I know a big part of frugal living is most definitely not having too large of a house. It costs more to maintain/heat/cool/light/clean and it’s really quite easy to just fill your space with more stuff. Here in Korea, space is at a premium because there are so many people crammed into a country with 70% mountains and the average house sizes are far, far smaller than what you’d see in Canada or the USA.
One of the perks of my previous job was that my university provided a decent size apartment as part of my contract, which was ideal for 1, and could be made to work for a couple. When I took my new job, I just got a housing allowance of $350/month and there was no option of living in university provided housing. For the first year, I lived in a tiny loft-style apartment, which is kind of normal for how a single person in Korea would live. But, for the next year, I decided to move to a bigger apartment, a 3-bedroom one. Families of 3 or 4 live in apartments that are the same size as mine. But, it’s actually quite affordable ($500/month, with a $10 000 deposit) because the apartment is around 20 years old and Koreans generally prefer shiny and new.
Why am I doing this? Doesn’t this go against all my frugal ways? Well, yes and no. I decided to get a bigger space because I knew I would be much happier living there and would be much more likely to just relax at home after I was done work or invite people over here for dinner instead of going out all the time. And, it’s actually really worked out that way. Having a nice house that’s comfortable makes people want to come visit! And it makes me not want to go out, really at all if I could do that and still have friends. So, it’s definitely worth the extra bit of money that I spend above my housing allowance because I for sure save that and more by enjoying my time at home.
If you are all about living in a small house to save money, check out this other site of mine that I made when I lived in a tiny loft: Small Space Living.