Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Could you live in an airstream without any closets?

Way back when we were fighting foreclosure we fantasized about selling everything and moving into an Airstream. I even blogged about it (here).

I figured if we're downsizing, let's really downsize. And why not be mobile too. Travel the U.S. Do something bold that we'd never do otherwise.

Having packed up our belongings and moved several times now since then...

L.A. to Chicago (July 2009)
Chicago to Friday Harbor, WA (October 2009)
Friday Harbor, WA back to Chicago (August 2010)

...I can say we still have way more stuff than would ever fit in an Airstream trailer.

To live in an airstream, it would seem, would require either a large storage locker or a monk-like dedication to minimalism. I just don't think it's for me. However, I still wonder.

And then I come across articles like this one from Sunset Magazine about a landscape architect who turned a vintage Airstream trailer into a stylish home and I'm convinced it's not for us. Perhaps as a single person I could have made this work. But for a family of 4 (yes, I'm including the Pug) it would be a recipe for daily Jerry Springer episodes come to life.

Don't get me wrong. We love being together. All. The. Time. For real. But there's a difference between being together and living on top of each other.

Seriously, click the link to see the slideshow of his trailer. Stylish, yes. Tiny, indeed. So tiny. I admire the person who requires such a small space and who has such dedication to minimalism. But spaces that small, I'm convinced, were not made for a marriage. And a baby. Except for the weekend getaway. Yes. That I could do.

What about you? Could you do it?
Could you live and be happy in a stylish Airstream trailer?

If not now, was there ever a time you could have?

Related link:

-Blogger Adam Baker of Man Vs. Debt has taken his family on the road in a big ol' RV for 2010. You can live vicariously through them here.

-I can't get enough of these Airstream photos from in their Retro RV Photography slideshow. They're my kind of eye candy. Here's one example:
(Photo of Retro RV Photography (Via: lenleerepresents, thebostonegotist)

(Photo at top of post is from Sunset Magazine)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Random Money Saving Tip

This morning as I was going through my oral hygiene routine, I got excited about my mouthwash. And I thought I'd share it with you.

This isn't about love (well, as much as one can love mouthwash) and it isn't about foreclosure, but it is about saving money.

Bob and I miss many things about our life in L.A. To be expected, of course. We built a life there for almost eight years.

At the top of our list of things we miss is our dentist: Dr. Jill Sekiguchi. She's the best dentist I've ever had. She does the cleanings herself. She's so thorough and gentle. And she loves her job. Loves. It. She gets so excited when by scraping away tartar. She'll even show you the big chunks if you're game... in a "Wow, look at this piece I just got!" sort of way. It's really awesome, actually.

And she's the one who recommended the mouthwash. Dr. Jill told me the best (and cheapest) mouth wash to use is Hydrogen Peroxide.

Yep. So simple. So cheap. At 99 cents a bottle. You can't beat that. I love the way it makes my gums feel. And the way it attacks germs and bad breath. A dose of oxygen to the mouth.

Mix one cap full of hydrogen peroxide with one cap full of water and you've got yourself a highly effective, money saving mouthwash.

One tip: I usually rinse before I brush. That way I get the minty flavor after taste from the toothpaste as opposed to the slightly strange after taste of the hydrogen peroxide.

So there you go.

I showed you mine. Now show me yours.
Please share your every day money saving tips in the comments!

P.S. Anyone else use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How To Breathe When You're Underwater

This morning I woke up to an article from CNN Money that gives the stat that 30% of all mortgages are underwater.

The first two lines read:

"Sometime, somehow, the foreclosure crisis will ease. But probably not anytime soon."

Kind of a downer, right? Kind of? Ha. Definitely. And if you're underwater or facing foreclosure, that is how it feels. And the reality of this foreclosure crisis is that it is a long one. Not an uplifting revelation.

So what do you do if your mortgage is underwater? And how does that feel on a daily basis? And what do you do to make a difference in that situation?

Our mortgage wasn't underwater. We ended up in foreclosure as a result of not being able to make our payments due to job loss. However, I imagine a lot of the experience is similar.

