The Economics Of Living In A Tiny House - Part 1

This is the interior of my little house before  did anything to it. As you can see it is completely unpainted and was being used as a storage space by the owners. I painted the walls, cabinets and ceiling, installed light fixtures.
This is the interior of my little house before did anything to it. As you can see it is completely unpainted and was being used as a storage space by the owners. I painted the walls, cabinets and ceiling, installed light fixtures.
This is my little house as I first saw it parked in the owners yard. I will be posting pictures of how it looked after I fixed it up as soon as I can retrieve those pics off of my old hard drive.
This is my little house as I first saw it parked in the owners yard. I will be posting pictures of how it looked after I fixed it up as soon as I can retrieve those pics off of my old hard drive.


One of the best things about living a simple life in a tiny house is the budget. These days, everyone is trying to save money, trying to cut down on their expenses and downsizing is becoming a way of life for many. But a tiny house and simple life is something I always wanted to do, so I was excited to give it a try in my first tiny house.

One of the biggest advantages about a tiny house is the lack of mortgage. Often tiny houses are so inexpensive that they can be bought outright so that there is no huge monthly note hanging over your head for 30 years. Rural property where I live is also cheap, so there is no large monthly note on land either.

My first tiny house, which I still have and use as a guesthouse, play house, craft studio and spare closet for off season clothes, is an 8x24 wood frame house. It was originally built as a camp by a local family, who needed a small camp on wheels that could be moved when the water rose every year. Eventually, I ended up with it and it cost me $1000 which the owner allowed me to pay off @ $100 a month till it was paid off. It is well constructed and has a small bathroom with a shower, cute little kitchen with spacious cabinets with an 8 ft. bookshelf above them. It had a full size fridge and a large kitchen sink. It was perfect for me.

I spent a few hundred dollars painting it and fixing it up. It needed to be insulated and it also needed the wiring run for electricity .I had a platform built for my bed which was high enough to store 8 large plastic totes under. This was a great way to get a lot of storage space in my small house as there is no closet. I spent about $500 dollars fixing up my house so for a total of $1500 I had a cozy little space to live it. It still needed cosmetic touches but those could wait.

Here is a breakdown of my cost for living in my first little house on rented land:

Monthly payment on house - $100 (which was paid off a few months later)

Monthly rent for the land - $60

Electric Bill - $50 average

Water Bill - $30 (I used less that $30 worth of water but $30 was minimum monthly charge)

So my living expenses were about $250 plus expenses such as my phone, food, gas and insurance for my vehicle, which added about another $250. That means that my budget for necessities was about $500 a month, which would drop to $400 a month when I paid off the little house after a few months. That's amazing when you consider that you can't even get an apartment for less than $500 in the city.

Since I was concentrating on keeping my expenses low, I opted not to have internet or cable. I used an antenna for local stations and borrowed movies from the library. Our library has a special service where you can order almost anything that any library in our state has so I got lots of DVD complete season sets of my favorite TV shows. I also used the library when I needed to use the internet.

Since I didn't have cable or internet in my house, I found other ways to occupy my time. My small house had a total of 7 windows which meant I needed a lot of curtains for such a small space. Curtains can often cost $20 or more per window and I just couldn't see spending $150 to buy curtains when I owned a sewing machine. Fabric can also be expensive so I decided to but twin size plat sheets that matched the sheets on my bed and made curtains for $3 each. I made 7 curtains for less than $25 dollars total. I was proud of myself for that! I also spent my time making creative ways to store things.

So that is the story of my first tiny house and how much it cost me to live in it. But there came a time when it was time to give up my tiny house and move onto the next chapter of life in the next little house. But that is another story.......

Note: I will be adding more picture of my house as it looked when it was fixed up.They are currently on an old hard drive. These pictures are simply how it looked on the day I bought it.



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Comments 8 comments

Thundermama profile image

Thundermama 4 years ago from Canada

Loved this hub. I too am interested in simple living and tiny houses, but have yet to take the plunge. I really appreciate how you broke down your costs. Can't wait to read your next hub about tiny living.


Joesy Shmoesy profile image

Joesy Shmoesy 4 years ago from New England

This is so interesting to me. I think I would like it a lot. Do you have any pictures??


niccicoco80 profile image

niccicoco80 4 years ago

AGREED! We started out in a mobile home and eventually when that loan was paid off we sold it for a down payment on our house.


MichelleRobert profile image

MichelleRobert 4 years ago from Southern Bayou Author

Thanks Thundermama! Part 2 will be about my fiancé and I living in a little house that he bought and moved to our property. I have great pictures of him hauling our new little house to our property with a trailer. I will be posting those soon along with the story on how we got a 600 sq ft house (20x30 ft) for less than $5000 because we moved it ourselves.


MichelleRobert profile image

MichelleRobert 4 years ago from Southern Bayou Author

Thanks Joesy, I will be posting pictures soon. I love living this way. It gives me so much freedom and spare time to do as I please. I can't say enough how much this has lowered my stress level and allowed me to pursue the things that I want to do rather than putting them off till I retire.


MichelleRobert profile image

MichelleRobert 4 years ago from Southern Bayou Author

Niccicoco, that was a smart thing to do. Too many couples start off in huge debt trying to get their big dream house rather than starting small and affordable and working their way up.

The essence of a happy home is not that it is huge and fancy, but rather that the people living in it are happy and appreciate what they have.


Janis Goad profile image

Janis Goad 4 years ago

Living in a small house is great discipline, too--with less room to store stuff, there is less temptation to buy it, so you save money that way. You also save time, since there is less time needed to clean, repair and take care of stuff, so more time for doing what interests you.

The one downside I can see of a small house is if you have children, for they need space. If you live in a warm climate, they can go outside a lot, but in cold, dark winters that is less of a good option.


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

I have the utmost respect for you, Michelle. What a brilliant strategy to get yourself started. I'm off to look for episode two. :)

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