The ORIGINAL Tiny House

grinchI was at a loss for words when it came time to write this post.  With all the hustle and bustle of the season, I felt like my topic ideas were falling flat.  And then, it happened.  Visions of a wonderfully, awesome idea started dancing in my head!  And, I knew just what to do!

Tiny House Living

House 3

My Surprise Birthday Party 🙂

For the past few years I have been FASCINATED with the tiny house movement.  I devour new episodes of ALL Tiny House shows on HGTV…or at least I did when we had cable 🙂  These days, I’m content with reading blogs about it like Two Cup House and Mini Motives.  Hint:  Go check them out!  A funny thing happened this week.  Yesterday, to be exact.  As I was reading two said blogs, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I lived the first two decades of my life in a tiny house.  The ORIGINAL tiny house.  I lived in a trailer, and our trailer was smaller than most.  Ours was 8′ x 50′, computing to a total living space of 400SF!  And no, I’m not going to be politically correct and call it a mobile home.  It was our trailer.  Yep.  We had two adults, four kids, and 1 small Boston Terrier in our meticulous, trailer (aka tiny home).  Here I am asking questions to other FIRE bloggers about how they manage to live in such a small space, not even realizing that I was a master myself!  Duh.

I fully believe I had blocked my trailer experience out of my mind because it was always a source of embarrassment for me, growing up.

Living Large

Last year, Mr. Mad Money Monster and I nearly committed financial suicide by buying a HUGE home (3,000SF) we could barely afford.  Thankfully, the home had mold and we were able to get out of the contract.  The relief I felt after we cancelled our contract was amazing.  For a brief moment, I felt Financial Freedom!  Suddenly, our small home (1300SF) felt pretty freakin’ spectacular.  It was small, but affordable.  This experience gave rise to this blog and my transformation of always trying to keep up with The Imaginary Joneses and be happy with what I have.  After all, I put myself through college, including graduate school, and have a high-paying career.  I’m doing all the right things.  I don’t NEED a huge house, nor will having a huge house make me happier.  Period.

Happy Happy!

House 4

My Dad Painting Our “Skirt”  That’s Me!

Then another thing happened!  I realized that my childhood was spectacular!  Yes, I always wished I had a real house, yes, I was embarrassed when other kids found out where I lived.  I was so embarrassed, in fact, that I would start walking up the street after getting off the bus if someone new was riding home with a friend.  I didn’t want them to see me walking to a trailer.  This embarrassment was mainly because I grew up on the RIGHT side of the tracks with kids who lived in glorious, suburban, 80s cookie cutter homes.  But, I was HAPPY!  I mean, really happy.  I had a ton of fun growing up in our trailer with my 3 sibs.  I wouldn’t trade my childhood for the world.  I often think I have that to thank for the person I am today.  Despite the awesomeness of our family and trailer, there was a negative stigma thrown at me by some of the other kids.  I never felt like I was on their level and I always needed to prove my worth.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, that has persisted my entire life.  See Living Large above.  But, I feel I have finally stopped letting my emotions control my consumerism in order to prove something.  I have embraced our trailer.  Now, I am proud to say it!  My only regret about our tiny trailer is that it wasn’t cool back then 🙂

Who’s In The Driver’s Seat?

Who’s in your driver’s seat?  Your emotions?  If so, kick those suckas outta there and ENGAGE YOUR BRAIN.  Trust me, The Joneses don’t care about you, and despite their large home and flashy cars, they’re probably just scraping by.

How do you feel about tiny living?  How do you feel about trailer living?  And, is a tiny house the cool version of a trailer?

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Mad Money Cat NOT loving his photo opp

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Miss Mazuma Jan 25, 2017, 7:20 pm

    “I feel I have finally stopped letting my emotions control my consumerism in order to prove something.” Key sentence for me.

