Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lowering Rent & Mortgage Payments

We've been 'living small' in less than 300 square feet for over a year and half now. 

I've lived on both ends of the housing market. I've paid high rent & mortgage payments in order to have a larger home and we've lived in older & smaller homes in order to save money. And of course we're living rent free right now.

Our 300 sq. ft. home (bedroom not shown).

Downsizing as radically as we have will not be something that appeals to everyone. Frankly, I can't imagine that we would be living this life if my husband had not become disabled. We did talk about it a lot because of the amount of hours it took to maintain our previous home and questioned if it was the best use of our time and money from an eternal perspective but we just couldn't quite let our hands relax from the grasp of what we owned.  But, now that we're providentially here it seems so natural and so easy and I wonder why we didn't do it sooner.  I guess we've adjusted just fine because my little home actually feels 'spacious'.

  Let's face it. The economy has not snapped back as everyone had hoped. I have several personal friends who's husbands will be losing their jobs and the nightly news has shown thousands out of a home due to flooding back east. Thinking 'outside the American Dream house' could be your ace in the hole if a similar situation comes your way.  Downsizing could be a viable option to an easier life financially or help you fulfill your dreams of being a stay at home mom or ministry.

"Tiny Homes", a new housing alternative!

If you stop to think about it.. the basic function of a home is to protect one from the elements. That goal can be reached in many different ways.  Throughout history people have lived in huts, teepees, tents made from animal hides, homes of all sizes and made from all kinds of material to alternative housing such as boats and RV's. During the depression families even moved in together and that is happening again in our generation due to the burst of the housing bubble and loss of jobs. Also, housing can be obtained in exchange for employment which is what we are currently doing.

Sewer pipes remodeled into hotel rooms in the Dutch town of Vriescheloo.

Exposing my thinking to alternative ways of housing throughout the years has helped me with our transition into 'living small'. I read missionary stories first to my children when they were living at home and I continue that practice for myself to this day. It helps remind me that the majority of the world does not live in homes over 2,000 square feet or even 1,000 sq. ft. ( I've read that before 1970 the average size family home was 1,000 square feet or less. )

Currently I've been spending some time reading about families who live full-time in their RV's. I've been scanning over my belongings to see what I could live without if we chose that option in the future. I know we could do it and thrive (by God's grace!).

I'm sure of it!  (Big Smile)

Does living with less appeal to you?


  1. That is exactly what we are in the process of doing. We are moving out of this house and letting the kids take over the payments and moving into an RV.( Our house payment is very low compared to most) We chose to do this not only to save money but to free ourselves to do some of the things we enjoy doing. We will be moving into a campground with nice amenities and will be at the NC coast. This 38 foot 5th wheel is huge by RV standards. The camper is paid for now and we only have the lot rent,light,phone and gas bill. It is quite a challenge and I see us getting rid of so much more as we go.

  2. We are in the same situation. We sold our 1500 sq. ft. home and recently bought a 842 mobile home with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. We want to play a bit and we want to help orphans that live in such squalor. We are excited to begin this journey. We'd live in a RV in a heartbeat if our weather in Canada was condusive to doing so. At some point, we probably will. So many think we are crazy to be doing what we are doing. Me, C & B don't. We are so looking forward to simply living to simply give. We are selling almost everything and when we leave here in two weeks will be down to only the boxes that can fit in our van. Once we settle into our new place, it will be sparse with little furniture. Great fun in my books. Hugs

  3. We lived in our 28ft 5th wheel for a few months. If forced to I think I could do it but it's not something I think I'd choose to do.

    Our son and his wife have 4 children, ages 2 1/2 to 10 1/2.) They also have 3 smaller dogs. Their home is an older one and is around 900 square feet. It seems to work for them right now but they do want to get a little larger home in the next few years if possible.

  4. My husband and I have lived in a three story victorian home and later lived in a 320 square foot park model mobile home. I much preferred the small mobile home. I like the cosiness and simplicity of small spaces. I'm hoping we can sell our current home and move to either a small motor home or a tiny home in the mountains.

  5. Such food for thought. I'm so glad I found you blog. Blessings from..............Denise

  6. When we first got married, we lived in a 15 room victorian home. We have move many times with hubby's job and each time we moved into a smaller house. We now live in a 980 sq ft. home in Syr. It was great for the 2 of us but now that we brought my 87 yr old uncle to live with us, it is tight with only one bedroom.

  7. Big houses and money don't make for happiness....that's for sure. Even though David has Alzheimer's ,and life is very uncertain most of the time, having less is comforting to me...
    I love your blog and your attitude !

  8. So nice to see your post, I have missed your posting!

    Yes, yes, and yes! If I could downsize to an RV or a tiny home, I would do it. I'm hoping it might happen someday. Having health issues for many years, it's not appealing to struggle keeping up my home. I find it's getting harder to do so. We live in around 800-900 sq. feet and often I feel it's still too much!

