By: Brynn Burger
With so many people beginning to embrace the simple life and the idea of minimalism, tiny house living may be in for an even bigger boom in the coming years. When interviewed, current tiny home dwellers usually echo similar sentiments that surprise most listeners.
If you think tiny house living could be in your future, check out what folks who have been living the tiny life actually say when asked about living tiny.
Quality Over Quantity
When choosing to purchase something, think about the lifespan of the product. For example, while the jump from a $30 pair of jeans to a $80 pair of jeans may seem like a lot right now--it will save you money in the long haul because instead of buying a $30 pair of jeans twice a year for two years ($120), you can instead invest in an $80 pair of jeans and get the same amount of use--saving you $40. Andrew Odom of Tiny House r(e)volution calls this method, “Buy Once, Buy Quality.” Not only does it minimize your investment over the long term, it also allows you to stay minimal with your possessions.
This also goes for small investments. While a space heater may seem like a small investment when you are only heating 300 square feet, you still want to get the best use out of your money. Since our electricity is included in our land rent when parking our tiny house, we wanted one that was electric. In doing our research, we found heaters that ranged from $15-$300 and ended up purchasing one for $45. It has lasted us over a year and counting--and since we had budgeted for a $300 heater, we were able to reassign over $250 in savings.
Smaller or Sooner
The one thing nearly every tiny house dweller will agree on is that they wished they had downsized sooner. With the immense savings smaller living has to offer, it is a life with more abundant joy and adventure and less stress.
Many tiny housers also report having wished they would have built an even tinier tiny house. Believe it or not, some living in 200 square feet or less would actually prefer a shorter chassis.
Lessen the Power of Cash
One of the biggest pulls to tiny house living is the freedom from financial burdens. Tiny living is frugal living--and budgeting is so important. You always need a rainy day fund for when something breaks (because, oh, it will break!)
But stashing cash away on a limited--and sometimes sporadic--income is hard.
If you don’t budget because you don’t think you can’t stick to one--think again. I’ve found that it’s not so much about budgeting as it is being hyper-conscious where your money is going, and how it adds up. My husband and I revise our budget every month to track expenses, plan out payments, and to be certain we’re not overspending in certain categories.
One major tip that has helped us in this process is adding a line item in our budget for everything. While you think those $3 buys at the checkout are harmless--they do add up over time, so it’s better to build in these impulse purchases than convince yourselves they’re only one time things.
Revising your budget allows you to see how much this miscellaneous fund should carry. We always overplan each month and put what we don’t spend into that rainy day fund and we’ve found that many in the tiny house community do the same since many work remotely or travel for work income may be less consistent.