Throughout our lives we are told by the media that bigger is better and by having more space you will live a happier life. It’s everywhere – From tv shows to magazines and newspapers.
No surprise – we get seduced by space and the possibilities we can do with it, the luxuries it can allow us to have and how better our lives will be.
Be it a cinema room, a man cave or an walk-in wardrobe – by being exposed to this amazing spaces and lifestyles it often makes us all want a bit of that. All-of-the-sudden that becomes our aim in life and we’re working hard for that dream of a large house, multiple bedrooms, a garage, huge kitchen and a swimming pool (if you live in a hot country).
But the question is, does any of those things really makes us truly happy? Does it actually bring long term fulfilment in a daily basis?
Not everyone is the same and whilst a lot of people will say yes to the questions above I can certainly say that it didn’t make me any happier.
I was raised in a very simple lifestyle and it was a dream of mine – just like many others I wanted to have this large house where I could have people around and raise my family in it. My own home office space (or man cave), a large master bedroom with a huge bed in it, etc.
So I worked hard to achieve those things. Firstly I bought a large two bedroom flat with an en-suite bathroom and used the second bedroom as a man cave. After getting divorced and selling the flat I bought a 3 bedrooms house as a project to keep me entertained. This was in the beginning of my relationship with Fi and the house was also a place where we could possibly expand as a family.
But after living in the house with Fi for 3 years we both came to the realisation that even with kids, a house of this size is a complete waste of money.
No we don’t have kids yet so a second bedroom is possibly a good idea. But still, once we worked out the square meters that are not being used against the amount of interest we’re paying on the mortgage things really didn’t make sense at all.
Yes it could be argued that a propriety is an investment and therefore our money isn’t actually completely running away from us.
But it really makes no sense if considering that this money could also be invested in other things – like a second property that could generate an extra income, investment funds, shares or whatever investment suits you best.
The point here is that sometimes we don’t really stop to think about those things. We just aim for the same thing everyone else is aiming at and as we get there we might realise the effect it caused to our lives isn’t what we thought it would be like.
No one tell us that a larger space requires more maintenance, larger heating/cooling bills etc.
With these learnings in mind we’re now planning to live the first years of our financial independence in a one bedroom house that we’re currently building. As the family grows we’ll change to accommodate if there is a need for it.
In the meantime our idea is to maximize our savings and earnings, reinvesting it all to pay for any future expansion of the house.
At the end of the day, why do you need a huge house if you want to live a life in the outdoors?