I don't think i have posted to this forum yet but im a member of about 30 different forums so hello
As for me im just your typical anon user so that's enough about me.
preface == done
So we are a family of three and live in a 2k square foot house(that's rounding down its closer to 3k). We have many rooms / bathrooms / unused rooms and wildly live beyond our means. Our mother used to make 60-75 per hour when under contract for the department of energy and worked on nuclear cases where people were exposed to high levels and had some sort of terminal issues (cancer) where nursing was required. The money was great, my older brother is in collage and he uses a lot of financial resources to maintain peace of the household. When i got deployed in the navy for submarine service ended up getting hurt and got a medical discharge it was really unfortunate as i had found something i did not hate and was really good at. So as a family we moved into this big house with a huge mortgage. So because the housing market is total garbage we ended up finding a house an entire city away from where we work and go to school with a round trip of 2 hours driving per day. On the positive side the value of our house jumped 60k in one year since we bough it but people on our street are like clams in they move into that shell of a house stay for a few months or a year and move out to another shell.
For a while things were good: mom had her job / brother was in school and i was also in a trade school. Then on my day off the moon fell on the third day and the four giants did not keep the calamity from happening: she lost her job. From 70 ish dollars per hour to zero. For eight months income stopped it was hell and really stressful. I never wanted to have such a expensive lifestyle as our monthly expenses were in the range of 3k - 6k (it swings) and that causes problems ie fights about money. If its not today its tomorrow some bullshit about some other bullshit that has to do with expenses. Then one day she got rehired by the same company that fired her but at a third the rate (now ears 26/hour or 2/3 pay cut) so this is not good.
I had done cost cutting measures across the entire house: I disabled the ac unit as cooling a 2k+ sqf house can cost 200-350 ish per month || turned off central air heating || went to the food bank to pick up vegetables (this was depressing beyond words || made my own laundry soap || bought a motorcycle and did not use my truck (90 usd insurance per year- im a badass and have a perfect driving record / 70 mpg economy @ 55 mph great since i ride 160 miles per day) || i cook all meals eaten || stopped buying meat (this saves a lot of money) || stopped eating out with fast food for the family- saves 200 per week. I found a way to eat on 2 dollars per day as i cook all my food from scratch using beans / rice / fresh vegtables and zero meat / flour / oil / fish. I pretty much converted over to being vegan and im healthier now then ever before. i get shit done and on time.
I remember one day after i got out of barber school i went to pick up some vegetables from the tips i got that day and i just was in awe had how things had changed: normally i would go buy food in my truck that has a new motor put in, bose digital sound system, racing seats with 5 point restraint system, in truck computer system with mobile data link, ham radio for backup if zombies came(im kidding i just like radios lol), really really bright led lights \ led bar lights that should be considered weapons along with an inferred night camera to help me drive in the country as the roads don't have lights so i don't hit cattle that sometimes just lay down in the road. This old truck you would not bat an eye more then a second on was loaded with many thousands of dollars of equipment, i even put in a APU so i could run a very electricity hungry ac unit as it can get 120 deg here in summer time and its useful for camping as i don't run the engine to power it ie : apu. But that new 600 hp engine i had installed drinks too much fuel for it to be an economical day to day commuter so i had to park it and use it for special trips where i need to move big items like a desk or get wood ect. As i put the bags of vegetables into my seabag the onset of a panic attack happened the change was just too much too fast. I was lucky in the sense that i have a trust fund of money to pull from so i paid off my barber school on the first day (10k) then bought 4k tools (the very best tools you could get) i spared no expense and people noticed and the quality of my work was on magnitude better then others and done faster. It was so hard to climb back on the bike with 80+ pounds of supplies / drive on a motorcycle at night in freezing + rainy conditions + wind chill of 55 mph wind on you is not fun. Just thinking about the long trip home after i picked up supplies was enough to trigger a panic attack at times. But im a trouper lol i cowboyed up and bit my cheek got on the bike again and did the job.
