Moving to a smaller home can empower you to save money in several ways as well as become more focused, organized, and intentional about your approach to living. Beyond cutting your fixed monthly housing costs, downsizing can yield benefits in many areas of your life. To decide whether moving to a smaller home would be a good choice for you, weigh what you’d be giving up against what you’d gain. Here are four signs you might be happier living more simply in a smaller space.
1. You’re spending too much money on housing.
The rule of thumb most often cited is that you shouldn’t spend more than 28–30% of your income on housing costs, or, alternatively, that you should spend no more than 50% of your income on “fixed costs,” which include car payments, insurance payments, memberships or subscriptions, phone bill… basically all of your recurring monthly bills. While there are reasons it might be perfectly appropriate for any given person to spend much more (or much less) on housing, these general rules can provide helpful budgeting guidance. If your current home is draining your resources and leaving little left for the other things you want or need, downsizing could be a good way to find more room in your budget.
2. You feel like you have too much stuff.
When you own less stuff, you get less clutter and a home that’s easier to keep neat and organized. Having fewer possessions to store, clean, maintain, and manage can give you more time and space to do what you choose. Also, an uncluttered home is a more relaxing and rejuvenating place to spend time, freeing you from that persistent nagging feeling that you really should be cleaning the house.
When you live in a smaller home, you can skip financing that multi-piece living room set and just choose a couch and chair that you love! You’ll be able to afford higher-end selections when you buy less. To keep your home friendly to entertaining, look for space-saving multifunctional furniture that can be conveniently converted or stowed when you don’t need it.
3. You’d like to have more time and money to spend on life experiences.
With the money you would save each month on mortgage or rent, you could set aside money for the trips on your bucket list, the events you want to attend, the investments you want to make, or the education you need to make the next jump in your career. If there are things you’ve been wanting to do that seem out of reach, consider whether a downward shift in your monthly expenses would give you the financial freedom you’ve been wanting.
Beyond freeing up money, downsizing can also give you more time and freedom to be away from home. Many townhome communities, for example, have homeowners associations that take care of things like lawn maintenance and snow removal so you have more time in your day-to-day routine as well as the freedom to be away from home when the sprit moves you.
4. You’ve been eyeing a cooler neighborhood.
Downsizing could allow you to affordably move into a different neighborhood you've had your eyes on. For instance, downtown Des Moines is experiencing a boom in housing construction as more residents embrace urban living and its many perks. To learn about what downtown Des Moines has to offer, click the image below to access our free eBook, highlighting fabulous restaurants, nightlife, entertainment venues, and more.