The "Get Out Of Your Car!" Fund

Sunday, February 22, 2015

online articles about living in your car

Every now and then I do some online research on how to live out of your car. Like personal finance, even if you've read everything you think there is to read (or watch on Youtube), it's good to do a review and even learn some new insights you didn't know before. Here are some new articles I've discovered.

Guess where I am

Guess where I am?

For the first time since being homeless I actually rented a motel room for two nights.

 A snowstorm hit yesterday. There were accidents and cars sliding all over the metro area.

 My options were to rent this motel room or sit in my car with it running all day while doing nothing productive.

Instead, I brought the tape cassette project to this room where I have plenty of electricity and I've been digitizing cassettes FOR HOURS. One good thing about this project is that I'm listening to some sermons from John Nixon so it's a spiritual experience as well as an organizing experience.

 Another alternative was to work on this project in my classroom, but the school turns the heat down on weekends, so I would be miserable and cold in the classroom, then I would have had to leave at night and drive in dangerous conditions to my sleeping spot. So, yeah, this motel room was a good idea this weekend.

 It's an average motel, but the cheapest in the area (cheaper than some hotels that were related below-average online). I got a discount because I found the deal online. The room is so warm and the sleep last night was awesome. The only drawback I have is that the tub is brownish on the bottom, so the idea of soaking in the tub is OUT!

 Actual time in room - 38 hours
Cost - less than $150
Amounts to = <$4.00 an hour for warmth, electricity, comfortable & private sleep for 2 nights, cereal, shower

 While being productive, I also applied for a new job, cleaned up my Yahoo account (simplifying it according to David Allen's GTD principles), and watched very little television. I even fell asleep during Arrow (I shocked myself - I love that show).

The second morning that I woke up, I found two bedbugs in the bed. I had been itching throughout the night, but thought I was having a bad dream. I took a picture and showed it to management.

Still don't regret the decision to stay there. If it had been a more expensive hotel, I would only have stayed one night and not gotten as much done.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Discovering David Allen's GTD philosophy

I've been researching David Allen's GTD plan while digitizing cassettes. Some people described his systems as souped-up lists, but actually it's a philosophy. The biggest takeaway I've gotten so far is that only time-sensitive items need to be on my calendar - that's keeps the calendar from becoming a to-do list. That means I'm more likley to notice the time-sensitive items that are not cluttered with other tasks. Also, I need to create a someday/maybe list to have a place to put these projects that I want to do but not right now. I also researched GTD specifically for teachers. I see a way I can use Evernote to do that. While planning I started to see things come together and declutter themselves already. This is a good year for me teaching-wise. I'm really growing into being a more organized teacher. Maybe I should transition from this blog to an organized teacher blog when I move into my new apartment.

It's fun to live in my car.

In the past month, my dad went to the ICU. Both nieces have been to the ER for sports injuries. My school may shut down next year. Both nieces will be ok. Dad is out of the danger zone although still in the hospital (going on week 4). My school may be taken over by another charter school, so that's good news for next year. The temperatures have been in the single digits at night for the past 2 nights. With the wind chill, the temperature has been in the negatives. Last night, I got cold after 5 hours, so I let the car run for about 20 minutes, then went back to sleep for another 3 hours. I dared to sleep reclined in the front seat because I knew the windows would frost up during the night. It's more comfortable to sleep in the front seat than to sleep in the back seat. The debt snowball is still rolling. I haven't had any offers on the condo and it's still in foreclosure status. For the first time in 10 months I actually thought this week that living in the car is kind of fun. It's easy to clean and cheap to keep heated. I don't have to think about furniture. It's so inexpensive. I'm worrying less and less about being seen at night. I still pray each night, "Lord, please make me invisible to all people - both good and bad." However, I'm learning that people are so busy with their own business (and so cold due to the weather sometimes) that they don't really look around and notice others.