When I met my husband, he was living in a one bedroom apartment with five other college-aged students. Crazy, right? I thought so, too; however, now I find myself living in a one bedroom apartment with our two kids. So how did we end up here?
Well, first of all, we live in Bermuda and according to Numbeo’s cost of living survey, it’s the most expensive place in the world to live. That’s a pretty significant reason for choosing to live tiny – but our comfort with tiny living didn’t start here.
After getting married, Nic and I moved to Taiwan and to teach English. We loved the idea of being able to work part-time, experience another culture and enjoy each other’s company during our first year of marriage. In order to live comfortably in Taiwan on part-time incomes (and pay for my master’s degree – which I was also working on at the time), we decided to live in a studio apartment.
Our apartment didn’t come with a kitchen – at all. We bought a big plastic sink at a local store and washed our dishes on the balcony. It’s crazy thinking about it as I type this, but at the time, it seemed so… normal. I guess that’s what love will do to you! So in addition to having the sink out on the balcony (on the 21st floor of our high-rise apartment), we had a little rectangular table on which we put a huge toaster oven and a camping stove. And voila, our kitchen.
Needless to say, when we decided to move into our one bedroom apartment in Bermuda it seemed like luxury: we had a real kitchen. In order to save money, we continued to stay in the apartment. We found out we were pregnant with our first child, but we stayed. Then we got pregnant with our second, and we stayed.
We love our location on the beautiful island of Bermuda. The weather is enjoyable year-round, we’re seconds from the water, five minutes from some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and behind our home is a beautiful walking path.
Choosing to resign from my teaching position, stay at home and take care of the boys in Bermuda has been quite the journey. We have often wondered: h will we make it financially? What about room and space for the kids?
Fortunately, thanks to the wisdom of my brother-in-law, Nic and I read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover shortly before getting married. After reading his book, we decided we should try, as much as possible, to live on one income and save the other. So we did that for eight years. We paid off student loan debt, my master’s degree and saved. We drove mopeds (one moped in Taiwan and in Bermuda we both had a moped until I got pregnant with our first child) and lived simply. And we have continued to try and live simply in order to prioritize family. So now that we have two children and childcare costs would continue to rise, we have decided that I’ll take a pause from work to raise (and for the time being, educate) the kids.
This simple life of ours is beautiful. Am I ever envious of huge homes with lots of space? Of course! Does it ever drive me crazy when the baby, the preschooler and my husband are all in our small galley kitchen with me at the same time. Yes! But, believe it or not, there are many things I love about our small space.
Keep an eye on the blog for the reasons why I actually enjoy tiny living (most of the time), and how we make it work with two kids!