Ended up getting my license last month so now i can legally work and cut hair. The funny thing is i only got into that trade because its low stress and easy except for standing all day (i got a chair if i get tired) but its again low stress job. I dont have to be up for 3 days like i was in the navy and eat processed food + live on coffee. I am not crazy about hair im actually grossed out by it and really dont like touching other humans but its necessary to get the job done.
My motto: on target, on time, never quit (this was in part to basic training)
if i need to be somewhere at 3:00pm ill give myself 1 hour 15 min drive time then on top of that show up 45 min early because that's how im trained because you dont show up @ 3pm if you do your late
my brothers motto:
"i have adhd" so i can show up late to jobs (gets fired lol no surprise)
(he cant hold a job and has zero useful job skills)
my moms motto:
"ill pray about it" - then nothing happens
hey your choking: pray about it or heimlich? lol thats an rp you don't want to play (she chooses prayer lol fml)
"life is hard but i dont know how to change"
"i picked nursing back in the 1970s as that's all a women could do"
So here the control flow of how i approach a problem (i program but apply the same logic irl)
identifying the problem = 1
finding the correct information (analysis / sorting / fact checking) = 2
applying the information = 3
analysis of out come = 4
modification + optimization + error correction = 5
1: financial situation is causing family structure destabilization
mom: depression in hording useless items in garage
mom: spends hours in room praying / wakes up prays and that solves all of nothing (im not a fan of religion at all, as i consider it an insidious cancer of the mind)
mom: runs into a known issue that i have found and documented #define("when ever i take the cheapest solution i end up paying more long term")
brother: blames others for his issues / does not have higher level critical thinking skills
brother: prospective defines reality correct? then he needs better glasses / excessive spending and not living within set budget
key areas of failure:
does not hold to set budget (buys meat / fast food) - mom
brother has diabetes and is 300+ pounds yet he eats bread / soda meat / processed food / does not use a budget / blames others)
gross mismanagement of funds and weekly allowance / gets into trouble (right now he got 2 tickets just this month and on Tuesday will have his driving license removed for not showing up to court + paying fines + more fines for not paying other fines) - brother
This is a weekly occurrence something always happens / last week i kid you not i got blamed for a hard water toilet ring as his view was we flushed the toilet too much.
Expenses are too high, if i was on a boat and we had dewatering pumps running it would be a controlled flooding while the actual hole is not fixed. This is the family's problem i cant fix just just apply temp solutions.
Family structure is toxic: learn to live on less while making enough to put into retirement / emergency funds / operation budget.
get out of the house = rent it out have the renters pay the mortgage / move into something smaller to fit current income.
get rid of moms stuff she horded (a 3 car garage is filled with shit thats not useful) "i cant let it go because im emotionally attached" so im blocked from removing it and cleaning it / when it comes to inside if she brings anything in that is garbage its goes in the garbage on site because dont stand for that and have set boundaries on what can come in the house. Last month i walked into kitchen to find three bags of cloths for a female age_range(3-7) / her logic was if i ever get married and have kids i would need that if i had a little girl. I laughed at her for a solid minute then threw the bags into the back of my truck and donated it to goodwill for violating "dont bring garbage inside rule"....
(ya ya one mans junk is another mans treasure) append that / does not apply here
social structure of the family is degrading due to stress and financial issues: need cheaper lifestyle and distance from toxic people but they cannot financially sustain yet.
get a smaller house / tiny home / use alt energy with high roi to lower monthly and daily expenses. Use high quality items: buy once use forever example(alclad pots and pans) | use simple technology that is robust yet reliable and with ease of end operator to fix and maintain - thus reducing operating costs as we can fix it and it will last longer. Have no single points of failure
found reliable means of income
setting up passive income
found reliable means of food
found reliable transportation - no single points of failure
tested micro solar setups / tested micro wind turbines
helped a friend set up an off grid solar array i can put it together and not need professional install
5 ways to generate electricity (steam / solar / wind / woodgas / gas) (i dont leave near water so hydro is out of the question / same with geothermal)
4 means of water (well / tank / city / rain) / sand filter / charcoal / distillation / chemical treatment / ro filter 4 stage
3 means of waste disposal ( composting toilet / sewer / biodegester) - not using incinerator or grey or blue water tanks systems nty
9 means of cooking (fuel) / (propane / woodgas / biogas / rocket stove / electric / solar parabolic dish / natural gas / charcoal / wood gasifcation stove)
found cheap land 3-4k per lot
found reliable building systems within code / legal (rammed earth) / (concrete bond beam) / steel roof or feroconcete NO WOOD used in building *tested adobe / ceb / cob rammed earth is a clear winner while ceb came in second
good hat and boots method for building with lime sand plaster lets me keep it simple and reliable also shed heat off the structure. Live in a healthy structure where for example the paint does not offgas harmful chemicals that cause cancer, this will save you money long term as you wont get cancer.
