Tiny Home

Tiny Home Adventures

Ever wonder what it would be like to live in a tiny home? What about a little house that is smaller than 300 sq feet?

I was curious about about the tiny home lifestyle, so I did some research online, which lead me to the small home subReddit. Wanting to learn more about the ins and outs, I reached out to two frequent posters on the forum to find out what the tiny trend was all about.

Life in a Tiny Home with Tim & L

Tim and L live in a tiny house. Tim is in the military and has hacked his finances to put himself on the road to financial independence. L has a journalism background and has created a side hustle in photography to gain more financial freedom. Tim and L believe God always has a plan.

They love traveling and exploring. They believe in experiences are invaluable, and things are dispensable. They feel that a little good can go a long way. Going tiny has helped them to invest in lives that reflect their values. You can read more about them at LifefortheBetter.com.

tiny homes
Home Sweet Home

My questions are in bold. 

How did you get involved in tiny homes?

We always talked about living in a tiny house because of our far from materialistic lifestyles. We aspire to live as minimalists, and this is undoubtedly a giant step toward that. We were on a trip to Atlanta and stayed at an Airbnb to try out a tiny home before we bought one. Getting a taste of “going tiny” helped us see if we would actually be able to live this lifestyle.

Can you tell us about your tiny home?

Our tiny home is 25’ long (30’ with the hitch) x 8.5’ wide x 13’ 6” tall. It’s 269 sq. Ft. The exterior of our home is Shou Sugi Ban siding. The interior is Raw Lodgepole Pine. It’s harder to haul than one might think! (Think driving 55 mph on the interstate with everyone driving 75 mph around you. Oh, and 8 miles to the gallon. 🙂 )

LifefortheBetter.com

Can you tell us a bit about your experience with a tiny home?

So far, our experience has been amazing. The minimalist lifestyle allows a person to appreciate their possessions truly. This experience has also allowed us to minimize expenses in our budget, and thus, travel more. We tend to be outdoors and enjoy what life has to offer because we do not want to be cooped up all the time. Living tiny has encouraged us to get practical and creative with our space and eliminate junk that was wasting space in our lives.

This experience has also given us new opportunities to grow as individuals and as a couple. We helped each other go through old clothes, pack up bins of stuff to donate, plan trips to Goodwill, and we got down to the bare bones of our possessions. There’s a lot of letting go involved. One of us had quite a bit more unnecessary junk that needed to be donated than the other. We’ll let you guess which one of us that was. 😉

What don’t people know about tiny homes?

I think people don’t know that tiny homes change your frame of mind. It isn’t just about the house itself but your lifestyle change. How will you cook food? How does that impact your grocery shopping when you have limited space? Your attitude toward life changes because you appreciate what you have. People often tend to take things for granted. Living has made us understand the small things in life.

 

tiny homes

How has living in a tiny home impacted your finances?

Our expenses have gone down. This allows us to save more towards retirement and to travel more. By cutting costs on our housing, we have gained more disposable income. One thing about RV parks most don’t know about in regards to finances is that our Wi-Fi is included, along with sewer, trash, electric, water and lot fee. All of these small bills add up in a standard living situation, but drawing back that extra couple hundred a month allows one to live freely.

How has it impacted your health?

I would say it’s improved our health, both mentally and physically mentally, because we treat life differently and embrace more profound gratitude for what we have. We’ve had discussions more about living in our relationship and what truly matters to us. This has helped our relationship grow stronger and more profound. Our physical health has increased because we have to be intentional with our meals. We have to plan our meals and grocery shopping deliberately. We buy only what we need and nothing more.

What advice do you have for people who want to get into a tiny home?

My advice to those wanting to go tiny is to try before you buy. Spend a night in an Airbnb and see if you could see yourself in one. Look at the different layouts that fit your lifestyle. For instance, do you want stairs leading to your bed, or a ladder? These little things add up over time and impact the versatility and efficiency of the tiny house.

Downsize your belongings and get creative with your space. That’s not to say you should get rid of everything, because there is a lot of space in a tiny home if you use multifunctional items like a couch that has storage underneath and pulls out into a bed.

Don’t let your disposable items control your life. You don’t need that much stuff to survive or to be happy. People make you happy, not things. 

tiny homes

Where can we reach you on social media and the internet? 

