Tiny House, Giant Journey blogger Jenna Spesard shares the many benefits of her unique accommodations.
The term “home” can mean many different things. As children, we sketch the concept with colorful crayons on lined paper, hoping it will end up on the refrigerator. The drawing depicts a simple dwelling with a pitched roof and a front door sandwiched between two windows. Standing on the front lawn is a stick-figure family, holding hands. Home is simple and cozy.
As we become Grownups, our idea of home expands. At some point, we dream of a three bedroom/two bath house with an attached garage. Each family member has their own space of solitude. Slowly, the square footage we put between ourselves and our loved ones grows. We never think of holding hands on the front lawn.
In the United States, the typical family home back in 2010 was 2,400 square feet, one of the largest averages in the world. With more space comes a higher price tag. This is the American dream, and it’s almost impossible to achieve without going into debt.
It’s time to reinvent the dream. Your house should work for you, not the other way around.
That’s why I redefined my concept of home by shrinking it.
In 2014, I built a Tiny House for $30,000 to achieve financial freedom. If you’re considering a Tiny House, read on to learn how the lifestyle of this counter-culture will save you money and change your life.
Owning a Tiny House will…
- Give you an opportunity to live without a mortgage
According to Bloomberg, the average American mortgage debt per household is around $172,000. How does that measure up with Tiny Houses? Well, the average Tiny House sells for around $50,000, with pre-fabricated luxury models going for $75,000. While financing is available, the majority of Tiny Housers own their homes outright.
In fact, according to a 2013 survey, 68 percent of Tiny House owners have no mortgage, compared to 29.3 percent of all home owners. I’m happy to be part of the 68 percent.
- Lower your utility bills
A small space costs less to heat and cool. There will be fewer televisions, sinks, showers, toilets, lighting, etc. The electric, gas, and water bills will be significantly lower.
For some perspective, my most expensive utility bill is propane at $15 per month.
- Reduce your maintenance costs
Fewer appliances means fewer things break! I don’t have a dishwasher or oven in my Tiny House. I only have one bathroom and my plumbing is very simple. My Tiny House has required very little maintenance in the last three years.
- Help control your compulsive spending
If you have a large house or apartment, you tend to fill it with stuff you don’t really need. I had a walk-in closet in my last apartment. When I was downsizing, I found shirts that I purchased years before and never wore. It was sickening.
My closet is now laughably small—about the size of a large suitcase. I have to be absolutely sure before I buy anything. Sometimes that means I need to get rid of an item in order to purchase something new. As a result, I spend less and I truly love everything in my tiny wardrobe.
Yes, my wardrobe is limited, but so is the closet of these innovative and successful individuals. Simplifying can leave room in your life for other things.
- Force you to waste less and spend less on food
I never used to make grocery lists, but with my tiny refrigerator and storage space, I’m forced to be organized. My grocery shopping is now more efficient and affordable because I waste less food.
- Be aware of your needs vs. wants when it comes to belongings
When you live in a Tiny House, clutter is like an evil cloud of smoke that you’re always trying to waft out the window.
I have become good at saying no when it comes to needless purchases. Enjoying minimal belongings that I use daily or really care about has saved me money. No more compulsive purchases in the line at the drug store!
I love everything in my Tiny House and, because of that, I take care of my belongings. My things last longer and that saves me money over time.
- Go green in all aspects of your life
Tiny House living has made me realize how much richer life can be when I’m less wasteful. It’s an addicting sensation. After embracing a minimalist house, I purchased a hybrid car. Instead of drying my clothes at the laundromat, I tend to hang dry. I use my solar oven on sunny days, which requires zero electricity. It all adds up!
By going green in other aspects of my life, I save money on fuel and utilities while lowering my impact on the environment. Tiny living has changed my lifestyle in more ways than one.
- Pay off debt
I saved the big one for last! With all of the combined savings I mentioned above, it’s now easier for me to pay off other debt. Whether its credit card bills, a car loan, student loan, or something else — having more savings allows me to eliminate my financial burdens.
One day soon, I’ll be debt-free, and a heavy weight will be lifted from my shoulders. After that, I’ll be completely unburdened financially and free to pursue other passions or investments. This is my American Dream, thanks to my new definition of home.
If you want to join the Tiny House movement and work towards financial freedom, I’ll be happy to hold your hand on my front lawn. And we’ll have to be on the front lawn…
Because my home is tiny.
Any third-party resources or websites referenced above are not under Society of Grownups control. Society of Grownups cannot guarantee and are not responsible for the accuracy of the resources, websites, or any products or services available through such resources or websites.
While Society of Grownups hopes the information is useful, it’s only intended to provide general education. It’s not legal, tax, or investment advice, and may not apply or be useful to your specific financial situation. If you need recommendations geared to your personal financial situation, schedule time with a financial planner professional.