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Couple says living on a floating cabin saves a ton of money and is great for their mental health

They saved $27,500 a year overall.

houseboat, floating cabin, tiny homes
@keepingalfoatwiththejoneses/Instagram

Inexpensive and tranquil…what's not to like?

Saving money and living comfortably don’t always go hand in hand, but people do find ways to accomplish it. Sometimes all it takes is thinking a little outside the box—getting a job that allows you to travel the world or swapping out a traditional mortgage for more creative, less costly home ideas.

Take this couple in North Carolina, for example, who gave up living on land to move into a floating cabin and apparently saved $27,500 annually by doing so.

According to Good News Network, Sarah Spiro, 27, and her boyfriend, Brandon Jones, 40, break down the math: Their one-bedroom floating home, which they bought in March 2021, originally cost less than $30,000. The pair then spent two months and $23,000 renovating, for a total initial investment of less than $50,000. And now, they pay $2,500 a year to live on the lake. Yes, you read that right. $2,500 a year. They used to pay that much per month on their combined individual rents.

Obviously, it was a “no brainer,” said Spiro.


If you think this home is not equipped for modern life, guess again. It’s entirely solar powered, has a septic tank that gets pumped out weekly, a wood stove for heat and propane for cooking, a filter to make the lake water drinkable…and yes, it has internet.

Of course, there are some challenges. Winters are quite cold, the nearest grocery store is still 40 minutes away and they can’t get food delivered (imagine a poor DoorDash driver having to rent a paddleboat just to drop off some McDonalds). But still, Spiro and Jones’ floating cabin has worked wonders for their mental health.

“It is so peaceful here. You still have your day-to-day trends like doing the dishes and laundry but you get to do it all in this phenomenal view at all times. Whatever the time, whatever you are doing you are surrounded by peace and serenity—it is paradise," Spiro said according to Good News Network.

So…this is basically like living on a cruise ship for introverts. Genius.

Take a tour inside with the video below:

Spiro and Jone share an Instagram and Youtube account, aptly named @KeepingAfloatWithTheJoneses, where they share helpful tips to anyone else who might want to live that sweet “water rat” lifestyle. You can even follow along to get updates on renting a floating cabin for yourself.

Community

Decluttering top of mind for 2024? This Facebook group can help

This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

With the new year comes plenty of resolutions we all vow to keep up with the best of intentions. But by February 1, our resolve has often waned as life gets in the way and things go back to how they were. What we all need a little more of is motivation.

When we participate in something collectively, it’s easier to meet goals and maintain the enthusiasm to get things done. While the support of a friend or two is great, imagine having the power of an entire online community cheering you on and offering advice along the way.

This is where the Daily Decluttering Challenge Facebook group comes in. This online community offers easy-to-implement advice for decluttering, organizing, and cleaning up your home and your life with support from 125,000 members.

“By building a network of people who can support and encourage you along the way, you can make progress towards your goals faster and more effectively. Remember, no one achieves success alone, and having a strong support system can make the difference in a goal set versus a goal achieved,” says Kristin Burke, a goal achievement coach.

In addition to tips for tidying up around the house, members share advice on how to tackle one thing at a time, where to donate excess items, and what they do to exercise more willpower to avoid buying new things.

For anyone hoping to declutter their lives in the new year, this Facebook group has the perfect challenge to get you started.

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Samantha has trouble every time she gets a new work email.

The recent trend of parents going out of their way to give their children unique names has brought up a lot of discussion on social media. Some of these names sound cute when a child is 5 years old. But will Caeleigh, Zoomer or Rhyedyr look like a serious adult on a job application in a few years?

A recent viral video on TikTok is a unique twist on the current discussion surrounding names. Samantha Hart has a name that doesn’t seem like it would draw any negative attention in professional circles. However, her parents didn’t consider email conventions when they named her back in the late ‘90s when email was new.

“My name is Samantha Hart,” the 27-year-old said. “Most companies use the email designation of first initial, last name, meaning my email would be shart.” For the uninitiated, a shart is an unintentional release when one thinks they only have gas.

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@madihart_soccer/TikTok

When the joke doesn't land, but that makes it even better.

Back in December of 2023, LA-based, progressive comedian Madi Hart made a joke that went viral in the most unlikely of places: right wing media.

