Sir Swine and I had saved for a long time to purchase the house we now call home. While the house had everything that we ever dreamed of and more we were still feeling drawn to something different. We ended up asking ourselves constantly “Could you live with less?”.
This is what led us to selling our dream home to build and create our dream homestead and farm.
Living With Less
The purchase of our first home was a calculated choice. We searched around, found something within our set budget. It was completely luck to find a place that needed a LOT of outdoor work and a bit of interior touches, so we were able to quickly add value to the home.
Some may say that it sounds as though we are displeased with our home but the reality is that we found we did not need something so big or so grand. Believe me, we loved so much about that place, it just wasn’t meant to be our forever home.
The house was over 4,000 square feet of finished space since after finished off the basement. We even put in a bar…that Sir Swine only used with his brothers a few times. I do have to say though I adored having a finished basement – putting that on a ‘great to have’ list for our current place.
Dream house aside, the property was great but it had one major pit fall. There was no way to earn income from the property. The acreage was just under what was needed to be able to raise any decent amount of livestock or to build any sizable farm buildings.
We ultimately had to ask ourselves what our trade offs for a happy homestead would look like. That lingering question kept coming back to us.
Could you live with less?
Could You Live with Less?
In America a bigger house is what the norm is. Mortgages that last 30 years and debt for endless days to come. According to Dave Ramsey, and the Census Bureau, the average American mortgage payment is right around $1,500 a month. That is a LOT of your monthly income going to pay for your house.
What scares me the most about this is that you are paying that amount for 30 freaking years! When you look at it that way, suddenly downsizing looks like something that would be pretty great to do. Imagine dropping that payment by $200, $400, $600 a month!
For Sir Swine and I, having a overwhelming mortgage payment is not something that we want. We would rather go without (within reason of course) than to see ourselves placed in a state of constant worry when it comes to money.
We often listen to Dave Ramsey and it rings true in our ears every time we hear “The borrower is slave to the lender”. Loosely translated one could say that it means we are “slaves to our desires”.
Ouch right! So in today’s society can we really live with less? And more importantly can we live with less and still find happiness?
What does Living with Less Look Like?
Honestly, living will less is different for every family. What it looks like is based a lot on your personal wants, desires, values and dreams.
For Sir Swine and I we knew that the size of the house is not as important as the quality of certain things. We do not need five bedrooms or four baths (though two is a preference for me). We know the majority of our time is spent in our kitchen area and that we love the island if placed correctly and a nice solid granite counter top.
But we CAN live with a lesser home. We simply do not need 4,300 square feet – and I’m saying this as a mom home with three boys everyday. I work from home, homeschool and run our farm business as well. Space is something that I take very seriously when it comes to preparing for work and school.
There is one thing we want more than a perfect turn-key large house.
We crave the land. A nice home with several acres of land. Let me clarify that, several hundred acres of land if possible. We’ve gotten rather good at clearing land in the last few years, you can learn how too as well right here. Building a life in the outdoors with the boys. Hunting, fishing, working the livestock, growing our own food. Living as modern day pioneers in our society!
We have taken all of these tidbits into our current plans and for that reason we have decided to go rogue.
We listed our house for sale and packed our things. I’m happy to report that we have been at the new farm for one year now. We have more acreage, not hundreds of acres like we had hoped, but almost tripled what we previously had.
The new place is our specialty, in need of a LOT of love.
I’m not exaggerating here. We are talking super old windows, awkward built-ins that serve no purpose, uneven floors that slope in more than one direction, dark outdated flooring, paneling that covers lathe and plaster, sub-ceiling tiles and a fully functioning fan that we can’t turn off that is only held on by one screw so it wobbles like it will come down any second. And that is just the living room.
I do have to say though that it feels pretty cool to be pulling nails that are square out of our walls. We have little bits of history leading back to when this house was originally build in 1860!
I wish I could say that we are demoed the whole place before we moved in but that’s not the case. We are paying for everything we do as we go. Almost all of the remodel will be done ourselves. Even the livestock barns, which were previously stripped of all actually barn materials, are being rebuilt to their former glory in a slow way.
Teaching our Kids to Live With Less
Living with less is something that Sir Swine and I want not only for us, but for our children. We want them to appreciate the nice things they have in their lives and not to find themselves craving the next amazingly expensive piece of plastic.
Satisfaction and appreciation in the everyday life is key.
For us living with less is a choice. It’s one we are making proudly. Although it confuses some people in our lives that we are making this decision, it’s still the right choice for our family.
It’s was hard to say good-bye to that big home but I keep reminding myself that we are saying hello to this new adventure. An adventure full of opportunities and the freedom of living with less so that we can fully enjoy them.
So, do you think your family would want to live with less?