a van’s a good home for a peripatetic scholar

Didn’t spend an extraneous dollar today.  Worked a bit late and snagged a cupcake from a seminar being held next to my office.

Did get paid, and dropped 1,000 on credit card debt.  Inside of 3k remaining to pay off.  Should have it done by early next year.  Am likely to blow a bit of cash when an old friend comes out to visit in Dec.

Spent my evening, after dinner, applying for jobs in every US state with a recreational marijuana program, and also in Canada.  I’ve got some Skyrim business to handle on the weekends, and I need weed to do it properly.

So…my plan has been to buy a used pickup and some land and build a tiny house on wheels while camping on that land.  But that’s a rather tall order, in terms of upfront cost.  And you can’t get a bank loan to build a tiny house.

But you can get a bank loan to buy a used Mercedes Sprinter van.

I had thought about buying a used pickup on a loan (much cheaper than a Sprinter), and living out of that for a year or two, but I don’t think that will be good for me, mentally or emotionally.  Exercise and mediation make a huge difference for me, and I’m not going to want to do those things outside on a cold, rainy, winter day.  I think I can fit my cardio bike (it folds up) and a pull-up bar in the van.  And there will be space to meditate out of the rain.

Also, it’s a comfort to have a home.  Having a home I could roam around in, taking temporary teaching jobs wherever I find them, would be pretty wonderful.

If I take out a car loan after getting this credit paid off (and waiting a month or two to let my credit score go up), I could spend this summer working 1/2 time and building a living space in the van.  (My current lease is up at the end of the summer.)  Then I could spend the next year or so making van payments instead of paying rent, and have the van to show for it when that time is up.  I’ve thought about waiting a year or so and saving money so that I can buy the van outright, but that doesn’t make as much sense.  Whatever interest I pay on the vehicle (even if I don’t get my credit score about 700 by then (it’s close now)) will be less than money dumped down rent.  And I’ll have the van to show for it when the payments are done.

And with the van built, I’ll have a place to live once I buy some land somewhere and start building a tiny house.  I assume I’ll want a larger living space in a few years, but I had wondered where I would live while building the tiny house.

This is, effectively, another stepping stone between where I am and where I want to be.  This will make it possible to stop paying rent sooner.  This apartment I’m in now could be the last place I ever rent, which is a heady thought.

It’s intimidating, for sure.  I’ve got some skill with tools, but have never insulated a space, never built drawers, never set up a solar system, etc.  But lots of things I’ve done were intimidating to me before I had done them.

I doubt I’ll be able to fully outfit the van the way I’d like this coming summer.  I doubt I’ll be able to save enough by then.  I’ve got to pay this credit card debt off (fuck those vultures, and fuck my drinking problem), and start paying back family.  I’m going to ask if 500/month will be good to send family, at least till the van is built, and if so I should be able to save about 1000/month, starting early next year, toward the van conversion costs.  If I can get the basics set up (insulation, heat, solar power, etc.), I can always add more later (once my monthly costs are down due to not paying rent).

More thoughts on this new plan later.  Time to do dishes and lie down.

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