Small Space Living: How to Make a Frugal Lifestyle Look Luxurious
Trying to get a hang of frugal living? Congratulations! You’re on the right track to living a comfortable lifestyle that is free of unnecessary expenses and frustrations. All you need are a few small space living ideas and reviews of portable appliances that will suit your compact space.
As far as those go, you will be glad to know that you’re on the right website to learn everything there is to know. We have tons of guides on how to live a frugal, minimalist and/or portable lifestyle. Here you will find reviews of the best compact products for small spaces, amazing deals on portable appliances and creative methods of saving several dollars every month. So buckle up and let’s get the ball rolling, shall we?
Is a Frugal Lifestyle Good for You?
Anybody can live a frugal life comfortably. Actually, when it comes to living the saying “good things come in small packages” makes a lot more sense than “bigger is better”. That’s especially true in today’s world where if we aren’t on the daily grind then we’re probably at school or travelling. There’s barely time to stay in a huge house all day.
In fact, more often than not having a big home just means more stuff to trip over, more cleaning hours, a huge utility bill, and more space than you can probably fill. Any of those can be motivation enough for you to shave down on your living space. In case you are looking for more reasons, just think of this: who needs a huge house anyway when we are all trying to save money and travel the world?
It should come as no surprise that there’s a growing demand for smaller apartments like studios and RVs. The rising millennial generation makes a particularly exciting real estate niche because while they don’t prefer to stay with their parents, they also consider saving and raising a family to be priorities.
Thus, the concept of small space living becomes more important. It’s because of this population that we now have an increasing number of people living a van life, in small apartments and other forms of tiny living; all in an effort to save more.
In short, downsizing means giving yourself an opportunity to live a simplistic lifestyle and tuck away some money for other more important priorities. That approach to life makes a lot of sense if you are:
- Struggling to put your finances in order
- Raising a family, especially a young one
- Trying to maximize your space
- A student who can’t afford a big house
- Juggling between work and other things that keep you outdoors more than indoors
- Focusing on saving more money and living debt-free or with the minimum debt possible
- Loving a portable lifestyle
Are There Benefits To A Frugal Lifestyle?
As it turns out, downsizing your living space comes with more benefits than you could imagine. Top on the list? Well, you get to save loads of money.
According to a 2016 survey from mymove, if you live in a large city and decide to downsize to a one bedroom, the switch can help you save anything between hundreds or even up to a thousand dollars per month. Imagine just how much it would be if you moved into a loft or studio.
Beyond the opportunity to save more, frugal living comes with plenty of other benefits. Here are the main ones:
- Sustainable lifestyle
Trimming out your excesses will help you realize what’s truly important to you. In turn you will know all the expenses that you can live without and those that are essential. Ultimately, you won’t go into debt or dig into your savings just to finance a lifestyle that’s full of unnecessary expenses.
- Less clutter
Frugal living means you will have fewer and more compact things in a room. Instead of a fixed washer and fixed dryer you may opt for a portable washer-dryer combo. Rather than a built it refrigerator you may buy a compact one. The fewer and compact items will not only help you maximize your space, but will also make it a lot easier to clean and organize each room.
- There’s style in frugality
A larger percentage of today’s lifestyle magazines and TV shows usually feature minimal interior designs whenever they talk about modern living. Similarly, social media accounts (like @tiny_living and @projectvanlife on Instagram) that focus on small space living are getting an unpredicted following. Reason? Frugal living is in right now; and more and more people are looking for creative and stylish small space living ideas.
- Reduced stress
Anybody who has had a home would agree that more cleaning, more expenses and lots of clutter automatically translate to increased stress. Conversely, when you choose to downsize and live a minimalist lifestyle your stress may reduce significantly.
Which Frugal Lifestyle Suits You Best?
There are several ways of living a frugal lifestyle. Options range from a small home to studio apartment, dorm room living and even traveling in a car or RV. Each of them can fall under one of the following categories:
Small Apartment Living
How small is a small apartment? Truth is that varies largely based on the location. For example, while in New York, a small apartment is one whose size is less than 500 square feet, people in Salt Lake City consider homes with 750 square feet to be small. So it mainly boils down to how much you will spend on the house.
Having said that, most small apartments are studios and one bedroom. Between the two, living in a studio apartment has become the benchmark for a frugal lifestyle. It allows you to do all your living, eating, reading, working and sleeping in one room. The only other room in the house is a separate bathroom-toilet combo.
Living in a studio apartment is perfect for people who are single, dating, married without kids or raising a baby who doesn’t necessarily need a separate bedroom.
Due to their small size, studios encourage people to only buy the things they absolutely need. You also won’t go around buying the big ad expensive stuff. For instance, when buying appliances your shopping will mainly include things like portable cooktops, compact refrigerators and portable washers.
