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We went on an adventure this weekend and made money while traveling.

Making money and passive income using eBay while traveling.  . What do you do with a weekend baby sitter when you are working on building a tiny house, filming a documentary, and managing a book tour? You have an epic weekend video shoot, book signing, and romantic getaway, of course! With three little ones, it is hard to find couple time and sometimes that means we’ve got to be working when other people might consider it time to play. Fortunately, we actually enjoy working with each other. That is why we do what we do! Something we always try to do whenever we have a travel weekend is that we give ourselves enough time for adventure. Even if that means getting up a couple of hours early and hitting the road before the sun comes up. There aren’t many feelings as horrible as passing by an amazingly unique antique store along the highway and not having time to stop. We always try to give…

We’re starting the tiny house build!

It’s been a year since our family began the journey toward building a tiny house! It all began with a mouse… well, a book about a mouse anyway. When my book came out last year, we knew our family wanted to do something different for our future. We wanted to raise awareness about causes that are important to us: homelessness, sustainability, and of course, the ability to spend more quality time with our children. We could have never expected some of the obstacles that have come our way. The idea that a tiny house can just be built in seven days is true… if you’ve got a world class team of experts on your side. But when you are starting from scratch, it is a bit more difficult. There was a lot we had to learn about trailers, trucks, axles, mounts, bolts, nails, proper windows, doors, and the list goes on and on. Every inch and pound matters in a tiny…

Tiny Living Leads To A Bigger Life For Families.

Reducing the overall square footage of a living space has many advantages and disadvantages. Like everything in life, you have to weigh out the pros and cons. For us, one of the biggest points in favor of living tiny is that fact that it will afford us an opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint. This has a clear tie-in to helping with the issue of poverty and homelessness. It isn’t simply enough to put someone in a home, they also have to be able to maintain and survive. It does not take major math skills to be able to see that an average person can not live on minimum wage. One way to combat this issue is to raise the minimum wage up to a working wage, but while we all sit around and hold our breath waiting on congress… Another way to combat that income disparity is through reducing overall cost of living. However, in a modern world, there are…

I’m moving my family of 5 into a tiny house… here’s why:

  When I was a child, I could have never expected for our family to become homeless. My early childhood was the appropriate level of normal and dysfunctional. I fought with my siblings, but we also played together every day in the field outside of our house. Financially speaking, my parents couldn’t always say yes, but we always had Christmas, birthdays, and the occasional candy bar while checking out at the grocery store. Then, suddenly something changed. At first it was little things like introducing food stamps, or mom and dad started yelling more. It did not take long before we were bouncing from one hotel to the next or sleeping in our van. The stability of a childhood home was replaced with extreme uncertainty and fear.   People don’t want to talk about family homelessness because it is scary and unsightly. It isn’t something that should be happening in a first world country. However, every single day, families find themselves…

A solution to family homelessness

For far too long, the national conversation on homelessness has been only about restoration, but not prevention. When an individual or family moves from the area of poverty, and into full blown legitimate homelessness, it becomes a very expensive to rebuild their life. It is estimated that, in general, a homeless person costs the tax payers an average $30K per year. That’s right, more  than the average minimum wage worker makes annually. There has got to be a better system. The face of homelessness is not what it used to be, more and more families are finding themselves without a savings account that could be used in an emergency. When a sudden crisis strikes: loss of employment, medical conditions, or acts of god that destroy property, homelessness is on the other side to devour those suffering from desperation. People truly can’t keep up with the growing cost of living, between inflation and rising housing costs alone are preventatives to the goals…

Our happiness depends on eating pizza sometimes.

A few years ago, we had these friends who were opinionated about every single thing we chose to spend our money on. They wanted to know how much things cost, and were really nosy and competitive about finances. In their defense, Nathan was still a priest at the time, and for whatever reason, many people (not just this particular couple) could not mentally separate church finances from our personal finances, despite the fact that the majority of our income came from side-jobs. Anyway, this couple was the most opinionated about us ordering pizza. It was such a weird obsession. They saw it as so frivolous and expensive, and made a huge deal about it every single time. Unfortunately, they lived across the street, so they could see us any time we had it, and they made sure to bring it up. It just so happens that Nathan really, really likes pizza, and so we ordered it pretty regularly. I’ll admit, he might…

One simple way to save thousands of dollars a year

Our family cuts costs in unique ways. Where others might sacrifice going on dates, we like to be able to have dinner together, so we make other sacrifices. An example of this is that we only have one car. Yep, one car for the five of us. I’ll admit that this is a bit easier for us since I work from home tending to my Etsy Shop, my other Etsy shop, Nathan’s Etsy Shop, blogs, and other side projects, while I also homeschool our kids, but even I need to go places sometimes too! Reasons we downsized to one car for our family: Cost: Honestly, cost is the main factor in our decision to remain a one car household. The only recurring debt we have each month is our car payment (one we intend to have paid off by the end of the year). Buying a second car would either mean financing one, and getting into unnecessary debt, or buying a pretty…

Live mortgage or rent free.

I recently read a report that said, on average, people are spending half of their income on housing. After you pay for the house itself, there is the water and electric, plus basic upkeep. Then, as the square footage grows, so does the surrounding cost. With each additional foot comes more room that has to be heated or cooled or repaired when something goes wrong. Either you are renting, like in the case of our family, and therefore paying someone else’s mortgage, or you have a mortgage yourself that you will likely be paying on until you finally retire (assuming that any of us will be able to retire at all.) Once you spend half of your income on rent or mortgage, plus surrounding bills and maintenance, what is really left? The other day, I was sitting down to pay bills and balance our budget when the kids approached me about “doing something fun.” Their list of things that would be…

6 reasons families should move into a tiny house.

What are the benefits of a large family moving into a smaller space? Though there are many more, here is a list of six big ones.1. Save money:   According to the International Labour Organization “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.” We have less time off, less sick days, and less vacations. As the most over worked country in the world, we certainly have the huge houses and storage units full of stuff to show for it, but because we work so much, we don’t even have the time or ability to appreciate those huge purchases we’re spending the money on. We’re in an endless cycle. If we downsize, we have so much more time and money to enjoy the things we work so hard for. 2. Less stuff to take care of:   In addition to spending so much time making…