Here’s what happened: Hart had just been on a date with someone she described as a “guy’s guy,” who incidentally paid for everything on said date. In a TikTok clip, Hart joked that because of that, she joked "I felt the feminism leaving my body,” based on a long running conservative meme.

Apparently conservatives on Twitter missed the memo that Hart wasn’t actually serious about abandoning her feminist values. Cue a comedy of errors way more hilarious than the initial joke itself.

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Pop Culture

Optical illusion that looks like a person with two dogs has people totally tripping

It takes a while to see it, but there are not two dogs in the photo.

Where is the third dog in this photo?

Optical illusions are wild. The way our brains perceive what our eyes see can be way off base, even when we're sure about what we're seeing.

Plenty of famous optical illusions have been created purposefully, from the Ames window that appears to be moving back and forth when it's actually rotating 360 degrees to the spiral image that makes Van Gogh's "Starry Night" look like it's moving.

But sometimes optical illusions happen by accident. Those ones are even more fun because we know they aren't a result of someone trying to trick our brains. Our brains do the tricking all by themselves.

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Women's Health

A young journalist is using social media to highlight a hidden struggle of war for women

Women and girls are without feminine hygiene products increasing risk of infection.

Bisan Owda|Instagram/Aris Leoven|Canva

Young journalist highlights period poverty during war

Many citizens of western countries have no experience living in a war zone and the toll it takes on a person's overall wellbeing. Usually to protect the civilian population, other countries open their borders to allow those vulnerable inside so their needs can be met without the constant threat of harm. But not every population has the option to leave their war torn country for safety with the comfort of knowing they'll be able to return when it's safe.

For some people, they have to stay where they are and make do with what's available. This means dealing with situations that people who are donating to assist innocent civilians may not realize things that are needed outside of food, water and baby formula.

Bisan Owda, 25, is a journalist in Gaza who has made it her mission to strip the shame away from an issue unique to women trapped in the middle of a war.

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Rhys James surprises a troll by outing him in front of an audience.

“Comedians Giving Lectures” is a UK show that features funny people competing against each other to see who can give the best TED-style talk. One of the most memorable was by 32-year-old comedian Rhys James, who lectured about online stalking and his speech ended with a twist. He outed a surprised audience member as one of his online trolls.

The lecture opens with a bit on how just about everyone does a bit of social media stalking, whether it's old-school friends or former love interests. But then he asks the big question: When do we know we’ve gone too far? Is it scrolling through hundreds of posts on someone’s page or accidentally liking a photo someone posted years ago?

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True

Soda is entwined in the American experience. From our sports games to the movie theater, every child’s birthday, and simply in most American refrigerators, soda is ubiquitously tied to our every day. It has become one of the biggest businesses in the world with fierce competition among brands, fighting not only for the American dollar but for a space in our collective consciousness.

But we all now know it’s bad for you, plain and simple.

Enter OLIPOP, the first soda to break the sugary mold and enter Americans’ refrigerators en masse. OLIPOP's humble beginnings start by rewinding the clock almost two decades ago. Co-founder, CEO, and Formulator Ben Goodwin was searching for the most scientifically credible and accessible way to promote microbiome and digestive health to everyone.

Like a mad soda scientist, Ben was on a mission to make a soda that’s both delicious and supports digestive health. To truly grasp Ben's passion for health, let's journey even further back in time to his teenage years. Anxious, overweight, and disenchanted with the low-fiber, high-sugar Standard American Diet (SAD), Ben recognized the need for a transformation. He overhauled his lifestyle and diet and lost 50lbs. As he continued down the path of rigorous nutritional experimentation, Ben discovered that his lifestyle changes not only enhanced his energy levels and physical well-being but also positively impacted his mental health and cognitive functioning.

This health journey eventually led to his discovery of the microbiome—a vast community of trillions of bacteria influencing everything from the immune system to digestive functioning to emotional health. As health experts like to point out, our modern-day microbiomes lack the flourishing diversity of healthy bacteria. This is largely due to our diets, characterized by a scarcity of fiber and an excess of added sugars. The challenge lies in the fact that, in our busy lives, most of us don't have the luxury to wander through forests and woods, picking berries, and searching for fibrous roots. But yet, we desperately need a diet that’s nutritious, diverse, fruit-full, vegetable-stuffed, and fiber-filled.

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