So I present to you, an IMAGINED conversation with an underwater homeowner (UH):

ME: Did you ever expect to owe more than your house is worth?

UH: (Duh.) Not in a million years. We obviously would never have bought.

ME: Right. Of course. So how does it make you feel to make those payments every month?

UH: Duped. Like the bank is laughing all the way to the... well, to the bank.

ME: I imagine you feel angry too.

UH: Yeah. And like an idiot at times for having made such a terrible investment.

ME: Well, you couldn't have known--

UH: No. But if I had known... well, I wouldn't have this bleeding ulcer.

ME: You have a bleeding ulcer?!

UH: From the stress.

ME: I'm sorry to hear that. So what do you do?

UH: I make the payments.

ME: Why?

UH: Because I signed a contract. Because I can. Because I don't want to end up in foreclosure.

ME: Are you aware that many underwater homeowners are now walking away as a business decision?

UH: Yes. And we considered that. But...

ME: But?

UH: It just doesn't feel right.

ME: I get that. I think a lot of people feel that way.

UH: Are we almost done?

ME: Just one more question. With all of the stress of being underwater, how do you...

UH: How do I...

ME: How do you breathe?

UH: (sighs) One breath at a time.

I'm not sure this imagined conversation sheds light on anything.

And I'm still not sure I know the answer to the question How to Breathe When You're Underwater, but I do know some things that don't help...

5 Things that don't help you breathe when you're underwater:

1. Dwelling on the mistakes of the past
"We never should have bought this house!" Sound familiar? You can't change the past and this sort of thinking will only lead to more regret, depression, self-loathing, second-guessing, anger, resentment and bleeding ulcers.

2. Playing the blame game
Whether you blame your spouse for wanting the house in the first place, your intuition for telling you it was a good idea, President Bush for starting this crisis, President Obama for not yet solving it, or the banks for getting rich while your investment tanks... spending energy blaming is energy wasted. The sooner you come to peace with the way things are, the more room you'll have to breathe (and regroup!)

3. Taking it out on your house
We've all heard the stories of homeowners who destroy their homes just before the banks repossess them. They do this, I suppose, to release anger and to stick it to the banks. Well, whether you're in foreclosure or underwater, this is not advised. For your own sake! Think about it. Your environment is so important. Especially at this time. The best thing you can do right now is ENJOY YOUR HOME WHILE YOU HAVE IT.

Now is the perfect time to de-clutter. Organize those closets. Get rid of excess stuff. Go on. Sell it on eBay or Craigslist and make some extra cash. Then, once your house is in tip-top shape, throw a dinner party. Share it with your friends and family. Appreciate it more now than ever before. This makes sense because A. You still live there, so you may as well enjoy it and B. If you end up needing to sell, you'll be ready.

Just remember. It's not your house's fault. So be nice to your house.

4. Denial
The only thing denial gets you is inaction and that is very dangerous for someone who is underwater and/or facing foreclosure. It's not a fun place to be, I know. A little escapism can go a long way. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about outright denial. Ignoring the situation and pretending that it's all peaches and cream. Now is the time to be reading up. Researching your options. Talking to the bank. Working on restructuring your loan. And facing reality with confidence and determination. You never know what you might be able to accomplish when you embrace reality.

5. Neglecting the rest of your life
While it is a good idea to face the reality of your situation, it's not a good idea to become singularly focused on your personal housing crisis and ignore all other areas of your life. This doesn't usually happen intentionally. It just happens. Yes, I know. It's hard to enjoy life when such a huge part is going so far off plan. But obsessing about it will only bleed into the other areas of your life. You know. Like an ulcer.

Instead, try this: LIVE IN THE MOMENT

As hard as it might sound, it's really not. It's just a switch. Notice the world around you. Be in the moment in every moment.

As John Lennon wrote, "Life is just what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."

Breathe each breath, as our imagined underwater homeowner said, "One breath at a time."

And if all else fails, try yoga.

I hope that helps!

What helps you breathe?

CNNMoney - 30% of Mortgages Are Underwater


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...