One of the many reasons Jon and I decided to live the tiny life was financial, just like so many other tiny house people. My perfect credit had been ruined by marriage to a credit card lovin’ spendaholic, divorce and a short sale, and his perfect credit had been ruined by marriage to a credit card lovin’ spendaholic, divorce and a foreclosure on a house that wouldn’t sell after he moved away. We could barely pay our bills, and we definitely weren’t able to save any additional money for retirement. We were throwing money away on rent in a neighborhood that wasn’t that great. I wouldn’t even send my kids to our neighborhood schools, so I was always stressed about where they would go. We only had $20,000 in a retirement account, and it wasn’t going to get any bigger at the rate we were going.
So we decided to cash out the retirement account to buy a tiny house! Why not, right? That $20,000 was only going to last us 4 or 5 months in retirement anyway. But if we started living tiny NOW, we could save so much more! We were scared to death, but we cashed it all out. Between the retirement fund, some cash and a large tax refund, we had enough money to buy the Bumbleshack.
Then we needed to find land to rent, which we did by creating an ad with photos of our family in front of the Bumbleshack and posting it here on our blog and on social media, particularly the Tiny House Listings Facebook page. Our ad was shared over 17,000 times! We received over 30 offers from farms and private land owners in and around Asheville, where Jon had just unexpectedly landed his dream job, starting at $100 up to $300 a month for rent. We picked the closest one to Jon’s work, 14 minutes away. Land procurement done. Time to move in!
We have been living tiny for about 6 months now. So how much money are we saving exactly??
|BIG house||Tiny house|
|Electric||250-350||75-120 (2 electric heaters, ugh)|
|Pest Control||30 (360 annually)||0|
That’s a difference of $1,650 per month or $19,800 per year. Hmmm, that just happens to be almost enough money to buy another smaller tiny house on wheels for Adelaide! She can live in it as a teenager, take it to college with her and start her life out right with low rent payments, no debt and no student loans.
Or better yet, that could be our land money! We would like to spend around $20,000 to $35,000 on our land, and this seems to be feasible in certain areas just outside Asheville. Imagine being able to save enough money to buy your dream property in just one year! Even better, imagine having two tiny houses and land to put them on without taking out a mortgage! After we buy our land, we can subtract that $300 monthly rent payment from that chart up there, and we are left with less than $300 a month in household expenses. Once we get solar panels, we can subtract the electric payment too. Then we are left with internet/cable as our only household expense. Wow. That makes me happy.
Wait, let’s take it even further. Over the next 20 years, we will save over $480,000 by living tiny.