I am currently rereading a book called You Can Buy Happiness (and it’s cheap) by Tammy Strobel.
The author and her husband slowly come to the realization that the more stuff they have, the less happy they become. They are in debt, overweight and stuck in a life they don’t really want.
After years of slowly down-sizing (or up-sizing as some happiness and simplicity writers call it) their lives; they take a leap and build a tiny home. How tiny is tiny? They build a 124 square foot home on wheels. It has everything they need: a kitchen, a reading/dining nook, bathroom and a bedroom loft. There is a company called Tumbleweed Tiny House [Company] operating in Colorado Springs that specializes in these alternative dwellings and seems to be at the forefront of the tiny house movement. The clients are those who are down-sizing due to retirement or change in lifestyle and attitude. These compact homes are also used as cottages or guest houses. They can be built on-wheels for portability for the smaller models or on a permanent foundation for the larger ones.
The Bodega Model – 261 or 356 sq ft floor plans available
B-53 Model – 2 or 3 bedroom available at 777 or 884 sq ft
My major take away – the more stuff that you have, the more you have to work to pay for it. The stuff owns you in the end. The book made me question if being a single income family and a dual-car household is really necessary? We do live in the suburbs as well as in the cold, Canadian climate but these are questions worth asking yourself and your family. Do we really NEED the stuff that we have or aspire to work toward having? What is that new car costing you? How many hours a month are you working to drive the car that you drive? Is it worth it?
Have you tried to downsize your life? If so, what ways have you reduced your consumerism? Downsizing isn’t only for those ready to retire – what if those of us currently raising our families started to downsize before we even up-size? Downsize your expectations. Downsize your expenses. Downsize your cars and houses; the two largest expenditures in most families. You may be surprised at the results.