Live a little life, save a lot

A smaller footprint can make for a bigger bank account

Sometimes bigger isn’t always better and that can include the scale of your life. This is true for me personally as my husband and just downsized from a three bedroom, two bathroom ranch to a two bed, one bath bungalow (it’s super cute BTW).

By society’s standards the location is less desirable and the size is worth snubbing—but who cares? For us it’s an improvement. For one—the character has me smiling ear to ear. From archways to 1900’s glass doorknobs and a large Jack and Jill bathroom—this property has everything we’ve ever wanted.

So, while it might be small to some, it’s a castle to us… and I can see our quality of life improving before my eyes.

Why cost counts

So already… just a few weeks in—our move is saving us big. We’re saving around $450 a month between our reduced mortgage and property tax savings. That makes for a minimum savings of $5,400 a year. Which is pretty nice, right? What’s even more promising is that much more savings could be realized if I calculated and included our utility costs etc. in the mix.

By taking a simple step back and giving ourselves a reality check on what we were working so hard for, we made the decision to cut our living expenses and downsize.

Home budgeting

Photo of a young couple calculating home finances

Now our mortgage payoff balance is $38,600 less than what it was and the stress in our lives isn’t nearly as troubling. Our new mortgage payoff balance is much smaller and therefore the interest we’ll pay over the life of the loan will be smaller as well. We now have the ability to attack the mortgage more aggressively which is exciting to us.

Plus, there’s peace of mine. There’s no longer a place for financial worry over potential job loss, pregnancy or more. We now have room in our budget to travel, buy new tires for our cars and attack our principal mortgage balance as there’s more wiggle room than there ever used to be. We’ve got things even more under control.

In comes the criticism

While the move has been all sunshine and roses to us, the change has opened the floodgates of criticism and questions from family and friends. We’ve gotten everything from eyebrow raises to comments including, “We thought you were doing so well…”

People have been wanting to know why we’d ever want to cut ties with a house that others might deem a dream home. Without shame we admit that living there didn’t make sense for us financially. It’s the truth—not the “alternative” truth. And there’s nothing wrong with being open about it… because what’s right for us is saving money to set it aside for what really means the most to us… a life free from debt.

Get started

If you were to do a little self-reflecting, how could you transform your life and beef up your bank account?

Use the following calculator from Bankrate to see how much your current mortgage could end up costing you in the long run in interest. Decide from there if there’s anything you’re willing to do now, to ease the burden and take action.

If you like how I think or how I write and want to follow more of my thoughts, check me out on Twitter @cheapgirlsaves.

Please leave other ideas in the comment section below. I want to know what you have to say and what tips you might have to offer me and others who are on this journey to becoming debt free.

Peace and much love.

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