Living In A 200 Square Foot Tiny House – Could You Do It?

Living In A 200 Square Foot Tiny House - Could You Do It?When we first moved out when we were 18, we moved into a very small house.

It was extremely small at around 400 square feet (less than that if you don’t count the basement), but it was cheap, had a backyard and was located very close to the college I was about to start attending.

Also as a reminder, last year Jordann also posted about how she used to live in a 400 square foot house.

I recently became interested in tiny homes again when I was watching a documentary on Netflix (we’re starting to find cable less and less worthwhile) called Tiny: A Story About Living Small. This documentary followed a man building his very own tiny home, and the documentary also showed others who lived in their own tiny homes.

I find tiny homes very interesting. They make great use of their space, they are usually very cute, and they are very affordable. Even with the positives below though, I don’t think it’s something I could do.

For me, the negatives greatly outweigh the positives. I think we could do something smaller than what we currently have, but 200 square feet is just too extreme for me.

Below are the positives and negatives of living in a tiny house:

 

Pro: Your housing expenses will be cheaper.

The average tiny home costs less than $30,000 to build. That includes the exterior and interior of the home. That is very cheap! That is much cheaper than the average home.

However, I do think you have to remember about where you are going to place this tiny home. Yes, you can buy land for cheap, but land can also be very expensive in other areas.

Your home will also be cheaper in that your utility bills will be cheaper. It’s much cheaper to heat or cool down a 200 square foot house than a 2,000 square foot house.

Repairs, maintenance and replacements will also most likely be much cheaper in a tiny home.

 

Con: I think it would be difficult with children and pets.

We don’t have children yet, but we would like to have them in the future. With all of the people I’ve seen and read about who live in tiny homes, I don’t think there’s been a single one who had children or pets.

I think it would just be very difficult with a family. People need their space… Or, maybe that’s just me?

However, I think if it were just one or two people living in a tiny home, then it would probably be much more doable. When we lived in our 400 square foot house (let’s keep in mind that we haven’t lived there in a very long time), it wasn’t completely bad. The size didn’t really bother us at all at the time. I think it really helped that there were multiple small rooms to escape too, and there was also a front and backyard and porch.

 

Pro: You’ll spend less money on material items.

I am a bit of a hoarder. Just ask Wes and he will probably want to cry just thinking about how much stuff I have.

My closet is jam packed to the ceiling with stuff, and then I also have things in the guest bedroom and in our basement.

Moving into a tiny home would probably be a lifesaver in that I would be forced to think about each purchase I make. Since there’s only so much room in a tiny home, you will buy fewer items.

 

Con: Having guests over won’t be comfortable.

I remember watching in the documentary when the main person being filmed had guests over.

He invited his family over to see the home he just built and it was extremely cramped. It was almost like everyone had to bend over in order for their to be room for everyone.

Now, I’ll be honest, I don’t throw raging parties or anything, but I would like the option of having people over when I can. This is especially true since we plan on moving to a new state and we would like people to visit us occasionally.

 

Living In A 200 Square Foot Tiny House - Could You Do It?Pro: You may be able to bring the tiny house when traveling.

Okay, this doesn’t apply to every single tiny house, but there are some that are small enough where you can actually travel with it.

You can bring your tiny home to where you want it to be, and you may even be able to do some road trips in it as well.

This makes the list of possible places to live pretty much endless.

 

Con: Not a lot of personal space.

This is no surprise. They are called tiny homes for a reason. According to the documentary, tiny homes are homes that are 200 square feet or less. That is extremely small.

That’s smaller than my bedroom, and my bedroom is not huge by any means.

Since I work from home 24/7 now, I would like to have more space since I’m at home more. I think I would get a little crazy if I was in the same exact room hour after hour, day after day.

 

Would you ever live in a tiny home? Why or why not? How small could you go?

How big is your home currently?

 

Also, if you live in a tiny home (less than 250 square feet preferably), I’d love to hear from you and possibly conduct an interview for this blog. Please send me an email if you are interested.

