Gearing Up to Downsize
Over the last couple of months, we have been formulating our downsize plans. First we’ll move to a smaller rental and eventually use the savings to build the tiny-eco-healthy house of our dreams. Step 1 was set to occur after November when our current lease is up but, as the fates would have it, we have found the perfect place to move to and we are trying to see if these same fates will help us find perfect new tenants for our excellent landlord in time to take advantage of the gem we’ve found.
One of the reasons for the downsize is definitely financial. We estimate the move will save us $540 in direct monthly expenses (rent and utilities). Indirect savings are another $176. Here I have to come out about having a really awesome monthly housecleaner that I haven’t had the heart to cancel. It would be utterly laughable to have her clean our new space, and I’ve found her another client, so it will be a good transition point. The other component of indirect savings is life insurance premiums. This move will bring us so close to financial independence that it will eliminate our personal reasons for maintaining life insurance.
This savings means a couple of things. First, we won’t need to earn the gross income required to net $716 a month. In the 28% tax bracket, this is roughly $11,000 we won’t have to earn. Since our expenses will be reduced so significantly, we can maintain lower cash reserves shifting more of it to work earning passive income. Further, if we maintain or grow our current earned income we can put more of that money toward our tiny-eco-healthy house plans and travel (like, out of Florida in the summertime).
A lovely symbiosis is that downsizing is also ecologically beneficial. We will be smaller, consume fewer natural resources and better use the material resources we do have. We still own a small RV that we lived in for 1 ½ years. Mostly unused now, it will soon serve as an external office/meditation space/guest accommodation parked conveniently outside of our (hopefully!) new home. The owner of the small compound is also very ecologically literate, uses many rain barrels and has multiple compost bins and organic gardens. We will even be offered a space to plant our own. All of this in the same downtown neighborhood in which we are currently living.
The new abode is definitely small. We will be going from an already compact 2 bedroom/1 bath at 950 square feet to a 1 bed/1 bath of approximately 550 square feet. We estimate that the move will necessitate the elimination of about half our stuff. If you had asked me a month ago whether I was attached to stuff I would have said “of course not”. Now, however, I recognize that letting go truly is a process. It is mostly very exciting. I am eager to be free of most of our possessions and it will be a good practice run for living in a tiny home.
We have already sold some books to Powell’s and gone through boxes of photos to either put in albums or pitch. We’ve started a list of yard sale items (I just reread Handsome Men Selling Great Stuff) and items to be sold via other venues. All of this was pretty painless. The other day, we found a buyer for our large dining room table. It took a while to find this table when I originally purchased it and it’s a beauty. It is still in our home and I find myself confronting moments of wistfulness about letting it go. There is no question that it must go and it IS just a table. What ARE these feelings of attachment?
I’d love to hear your stories about related experiences and I’d welcome any bit of luck you could send our way to make this transition happen. Oops. There’s that attachment again!
Photo Credit: stock.xchng.