Originally published on Mobile Home Living.
The world has changed a lot in the last 30 years.
There used to be a set path we were supposed to follow. We were supposed to graduate high school and go to college. Then, we were supposed to graduate from college and get a job in some huge corporation with an IRA, health insurance, and two weeks paid vacation.
A short time later, we were to get married and buy a home.
This home would be our life’s largest investment. Our financial stability wrapped up nice and neat in rolls of warmth, blocks of stability, and boards of beauty.
We’d work for that same huge corporation for a decade or so, get a raise, and maybe even dream of buying a bigger house that would hold our growing family. We wouldn’t worry because our beautiful home, that we so lovingly improved and maintained with pride, would increase its value. We would sleep soundly knowing that our family and our future was going to be OK because our financial foundation was cinder-block strong.
We’d raise our children. Pay our mortgage. Send our kids off to college so they could follow the very same path we did and after 30 years of loyalty we’d retire from that huge corporation. Cash out our IRA and retire in peace.
All was well and the middle-class life was good but that’s no longer the case.
Today, the path is different.
In today’s world, struggle is a common denominator among us. A good job, with good benefits and opportunity to advance, has vanished.
Now, it takes two adults working full-time to afford the bare necessities.
The middle class is shrinking at a drastic rate. Cities are too expensive for us to buy a home and when we can buy a home our investments are gaining equity at a slower rate, if at all.
In addition to higher housing costs, utilities and groceries are raising at an astounding rate while wages are staying stagnant.
So What Do We Do?
Since the McMansions that were all the rage twenty years ago (the ones with 4500 square feet of living space for a family of three) are out of reach for most of us we have to choose a different path.
We have to choose our own path – our own way.
For many of us, living in an affordable mobile home allows us to even the score out a bit in this poor economy. Paying less for living expenses allows us just enough extra money to travel, pursue hobbies, and provide for our families just a little bit easier. It allows us a better quality of life.
Those of us living in a mobile home are all too familiar with labels. Our homes have many labels associated with them but in this day and age, in this economy, we have to put them aside and do what’s right for ourselves and our families.
Living in a smaller, more affordable home makes a lot of our lives a little easier.
Marc Ecko wrote a book called Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out. It’s about the labels that we use to describe ourselves and others. He makes a great argument that we need to stop letting these labels impact our lives and that we need to unlabel ourselves. Here’s his own words:
My philosophy is simple: unlabel.
Not “un” as in the nihilist or negative sense of the prefix, but in the “refuse” sense of the meaning. Refuse to be labeled.
Fight their labels.
Ignore their labels.
Peel off their labels.
We must refuse to be labeled. Those of us that have chosen to live in a mobile home are adapting in an ever-changing economy. We are doing what makes sense for us and that’s all that matters.
It’s OK to live in a mobile home!
When you’re gone, what do you think people will remember most about you? If it’s the type of home you lived in then you’re probably doing something wrong.
A home is a home; a place that protects us from the elements, provides a safe environment for our families, and gives us a space to be ourselves. It doesn’t matter if it’s on wheels, cement, or steal. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and it doesn’t have to be in a fancy zip code, all it has to do is give you place to be you. A mobile home does that remarkably well.
Honestly, it’s OK to live in a mobile home!
As always, thank you so much or reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living!