Oh yeah.

I did a lot of thinking today about things… That book I am slowly picking away at- Little House on a Small Planet- is really changing the way I think about my financial future. Blah blah blah that sounds boring, but I realized that mortgages and loans, etc. are like modern day slavery. I’m not knocking anyone who has chosen this route. In fact, up until a few weeks ago I was headed there myself! I think most people take that route because it’s the only way they’ll own a car, or a house, or a college education in their lifetime. I just think it’s sad that you are then obligated to pay double what was originally owed and work to pay that climbing and merciless interest for fear that you might be ruined and hounded by creditors and collection agents only to never own anything again. I think it’s sinful.
In some religions interest is recognized as immoral, and there were laws set up to protect people from that kind of thing. Jewish law, I believe, stated that you could only charge something like 2 percent interest for a year. After that year no more interest could be collected, and something like every five years or so all debts were forgiven. Everyone had a clean slate. Beautiful! Can you imagine the freedom? Islam doesn’t even have interest I believe. Some Muslims still pool their money into credit unions and form their own bank of sorts. They all decide who gets loans, etc. and the whole group benefits from the equity. Something like that. I just like the idea of people wanting others to flourish and live comfortably.
I’m afraid that there are so many industries out there that were once for the people, and I think still are in some other countries. In the U.S. though, things like universities, health care, banks (who I guess were always in the business of money, but still), etc. are just kind of counting on screwing people over.
Anyway, all this got me thinking- Am I doomed to be a slave to this system? Am I to be bound by a bill that comes every month that determines the course of my life in so many ways? What if Jeff or I lose a job? Are we going to be ruined? What if we hit a rough spot and don’t have health insurance for a bit and something happens? Jeff’s cousin had complications during childbirth and something wasn’t covered by her insurance company. It ended up ruining her financially, and she’s only 25 now. She can’t even get approved for apartments so she has to live with her mom.
So… depressing stuff aside, I came up with an idea that I think might actually work. I want to save for a while to buy a bit of land- vacant land that we can hopefully pay for quickly or up front depending on our situation. Then we live on this land- modestly, maybe in a trailer or something, while we build our house. This house won’t be a normal house though… It will be a cob masterpiece! A hand-sculpted house. This link has some beautiful pictures of it. Really, you can do anything you want at hardly any cost (comparatively), and the payoff is monumental. We could continue adding and changing as we saw fit. I could build myself a massage studio so I can work from home! We could build benches and walls outside that I dreamed up! It could be a masterpiece! I’m so excited about this idea I can barely stand it. The weird part is that we can really do it. It’s actually a RESPONSIBLE plan. It’s environmentally friendly, efficient, CHEAP, and beautiful. ARE YOU LISTENING?!? Amazing.

Gracie
Gracie

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Comments (8)

  1. hanitious

    Wow now that is a plan and a half, it sounds amazing.

    I can’t imagine having to pay for health care, even though the NHS is shitty and understaffed I still appreciate it.

    xx

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      You guys are so lucky! I’m sure there are problems in any system, but I wish I had the peace of mind to know that if I was seriously hurt and “not covered” that I would still be taken care of without thousands of dollars of debt. In a lot of cases they won’t even treat you without insurance. I think it’s a crime.

      Reply
  2. prophetsong

    It’s interesting for me to consider the cultural differences in what you’re saying. Over here in the UK you basically have no choice but to get a mortgage to buy a home unless you rent, in which case you usually end up spending almost as much on monthly rent payments anyway. Housing-friendly land in appropriate places is limited and therefore bulding your own property is pretty much the domain of the more wealthy or those who actually work in the building trade. But equally we don’t have to pay for healthcare so whilst I have to worry about what would happen if I got very ill and couldn’t work I never have to consider how I’d pay for the actual treatment.

    You’re right though. One way of another the system will get you make some form of slave out of you! :S

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      That is interesting. I think it’s basically the same way here with the mortgages and building, which is why we could only afford to build with cob. It would cost us a few thousand dollars to build a house as opposed to 200 thousand. Land is still available here, but it’s quickly being swallowed up by subdivisions that look like this:
      http://activerain.com/image_store/uploads/6/2/8/6/5/ar117680861656826.jpg
      Do you guys pay for college?

      Reply
  3. aquacfoamshame

    While I’d give up every penny I earn x 10 just to live in a house on stilts backed up to the Atlantic, I think I like your plan just as much.

    How exciting!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      YAY! I will build a guest house so you can come stay… but you must let me play on your beach!

      Reply
  4. pearlstreetdiva

    gracie your plan sounds awesome. i too have harbored dreams of buying land and building a yurt house on it. i really hope you get to fulfill this dream, i haven’t lost the interest of mine. but i have learned that it is ridiculously hard to get approved for building these unconventional housing units. you have to have your plans approved by someone, i not so familar with the process but a few folks i have spoken to about it are…….it is still possible but will be challenging for both of us.

    im thinking we would have to get it approved to be built before ever buying the land. you would think if you owned land you could just build whatever you wanted, right? the system is EVERYWHERE and it stinks….i wish i understood more of it but that is something i shall learn in time.

    good luck womyn!!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yeah, I heard it can be hard. They say that the big problem (at least for cob houses) are the mud walls. The flooring and roofing are conventional, so really it’s trying to get someone to approve dirt! How silly. Anyway, I think we can do it. We’ll just have to keep in mind that patience is key. Hell, it still beats paying interest for the rest of my life.
      I love yurts! I worried though that they wouldn’t hold up in Michigan weather/winters.
      I’m glad we can support each other in this!

      Reply

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