Portable living involves living in a mobile house. Mobile homes are perfect candidates for a frugal lifestyle because they are compact and feature simple designs. Your average mobile home will be several hundred feet smaller than a typically small apartment. The exact size depends on the type.
Speaking of which, there are four main types of mobile homes. The four are single wides, double wides, triple wides and RVs. A single wide is simply a home that is constructed as one movable structure. Although it’s usually attached firmly to the ground, moving it from place to place is not hard.
A double wide mobile home consists of two single wides. A triple wide has three or more (could be 4, 5 or even 6). Obviously the more the number the harder it will be to move. Also, it won’t really be a small house when you have three or more wides considering single wides measure as much as 600 square feet.
An RV is a recreational vehicle. It’s basically a vehicle that has been converted into living quarters but can still be driven from one place to another. While some RVs come with already designed living quarters, others require you to design and customize your own. You may need to do that if you are converting your vehicle into a motorhome.
Like small apartments, mobile homes are generally small and require few, compact and portable items. That’s why they are up there among the best options for frugal living.
Dorm Room Living
Living in a dorm is arguably the best bet for any college student. It can be a rewarding experience, especially if you have the best small space living ideas to make your dorm room cozy and inviting.
On average, a dorm room will not exceed 200 square feet. Most of them come with such quirks as already provided furniture. That leaves you to focus on dorm room appliances like refrigerators and A/C units. Regardless of what you need to buy, the available space is usually suitable for portable and compact appliances.
Buying Guide for Your Small Space
With a growing demand for small homes, many product makers have designed appliances that are specifically suitable for small space living. These appliances are compact but still boast a wide array of premium features that are typically found in their full-size counterparts. In short, they offer a smaller footprint without compromising on convenience, style and performance.
Obviously if you are living in a studio apartment, small house or dorm you won’t need all the appliances that are typically found in a large house. However, you will still need a few of them (in smaller sizes) for your basic survival. Here we look at the most essential appliances for small house living.
Portable Air Conditioner
The one problem that is regularly associated with small spaces in insufficient ventilation. You can easily correct that by buying a portable air conditioner. Contrary to a main A/C system that is usually built in a home’s structure, a portable one can move from one place to another. As such, you can move it from one room to another or from one location in a room to another location within the same room.
The best portable air conditioner for your small space is not necessarily the most powerful. Generally speaking, one with a BTU rating of 12,000 should do the job efficiently, provided the room is not more than 600 square feet. So don’t break the bank in an effort to own a portable air conditioner.
Portable Washing Machine
One chore that’s hard to avoid, regardless of how small your space is, is laundry. So whether you are living in a studio apartment, dorm or RV, you will need to have the best portable washing machine that you can possibly afford.
Typically, portable washers have a length and width of between 1.5 feet and 2 feet each, and a height of about 3 feet. Despite the small size, most of them have an impressive capacity that ranges between 7 and 15 pounds of clothes. Unless you have a large family, that’s more than enough to keep your clothes clean and save you the trouble of having to go to a Laundromat or public laundry room.
Once you’ve washed your clothes you will need a way of drying them, and that’s where a portable dryer comes in. Your typical portable clothes dryer will not take up more than 3 cubic feet of space, and you can stack it with your portable washer. That small size makes these appliances easy to move and store, which in turn makes them ideal for small space living.
When doing your shopping, keep in mind that the best portable dryer for you should be at least twice the capacity of your washing machine. So if your washer has an 8-pound capacity look for a dryer with a capacity of about 16 pounds. Such a combo will help you wash and dry your clothes effectively and conveniently despite the small size of your house.
Also known as a mini refrigerator, a compact fridge is a small version of the traditional refrigerator. While you won’t be able to store many things in a compact fridge (compared to a full-size one), it will still be capable of cooling a few of your drinks, groceries and foods. Regardless, it will help you save the time that you would have spent preparing fresh meals every day.
The best compact refrigerator will not take up more than 5.5 square feet. Plus you can stack it on something else, or keep it next to the best portable freezer that you purchased together and that’s what makes it perfect for small spaces like dorms and studios.
Final Thoughts: Keep Calm and Enjoy a Frugal Lifestyle
If you’ve been flirting with the idea of living a frugal lifestyle, whether for financial or other reasons, it’s time to gather the courage and make the big leap. It works wonderfully when you have the right small space living ideas.
You don’t need to go searching all over the web for those, we have tons of them right here on our website. For starters we review portable and compact appliances to help you understand pick the best from the rest. We also help shoppers find the best deals on products, and by extension help them save and live a more comfortable frugal lifestyle. So feel free to browse around our website and see what we have in store for you.