Save Money: Live In A Tiny House

Save Money: Live In A Tiny House

One of the best ways to save money is to live in a tiny house. Or, at least live in a much smaller house than the ridiculous monsters being constructed these days for two or three people!

We currently live in a two-story house which square footage is around 2159 square feet. It has three living areas, three bedrooms, two-and-one-half baths and two air conditioning/heating units.

In other words, too big for three people.

The entire house runs on electricity, including the conventional water heater, plus requires regular watering of the foundation in the dry, hot summer because we are in Texas, home of the clay gumbo soil.

Did I mention it is an energy guzzler, having hardly any insulation with a twenty-foot energy-wasting ceiling in the living room?

Since moving in a little over five years ago, we have spent at least $30,000 in repairs, including $6,000 on a new fence that was knocked over in a wind storm. (Which was dumb. We could have had our handyman build a less-sturdy fence for about $1,000, and insurance would have covered it.)

While a tiny house – ranging from around 300 to 600 square feet – would be right up my alley if I were single, even the greenest of the green in me has to agree with my hubby: it would be too small for the three of us.

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But we both want a smaller, one-story house so energy-efficient that we could be very comfortable with two or three A/C window units and a couple of space heaters or rocket mass heater.

A small home design is what we want, and recently, Jerry provided just that. While he’s not an architect, he is an artist and came up with something we could both get excited about.

It has a Great Room on the south and east sides of the house, and two bedrooms on the west side. The bathroom (yes, just one) is in the northeast corner of the house. A ladder from the Great Room (with pantry storage underneath) takes you up into a two- to three-hundred square foot loft, which would be used as the home office, play space for our son and extra storage.

Save Money: Live In A Tiny House

The total square footage comes out to be between 1,000 and 1100.

The only suggestion I made for improvement on this small house design was to add an extra bedroom for any overnight guests we may have – although we could always let Benjamin sleep in our room and give his room to the guests for the duration.

Advantages of a smaller home

While no house is without need for occasional repair and maintenance, the smaller the house, the less of either that is required. When you live in a small house, you:

  • can pay off the mortgage more quickly (if you need one at all);
  • save money on heating and cooling;
  • save money on lighting;
  • have less roof to replace when the time comes, lowering the overall cost of the house’s upkeep;
  • have fewer potential plumbing problems;
  • have a lot less cleaning to do;
  • and, if you live in a place where the soil is hard clay, have less foundation to water and therefore save money on your water bill (assuming you’re hooked up to city water, which we plan not to be).
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Is a tiny house for you? Maybe not, but I urge you to look into small home design the next time you move or build. You will end up with more money in your pocket, and probably a lot less stress.