In life, there are two things everyone wouldn’t mind having a little more of – and that’s time and money. I would love to have more time to spend with loved ones, more time to cook yummy meals and desserts, more time to spend working and more time to spending relaxing. And who wouldn’t want more money? I would save more, invest more, give to charity, help out those in need and probably shop more, too.
Since moving from Arizona to North Carolina, I feel like I’ve discovered the secret to having both more time and more money.
One simple way to save time and money
It’s almost too simple, really. All you have to do is…
Now here me out…We moved from a 3 bedroom + loft home to a much smaller 3 bedroom apartment. Our house had wood floors, tile floors and carpet. It was two story and slowly but surely all of the rooms were furnished (even our loft which we NEVER sat in). Since we moved with just a trailer attached to our SUV, we had to get rid of almost everything. Things that stayed included our massive couch, the girls’ cribs, three mattresses (ours and the girls’), some of my husband’s work tools, a faux fireplace and our two flat-screen TV’s. Between all of that, there wasn’t much room for junk – so we sold some stuff and donated the rest.
This is probably pretty funny to hear – but we only have 4 plates, 4 bowls, a coffee pot, a blender, pots & pans, bake ware, utensils and about 10 glasses. Not much for a kitchen, but we use literally every single item. Nothing is just sitting around taking up space.
I have way less stuff to manage, and I love it.
Not only does having less stuff in and of itself give me more time, but I also spend WAY LESS time cleaning (and money on cleaning products!). In our house, I cleaned once a day for at least 45 minutes. This included cleaning the floors, picking up toys, doing laundry, doing dishes, etc. In the apartment, which is mostly carpet, it takes about 10 minutes to vacuum the entire place once a week. Dishes don’t pile up since we have so few of them and laundry is much easier since I’m not carting it up and down steps. Not to mention we have no yard to maintain and nothing to fix if something were to break (a huge perk in renting!).
Living in a smaller space saves tons of money, too. While our rent is actually higher than our mortgage was, we no longer pay for landscaping, our electric bill is 1/3 of what it was in Arizona, our water bill is cut in half, we don’t spend money fixing up the place and we can’t buy new furniture or other miscellaneous items simply because they won’t fit. Today I went shopping for some Christmas decor and realized I’ll probably only spend $50 or so on a centerpiece for the table and a few fun items for our daughters. We really don’t have the space for gobs of decor like we did before.
My whole dilemma last week regarding the rental home that we wanted (and didn’t get) made me see things a little more clear. That house was almost all hard wood floors (dust and crumbs drive me insane) so I would have spent a good amount of time cleaning them. That’s time that I could be spending with my family, working or doing something else that I enjoy. We also would have needed to buy more furniture and more decor items (the house was about double the size of our apartment). Our electric bill would have gone up, we would have needed to maintain the lot and our water bill would have increased. While in the future this may be something I’m willing to take on, it’s not right now. With two little ones and working from home, I’ve never been more thankful for the small apartment we live in and the simplicity of life right now.
Do you agree? Is downsizing a great way to save time and money? Would you ever do it?