Living in a Tiny House to Save Big - Is it Worth It?

tiny white house
July 10, 2020

With the tiny house movement growing recently, more and more people are going tiny in order to save money. Learn about the Pros and Cons of living in a tiny home and if it would be right for you.

The tiny house movement has really exploded these last couple of years. Ever since HGTV debuted Tiny House Hunters, people have become much more open to the idea of tiny living.

Think of it. Many people work hard to get their mortgage paid down faster so they don’t have a mortgage at all. It can take 10, 20, or even 30 years to pay off a mortgage though. That’s a really long time. Do you want to spend most of your adult life paying off a mortgage?

Imagine a different scenario. Imagine paying only a tenth of what you normally would for a house. And then having no mortgage for the rest of your life starting right now.

Is it worth it? Learn more about the pros and cons of tiny house living and if it’s really worth all the rage.

Live a More Simplified Life

Living in a tiny home means having a simplified life, much simpler. Imagine living in 600 sq ft or less. My wife and I would definitely have to get rid of some things if we lived in such a tiny space.

Earlier this summer my wife and I bought a fixer-upper. We currently live in a 1500 sq ft house (including the basement). We really don’t go into the basement though (except to do laundry). So, in reality, we currently have a living space of 750 sq ft plus a laundry area. It’s not a ton of space but definitely enough for 2 adults and our doggo.

If we moved into a tiny house, we would need to get rid of probably half of our furniture. We definitely couldn’t take our kitchen table, but overall our life would be simpler. There would be fewer things to worry about and less stress overall. Less clutter means less to clean and less to worry about.

Get More Use from the Outdoors

If you lived in a tiny home, you probably wouldn’t want to be inside all day. You would have to give more time to being outdoors (unless you enjoy being in small, cozy places all day).

I love my backyard, but I definitely don’t use it every day. It’s a little hard in the winter to use it anyway since it’s freezing cold. Regardless, if we lived in a tiny home there would have to be more use of an outside space.

We would need to have our own makeshift patio area or a place for an outside fire pit. I would definitely want to live in a place with hiking or biking trails close by too. It would be more difficult to live somewhere with a colder climate year round, but it could still be manageable.

Tiny Homes are More Eco-Friendly

One big advantage of having a tiny home over a traditional house is the smaller environmental footprint it has. It doesn’t take as much material to build as a traditional house, it uses less energy to heat and cool, and often times solar panels are installed on the roof to offset energy costs.

Massive Savings

You’ve probably been waiting to hear about the savings of going tiny. The biggest pro in my book for having a tiny house is the amount of money you will be able to save if you choose this route. Imagine if your absolute biggest expense of living was eliminated.

According to CNBC, the median price for a house in the United States is currently $200,000. That’s a pretty penny.

On the other hand, the price of a tiny house hovers right around $30,000. And if you put in some sweat equity the cost of a tiny home would obviously be even less.

Saving over $170,000 can be pretty tempting. Not to mention the interest you will save from not having a 30-year mortgage on a house.

If you have a paid for a tiny home by the time you’re 30 years old, imagine the amount of money you could be socking away into your retirement accounts! Forget 15% into retirement funds. You could save 50% for retirement if you didn’t have a mortgage! You could easily retire by age 50 if you wanted and have a very comfortable lifestyle.

Now that we’ve discussed the pros of living in a tiny home, let’s have some real talk about the cons of living in a tiny space.

The Honeymoon Stage

I’m sure you’re familiar with the honeymoon stage. It’s the stage in marriage or dating where everything is perfect and nothing can go wrong.

Believe it or not, there’s also a honeymoon stage when it comes to tiny living. For the first 3-6 months, everything seems to be hunky dorey and the infatuation of living in such a small place hasn’t worn off yet.

After the 6 month mark is when true adjustment and realization really takes place. People realize just how different tiny living is from their previous lifestyle. Living tiny for the long-term isn’t for the faint of heart.

You Need to Get Used to Small Spaces

Are you ready to crouch at random times during the day?  Tiny homes are just that - tiny. You definitely won’t have the same headspace as a regular home.

If you haven’t noticed already, there never seems to be much of a changing room in tiny homes. The main bed is usually in a loft. I’ve never tried changing in a loft, but I assume it’s not the easiest place to change clothes.

Also, people with tiny homes almost always have “that one friend.

Do you have “that one Friend”?

After watching Tiny House Hunters, my wife and I often comment about “that one friend” who has land and is so generous to let people park their tiny house there. “That one friend” is the true hero of that tv show!

It’s actually difficult to find land to park a tiny home on. Many states and cities have rules against tiny homes. For example, in our town, you have to have at least an outhouse or a shed before you can have a tiny structure placed there to call your own.

If you don’t have friends or family who have some extra land you can park the home on, then you may need to face paying a monthly rent in a trailer park for your tiny home. That can add up rather quickly over the long run.

After reviewing all the pros and cons, I must honestly say that my wife and I are considering tiny living. We haven’t decided which style of tiny living we are leaning towards yet though. We are leaning more towards a renovated 5th wheel than an actual tiny home for several reasons.

The financial freedom it will give us, even if we only live in it for 2 years, is enormous. After doing the calculations, we would save upwards of $25,000 from living in a tiny place. We also have plans to use it as an AirBnB afterward but I’ll have to talk more about that later :)

In the end, the pros outweigh the cons for us. The verdict is different for other people though. What about you? What are your thoughts about going tiny?

Share in the comments below!