Around the first of this year I began taking a really hard look and my family's financial situation. We both work, yet we had no savings account and we had over 3 credit cards, all that were sitting with their max limit while we just paid the minimum payments each month without a second thought. What were we thinking? Well the truth is that for most of 2014 and 2015 I was in such a deep depression that we were thinking "just survive this and it'll be OK someday."
Well that day has come. The deep depression lifted, I still struggle with intense anxiety in big waves but I've learned to live with the feelings and have even managed to hold a job for the past 9 months. So here we are looking 'someday' in the face. Over $10K in credit card debt, I still owed my family $1.5K for helping with our wedding the previous year, I owed debt collectors for past due medical bills and I owed over $16K in student loan debt. Overall with my husbands past due accounts and my debt we owed a total of $37,438.46! And I had NO idea it had gotten that bad. I would put things on the credit card without really thinking that the balance is never fully paid off. So I gathered all the bills and me and my husband wrote out a monthly budget and we STUCK TO IT. I picked up night and weekend hours at work and in just a few months we had paid down $6,000 of credit card debt, paid my family back and managed to put $3,300 into savings!
Living within our means is working for us, we could easily continue living in the large rental house we have now and still pay off our debts fairly quickly, why go tiny? Tiny houses actually cost MORE per square foot than regular house. I want to go tiny for my families security. I may very well get depressed enough again that I can't hold a job, then will we be back to the credit cards? Will the $1,000 mortgage get paid if I'm out of work for a year? I love the idea of a tiny home that we can own outright in a very short time. They cost less to heat and cool, the utilities are less expensive in general. Tiny for me is security, it's the future without worrying about money constantly. It's more freedom to choose work that I want to do and not whatever pays the most. I like the idea of a smaller carbon footprint - but not at the expense of my flushing toilet. And I want to go tiny, but I still have a "Wish List" for amenities that I want it to have or that we could add without too much trouble.
The second reason I want to go tiny when looking for a home - MOBILITY! I do not intend to spend the rest of my life in Oklahoma. I was born here and I have only ever lived here (with a couple summers spent living in Lawrence, KS after high school and before grad school) but I want to experience other parts of the US. I have been to Florida with my husband twice and we both agree we could live there someday. With a tiny home, we really could check out Florida as an option in the near future!
So those are my top reasons for going tiny. My husband has his own list of reasons (#1 being To Please My Wife) but he is all about the financial aspect as well. I have started searching builders (found a helpful list of builders at smallhousesociety.net and I've browsed www.tinyhouselistings.com so I have a good start on what the options are. The biggest problem I see is that there are NO tiny house builders, renters, or owners in Oklahoma! How is my entire state missing out on this great movement? It concerns me greatly for when I start the step on "Where to Park My House".
More later! Thanks for reading 😉