cost, and the necessity of a stationary bike

Didn’t spend a dollar today. I wanted pizza for lunch, but stuck it out. And I gained a few pounds back over the break…not working out and going out to eat a lot (on Mom’s dime)…which is another reason to forgo pizza for now. We went to a german restaurant, and I ate a pork shank (scheinshaxe, I think), and apfel strudel. It was pretty great, but more than I’m used to eating, for sure. Got a blushing smile from a cute server.

Family was agreeable to me paying back just 500/month starting in January and lasting through the end of the summer (when my lease is up and I hope to be moving into the van), and even suggested that I not pay anything back until after moving into the van and starting my next job. That’s very generous. It’s hard not to take them up on that, as I need the money for the conversion, though I do want to get them paid off asap for a few reasons.

I don’t want to mooch off of their goodwill. They helped me out in a time of need, and I want to make good and pay them back as quick as I can.

Also, they don’t have a great history as a lender. This is the most I’ve owed, but even trivial amounts owed have been used as a handle before, and it’s infuriating. I’ve vowed to never borrow from family again, but ended up in a tight spot and did so. Another solid impetus for financial independence is financial independence from family. I don’t want them tying strings to me.

But this is a very generous offer, and will make it easier to pay them back once this first transition period is over, and I’m not paying rent.

Just looking at big ticket stuff, the van build is already getting pricey. The Nature’s Head composting toilet comes in at 960 after shipping, the Espar D2 diesel heater is over 800, I’m budgeting 2000 for a solar system (shooting for 200W on the roof with a 2000W inverter), the 12V fridge I want is about 1000, and they there will be water pumps and fans and insulation and sundry. I’m hoping I can hold that last category to under 2k, bringing me to about 7k total for the build. By the end of summer, I should be able to cover that and still have about 3k saved to cover gas as I move to the next job, and ensure that van payments are made till the next check comes in.

I could certainly go for a cheaper build, but I want to live in this van for several years, likely, and be fairly comfortable doing it. This is already me scaling back on a lot of stuff, and doesn’t involve hot water for showers.

I do want a shower, though that’s the one design element that I’m kinda stuck on. I’ve been hitting the stationary bike pretty hard these last few years, and it’s made a huge difference in my mental health. I don’t want to lose that. I want to be able to wake up and work out at home, and that means I need a shower in the van. I’m willing to go with a cold shower, but even that is going to be challenging to fit in.

The other option is a gym membership–work out there everyday and then shower there. Once I have a piece of land, I’m not going to want to come into town on the weekends just to exercise and shower, though. And I’d like the van to be a somewhat self-contained living space. Sleep, cook and eat, shit and piss, study and work, exercise and meditate. These are my primary functions, and if I can get my folding cardio bike, a pull-up bar, and a shower in there, I can handle all of them in the van.

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