    Though I didn’t grow up in a trailer, I grew up in a upper class neighborhood on the lower class side. I went to a great school but, with my parents divorce during freshman year, our entire world changed. The house we just spent the past year doing construction to was put on the market while my sisters, my mom, and I moved to a 2 bedroom apartment my Grandpa owned. Mom slept on a pullout bed in the living room while my older sister had one bedroom and my younger sister and I shared a room…apparently the older teenage girl needs privacy. 😉

    Anywho, it’s funny how you move past these things and learn what is truly important in life. Your time playing with your siblings proved a bigger and more important memory than the embarrassment your friends made you feel. So much so that you completely blocked out your tiny home living!! Yeah for turning out to be the cool kid!

    • Mad Money Monster Jan 25, 2017, 7:55 pm

      Haha…I’d love to think I’m the cool kid. Not so sure though 😉 Sounds like you had your own hardships during childhood. I didn’t experience a divorce or moving at all when I was growing up. The move alone would’ve been stressful, let alone adding the divorce. It feels good for me to talk about my past and learn from it. I hope you feel the same. Thanks for sharing your story with me!

  • memorialbenchstories Dec 15, 2015, 7:37 am

    I found your blog via other financial independence blogs; I hadn’t come across the ‘tiny house’ movement before, it might be that it hasn’t reached the UK. What we call static caravans are generally in a park, rather than on one piece of land. I think planning could be difficult to do this in England.
    We live a ‘tiny houses’ existence by living in a small flat / apartment (at the very bottom of the market) most of the time and spending as much time as we can living in our campervan (think very small RV). The time spent in the campervan will be longer when we reach our retirement in 15 months time (or earlier) at the ages of 59 and 57. We spent 12 months living in the campervan when we had a ‘gap’ year a few years ago and can say with confidence that space isn’t necessary to be happy.

    • Mad Money Monster Dec 15, 2015, 7:17 pm

      I’m glad you found the blog! Hopefully you’ll come back again. Yeah, I’m learning that space isn’t necessary to be happy. Growing up I always wanted what my friends had…big, suburban houses. Now that I’m an adult, I’d rather have a really nice, small house with lower expenses 🙂

  • our next life Dec 12, 2015, 11:14 am

    Treehugger ran a great thought piece about this very question this week, asking whether tiny house living is poverty appropriation: http://www.treehugger.com/culture/tiny-living-form-poverty-appropriation.html. It’s an interesting dichotomy, those who choose to live tiny, versus those who have no other choice. Thought you might want to check it out given this post! 🙂

    • Mad Money Monster Dec 13, 2015, 8:51 am

      Thanks for the link. I enjoyed it. I do agree that trailer living is typically done out of necessity; whereas, tiny living is typically done out of choice. Thus, it’s become quite trendy among environmentalists and minimalists. 🙂

  • Claudia @ Two Cup House Dec 11, 2015, 7:25 pm

    You are the master of tiny living who grew up with masters of tiny living! So awesome! Lots of people have preconceived notions about trailers, but they are unfounded. I grew up in a two-bedroom trailer, which I also blocked probably for all the same reasons you did. When Garrett and I pitched our small house (it’s manufactured) idea to my dad, he was so excited for us–he saw the vision we had for our project and supported us along the way. Align yourself with people who lift you up is my motto today!

    • Mad Money Monster Dec 13, 2015, 8:29 am

      I do love your line of thinking. Yes, it took me many years, but I’m finally coming to the realization that growing up the way I did helped shaped the strong person I am today. I think “trailers” and tiny houses are quite different. Typically, trailers aren’t as trendy and glamorous as the tiny houses we see on TV, but there really isn’t a fundamental difference. I’m glad to hear you have a ton of support. Plus, your blog totally rocks! 🙂

  • marty Dec 11, 2015, 9:40 am

    As retired 70 year olds we live in a Park model 10×30 up north in the summer and one 12X30 in Florida during the winter. We have lived in trailers most of our lives and are only able to enjoy wearing shorts all year long because of our frugal days. We don’t have much stuff and need very little so we are never cramped in our spaces. Love your writing.

    • Mad Money Monster Dec 13, 2015, 8:25 am

      Thank you! Living small is definitely a way to keep clutter to a minimum and savings at a maximum. I’d love to wear shorts in the winter 🙂

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