs, and that if I kept plodding down that path, my depression was going to come back with a vengeance.
I knew I wanted to live Tiny, but I had a black mark on my credit as a result of my marriage, so there was no way I could buy a Tiny House right off the bat.
It was a HUGE decision- but at the same time it was a no-brainer.
I sold literally EVERYTHING I owned (except the clothes on our backs) and bought a run-down piece-of-crap caravan for $2,000.
Over the next six weeks, I spent the same again gutting and renovating it til it was liveable.
It was a horrendously cold winter, and our heating was basically just blankets and extra clothing.
But it was the BEST thing I’ve ever done (bar leaving my second husband..!)
I knew I didn’t want to live that way forever, but it was a fantastic stepping stone for us.
It gave us a taste of Tiny living.
After living in a large 3 bedroom unit, it was a definite adjustment suddenly having the three of us living in 14m2 (only 10% the size of the unit). Learning to live in a small space is a definite eye-opener if you’ve never gone caravanning. I loved it and knew right away we’d be just fine in a Tiny House.
It got us out of the rent trap.
With rent and utility bills gone, there was an extra $1600 in my bank account every month!! This was MASSIVE for us. I paid off all my debts in the first month!! No more avoiding phone calls. I even made friends with the postie.
It helped us get into a Tiny House.
For almost a year, we lived very simply and I saved my pennies. It also meant I could take the kids out for lunch occasionally without checking my bank account. I even got my car serviced on time!
Less than a year later, I came across a beautiful pre-loved entry-level Tiny House online, and I was actually in a position to buy it!
Fast forward four years- and I now have two small Tiny Houses and a caravan. I could NEVER have foreseen the opportunities Tiny life could bring!!
I don’t understand why more people aren’t using caravans as a stepping stone to going Tiny, especially given the surge in construction costs of Tiny Houses on Wheels.
My only option at the time was the “absolutely bootstrapped it” version (100% would not recommend if you have an alternative…!) If my credit hadn’t completely ruled it out, I would have preferred to buy a better caravan.
You can get a really solid 2000-2010ish caravan with basic solar (the kind I now have) for under the $20k mark.
The repayments on that would have been under $100 a week!! I would still have been more than $1,000 per month ahead of what I’d been spending on my rental.
If you are thinking of going this route, you really need to have a chat with the guys at Great Escape Finance.
If you’ve followed me
for any length of time, you’ll know I only promote or publicly support businesses I 100% believe in. Great Escape Finance is one of the few. Link to check out more info is here: www.gefinance.com.au/caravans
Tomorrow I’m going to look at the question: “Could a caravan be a better option for you right now than a Tiny House?”
PS: pictured is the $2,000 beat-up caravan we lived in for almost a year that enabled us to go Tiny, complete with “at least I tried” paint job! It really is about the journey, folks! 🤣