Posted in Musing & Stories

View from the Truck Pictures Louisiana pt. 2

viewfromthetruckBRIDGE1Some pictures I’ll go back an tag, as I don’t recall the place right off the bat. However, I can tell you Louisiana is unmistakable. The flooding” August 2016 – We took a load of generators in to the relief effort. #proudtruckingmoments

Also – Truckers love their food! And when I finally got a salad made the way I asked, I took to a pic! [and gave them a nice online review.]

 

All images © Grandma Auburn/jsm

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Posted in Musing & Stories

View from the Truck- Pictures pt. 1

Samantha - our navigator - says "100 miles to Indy!" YAYA bit of background. My husband drove 53ft dry van OTR [Over The Road] for two years. [This was the second time for him. I stayed home the first time to raise our daughter.] We put everything in storage and I rode shotgun. I didn’t drive, but he called me his ‘Nag-a-vator” [instead of navigator! HA!]  And I learned real quick how to stand outside the truck and back him into a spot; without getting run over.

We came back roughly every 4 weeks- for 3 days. Homebase was my Dad’s back porch. Those were some trying times. But we had some good adventures, too.

I have so many pictures and stories from around the USA… I thought maybe you’d like to see my scrapbook. PS: If you are contemplating trucking as a career and want some ‘no nonsense’ guidance, feel free to ask me in the comments. Also, the forums on truckersreport.com is a good start.  #truckerswife Trucking for 15 years.

Thanks for stopping by today, friends and confidantes- Get used to seeing that side view mirror –oh, and cats ears, too!- Grandma Auburn

Posted in Musing & Stories

Moving! Pt 3- Hypothetical Homesteading

How can we plan for retirement with very little savings; and get our homestead sooner?

SO HERE’S THE GRAND PLAN {HA! as if those ever worked out…}

Also! “How we saved the Down Payment in two years”

  • Vibrant Rose
    Almost time to plant!

    $75k Budget for HOMESTEAD over 18-24 months.

  1. Spring 2019
  2. $5-6k- Used truck
  3. $27-33k- Raw Land- (+/- 2 acres)
  4. July/August
  5. $8k- Used Travel Trailer
  6. MOVE onto land
  7. $500/mo. Savings!!
  8. Autumn ’19
  9. $2-3k- DIY Shed, Generator, Wood stove, Livestock/Garden prep.
  10. Spring/Summer 2020
  11. $10k- Well/septic/block foundation/electric hook up/permits etc.
  12. Autumn 2020
  13. $12-18k- Used Single wide MH 3bd/2bth {actually bigger than what I have now!}

After extensive research: we nixed the notion of a Pre-fab cabin, yurt

viewfromthetruck falltrees-jsm

or modular kit as a year-round residence. A tiny house under 400sf would suck long term. We lived 2 yrs on the truck… just ask me anything about teeeeny living... O.o

Prefab Kit builds over 600sf: Adding any electrical, plumbing, etc. is pricey. Though we’re still considering a tiny ‘something’ as a guest room or AirBnB, but not for a couple years.

Manufactured Homes: Why yes! I have spent weeks researching every tidbit. Craigslist. LandWatch. AutoTrader and RVTrader. Finally, we found one used MH dealer Homenation.com (by state). ALSO Factory Direct.

 

A pot of turkey hash feeds a big family.

Land Loans {and/or rolled into a  ‘Land/Home’ next year}: Most require 20% down payment. Pre-Approved is not the same as Pre-Qualified. 

  • HOW WE SAVED THE MONEY:
  • Baseline figures: 20% x $33,000=$6,600.
  • Down payment:
    • [1 year: $132.00 x 50 weeks]
    • [2 years: $66.00 x 100 weeks]
  • OUR 2 year method: $50 weekly; [Feb. 2017-2019]
    • then added: bonuses, overtime, tax returns.
  • Top money saving tips:
    • Write out a budget. Say “no more stuff.” Repeat often.
    • Secondhand only, DIY or do without.
    • Plan less trips to the store. Plan meals around sales.
    • Get a side gig. Use your skills.
      • Upwork, Thumbtack or Taskrabbit
      • Or find free courses to learn new skills.
      • [I walk dogs and Mturk in between writing & merch]

OUR #1 prerequisite for all of this — It all must be paid for in 8 years. Hubby retires in 10. Thus why we’re doing this in increments, and saving additional money by holding over this winter [and budgeted for] a travel trailer.