I have tested all these systems described above at some point in the last decade and found them to be scale-able and simple enough to be fixed and maintained by me. This month my project was how to make compressed charcoal cubes for bbq from scrap wood. I have found from talking to other people irl why others dont do it is stigma and fear of the unknown. "i have never used a composting toilet thats scary" - well you dont have to pay a sewer fee or use water or maintain a septic system so why not give it a go? "I don't know anyone who has done that so why should I" that is the response i get a lot. Or if one type of technology does not solve the problem they don't know of others to attempt a fix.
I have found alt energy / methods of living valid in terms of cost effectiveness and reliability. The hardest part is the break in period and actual investment into such technology while making it conform to western standards of living. So every check ill buy a 250 watt monocrystalline panel from a chinese suppler or a 500 watt micro wind turbine while putting 60% assets into that until it supports itself or buy some piece of larger whole until the system is running. This is also minus battery banks, charge controllers, inverters ect that will come.
Living such a life style will produce lower cost of living, higher reliability of power generation, and healthier life style thus making life cheaper, as if you are poor and sick life is much more expensive. (can we add an exponent here)
everything in time
So the family refuses to move into something smaller and less expensive. Its the equivalent of a sinking ship. I found land that is affordable, it has water and electrical hookups and its four miles closer to where we live, its a tree filled lot, it has a lot of potential. I took soil samples and did the water jar test and its perfect for making rammed earth or ceb block. I made a test block @ 8% concrete using dirt off that land and it did not crack. If i do buy the land and build on it they will still be in that house they cant afford and in time lose the house and it will come faster as im also paying a large part of the monthly mortgage. I can smell a short sale in the near future then can predict they will move into an apartment and just bleed income until resources run dry. When i got back from being deployed in the navy the house was an utter wreck, there was garbage on the floor and tables it was typical hoarding problems. When i cleaned the house from top to bottom i realized if i left they would spiral into a lot of problems - financial + mental i did not account it would be this bad. They would not allow people over because the house was trashed it was that bad. So i ran into an ethical issue: if i stayed i could lessen the problem / if i left because of the problems it would become unmanageable and i guarantee those two would become homeless. Alt energy and alt building is not a fix all most peoples problems are financial or mental health.
My logic is simple and robust:
lower cost of living into a safe range
invest into yourself: healthy food / exercise / prevention / education
use existing technology to reduce / remove costly expenses: (electric bill == pv panels) || (sewer == composting toilets) || (natural gas == biodigester); just a few examples you get the idea
build your house using technology that is proven reliable: rammed earth or ceb - saves money over time via safety / reliability / ease of repair / thermal mass / non toxic
use simple technology that has highest reliability and ease of repair
use saved funds to pad yourself from unforeseen events and invest into retirement / passive income(fyi im in my mid 20's)
learn to grow most of your food
All of this is public information and anyone can learn about this but why is it not done? The systems upfront are expensive and the return on investment can take a while. Some examples are pv panels or expensive on demand water heating systems. By not using them you lose and gain nothing. Documentation on building codes is in some cases does not exist for adobe/rammed earth / ceb in some states making it hard to pass building inspection. But by not using them you spend more short term and long term its a catch 22.
You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family. This may not be a popular reply but you HAVE to cut those chains and go! Yoh have done more than enough to help. You will end up with serious mental health problems if uo3h carry on like this. I was in tears reading your post. Go. Live. Be happy and be guilt free. I wish we could come and help.
To lead a tranquil life, mind your own business and work with your hands. And find a reliable builder.