Living out of your car

We have had a few posts by people living out of their car. I watch the Judge shows as my wife calls them and it seems living out of your car happens to many. I sent a few a little cashola, it has got to be a miserable state of affairs, I suggested a candle might be a nice addition. I have only lived in my car while on vacation as a reckless yout, do you ever pm a person down on their situation and send a few bucks?

I’ve just returned from the friends gathering, we know each other for almost 20 years, they have their elder kid living in the car in the golden state of CA, and they seem not to be overly concerned.
She is professional photographer, works on her carrier, drives around all state and far from there and saves money for the house.

The cash would likely get spent on the same nonsense that got them jammed up in the first place (alcohol,drugs, Tobacco, tattoos, etc)

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The idea that getting a tattoo makes you homeless is… Insane.

There are lots of reasons for homelessness and it is not always, or even most of the time, because the homeless person is lazy or buys the wrong things.


The economy in places like CA is a double edge sword. Their economy is in a boom…far exceeding most states. And unfortunate because of this homes and rents have sky-rocketed. There are engineers who are earning over $150k/yr and they can’t find an apartment or house they can afford. Many are willing to live out of their vehicles because of the job. A senior software engineer with 5+ years experience can make $500k/yr in silicon valley. So is it worth it?

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Agreed…drugs, tobacco, alcohol? Sure tattoos? That’s one of the more ridiculous things I’ve read here (and that includes some of the older stuff from the less regulated days…)

I think the post from Old Mopar was made because he has probably seen that type of behavior just like I and my wife have seen in our families . We have helped some only to see them keep making the same terrible decisions .


tattoo’s may not cause homelessness, but I have seen many struggle to pay rent- but are proud to show off their new tat that they just dropped several hundred dollars on (my son being one.) Priorities are different for different folks.

Barkydog- I would caution you against sending $$ to people with a sad story on the internet. Send money to reputable aid programs in their (or your) local area and point them in those directions for assistance instead. Sending money to internet strangers is just not a safe idea.


Delaying gratification is a common shortcoming that has come to include vanity, status, image, etc., and as I have monotonously mentioned on this forum ‘easy money’ has upped the ante on the price of attainable but un-affordable gratification. Many who are desperately scraping by paying their bills will jump into an unaffordable car note because it requires no money down and gives a 3 month pause on payments. And I’m sure there are more than a few who jumped at such a deal that have spent a few weeks sleeping behind the wheel of their gratifying ride. And it’s likely that a few wear a new tat to celebrate their successful wheeling and dealing until they finally saw the light. But many states, like Mississippi, see no reason to limit the financial vultures from victimizing the financially weak and ignorant into financial oblivion. Here 600% APR loans that are non-bankruptable and tote-the -note car loans that on patched up junkers is just good business according to our great leaders.

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I agree it’s insane.

I also agree here. I too have seen people who are either homeless or on welfare and spend every spare dime on non-essential items like cigarettes and lottery tickets and yes Tattoo’s…and let’s not forget beer. But from my observation those people are in the minority. Most people I know in this situation don’t waste one dime. It’s amazing how well they do with so little.

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It is frequently because they spend the income they have on unnecessary things.

I send cash gifts via general delivery, Fake name and return address, and pm from web forums with no personal information associated to my user name. I have been asked how can I repay you, I say what people have said to me for unexpected help, pass it on.

Yeah, sure, I’ve seen that behavior too, also in my own family. My sister-in-law epitomizes it. But that’s not the only cause of homelessness. Other very common causes include job loss through no fault of the employee, or medical emergencies that drain all their money.

These people are not coming here and saying “I’m living out of my car because I did really stupid things and you should tell me what an idiot I am.” They’re not telling us why they’re homeless. And even if someone does, and they’re homeless through their own poor choices, we are not their dads. They’re coming here for advice about their car, not lectures about how they ruined their lives, and certainly not for off-topic judgmental comments based on a whole lot of assumptions.


I didn’t save for retirement and have fallen on hard times. Before I retired, Mrs. Triedaq would give me $2.50 a week so I could go for coffee in the morning with my older colleagues. We called ourselves “The Geezers’ Club”. Coffee on campus was 50¢ a cup. One of my fellow geezers found out that with our senior citizens’ discount, we could get coffee at McDonald’s for 25¢ a cup. I could have been $1.25 ahead each week, but I would blow that $1.25 every Friday on a cinnamon roll. I didn’t save for retirement and now I have to go to the mission for a cup of coffee.
The point is that some people don’t look to the future. I think the best investment a person can make is in one’s own self. I don’t go for free college tuition, but I believe that paths should exist for those wanting an education. A work-study program comes to mind.
Forty-five years ago I was sitting in s department meeting in the math department at the university where I was a faculty member. We didn’t have the faculty to teach computer science courses. A person with a computer science background could command a salary two to three times in industry what the university could pay. I suggested that if we couldn’t hire from the outside, we could ‘grow our own’. My colleagues laughed at my idea. That made me angry, so I enrolled in courses at s university 55 miles away. I paid the tuition and the gasoline costs out of my own pocket. In addition, I taught a full load of courses on my home campus. I had colleagues resentful of what I did, even though I began teaching the computer science classes which could not otherwise have been offered. I was told “You have tenure. You have a terminal degree in your field. You have it made.Why did you want to do more coursework?”. My response was “What am I supposed to do with my terminal degree–croak?”
What I think is needed is to convince our young people to believe in themselves enough so that they will.invest in themselves. My old car made the commute twice a week to do the coursework in computer science. I thought it better to invest in myself than to buy a new car.


Are you serious? Living in Mexico?

I’ve lived out of my pickup for months at a time. I enjoyed it. I went neat places, camped out, made camp fires, cooked meals, bathed in streams… I had money.

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@Barkydog. No, I’m not living in Mexico–just living in poverty!
I sometimes feel I need to get a job so I can retire from retirement. I thought that in retirement, we could cut back to one vehicle. No way! Mrs. Triedaq and I are involved in so many activities that we are both on the go all the time. Our lives are like living in an ice pick factory–never dull!

I do not now why I thought you lived in mexico, We live like we are in poverty, just thrifty Scotts I guess. The worst part I keep thinking the nickels and dimes we save will pale in comparison to future medical and assisted living etc.

I wouldn’t live out of a small car, but an SUV or van would be acceptable in the short term.

On the subject of who is homeless, many, maybe most, are mentally ill. They aren’t capable of making it in society. They can’t hold a job and therefore don’t have enough money to rent a room. I’m not sure what to do about it, and there doesn’t seem to be much interest in spending the money necessary to treat these people.

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It’s called ‘deinstitutionalisation’. Per wiki: “In 1955, for every 100,000 US citizens there were 340 psychiatric hospital beds. In 2005 that number had diminished to 17 per 100,000.”