Friday, April 10, 2009

Mission Statement.

I've grown to appreciate weblogs that exist for a specific time and purpose. Any previous endeavours into online publishing of a more personal nature have fallen by the wayside for a number of reasons. The specific purpose of this is to document a planned period of a little over four months in East Vancouver (or thereabouts) with no fixed address.

Recently, various turns of events have led to a parting of ways with roommates. I've usually not had much of a problem finding rad pads at which to live, but I have a little debt, and the thought of spending a very high percentage of my income on not-so-great housing solutions did not really tickle my fancy. The Olympics are coming, and gentrification is in full effect. The $650 apartments of two years ago are gone, or they cost $850 now. You have to move farther South or farther East to get the same place for the same money. Your apartment is shrinking right before your eyes.

Consider that since I've lived in Vancouver, my rent has increased 42%. Each of the three times I've moved, I've moved a little more East, starting at 300 West, and ending up (at least until May 1st) at 1200 East. The first place in which I resided is still there (and I'd love to know what it's worth these days), while the second has been knocked down along with six other houses to make condominiums ("The Block" is what the ads say they will be called.) and the third place has been purchased by the sort of people who would probably love to buy in Kitsilano, but simply can't afford it. Nice Honda Ridgeline, by the way.

My current house is a new-build duplex, and is also expensive as all get out compared to our last house. Of course, I'm sure it's a lot more expensive than whatever was standing there before.

Don't get me wrong. All this is progress. If people want to buy the city out from under me, that's really none of my business. Suffice it to say, I'm not stoked.

The next part of the equation is travel. I'm almost 30. I've never had a passport. This is a problem. It's hard to save to travel when one has debt, and when one has well over half one's income going towards basic bills and housing. While lamenting this situation, as well as the lack of housing solutions to Amanda from work, I was offered a temporary solution for May. I will be sleeping in a solarium for free.

This got me thinking. There are house-sits, there are sub-lets, and there are kind, kind, friends with couches. I've decided to be voluntarily "homeless" from May 1st to Mid September in order to clear some debt, and to save up to go to Europe. This weblog is to be a record of that, as well as a cost/benefit analysis of doing so. Basically, if I eat out enough times, and if I buy enough things for kind hosts, and if I spend enough money on the storage space, my van, and whatnot, I might not actually save that much money. Let's find out how well I'm really doing:

Former Expenses (which were almost guaranteed to go up if I found somewhere new to live):
Rent I've been paying: $638/month
Hydro I've been paying: $8/month
Terasen gas I've been paying: $25/month
Shaw Cable I've been paying: $19/month

Total costs reduced: $690/month

New Expenses directly linked to "homelessness":
Van Insurance: $105/month
Gas: Seems to be about $90/tank. Let's find out how much I use.
Storage Space: I haven't obtained one yet.

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