 

Images all via Flickr by Tammy Strobel

Reader Question: I Quit College In The Last Semester

Reader Question: I Quit College In The Last SemesterHello everyone! I have a new Reader Question to share. If you would like to ask a question, please send me an email. This reader needs help so please read the below:

 

Hi,

I’m in debt and I was wondering if you can shed some light on my situation. I’m confused about what I should do.

I went to law school and now owe six figures. I had a mental meltdown during the last semester before graduating and had to take a break. Since then I’ve been working at at non-legal job that pays very little but on the bright side doesn’t stress me out.

I’ve made a tiny dent on my debt and at the same time have been saving up to finish the degree. But after looking at the money I’ve saved up to go back and finish a degree that I may or may not use (according to the news and statistics employment in the legal industry is at an all time low); I’m torn between using that money to attack my debt or use it to finish law school.

I’m not expecting you to make the decision for me, but any advice to guide me towards my final decision would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

 

What would you recommend this person do?

Let us know in the comments below. All help is appreciated! Also, please be kind. Keep in mind that this is a person who is seeking help and advice.

Image via Flickr by Raymond Bryson

EDIT: The person who sent me this question replied, but it will probably get mixed in the jumble of the comments below. I have screenshot it here:

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 9.20.20 PM

A Spender and a Saver Relationship

A Spender and a Saver RelationshipAs most of you know, Wes and I have had combined finances, lived together, and owned a home together for quite some time. Because of this, we have always been very open with our finances and our spending habits.

Thing is, we are completely different when it comes to finances.

I am a crazy saver.

I’ve talked about this before in Confession: I Let Money Control My Life. I compulsively check our financial accounts, we have a large emergency fund, I always think about our financial goals before we spend money, and so on.

Wes on the other hand, is a spender.

He knows how to use money to have fun and enjoy life. He plans fun trips and fun ways to spend his money, and he doesn’t worry or wonder about every little purchase.

When in a spender and a saver relationship, below are different areas you may want to think about:

 

I think spenders and savers can make a great match.

I think me and Wes (financially) make a great match BECAUSE I am a saver and he is a spender. Some would say that a saver with a saver, or a spender with a spender is a better idea because there will be less conflict, but I just don’t agree with that.

Instead, we each are learning and growing from each other and together.

I have taught him that saving can be a good thing. We have financial goals and we keep each other in check so that we can reach them. He understands the importance of saving and how it can help us.

He has taught me that money can be enjoyed as well. If it weren’t for him, I would probably not be enjoying life at all because I would be agonizing about every little penny. While that may work for some, I believe that life is meant to be enjoyed. He helps me live life more!

 

Be open about your finances.

If you have opposite spending/saving habits, then I always think it’s best to be open and communicate about your finances. You might want to have routine money talks, discussions about “allowances,” and more.

In your talks, you might want to discuss why each of you are the way you are, how much debt the other has or has had in the past, and what your long-term goals are.

 

Don’t hide money.

Whether you are the saver or the spender in the relationship, some might try to hide money in their relationship. According to a survey done by CreditCards.com, around 7% of those they surveyed were hiding money from their significant other. Most of them either have a secret credit card or a secret savings account.

The saver might try to hide money so that the spender can’t spend it. They might lie about how much money is saved or how much money they currently have so that the other person has less “access” to spending the money.

The spender might try to hide money so that they can have more money to spend at a later time. They might rack up credit card debt on the side so that they can still spend money.

I think having a secret account can be devastating to a relationship. This is something you definitely do not want to do. How would you feel if you found out your significant other had hidden money or hidden debt?

I’m going to assume that would not be the greatest feeling…

 

Maybe having a separate account is what you need.

For some, having separate financial accounts may be what you need. I know of a few different couples who have separate finances and wouldn’t have it any other way.

This way each person is in charge of their own finances.

 

Are you the spender or the saver in your relationship?

What do you do to make it work?

 

P.S. Please come back tomorrow. I have a Reader Question going live tomorrow and this reader needs your help.