Buying a House
We've been considering buying a house lately. We're not completely decided, but we've been looking on websites and driving around looking at houses and reading books on buying a home and all that.
And I have to say it is very depressing. Not buying a house--that's exciting. But driving around and looking at all the subdivisions being built, all the blatant waste, all the houses that are huge with tiny yards, all the confusion and backwardness of what we think life should be like, the distancing of our lives from nature and from the resources we're wasting. We don't need that much space. We don't need that much stuff. And we're hurting ourselves and our world and we need to stop it. And our system is set up so that we can't stop it--we are supposed to keep producing, so people can keep buying, so people can keep getting paid, regardless of whether or not we need the products (mostly we don't), or how many resources we are burning through needlessly, with God-knows-what consequences for our children and our world. Very depressing.
However, the books provide some comic relief. My favorite is one of the money-saving tips from Your First Home: the smart way to get it and keep it, by Lynette Khalfani-Cox. I don't have the book in front of me so I'm paraphrasing here, but I am completely serious that this was in the list of ways to cut back on expenses so you can have a sizeable chunk of cash for a down payment:
"Bounce one fewer check per month."
What a brilliant ideas. Those experts, they are so smart. Why didn't I think of that? Problem solved!
(PER MONTH? SERIOUSLY?!?)