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Living Tiny as a Way to Follow Your Dreams

For 15 years I worked in a career that I was good at but wasn’t feeding my spirit. I knew I needed to make a change but I felt stuck in a rut of increasing expenses.

What I didn’t realize for a long time was that my desire to live in a conventional home was the very thing that was holding me back. In hindsight, I’m not sure why I ever thought that lifestyle was right for me.

Our 2700 square foot suburban home in Atlanta was fun for a little while as we hosted parties and decorated the many rooms but the glamour faded as we dealt with never ending yard work and repairs.

Backyard of our Atlanta house in the fall.

Backyard of our Atlanta house in the fall.

I had always dreamed of being a writer but there was something inside holding me back. I made excuses, I did other things, and I didn’t write. I told myself that I would have an opportunity one day but didn’t realize I was fooling myself. An opportunity doesn’t knock on your door one day and say “Poof, you’re a writer!” You have to make your opportunities.

During this same time, my partner Matt was also feeling restless. He wanted a change and, more importantly, he wanted to build a house with his own hands. I recognized that this was the opportunity I had been looking for. We discovered the tiny house concept and got started.

I really did work on the tiny house.

I really did work on the tiny house.

I encourage you to click below to read more about how I followed my dreams and how you can start.

As we built the tiny house and downsized our lives I began to pay off my debts. We were building our home to be off the grid and I knew that my cost of living would be reduced. I was ready for the change. I was able to begin concentrating on building a freelance career and, in April of 2013, I put my notice in at my job. Now I make a comfortable living with continued growth and have never been happier. You can do it too.

Editing my (very delayed) eBook.

Editing my (very delayed) eBook.

Step 1: Figure out what you want to do and make a plan to do it. My chosen path was writing so I needed to change my resume, figure out a marketing plan, determine a fair pay for projects, and build a client base. Your dream is probably different so research the industry and don’t wait to get started.

Step 2: Pay off your debts. If the only thing standing between you and your dreams is debt then it is time to make a plan to change that. I knew that moving into a tiny house would reduce my expenses but I wanted to start with a clean slate. We sold our big house and moved into a more economical apartment which allowed me to pay things off faster.

Step 3:  Simplify your life. It does little good to pay off your debts if you acquire more. I imagine because you are reading Tiny House Talk part of you is interested in tiny living. This is a good way to reduce your expenses and live mortgage free. Consider the ways you can make this happen for yourself.

My cat also works from the tiny house.

My cat also works from the tiny house.

In what ways do you think a tiny house can help you to follow your dreams?

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Laura LaVoie

Contributor and Tiny House Owner at 120SquareFeet.com
Laura M. LaVoie is a professional writer living in the mountains of North Carolina in a 120 Square Foot house with her partner and their hairless cat, Piglet. Laura graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Anthropology. She has been published in magazines and anthologies on the subjects of mythology and culture. She spent nearly 15 years in the temporary staffing industry before deciding to become a full time writer. Laura works closely with the Zulu Orphan Alliance volunteering her time and the skills she's learned building her own small house to build a shelter for orphans and other vulnerable children living near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Laura also enjoys simple living, brewing and drinking craft beer, and popular culture.
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • ANNE
    October 28, 2013, 11:17 am

    hi i new one,i hope someone will teach me more about the tiny house.

    • Alex Pino
      October 28, 2013, 5:35 pm

      Thanks Anne! Welcome. I encourage you to join our free daily tiny living newsletter to stay in touch and learn more about tiny houses: http://tinyhousenewsletter.com if you already haven’t 🙂

  • Lisa E.
    November 9, 2014, 8:44 am

    I really resonate to what this author is saying. I bought an 1800sf home in Florida thinking this would be my dream retirement home and that I would be able to pursue writing as a second career.

    Instead, it turned into a hostage taking scenario of cleaning, maintenance and repairs. I bought the house outright thinking I’d be positioned safely from debt. Wrong. Every system needs something in an economy that is afflicted with rapaciously rising prices; every service provider is looking for a killing. And I haven’t been able to write a thing I’ve been so distracted with it all. (I have several deciduous oaks on my property that are continually throwing down copious amounts of dead leaves just to name one item.) My time is never my own.

    I’m looking forward to getting rid of so much excess baggage and waking up each day asking myself what I’d like to do with that day. It is glorious to have such a wonderful option to a lifestyle that has outlived its usefulness.

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