2 min read
Each month I pay $611 for rent.
I could easily afford to live in a larger place with more rooms, more furniture, and higher rent, but instead I opt to live with a roommate in a 1,000 sq. foot apartment.
Here are six reasons why I choose to live in a place much smaller than I can afford.
1. Between work, the gym, coffee shops, and spending time outdoors, I’m not actually home that often.
Here’s something that has always puzzled me: why do people who are rarely home choose to buy massive houses? If you’re always at work, the gym, or elsewhere, what’s the point of owning a huge place if you never get to enjoy all that space?
Personally I spend 9 AM – 5 PM each weekday at work and a good portion of the evening hours outside playing basketball at the public courts near my apartment.
On weekend mornings I head to coffee shops to work on blog posts or write new code for visuals. During weekend afternoons and evenings you can find me at the gym, playing basketball, going frisbee golfing, or visiting my family at their house about 45 minutes away.
This means that most of my time at the apartment is spent either eating, sleeping, or watching Netflix. I don’t need an excessively large space for any of those activities.
2. It’s incredibly easy and quick to clean my entire apartment.
Less space = less stuff to clean = less time spent cleaning = happy Zach.
3. I’m a huge believer in hedonic adaptation.
I think that no matter what type of house or apartment you live in, you get used to it very quickly. This means my small apartment doesn’t actually feel that small to me. I’m accustomed to it. I think that if I lived in a 1,500 sq. ft. apartment and paid closer to $1,000 in monthly rent, I’d be just as accustomed to that living space.
I especially like the idea of “living small” fresh out of college because all of my friends live in small apartments as well. Living small feels normal and I don’t feel any pressure to upgrade to a bigger place.
4. A small apartment makes sense for where I’m at in life.
I like to make my square footage count. Even if I had a larger apartment, I don’t know what I would do with the extra space. With no wife and kids, I don’t really have a need for more bedrooms, a bigger living room, nicer kitchen, or more spacious dining area just yet.
5. There are obvious financial perks of low housing expenses.
Rent is my largest monthly expense, which means a low rent payment translates to low monthly expenses. So if I happen to splurge on travel, entertainment, or dining out, I can still maintain a fairly high savings rate.
6. Choosing to rent instead of own makes sense for me because I don’t know how long I even want to stay in Cincinnati.
It’s nice to have a 12-month lease because it gives me options. When the lease is up, I can pick up and move easily. If I choose to stay where I’m at, I can always renew the lease as well. I’m not exactly anxious to settle down and start a family, so buying a house and planting my roots in one city for the long-term doesn’t appeal to me just yet. I enjoy the inherent flexibility that comes with renting.
Thanks for reading 🙂
Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.
Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.
Although the bulk of his net worth is invested in index funds, his favorite place to invest in individual stocks is M1 Finance, a site that allows you to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free.
His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.
His favorite micro-investing app is Acorns, a free financial app that takes just 5 minutes to set up and allows you to invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio.
His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
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