The Cobb House from Treehuggers article (see below for link)

The Cob House from Treehugger’s article (see below for link)

Over the past 8 months of planning our financial strategy to becoming homeowners, my husband has made a few very interesting comments on ways to save money. These, mind you, are not the typical money saving ideas that have been reiterated over and over again by financial journalists or even every day comments frugal savers might make. His comments are border-line insane, if not quite creative, ways we could save  a lot of money. Many of these out-of-the ordinary comments revolve around ways to save money on rent.

One of his ideas, and I had to ask him if he was joking, was to purchase a used RV (there are many for sale in my neighborhood) and live in a local Walmart parking lot for the next 6 months. Now, there’s nothing wrong with choosing to live in an RV and roaming the nation. I know many people who choose to live this way. However, most of the people I know are retired and don’t need to be any place in particular at any given moment. I asked my husband if he was pulling my leg, and he advised me that he had already called the Walmart manager and asked how long we could stay! Apparently, the Walmart manager said that due to another store closing on the same lot, we could stay as long as we want. However, we don’t currently own an RV, so I don’t see this plan happening any time soon.

My husband’s reasoning on this alternative idea was that we could save $1,800 a month on rent. Over a six month period that’s $10,800 that could go towards our down payment. Of course, we’d have to subtract the amount spent of the RV, so realistically we would probably save closer to $5,000. He even had figured out that we could still work out of our RV, just like we do out of our home, if we invested in a satellite dish so that we could have an internet connection. Of course, this idea was slightly better than camping in our tent for 3 months. Another one of his creative, yet somewhat unusual, comments on ways to save for a down payment.

A more reasonable approach he came up with was renting out one of our unused bedrooms for storage. This is an idea I really liked. We currently rent a 3-bedroom house and aren’t using the smallest bedroom. Renting it out for storage seemed like a no-brainer. Unfortunately, we didn’t get many calls on this type of rental.

No worries however, my husband again thought of something else, renting out our driveway in the back yard. We live on an alley with driveway access through the back gate. This was most likely built many years ago with an RV or boat storage in mind. So, my husband placed a rental ad on Craigslist and we soon received many calls. But, the calls weren’t just for storing a leisure boat or RV.  Oh no, the calls were people living in their RV’s asking us if we could provide them with electricity and water. Sorry to say, we didn’t feel comfortable renting that space out as a camp site, especially since we’re renters ourselves.

My husband is often creative and full of amazing alternatives to living and saving money. In the spirit of creativity, here are a few articles about unusual homes I’ve recently come across:

  • Treehugger’s Cob House Story (the picture of the house in this post)
  • New York Time’s article about Phoenix Commotion (using recycled materials to build amazing homes- thanks to no impact man’s twitter tweet)