We downsized our home over a year ago and it was one of the best decisions we ever made. In this time of “bigger is better” we decided that wasn’t what we wanted for our family.
We loved our home. It was beautiful. Over 3000 sq. ft., 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, a pool, large lot and a 50 foot bonus room. Yep, 50 feet long. It was awesome for having people over.
Now, a new family is enjoying our beautiful “old” house.
It all happened after one our “yearly budget meetings”. Every year (usually sometime after Christmas), my husband and I sit down, take at a look at our money and expenses and see if we can be better stewards of our money. How can we save more? In what areas can we spend less? You know the drill. We are a one income family so we try to be mindful about where our money goes.
It wasn’t really an issue of not being able to afford our house, it was more of a realization during one of our “meetings”, that the electric company must really love us. We always try to save on electricity, but with over 3000 sq. ft. and a pool, our electric bill was over $300 in the middle of summer. Yikes!!!
Then it occurred to us that we had more “house” than we really needed. With a bigger house comes bigger taxes, bigger utility bills, more insurance, etc.
Skip to 4 months later, we sold a ton of stuff (oh my gosh, did we sell stuff) and moved in to an 1800 sq. ft. house in a nice neighborhood with a ton of kiddos. We have now been in our lovely new house for a year.
Not counting a house payment, here’s a snapshot of how our bills changed.
- Electric – went down approx. $50 -$100 a month.
- Gas – saved at least $60 a month ($60 monthly bill at the old house, no gas in the new house).
- Monthly Home Owners Insurance – went down approx. $35 a month.
- Water – went up $40 a month. Boohoo. It has to do with moving closer to town and not being considered “in the county” anymore.
- Cable – went down approx. $25 a month.
- Yearly Property Tax – went up $200 annually. Again, because we are closer to town.
As you can see, it was definitely a profitable move. We saved a lot of money and again, this breakdown doesn’t account for a lower monthly mortgage payment.
So, where does our new money go now? Since my husband is self-employed, we mostly concentrate our savings in to our emergency fund and building our retirement.
This may not be the right move for everyone, but it was a great move for us. We see the benefits in our bank account, our stress level at budget time and the smile on the face of our kiddo who’s grateful for all her new friends.
If you have a great money saving tip that has helped your family, please share it in the comments.
Love and less stress,
“Just Doing My Best” Tip of the Week – When we moved in to our smaller home we made a deal with each other. We agreed that we wouldn’t spend our “savings” from one of our old bills on something else, just because we could.