Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Downsizing Plan

After the drama of last week, I decided to get super serious about getting out of debt and truly stabilizing our financial life. Although we are getting by fine now--income is good, bills are paid on time each month, etc--it really hit home that one major change such as a job loss or a long term illness could spell disaster for our financial situation (and our lives in general). So I called a friend who is a realtor and ran some ideas by her.
I have been kind of in downsizing mode since I got rid of my car. Your average American has an idea of the things they absolutely need to have for a nice life: a big house in a nice neighborhood, a nice car, a good income, et al. I, on the other hand, having hit my "radical years" decades past the teenage years when you are supposed to question everything, have started wondering if what "everyone" thinks you need to have for a nice life really is true. All of these people who think that you need a huge house, an expensive car, and a good job, seem completely miserable what with their huge house payments, excessive car payments, and jobs that could be here today and gone tomorrow.

So here is my downsizing plan:
  1. Sell our house which is really way too big for just two people and has a correspondingly big house payment.
  2. Find a small, 1000 square foot house that I really love and buy it, hopefully with a huge down payment out of what we make from the sale of our house.
  3. Have the mother of all garage sales to get rid of like half of our stuff which won't fit into the smaller house.
  4. Because our new house payment will be maybe half of what we are currently paying, use the extra money that we have been paying each month on our current house to pay down our debt as quickly as possible.
  5. Live totally debt free and travel the world.

Seems like a simple plan. Over the last few days we have looked at a couple of small, cute houses and had our realtor check out our house to see if it would bring in what we think it will (and she said the sales price could be just what we need for that significant down payment).

The next step will be to make an offer on the house that we like contingent on the sale of our current home, get financing arranged, plant a St Joseph in our yard for a quick sale (it works!), followed by a garage sale then moving day. Once all of the dust settles, we will be in a smaller house that is more suitable to our needs, we will have much smaller house payments, we will be able to pay all of our debts in full within a year, hubby will be able to fully retire by next year, and then we will be off traveling the world as much as possible!


  1. Really great plan! I actually feel sorry for people who follow societal rules--especially in regards to material things and debt. If only they could know how freeing it is to be on the road to financial freedom and actually have LIFE goals, not just financial or material goals.

    If you haven't already, you should read the book 'Affluenza'. It compares affluence (debt and consumerism) to the flu.