Other considerations: Grid-tied for health reasons. Yet enough land to sustain a simple, back-to-basics lifestyle. Close to our jobs. Close to daughter’s family AND close to my Dad. Must have trees and a good stretch between neighbors. 😀

Frugal now; peace of mind later, Friends and Confidantes – Grandma Auburn

#homesteading #retirement #budget #truckerswife
Posted in Musing & Stories

Moving: Housing Hunt on a Budget

Moving Part 1 – Is a prefab home kit an option?

What have I been up to? Planning a MOVE! My husband and I have decided to move further out into the country. {but still near family.} We are tightening our 2019 budget even further. {some saving examples here} It all started with a campfire… or lack thereof. And what we thought we wanted, we didn’t. 

We thought we wanted to travel. Buy an RV. Have a campsite as homebase while he still drove day routes part-time through a temp service. Live a bit nomadic before we got too many ailments. However, I believe this was a passing phase due to living on the truck for 2 years; then renting a place with no yard but a ream full of rules.  Now that the wanderlust has abated-  What replaced it was the simple, silly {yet pervasive} notion that we need to have a campfire out our back door… and land to forage and garden as we had in the past. So we started to research  -30-

pexels-photo-145685.jpeg
Photo by Mikes Photos on Pexels.com

Affordable housing options under $35K and up to 600 sq ft. 

On our quick price guide and list of Prefab Home Kit Companies: Cabins, Containers, Cottages, and YURTS- DIY Oh my!  

SQUARE FOOTAGE & PRICE RANGES by Kit Type

  • $24K-$35K   Tiny home on wheels, partially finished +/- 192 sq ft
  • $11K-$22K   Cabin Kits- 4 season, various sizes: 320, 420, 560, and 600 sq ft
  • $10K-$18K   Yurts- including some upgrades:  Larger sizes $25K-$29K
    •  Yurts –  Sizes include: 16/20/24/26/30/39 ft diameter, 7+ ft tall
  • $7K-$27K    Container homes: 1/2/3 br., 20, 30 and 40 ft. (160-600 sq ft)
    •  Containers – Studio or Expandable, Easy set-up, MANY features included.
  • $5K-$15K     Cottage/Cabin- “shell only” Kits  250-600 sq. ft
  • $Free-$3K  +/- shipping and DIY assembly help (If needed) Shipping area, price per mile and down payment can vary for each company. Building/zoning codes can vary also. 
  • Weeks to Complete: Differs greatly by kit style, etc +/-  2 to 10 weeks
  • Upgrades can include: Customized floor plans,
  • Insulation/moisture barriers and roof material.
  • Windows/doors, plumbing, electrical, solar.
  • Finished/pre-installed: cabinets, light fixtures, sinks, wood stain.
  • Optional features for handicapped and elderly.
  • Other possibilities: wood stove, compost toilet, porch and loft. {or turn-key!}

8 companies making prefab and a alternative house kits across the US. Most offer upgrades, have clearance sales, online price lists and finance options.

These kits are both durable and adorable!  Choose your own build, order online. My husband likes the containers, while I’m fond of the 4 season cabins. What’s your preference and why? Thanks for stopping by today. Be well. Be frugal.  – Gma Auburn

Posted in Musing & Stories

Overload and Downtime

Have I been pushin’ myself too hard or did I catch a bug?  Probably a wee bit of both.

Tues-Wed night I finished one design, [checking off one goal from last week] fiddled with another, but wasn’t productive after 10pm. Wed. morning, I got sick early on. Queazy/blurry vision all day. I’m sure it was a combo of dehydration and overdoing ‘it’ for the last few weeks.

Nothing seems to go right when I’m ill. Phone calls, uploads, chores, errands all ground to a halt for 24 hours.

Thurdsay was better. Chauffeured for hours, and brainstormed online careers moves with my grown daughter. (I have 1 daughter, 1 granddaughter and 2 part-time step-grandsons – in case anyone was tryin’ to keep track )

So, Friends and Confidants, among all the other obligations, Make certain you are taking care of YOU!  Also -Have fun on unplanned adventures!  ...As an introvert, I need reminding… This weekend is my birthday! Yay!  My soul is crying out for nature, so it’s time TO GO…. “Gone Primitive” Women’s Slouchy Tee!

goneprimitiveWmntee
WOMEN Only – Slouchy, comfy, campfire tee shirt . HERE w free shipping – Limited time!!!