For many people I’m sure these two things are mutually exclusive. If you’re planning on owning less why would you own a big pile of bricks (or more accurately pay the bank money for the rest of your life to own it).
I can see the argument and I especially understand that argument in a US context. The US has bred the tiny house movement which sees people ditching their McMansions to live on a piece of land in a tiny but wonderful house. That’s great. For them.
But what happens when you want to live in a city, not in the middle of nowhere. And what happens when you want to live in a city where rents rise by a ridiculous amount annually?
Our decision to buy a house was born out of a need for financial security. By owning a home we aren’t at the mercy of landlords putting rent up or wanting to sell. Plus owning a property is a peculiarly British past time.
So we have a mortgage. But here’s the rub; we’re still not secure because we’re at the mercy of lenders and interest rates, with the threat of mortgage payments hanging over our head. This is where I think minimalism and mortgages mix.
For us, minimalism isn’t just about getting rid of our stuff, it’s about financial security and reducing our outgoings. In order to reduce our outgoings we’re overpaying our mortgage.
If we can become mortgage free then we’ll be financially secure. Spending less isn’t just about not buying stuff, it’s about reducing outgoings. As someone much wiser than me once said: it’s not what you earn, it’s what you spend that counts.
It’s not going to happen overnight unless we have a big lottery win but we are slowly chipping away at our financial burden with the aim of becoming mortgage free. I’m sure I’ll go into some more financial details at some point but right now I have to phone the bank for an update on our mortgage balance!