About six months ago, I got a bug to buy a pool. I’m not sure why, but I think I may have seen a Facebook post from one of my friends (you know, one of those friends who is always bragging about all the stuff). Keeping up with the Joneses. I don’t even swim that much. We used to own a pool membership until we realized that we only went twice per season, so each trip cost us about $150. Now, we go to the lake. The lake isn’t chlorinated, but it is free.
Live Frugally: 5 Ways Living in a Smaller House is Better
My desire slowly burned out, mostly because I couldn’t find the house that I wanted. But I also realized that buying a larger house right now would not be a financially savvy move (pun intended).
I spoke to someone the other day, who related to me that she grew up in a 2 bedroom home. Her parents had five children — she had three sisters. Her brother got the other bedroom, and all four sisters shared a very small attic. Two sets of bunk beds. Enough room for one sister to change at a time.
Remember back to 2008, before the housing crash, when everyone bought mega houses? I see these houses, in equally large neighborhoods. The front of the houses are bare with no plants or decorations. Half of them are empty. I wonder what happened to these people, with all these empty houses.
But, really, we don’t need big houses unless we have big families, multiple families, or multiple generations living together. My “want” of a pool is different than my “need” — I “need” a place to sleep and eat. Living in a smaller house is better.
Smaller Houses Cost Less Money
Although buying a larger home can often mean less money per square footage, smaller houses in general cost less to buy because they are, well, smaller.
You can often buy a house in a better neighborhood, or with better features, if you buy smaller. For instance, if you want a waterfront property, buying an apartment is often cheaper (including condo fees) than buying a large house in a less desirable location. My husband and I often dream of owning a home on a beach. In order to make our dream a reality, we’re aiming towards buying a small, one or two bedroom condo instead.
Less Utilities and Resources
It only makes sense. Smaller houses cost less to run, whether that is in heating and cooling or real estate. But there is a hidden “cost” in larger houses: more and larger furniture. And some houses — such as upstairs apartments and condos situated between other houses — cost even less in utilities.
Along the same lines, you own less stuff with less room. This means two things. First, you buy less stuff. For example, when buying clothing, I am always mindful of what is already in my closet because closet space is a premium. I also find multiple uses for different objects, or buy multipurpose items. I own a rice cooker, which is also a slow cooker and a veggie steamer.
You Clean Less
This one happens to be my favorite because I hate to clean, but since I have less stuff, that means that I have less to clean. But, it also makes sense. Less clothing = less clothes to wash, dry, fold, and put away. Less stuff = less stuff to put away. And since it’s easier to keep your house cleaner, and takes less time to do your cleaning, then your house is cleaner more often.
You’re Closer to Your Neighbors
(But hopefully not too close.) I added another item to my list! My family lives in a condo community. We have four houses attached to each other with house-sets close together. Sometimes that leads to fights (especially about parking), but some of my closest friends are my neighbors. We have neighborhood parties and we regularly invite and get invited for dinner.