  1. Life For The Better
  2. Twitter
  3. Instagram
  4. Pinterest

Quite profound words, and thank you for sharing your tiny home with us! 

Tiny Home Living with the Canadian Hikers

Meet the Canadian Hikers who live in a small home in Canada. Read on to find out more about their life in a tiny house.

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Tiny Home

Please tell us about yourself.

We are the Canadian Hikers. My name is Nat, I’m 27, and I am a teacher. My husband’s name is Marc, he is 43, and he is a gymnastics coach / going to college to become a graphic designer. We have been married for four years, together for 9.

We have an Instagram account @canadianhikers with a few pictures of our tiny house. Our next project is converting a short school bus into an RV to travel across Canada!

How did you involved in tiny homes?

Marc and I have never really had any interested in having a big house. Since we’ve been together, we have only lived in one-bedroom apartments and one three-bedroom house for six months.

We’ve been big fans of the tiny house movement for years now. When I graduated from university, Marc and I took six months off of work and lived in our 21-foot trailer. We got married that same year. After the six months went by without any fights, that’s when we realized that tiny living was definitely for us.

Can you tell us about your tiny home?

Our tiny house is unique in that it is an actual house. Our house is over 70 years old and built on a foundation. We don’t know much about the history of the home, but it seems that it was initially a cottage or a guest house. Our tiny house measures 450 square feet. It’s a one-bedroom, one-bathroom house all on one level.

Since we bought our house, we changed the ugly pink carpeting and replaced it with some laminate flooring. We also created a barn board feature wall in our living room with a handmade industrial light. One of my favorite things about our house is that it’s built on a giant rock.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience with a tiny home?

This August will mark our first anniversary in our tiny house, and we could not be happier! With every passing day, we are more and more convinced that this will be our forever home.

Since we moved in, we completed a few renos to make the home a bit more efficient. We had a closet in our bedroom that we didn’t need because we downsized our clothes. Instead, we turned it into Marc’s office. Marc has always been a minimalist, so he doesn’t have much stuff. I’m a bit more nostalgic, so I tend to hang on to things that I don’t need. But now that we’ve been in small spaces for years, I’ve learned to find creative ways to keep those memories.

What don’t people know about tiny homes?

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I think that people don’t realize how little space they need. When we were renting the three-bedroom house, we only ever used our bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living room. We didn’t need those other bedrooms, and it just felt like a waste of space. Living in a tiny home also changes your mindset when it comes to stuff. You start asking yourself, “Do I really need this”?

How has living in a tiny home impacted your finances?

When we started shopping around for houses, we were pretty discouraged by the homes within our budget. At this point, we have pretty much given up on living in a tiny house because, in Ontario (Canada), small houses are not the norm. Most homes are at least 1,500 square feet, if not more.

Most of the houses we looked at were huge but very run-down and needed a lot of updates to make it livable. Then, out of the blue, we went to the open house and instantly fell in love. Our house ended up costing $145,000, which was right within our budget. Although the house is small, we have a beautiful double lot (132×132) which is exactly what we wanted.

By staying within our budget, we can live comfortably and have some extra money to travel and complete some cosmetic renovations on our house. We feel so much better paying a mortgage every month instead of rent because we know that our money is paying for our home.

Compared to the three-bedroom house that we were renting, we are paying about three times less for our utility bills which is pretty amazing.

How has it impacted your health?

We haven’t noticed any physical impacts on our health. However, emotionally and mentally, it feels incredible to have a place to call home finally.

What advice do you have for people who want to get into a tiny home?

  1. Practice first! Living tiny takes effort; especially if you’re not a minimalist. Take all of the things you currently have, put it in the space you plan on living in, and try to make it work. If you find yourself tripping over your stuff, you have too much stuff!
  2. Create flexible outfits. For me, the thing that took up the most room was my clothes. With the help of Pinterest, I created some capsule wardrobes for every season, which allowed me to get rid of most of my clothing.
  3. Find some creative solutions for storage. When we first moved in, Marc built some long term storage bins to store some seasonal things such as winter boots and coats, blankets, etc. Use the wasted space in your home and transform it into storage!

Thank you, Marc and Nat, for sharing your story! We look forward to hearing more about the convertible bus as well! Please keep us updated! 

About the Author

Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.

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