What Happens when a Corporate Finance Manager, Making a Six-Figure Income and in the RAT RACE gets LAID OFF?
HE PIVOTS, SELF-BUILDS A TINY HOUSE and Starts CREATING a Whole New Life that leads to help others make Smart Money Choices Towards a Smaller and more Sustainable Footprint
Hi I’m Steven Mejia and this is how Living Tiny in LA began…
…Well, not actually me, this is my baby son on a Sunday morning at my work office. I took this picture thinking at the time, how cute he looks!
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the career I had gotten a degree for and worked so hard to attain had CONSUMED my life. So much that on this Sunday, like many other days I replaced WORK for QUALITY time with my family.
BUT wait it gets BETTER…
The Corportate Grind and Rat Race
That’s my corporate pic there (Yikes!).
We lived in a 2,000+ square foot home, 3 car garage, had 2 newer cars, a motorcycle, a couple of rental properties, and I had a 6-figure corporate controller job to sustain it.
LIFE, I thought at the time, was working out as planned. I thought debt was part of life. We were over $600,000 dollars in DEBT. Yep! if I added up two home loans in Los Angeles, car debt, school debt, credit card debt, stuff debt…it adds up pretty quickly.
I thought all that was GOOD, more so for me, since as a small child I had been smuggled into the US, growing up very poor with an alcoholic single mother in a basement in Queens N.Y.
My way out was to work super hard and prepare myself to CHASE someone else’s American Dream. I went to university (took me 8+ years to finish), got a finance degree (because I knew I didn’t want to be “poor” again) and did what many people are doing today…CHASING and CHASING and CHASING..
Motivation for Change
I figured one of best ways to sustain our new life with one income in expensive Los Angeles was to drastically decrease expenses. My wife thought it would be best to minimize.
We combined the two concepts and decided to declutter, minimize, downsize and completely get out of debt. I committed to leave the corporate life and we committed to escape the rat race.
After weighing out all the options we decided to SELF-BUILD a “BIG” Tiny House which we call theBigCasita. Because Darn It! Home prices in L.A. are crazy high and I sometimes go to Extremes!
Well for starters we are saving over $26,000 + per year on household expenses alone. WOW!
it’s affording and allowing us to create a LIFESTYLE in our own terms. One that is deliberate, value driven, purposeful and unconventional.
We now live in a 350 square foot tiny home on wheels in the suburbs of Los Angeles County. We have ZERO debt! As a family we spend lots of time traveling, enjoying quality time with each other, and I’m building Living Tiny in LA to help others interested in doing the same with making smart money choices while creating a greener and more sustainble footprint.
…and LivingTinyinLA.com WAS born
So Who is living in theBigCasita?
I love both mountain and road cycling and enjoy group riding. You’ll sometimes see me riding with California Triathlon group rides, or enjoying the vast majority of mountain and road trails across Southern California, or wherever I travel. If I’m not cycling, you’ll probably see me riding my Harley so as you can see, I like being on two wheels. But my biggest passion lies in playing soccer. I have been very fortunate to have played soccer at various competitive levels and truly enjoy the competition and team camaraderie.
I love cycling, if I’m not road cycling with Steven, I’m spinning at the gym. I also truly enjoy traveling, reading, dancing, swimming and organizing (yes, I actually like it as well as cleaning). I have traveled to most major U.S cities and internationally I have visited Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, France, Belgium, Germany and China. On our list for this year is Barbados, Italy, and Spain.
I’m an ultimate minimalist. My whole wardrobe fits in a 14.2 x 12.1 x 26.4 inches storage drawers. I wear one pair of shoes until they die, before I even try on another pair of shoes. I want to create my own youtube channel. I’m a very lovable kid. People that I meet like me very much. Ultimately, my parents allow me to fully enjoy the experience of being a kid with good values, good manners, and a joy for life.
I’m an an oldie, but goodie black Min Schnauzer. I have been loving our tiny house because I get more quality time with my family. Steven takes me out on hikes and even for an old pooch (I’m talking about Steven) I can hang with him. I get grouchy around kids sometimes so I get to go up on the loft when little ones come over and I’m ok with that (as long as it’s temporary).