I can't quite claim that I joined the tiny house movement when it was all the rage a few years back, but my husband and I are proud owners of a very small house for economic reasons.
For context: our 92 square metre house is on a 110-square metre section with no grass, and cost a little under $400k. We saved for five years for a deposit. In this ridiculous market where renters are being fleeced, mortgage payments are now significantly smaller than we were paying to rent in central Wellington.
However, you can mosey over to the property section of this website if you want to learn more about that. Today I want to tell you all the other ways small house living is saving us money.
You can't buy fast fashion
Nestled into that 92 square metres is only one single wardrobe. I'm not kidding, that's the only storage in this entire little cottage. This means fast fashion can have absolutely no place in my life because there literally isn't space for it. I can't comprehend going to Zara or H&M and buying a $40 jacket I would wear five times. It's simply not worth the closet real estate. Anything clothing-wise we buy has to be quality so it can go the distance.
In order to fit it, it has to physically replace something old on a hanger that no longer can be used. The result? You just don't buy new stuff.
Or new furniture
I was stoked to be able to fit two sofas, a dining table, a king bed, a desk, two slimline bookshelves, and a couple of small occasional tables in our wee house. That's it for floor space, though. We have maxed out now.
Weekend trips to Freedom would be useless. There is not a square metre left in a small house to go shopping for new homewares or furniture. What we've got is what we've got. This is in part why the news that Ikea will finally open in New Zealand fell on my deaf ears. I've bought all the furniture I could ever need or have space for already.
One heat source rules them all
I consider it a real blessing being in a small house with no hallways or other through ways that suck up all your heat (and money). Every room is linked directly to the living room by a doorway, meaning only one heat source (for us it's a fire, though we are considering a heat pump) will heat the whole abode.
Find yourself running several heaters at a time to heat different areas? A tiny place means you can invest all your cash in one main heating solution then reap the benefits in both comfort and future savings.
You can deal exclusively in cash
Speaking of cash, that's something we use exclusively in a small home. Less square meterage inside and out means doing any kind of maintenance or improvements is cheap.
My husband and I have an exclusive "no debts" rule going forward so if anything needs doing to or for the house (say a new bathroom, which we would love this year), we have to save up for it in cold hard cash. There will be no loans, no bumping up the mortgage, no penalties for late payments and no interest paid.
Less cleaning and home admin means we can do better at work
This tip is less "money saving" and more "money earning". Cleaning and administering a very small house is a cinch. It's a 10-minute job a day, seven days a week, to keep it pretty sparkling (and we have dogs, but not kids). This has given my husband and me the freedom to work longer hours – I've recently found time to take up a second job, while he can focus on getting a promotion sooner through increased output.
In a previous life, we had to dedicate nights and weekends to floor scrubbing and lawn mowing. Frankly, I'd rather be working at my desk for an extra hour (and making some cash) than spending the same amount of time pushing a vacuum around a vast house for free.