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Downsizing My American Dream

Photo by Scott Cotton

So we finally did it. We bought a "small" house...almost a tiny house. It's tiny compared to what we have been living in the past seven years, and there are limited closets, no storage, no attic or basement storage, and a detached single car garage.

Does that sound like the American Dream to you?

If it doesn't, let me tell you why it's mine.

We have one income and a large mortgage. This means we have less cash at the end of the month to have fun with. So that means we've been using our credit cards to buy things we really  want.  Our income covers the things we need like groceries, insurance, gas, clothes etc. If you boil it down, our lifestyle choices have brought us under, not built us up...we don't have money to retire on, no 401K, no pension.

We've been living in a big house, with a big yard, in a nice upscale neighborhood and enjoying it. Although, hanging over our heads has always been the fact that we can't afford to take care of the big house properly, and we are always worried it will fall into disrepair and then we wouldn't be able to sell it.

You have heard and seen how the tiny house movement is surging...well, I don't want to live in a real tiny house...I would lose my mind in 200 square feet.... But that lifestyle is appealing because you can get out of debt and find yourself.

Then, after going on a trip and traveling light (one suitcase for two weeks), I came home to this huge mountain of laundry, and a huge house to clean, and it struck me that I didn't like how I was living. I was feeling cluttered and uncreative, stressed about bills, and considering going back to work.

As a stay at home mom of three daughters, a homeschooler, a crafter, a home decorator, a chef, a go-fer and many other hat wearer, it was pretty daunting considering giving away my time again to the Man. So I started hatching a dream. Then I told my husband about it.

Living smaller in a big world

My kids love their separate bedrooms and all their toys, and they love running through the house screaming and dancing. So why would I want to give that up and be free?

I want my darling kiddos to learn more than consumerism and the want of more and bigger and better. I want them to have a more experiential life, the one I dreamed of giving them before they were born.

I love having an entire room dedicated to my craft/business. I love my newly remodeled kitchen and bathrooms...

I don't love my 80+ year old neighbors who don't like kids running on their lawns. I don't love rules and regs of how it's all supposed to be done. I guess I'm a rebel. Well, yeah.

It's a funny story, but two years ago I drove by this adorable "english" looking cottage and even toured the inside. So small!!! I thought.  Then it came up for sale and I told my husband lets sell this house!!! I didn't think much more about the cottage because of the lack of space. But then I kept imagining the green space and how close to the park it was, and how low the price would cut our current mortgage in HALF!!!

Okay, so you want to hear the rest of the story? Stay tuned.

I'm going to spill the beans on how much money we have now.

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