No one wants to move. Unless you’re moving up it’s not fun to pack up all your belongings, house hunt, change utility services and send an address update to every person and company you communicate with (unless of course you’re downsizing your contact list as well).
What we’re suggesting in this post is not just that downsizing will release some of your financial stresses, it might also change your entire trajectory and drastically improve your financial future and perhaps other aspects of your life as well.
The Obvious Implications
The obvious reason to downsize is to save money. Some of you probably have been forced to downsize in your lifetime and feeling forced to move makes the entire moving experience exponentially worse. When you move out of your own volition, however, before your financial situation becomes dire it can be empowering and remove the bitterness from the process. Would it be worth it? Saving a few hundred dollars each month, making sacrifices so that you find yourself shaving months and then years off of your financial goals? We think it is.
The LESS Obvious Benefits
There are some less obvious benefits that come from downsizing your home and lifestyle, some you wouldn’t think of:
- Downsizing allows you to save money on the overall cost of utilities. Smaller apartment means less heat, and less electricity.
- Downsizing your stuff both releases you from the excess (which you can sell) and allows you to recognize what items you actually use and need. You won’t feel the need to ‘fill’ any extra space with stuff you hardly ever use, whether that’s decorations, garage space, furniture space etc.
- Less money to spend on cleaning supplies. (Also – less time spent cleaning! Huge plus).
The Most Important Benefit
What we want to point out above all else is that downsizing will prepare you to be more responsible in your future. If you learn to live on less then you’ll slowly release your need for more.
Here are some facts that convince us downsizing is possible for everyone:
In 1950 the average household size was 3.67 members and the average home size was 1,100 square feet. (You know those old houses with one bathroom for a family of 4). In 2016 the average family size has dropped significantly to 2.53 while the average house size has more than doubled to 2,505 square feet. (Statistics from US Department of Housing and Urban Development). Even more surprising is that the average living space per person has almost doubled. Clearly today we feel we need a lot more space but have a lot less people per home to fill that space. We understand the luxury of having one bathroom per family member and a guest bath to boot, but we’re kidding ourselves if we think it’s essential.
Downsizing now and learning to live on less will set you up financially, give you the frugal skills and expectations that could push you to an earlier retirement and will help you if ever there’s a financial emergency in your life. In short, downsizing pushes firmly against the grain of modern culture that urges you to pay for a lifestyle two steps ahead of your budget and might just change the entire trajectory of your future.
How have you downsized in your own life, was it by choice or by necessity? What are some other benefits of downsizing that we haven’t thought of?