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College Debt Is A Very Real Problem, But One Student Decided To Avoid It Entirely

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For anyone who”s graduated or had their kids graduate from college in the last decade, you know that accumulating substantial loans is a very real problem. Graduates are ready to start the rest of their lives, but often find themselves stuck in a seemingly endless cycle of debt as they try to balance loans, rent, and living expenses. If that sounds like a drag, you”re right.

Yet 25-year-old Joel Weber of the University of Texas decided that he wasn”t going to go down that path. To reduce his future expenses, he built himself a 145-square-foot tiny house, complete with electricity and plumbing. This way, he won”t have to deal with paying off loans and paying rent, and may avoid a mortgage later.

The house is eco-friendly, as many tiny houses are, and is built atop an 18-foot flatbed trailer for mobility.

The house is eco-friendly, as many tiny houses are, and is built atop an 18-foot flatbed trailer for mobility.

With the help of a carpenter, Weber started construction.

With the help of a carpenter, Weber started construction.

He wanted to make the house out of as many recycled materials as possible.

He wanted to make the house out of as many recycled materials as possible.

In all, Weber spent about $20,000 making his tiny house. He saved up a considerable amount, and the rest came from donations from friends, family, and his community. Weber designed the house himself, and a professional carpenter and an electrician both volunteered time to work with him to realize the design.

Besides planning, organizing, and building his own home, Weber also does landscaping, house-sitting, and works as a nanny for people in his Dallas community. Weber used the money from these jobs to save up for his project. And he”s no money-grubber, either. When he has a bit more cash, he”ll charge people less for his services. “It”s about being able to give back to people in my community,” he says.

The interior is surprisingly spacious for being under 200 square feet.

The interior is surprisingly spacious for being under 200 square feet.

This mini stove, which is propane-powered, allows Weber to cook meals.

This mini stove, which is propane-powered, allows Weber to cook meals.

The house, seen here in its completed state, features two lofts for extra storage space, or for guests.

The house, seen here in its completed state, features two lofts for extra storage space, or for guests.

The sleeping area, as seen from the second loft, and the living and dining spaces below.

The sleeping area, as seen from the second loft, and the living and dining spaces below.

Shelving doubles as a staircase up to one of the lofts, and as a desk space for all the schoolwork Weber will be doing soon.

Shelving doubles as a staircase up to one of the lofts, and as a desk space for all the schoolwork Weber will be doing soon.

Weber crafted this unique sink himself from an old bowl.

Weber crafted this unique sink himself from an old bowl.

Weber also picked out some colors to make his house really pop.

Weber also picked out some colors to make his house really pop.

He drew inspiration from the natural surroundings.

The house is looking good!

The house is looking good!

(via My Modern Met, DesignTaxi, ABC)

Weber is currently residing in Dallas, but in August, he and his house will make the move to Austin for the new school year. His home will allow him to avoid spending upwards of $800 per month on living costs, and though the initial cost was greater, Weber is hoping that the house will help him save in the long run. “I may live in it forever, and I”m cool with that; 145 square feet might not be for everybody, and that”s okay,” Weber explained. “It”s more about how I can live simple and still be grateful.”

Weber”s initiative shows that with a little planning, investing, and a lot of dedication, as well as the support of your community, you really can make your own way in life. You can see more images of Weber”s house on his Facebook page.

A lot of people are looking to smaller homes to save money and reduce environmental impact. This could be the wave of the future:

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