When I first met Maria in 2003 one of the first things she told me was: “I want to travel and would like to live in different countries.” My response was WOW, this sounds like a great girl – adventurous and exciting!
The first 5-6 years of our marriage was centered around work, and traveling wasn’t really an option. We started our first company in 2008, an online print-on-demand shop.
Although it was a lot of hard work and long hours we learned a lot, and soon had a handfull of employees. We also learned that managing employees and a production company, was not our dream.
We were exhausted and overwhelmed, and felt like we had lost control over our own lifes. After dealing with stress and a stretched private budget for 3 years, we needed to make some changes. Here we are 1,5 year later, and we are now out of the company.
We both work as online freelancers, so all we need is an internet connection- definitely better for traveling!
Downsizing our way to freedom
Maria had been following the small house movement for a wile, and with a background in architecture she was really fascinated with tiny living, space saving furniture and so on.
She started talking about downsizing and the financial aspect really got me hooked. So we took the first step in a new direction.
We went through our finances and set a realistic budget. We quickly realized, that the biggest monthly expense was our 1000 sqft. apartment.
We would be able to cut our rent by 3/4 by renting out half of the apartment. After a little deliberation we decided to do it. For the past 10 months we have been sharing bathroom and kitchen with a great guy.
Desire to be debt free
Our ultimate goal is to be debt free in spring 2015, and never go back in to debt again.
To fit in 500 sqf we had to get rid of A LOT of stuff. We sold a lot of things, donated some things and threw out a lot of stuff. I had hundreds of CDs, I got rid of the covers and saved my favorit CD discs in a binder.
Now we just use webservices for music. Maria has trashed all papers and pictures after scanning and saving them in the cloud. All of our clothes fit in one closet instead of two. We are living comfortably in two rooms instead of four.
The rooms open to each other, so we put in a french door, for the possibility of privacy, when we have guests over.
We had a company car before, now we use our bikes or take the bus / train. And when we need to go out of town we just rent a car if we really need one – the benefits more than outweigh the cost of having a car full time.
A big focus for us now it to spend time on things that we love doing, being financial able to do project that may not generate a lot of money but wich we love doing (e.g. GoDownsize.com).
We choose to sacrifice space and downsize to live that life, instead of working more hours and having a big space.
It has been a liberating and good experience to get rid of all that stuff, and start living in a smaller space.
We have only been on this journey for about two years, but it has had kind of a snowball effect on everything else in our lives. We already feel at lot more free and much lighter.
We dream about building our own tiny house one day – but first we need to get debt free and get back to travelling -> Make wify happy :)
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