Ways to Save Money

Tiny House, Big Savings: Why This Guy Lives in a 200-Square-Foot House

May 26, 2015
by Kelly Gurnett
Contributor

Our homes are often one of the biggest items on our budgets. Mortgage or rent payments and utilities can take a big chunk out of your take-home pay — one of the many reasons so many millennials find themselves crashing back home with mom and dad.

But recent grads aren’t the only ones feeling the housing pinch; plenty of us are stuck in jobs we don’t love simply so we can afford to keep a roof over our heads.

But what if that roof was tiny? It might open you up to freedom you never thought possible.

That’s what Ethan Waldman realized when he decided to give up his corporate job — and his normal-sized home — and join the tiny house movement so he could work for himself.

Tiny House, Big Savings

Most tiny house owners are into minimalism, simplicity and green living. But for Ethan, building a 200-square-foot home was a strategy for cutting his regular expenses so he could ditch the cubicle life and strike out on his own.

It took him two years to save up the money and build his new place (which cost $42,000 in supplies and labor), but he’s already reaping the rewards. Instead of $750 per month in rent, he’s paying nothing as he owns his home outright and he lives on a piece of his cousin’s property rather than owning his own land. Instead of $250 a month in utilities, he pays no more than $150 a month in the winter and “just a few bucks” in the summertime.

Lower bills freed up Ethan to start his own tech coaching business, which he can work on in his own time. He has the flexibility (and extra income) to travel, ski and even build up his financial security by boosting his emergency savings fund and contributing more towards retirement.

Are there some drawbacks to living in 200 square feet of space? Of course. But for Ethan, they’re far outnumbered by the positive changes. “I can confidently say that downsizing my life in this way was worth it,” he told LearnVest.

To learn more about how Ethan made his tiny house a reality, read the full story here.

Your Turn: Would you ever consider living in a tiny house? Why or why not?

Kelly Gurnett is a freelance blogger, writer and editor who runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do. Follow her on Twitter @CordeliaCallsIt.

by Kelly Gurnett
Contributor for The Penny Hoarder

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