    I enjoy having less compared to most folks who want more and more. I've never wanted the big house, or the big yard, or the big life.

    Nope, you are not alone in your thinking, and I think it's great what you have accomplished.

    I often wonder if many people who have lost their jobs would struggle a bit less if they would be willing to simplify their lives a bit more? I think that could help a lot of people, but not everyone is open to it.


  9. I think about this a lot and appreciate your perspective. It reminds me of what Paul said in Phil. 4 :"I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." It is getting harder to keep up with our house, but right now we need the size for a home office, a son living with us, and a place to have friends over as we do that a lot, including large family gatherings. I know this won't last forever though. We just visited friends this weekend who are living in 800 SF. We slept in their BR and they went over to their son's house to sleep. They love the simplicity of their home though.

  10. Thanks for visiting my place:)

    We have never had much financially, but really had to cut back years ago after a failed business. I made us really focus on what is important.

  11. These times aren't nec. fun, but they do wonderful work in our mindset. We live on a five acre plot with buildings........it's alot of work. I would be much more ready to down size than my husband. Luckily he's willing to pick up on the outdoor work.....I'll still have the garden. For right now, I've been so much enjoying caregiving and grandmothering! Trying to live with less is a great way to have time for more.......

  12. We still own our big house but the kids live in it, not us. I would love to let it go--but they really need the help to get through school and none of them make much money--so it is serving a good purpose.Hubby & I are in the little cabin and I love the smallness. I am semi-disabled I guess, that seems the best way to put it. I work at home on my etsy shop because I can do it without much hard work and it leaves room for resting. I LOVE, as I said the small house. When I am here, visiting my kids at the big house it exhausts me just to look at it! I wonder what will happen in the future. This house is paid for and was supposed to be for our retirement but I am thinking it would be too much for me. I guess its not up to us, who knows what the future brings. Meanwhile we rent a very small place because it is in a good location for Hubby's work commute. We will probably move soon again--I hope we stay in a small place but I would like just a little space for my art supplies and work space--I have a bench on the deck for cutting and sanding but all the rest I do in the house. We are just a little short of space.

  13. Does living with less appeal to me? How much less are we talking about here? Ha! Yes, it appeals to me--if I could just get the Husband to let go of more items... just like Pokeberry Mary said, looking at a large home just exhausts me also. I know I would like less in my house, I keep trying, and we recently donated a lot of items to a fund raiser, wow, that felt good! Today I put a vanity up for sale--hope to get rid of that. Why is it so hard to get rid of possessions! Oh, the hold they have on me! But when I read your blog, I'm inspired to get rid of more... here I go! We are planning on downsizing--at least in yard work if nothing else! Like you, we are thinking of the eternal perspective--is this the best use of our time, slaving over the yard? Like my husband said, we could just let things go, but we're not that sort of people. We like our place to look nice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as they do inspire me.

  14. Love it! My husband and I are in the process of designing our "forever" home. We just sold our 2000 sq ft house and moved our family of 6 into a smaller rental home we own - it's about 1700 - while we build. Downsizing has challenged us to rethink what size home we really need! While we do have 4 children, the time they live with us is relatively short compared to how long we intend to live in the house. Neither of us wants a McMansion - but we do want a comfortable home. Balances... :-)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog Simplify, Live, Love. It really is possible to feed my family on less than I ever thought it would be! $250 a month seems to be do the trick...though I am closely watching grocery store prices and will adjust if if need be to keep us healthy.

  15. We currently have 2 young men in our shed. :) I kid you not. One is going into the navy in July, the other is going to college in the fall. Both are working and contributing to the household. Our own grown kids and one baby are living in the 'big house', and the shed kids get to use kitchen/shower and laundry in the house.

    It works out. Nobody is deprived or going without or in danger. Life has its 'spins'. When we married we lived in our pick up truck for a short time, one of our shed-tenants lived in his car in the walmart parking lot for a time.

    Times being what they are, its not that odd anymore and around our part of the country there are many small dwellings in backyards.

  16. Hmm. Most Americans now are thinking of selling their house and just living in an RV. Its probably because of the recession that still burdens us. It's not a bad idea, though to live in a RV. But the adjustments that a family should do can be enormous. Compared to a house, it can save you money because home maintenance needs lots of money, while RV's doesn't require that much. But it will always be your choice where to live. Being comfortable should be taken notice, too. :)

  17. Some of the people's experiences here with smaller mobile homes seem to be a great ideas. They seem to be having a much better experience in a small and cozy home. Not to mention they have control over what they see.

  18. After watching (on television) small homes for sale in Paris, Tokyo and other places, I think your 300 sq. ft. is a generous space. I know you also know of much smaller homes, albeit for 1 person, in places like NYC. It's great to have space but as others have noted, it is a lot of work. Also, we tend to accumulate things we do not need and the costs that go with it. I love the apostle Paul's words when he said he had learned to be content whether he had lttle, or whether he had much. Kudos to you for thriving on less :-)

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