Ok, before people get all bent out of shape and say things like "Hey Tekno...that's not very redneck like!" or "Aren't rednecks typically supposed to be gun-toting, hard working hill-billies?" Well...yes...you are correct. And I'm not even going to argue it. I'm also not going to try to convince anyone that I am liberal or conservative or any other dumb-a$$ political affiliation. I don't like politics or discussions about them. I know what I believe is right and wrong, and this blog is not going to "go there" deliberately.
With that nonsense is out of the way, let's get on with the good stuff...shall we?
Why the title? Well...because that is the comment I made today that almost made my family spit water out of their noses. It all started by me describing what it was like to have converted to redneckism. I then went on to list some of the benefits that we have gained, which is in no small part a chunk of the reason WHY we are doing this redneck thing.
As I have mentioned before, we weren't forced into this lifestyle. We were not forced out of our house; we were not going hungry because of our overblown payments or anything. We had all of our cars paid off. Etc. Etc. Etc. We chose this because we wanted to. The main deciding factors were (among other things):
1) We wanted to make sure that in the down economy, if I were to be laid off we could survive a long time on the savings we have accumulated.
2) I wanted to retire as soon as possible. This means we have to have everything paid off and our bills as low as possible. The only way to do this was to buy a house that we could get paid off A.S.A.P. The market was ripe, so that was the time to pull the trigger.
3) I hate gym's and workout memberships. If I need to wear myself out, I feel I should be doing it by using that energy constructively. Yea...about 2.5 acres should cure all of my workout needs.
4) We wanted to cut back to a bit of a smaller domicile. It turns out that two levels in a 3000 sq. ft. house was just not for us. It was too much to clean, but not enough room to do anything.
5) Restrictive HOA's with double-standards were about to make me "go postal".
6) My garage "shop" and tool collection were just outgrowing that 3-car garage...I NEED LAND (and a barn) BABY!
So we found it and bought it while the getting’ was good.
Next came the unexpected part...and this is where I start going against some of my values, but only because it "makes sense" and fits right in with other parts of my values.
First we had to deal with the old house. We have to sell this monster. Of course it will be a short sale because before I wisened-up to the ways of living frugally, we purchased it at the height of the bubble. Now it was worth less than half what we owed on it. Well...short sale it is. So we listed it and found a buyer. Of course, the bank wasn't going to play nice...why would they? So we put a stipulation on our realtor: "Do NOT, under any circumstances, request an extension to the short sale before the bank forecloses". Why would we make such a stipulation? Well...it all boils down to taking advantage of incentives that are available to us. While I don't necessarily like the fact that all of this stuff has been made available and easy for the general public, since it is here I won't turn it down. See my conflicting values at work here??? What we determined is that it would actually be MORE BENEFICIAL to go into foreclosure by the end of that year than it would be to have the bank drag their feet for that extra two months and foreclose the following year. It was a simple tax decision. If we unloaded the house that year as opposed to the next year, we would be taking advantage of the laws that said we would not be responsible for the taxes associated with the capital gains we would have acquired on the house price difference. Basically, that would have equated to something along the lines of $30,000 to $40,000. That is worth the credit hit since we don't plan to use credit anymore anyway.
The next thing we are enjoying as part of this new lifestyle is all of the "freebies" we are getting. I know what you are asking: What... How... Why...? Yes, I said it. We are getting a lot more freebies. I'm not going to go out and ask for anything. I actually find that very, very hard to do and it makes me physically sick to my stomach. The way we end up with this stuff is because people, mostly liberally minded people, ASSUME way too much! And I am certainly not going to pass opportunities like that up!
There are other things that happen as well: discounts on carpet installation, discount on kids classes, etc, but I don't want to bore people to sleep, so we will leave it at that. Needless to say, when I say that we are "living the liberal life" I don't mean we are choosing political sides. All I am saying is that I am going to take advantage of the generosity offered by not only our neighbors, but also our government. I just can't bring myself to pass up some of these kinds of opportunities when they are just sitting there asking for me to bite. I did not ask for them, or vote for them, but I would be a damn fool to not take advantage of what they want to give me.