Money Pains And A Little Excitement

Fixing the car hurt my savings, I spent an insane amount of money on other things this month, and I still have no idea what kind of credit I’ll be able to get when I turn 19 in April. The beginning is the hardest part because I need a lot of materials in a very short period of time. After I get the shell sealed up, I can take as long as I need to finish the inside, but the trailer, the lumber, the windows, the sheathing – I need all that right away.

I did a little math with how much I make at the new job. If I save like I should for the next five months (no more buying junk food every day), my hopefully-realistic goal is to have $10 000 saved by May 1st, minus the cost of any pre-orders like the trailer and windows. So I won’t have 10 thou in my account come May, but what’ll be missing from the $10 000 will have already been spent on tiny house materials.

After I run out of savings, I’ll still be working and making money as I go. Hopefully I’ll have a line of credit to get the necessary stuff done before winter, but if not, I’ve been talking to my parents about working something out with them. I’d prefer to pay upfront as much as possible, but I do pay rent, so I don’t want to draw out the build any longer than I have to.

After I get the shell done there won’t be that “I need money now but I don’t have money!” feeling. I’m imagining many quiet days, holed up either with my laptop for research or in the tiny house (probably with a space heater). I can picture myself fumbling with electrical or plumbing, installing insulation, putting up interior siding, installing the floors, and more! I’ve done enough research about the general steps that I can picture the house coming together in my head. It’s amazing to think about.

Further along, I’ll be in the wood hobby club lovingly building all the cabinets and closets. I actually like sanding (with a sander) so that’s a good thing. After the built-ins are all built-in, I can start on the part that I’m super excited for: the finishing touches! Ever since I was little, I’ve loved houses and the things in them. I’d notice the design of friends’ houses, and whenever I was in Staples or Canadian Tire with my parents, I’d wander off to look at furniture, light fixtures, and plates. I’ve had to stop myself several times from buying kitchen wares because while I love that sort of thing, I need to pay for the house to put them in first.

My friend Bailey is moving out this week, into a little house he’s renting. It’s about the same length as my tiny house will be, but twice as wide. He needs plates and other house things, so guess who gets to go furniture and kitchen stuff shopping with him?! I’ll get to live vicariously through him until it’s my turn. I’m jealous; he’ll have his own space that he won’t have to share with anyone. I look forward to the process of moving out, of deciding what I want to take with me. I’ve definitely collected some crap that won’t make the cut. I’m impatient for that purge, and for the freedom to only have stuff in my house that I choose and that I like. There won’t be any yogurt in my fridge! 😛


The other day at work, my boss brought in some insulation for the basement, and as soon as I saw it, I leaned over the counter and asked, “Ooh, what kind?!” She laughed and said, “That’s a weird thing for a girl to get excited about.” I told her, “I’ve done an odd amount of research on insulation.”

I’m about to start the e-book Simplify by Joshua Becker, whose blog about minimalism is the best I’ve found. Becoming Minimalist is inspiring and I highly recommend it!

For more reading, I also have the newest Tiny House Magazine, and I just bought Tiny House Design and Construction by Dan Louche on sale. I always feel accomplished when I buy something tiny-house-related on sale 🙂 It’s still on sale for a couple of days, as well as their videos and plans, so you might want to take a look. Make sure you use the coupon code if you buy anything!


WHC: Week 6

Over the past couple of weeks, I didn’t get a lot done on my project. Two weeks ago, I had just gotten back from a shopping trip in Halifax and was about 10 minutes late for wood hobby club. I stayed for the lesson, but was too tired to work with power tools. Then last week, I went for the lesson at the beginning and did a couple of cuts, but I left early to pick up my friend Ben from the airport 🙂 And for both of those lessons, I was not prepared because I was either late or couldn’t stay. I didn’t have my eye or ear protection, my tape measure, a pencil, or the list of measurements for my panels, which makes it difficult to do anything. They have those things at the club, but it’s awkward and time consuming to wander around trying to find them; I’m still new there.

The class has switched from Monday to Tuesday night. Tuesday’s a club night, so the newbies now get to hang out with the regulars. There’s this one man working on a gorgeous corner cabinet with a wine rack built in. I wish I’d taken a picture.

Anyways, tonight I went prepared. It’s fun to walk around in my work boots with a tape measure hooked on my hip. The lesson was short, just a quick walk-through of how to glue the shelves and side panels together. I did some sanding, which is a lot more fun with a sander. I hate sanding by hand; it feels like you’ll never finish. Then with the help of one of the instructors, I cut my panels to size, then cut the dado joints for the shelves and rabbit joints for the back panel. My dado joints – which are basically neat indents to fit things like shelves into – turned out less than perfect. It’s weird to be cutting something but not see what you’re doing. I moved one of my panels by accident while I was cutting it with the table saw, but the instructor helped me fix it with a shim.

Speaking of accidents, I put my lovely Subaru (or my dad’s, if you want to be technical), my Bu, in a ditch last week. No one was hurt, but the door and fender are bent and will need to be replaced. $833 will be disappearing from my tiny house fund 😦 Sigh.

A Productive Day

Yesterday was the third night of wood hobby club. For the first half, they showed us how to make panels, and then after that we were free to start picking out wood.

The club is open on Tuesday nights (as well as Wednesday nights and Saturday during the day), so I decided to go in tonight. I hadn’t finished picking out all the wood I needed, so I didn’t want to be behind next week.

I went in at 5 o’clock, and didn’t come out again until 9:30! I did everything that we’ve learned so far! 🙂

I finished picking out my boards. Then, with the help of the friendly guy running the club (who helped with all the steps), I planed the boards. Then I used the radial saw to cut the pieces I needed for my big panels. Next was the jointer, to square up one side of my pieces. With one side square, I used a table saw to square up the other side. After that, I used the table saw again to cut my six inch pieces in half(ish). Then I got clamps out and organized all my pieces so that the grain alternated throughout the panel. That way, the panel is less likely to break after being exposed to moisture. Instead of one side swelling more than the other because the rings are farther apart on one side, the panel is more even. Then came the glue, and the guy volunteering helped me get all my clamps in place. I now have a top panel, two sides, and two shelves for my end table!

My top panel, before the glue.

My top panel, before the glue.

All my panels so far, clamped and drying! You can also see some half-finished end tables in the background.

I also bought a tool pouch for my belt today. All the actual tool belts are way too big for me, but there was a tool holder with a couple pockets and a hammer hoop that I bought. It fits nicely on my hip, so I’m happy that I’ll have a place for nails, pencils, and other miscellaneous things while I’m building my house 🙂 And, I don’t think I mentioned, a little while ago I bought a mini tape measure; it’s perfect for smaller projects like the end table.


"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris