Today’s post – How I Live in a 400 Sq. Ft. House – is by my wonderful staff writer Jordann. Enjoy! Also, if you are a new reader, please don’t forget to check out my monthly online income reports where I show you how I make over $30,000 a month while traveling in my RV.
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 square foot 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.
The bottom line for why I live in a tiny home: 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 living in a minimalist house.
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 so that you can successfully live in a minimalist house.
Adopt Space Saving Hobbies for a Minimalist House.
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 (getting something like a Kindle or an Amazon Fire can really help you have less stuff) and blogging.
Related: How To Live On One Income
Have Boundaries For My Minimalist Living.
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 In A Minimalist House.
Since 400 sq. ft. is so small, it doesn’t take a lot of time to clean every inch of 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.
I highly recommend looking into different types of organizers as well. These can save space and save time!
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Take it Outside If You Live A Minimalist Lifestyle.
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 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.
Related: How To Have Frugal Fun
Remember That Minimalist Living Is 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 minimalist home living, 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 and you are interested in minimalist living, 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 (such as 400 sq. feet) to save money? Would you? Is a minimalist house something that interests you?
If you are new to my blog, I am all about finding ways to make and save more money. Here are some of my favorite sites and products that may help you out:
- Cut your TV bill. Cut your cable, satellite, etc. Even go as far to go without Netflix or Hulu as well. Buy a digital antenna (this is the one we have) and enjoy free TV for life.
- Start a blog. Blogging is how I make a living and just a few years ago I never thought it would be possible. I earn over $30,000 a month online through my blog and you can read more about this in my monthly online income reports. You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
- If you are still in college, I recommend you check out Campus Book Rentals. This website allows you to get your textbooks for cheap. I almost ALWAYS rented my textbooks and it saved me a ton of money!
- Lower your cell phone bill. Instead of paying the $150 or more that you spend on your cell phone bill, there are companies out there like Republic Wireless that offer cell phone service starting at $10. YES, I SAID $10! If you use my Republic Wireless affiliate link, you can change your life and start saving thousands of dollars a year on your cell phone service. I created a full review on Republic Wireless as well if you are interested in hearing more. I’ve been using them for over a year and they are great.
- Sign up for a website like Ebates where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free $10 gift card bonus to Macys, Walmart, Target, or Kohls!
- Save money on food. I recently joined $5 Meal Plan in order to help me eat at home more and cut my food spending. It’s only $5 a month (the first two weeks are free too) and you get meal plans sent straight to you along with the exact shopping list you need in order to create the meals. Each meal costs around $2 per person or less. This allows you to save time because you won’t have to meal plan anymore, and it will save you money as well!
- Look for coupon codes. I search for coupon codes for everything. Today, I have two for you. I have a $20 Airbnb coupon code and a free taxi ride with Uber. Both are great services that I have personally used.
- I highly recommend Credible for student loan refinancing. You can lower the interest rate on your student loans significantly by using Credible which may help you shave thousands off your student loan bill over time.
- Answer surveys. Survey companies I recommend include American Consumer Opinion, VIP Voice, Survey Junkie, Clear Voice Surveys, Product Report Card, Survey Club, ProOpinion, YouGov, Pinecone Research, Opinion Outpost, Survey Spot, SaySo4Profit, PanelBucks, PaidSurveys, Prize Rebel, and Harris Poll Online. They’re free to join and free to use! You get paid to answer surveys and to test products. It’s best to sign up for as many as you can as that way you can receive the most surveys and make the most money.
- Invest. There are no guarantees when it comes to investing, but you should always start sooner rather than later. If you are looking for a good investing platform, I recommend Motif. Motif Investing allows individuals to invest affordably. This approachable investing platform makes it easy to buy a portfolio of up to 30 stocks, bonds or ETFs for just $9.95 total commission. Plus, you will receive up to $150 for FREE when you use Motif Investing when you sign up under my link.
- Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks allows me to occasionally earn Amazon gift cards with very little work. Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. You’ll receive a free $5 bonus just for signing up today!
- Try Digital Voice. Another one you may be interested in related to Swagbucks is Nielsen Digital Voice. Digital Voice is a part of Nielsen, which I’m sure you’ve heard of. All you have to do is surf the web and you may be able to start earning money.
- Try InboxDollars. InboxDollars is an online rewards website I recommend. You can earn cash by taking surveys, playing games, shopping online, searching the web, redeeming grocery coupons, and more. Also, by signing up through my link, you will receive $5.00 for free just for signing up!
- Find a part-time job. There are many part-time jobs that you may be able to find. You can find a job on sites such as Snagajob, Craigslist (yes, I’ve found a legitimate job through there before), Monster, and so on.