Step 4: Cutting Costs

Hatchback Kitchen: Using What We Have

I’m on a whirlwind trip that happens to be chock full of emotional intensity. Watching a friend—who I was closely connected with from age two—marry at a relatively older age. Touring the inside of my childhood home for the first time in almost thirty years. Witnessing grieving in family members. Engaging intensively with relatives long unseen, and countless strangers. Going over my disability history with my long-time physician. Retrieving one of our two stolen bicycles from another city’s police detachment.

For various reasons, I had challenged myself to also share a cabin with some favourite acquaintances. We were all really sad when, upon their arrival, we learned their kids had a terrible flu. Logistically, this also meant they needed all the rooms, the bathroom, the kitchen, and some of our groceries largely for themselves. I pondered the options for my kid and I. Work around it, feeling uncomfortable, risking getting the same bug, and increasing the tension and challenge for my buddies? No thanks. Book another cabin? Doable, but at a total cost of $360 for two nights, I was hopeful for a better solution.

I found it.

I took a quick trip to the closest store and loaded up on a can opener (mine at home had recently broken anyway), tins of hearty food, paper plates, spoons, water, wipes, and so on. In the back of our hatchback, I set up an emergency kitchen. After catching up on food, and then on lost sleep in the fully reclined front seats, my son and I emerged to party happily alongside everyone else, ate up as ddownload (3)esired, then drove our mobile kitchen to a friend’s bed for the night.

We didn’t need to rent a full cabin, own an RV or camper van, book a motel room, borrow a tent, or do anything more complex than we did. A simple emergency kitchen out of the back of our hatchback—and a short drive—did the trick.

If we make a decision like this once in a lifetime, the savings are probably negligible. But if we get into the mode of making decisions like this at almost every opportunity, the savings are phenomenal. The latter is the difference between financial independence and a requirement to commit permanently to working for the man.

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