Today’s post is by my wonderful staff writer Jordann. Enjoy! Also, if you are a new reader, please don’t forget to read my posts on my awesome extra income series. I’m currently making around $8,000 per month from my extra income, and plan on leaving my day job to pursue my passion.
Last week’s post about how I’m not always a minimalist got a lot of responses to the fact that I live with my fiance, my dog and my cat, in a 400 sq. ft. house. Really, it’s more of a cottage. The story of how I came to live in this house is one of luck and a good relationship with relatives.
You can check out the whole story here. The bottom line is: By living in this small space, I’ve been able to reduce my rent to $100 per month plus utilities, which has enabled me to pay off $27,000 of debt in 17 months.
That said, living in such a small space with so many other creatures isn’t easy, even for a minimalist like me. Sure, the sacrifice is worth it for the monetary gain, but it can get stressful at times.
There are a lot of problems that come along with small space living, so if you’re thinking about down sizing in order to save a little money or live somewhere more desirable, here are a few of my tips.
Adopt Space Saving Hobbies
As much as I love things like having a home gym, painting, and having an expansive indoor plant collection, I had to give up these hobbies when I moved into a smaller space that couldn’t accommodate all of that stuff.
I didn’t intentionally stop these hobbies because I didn’t have enough space, instead, the hassle of lugging everything out and then putting it away became too much, and I started to gradually drift towards my more space-saving hobbies, like reading and blogging.
I love my dog and cat, but in such a small space, they can get on my nerves a bit. That’s why I have a strict “No pets in the bed” rule. Being able to stretch out while sleeping has makes me feel so much less claustrophobic and crowded, that this little space suddenly seems a lot bigger.
Plus, I love seeing their faces in the morning after spending the night apart. Since we never break this rule, the pets don’t whine or fuss about it, they just accept it.
Take the Time to Clean
Since 400 sq. ft. is so small, it doesn’t take a lot of time to clean every inch of the space. That said, it can also get cluttered so quickly! With no place to hide stuff away and no rooms that I can just shut the door on and think “Out of sight, out of mind”, if I don’t keep up with the cleaning and organizing, this little house can become a disaster zone very, very quickly.
Take it Outside
Luckily, my tiny little 400 sq. ft. house is situated on a good-sized lot that allows us space in the backyard for a fire pit and room enough for the dog to play a solid game of fetch.
Because of this, I try to get spend a lot of time outside moving around. This keeps me from feeling too cooped up in our little house and getting cabin fever. If you decide to move into a small space, make sure you have either access to your own outdoor green space or plenty of amenities within walking distance to get you out and about.
Remember that It’s Not for Everyone
I live in a tiny house because it affords me the opportunity to drastically reduce my rent and funnel more cash towards getting out of debt.
Before living here, I lived in a 700 sq. ft. apartment, and before that, an 850 sq. ft. space. I don’t plan on living here forever, in fact I can’t wait to move somewhere a little more suited to my family’s needs. Not everyone is cut out for it, and it’s definitely not easy. It’s not something everyone should aspire to.
That said, if you’re thinking about downgrading your current living situation, living in a 400 sq. ft. space with two adults and two pets is totally doable. Heck, we could probably even throw a baby into the mix and still manage to get by (no plans to!). Living in a tiny space is a great way to save money in order to achieve other goals in life.
Have you ever lived in a small space to save money? Would you?