Home ownership is never easy. It’s supposed to be the goal, but it comes with a lot of strings attached.
Electric bills, lawn maintenance, general utility maintenance…not to mention the day to day upkeep of your home, from dishes to vacuuming to watering the plants.
Sometimes, it’s easy to get fed up with it all just because of the constant hassle. Other times, the cost of living gets to be too much.
Is there such a thing as a home that is a happy place?
Turns out there is, though you may be surprised by the sort of home it is.
Everyone wants a place where they feel comfortable. Somewhere that feels comforting at the end of a long day, where everything is just the way you like it.
Does your home fit that description?
If you say no, it may be for a lot of reasons.
Maybe it’s because you keep your air conditioning just a few degrees higher than you like it in a vain attempt to control your astronomical electric bill.
Maybe it’s because your space feels cluttered.
Maybe it’s because the only place you can go to is your home, because it’s sucking you dry and making travel beyond your daily commute impossible.
Whatever makes your home less than perfect, there is an easy solution. You can cut out the stress of home ownership, increase your savings each month, and finally afford the lifestyle you want—if you follow my advice.
The answer to a luxurious lifestyle?
Now, before you cut and run, here me out.
We are taught to think bigger = better. But why is that?
Bigger for what purpose?
Bigger = higher utility bills thanks to watering a bigger lawn, lighting more rooms, and cooling more square feet.
Bigger = more space to accumulate clutter.
Bigger = more space to clean.
Bigger = more things to maintain.
In a nutshell, bigger = more expensive and more time consuming.
So why do we assume bigger is so great?
On average, your utility bill increases about $15 for every 500 square feet you add. In a 4,000 square foot house, your utility bill average probably hovers around $250 each month.
But if you live in a 3,000 square foot home, that number drops as low as $135 per month. If you’re willing to go down to 1,500 square feet, you cut another $35 off and pay only $100 a month.
By downsizing, you can save as much as $1,800 a year on electricity alone.
Not to mention the amount you save on rent or mortgage. Imagine how much you can cut off your monthly payments by cutting your square footage in half. That would cut your housing expenses in half too!
Now, obviously there is a balance you have to reach. You can’t cram a family of 4 into a 1,500 square foot house without more than a little bit of chaos.
But if you’re single, or even have a partner, 1,500 square feet is more than enough to support a comfortable lifestyle.
Plus, downsizing your square footage forces you to downsize your clutter, AND it saves you time and effort on home upkeep and general cleaning stressors.
You can even make money from downsizing by selling unnecessary possessions!
Let’s be clear—I’m not suggesting you renounce all worldly belongings and live in seclusion for the rest of your days. But there is something to be said for the relief of letting go of excess material belongings.
In fact, according to an ongoing study by the American Psychological Association, American wellbeing has been steadily declining since the 1950s, while consumption has increased.
We have become increasingly materialistic, and that materialism has correlated with a rise in mental illness and general dissatisfaction.
But if you sell all those disused books and old furniture that you’ve been hoarding on eBay or Amazon, I can assure you it will lighten your mood and relieve some of the pressure of home ownership.
Downsizers can make as much as $200 just from selling old books and movies online!
Or, if you don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of listing things for sale online, you can always have a good old garage sale.
When I moved out of my current home and into a smaller one (downsizing from 3,000 square feet to 1,000) I had a yard sale and made over $650 in a single day, just off of disused clothes, an old desk, a pair of armchairs, and some other clutter (picture frames, an extra comforter that I kept for no real reason, etc.).
You could do the same and give yourself some extra spending money right off the bat to start your new luxurious lifestyle.
Because that is exactly what downsizing means.
They say time is money, and they mean it. By downsizing, you are forced to get rid of excess belongings, which means less things that you are responsible for taking care of.
Downsizing means you have less space to keep clean, and it means less stress over utility and mortgage bills every month.
And that means more time and money for YOU.
With the extra hundreds—or even thousands—that downsizing can put in your pocket every month, you can finally take the trips you’ve always dreamed of.
You can afford to go to a nice dinner at the restaurant that was always just out of your price range. You can fund a new hobby and afford all the other things that you always stop and think, “I want to, but it’s just so expensive.”
By downsizing, you free yourself and your wallet to do all the things you’ve always wanted.
Don’t fall into the real estate trap of bigger = better. In reality, you want a space that’s just right, and allows you the freedom to be fulfilled whenever you do leave the house.