Today we will be discussing the costs of living in a tiny home. This article is about what it costs to live in a tiny house, per month. Many people ask me how I’m able to travel the world. This year, I visited Taiwan, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador and I’m going to Colombia in two weeks. How am I able to pay for all this travel and support myself, with only a part-time job as a blogger? The big reason is I live in a tiny house. I have very little expenses. I’m going to tell you my monthly expenses, and you can decide whether the lifestyle is right for.
No Mortgage Payment
First of all, I have no mortgage payment. Right off the bat, that’s how I save a lot of money. Parking is going to be different for everybody. Some people have a piece of property that they park on. Sometimes they park in somebody’s backyard, and they pay them rent. If you’re traveling around with your tiny house, you might be paying a campground fee. The RV resort that I’m parked at is called Mount Hood Village, and they have an area just for tiny houses. That’s the “tiny house village”, and for my parking spot (which I think is a pretty cool parking spot), it would cost about $400 to $500 dollars a month.
Labor in Exchange for Parking
My secret is that I have a sweet deal with a company that I do a little bit of work for. In exchange, I’m able to live here without paying rent. Expense-wise, it is $0 for my parking spot. My parking spot parking is probably the biggest question mark about how much it’s going to cost to live, month a month, in a tiny house.
I think that about $450 to $500 or $600 is average for a monthly charge for a space in an RV park. You can find cheaper. I’ve seen RV parks only charging $200 a month. Now, they’re in very rural areas. You might be back to back with other RVs, so you kind of get what you pay for there.
I’ve actually seen parking spots go for up to $1,000 a month in RV parks, which is just crazy. I would never pay that, but some people really want that awesome spot that’s right next to the mountain with epic views. They want a spot with a lot of space and you get all the amenities. I get it. I just can’t afford it. That’s not why I went tiny.
Parking in Someone’s Backyard
I did park in somebody’s backyard for about eight months, and it was a really nice spot. I found them on Craigslist, and I was paying $500 a month for that backyard spot. Now, it was walking distance to the Gondola in Breckenridge Colorado. I was willing to pay a little bit more. I would probably not normally pay that much, but it varies depending on where you’re parked. If you’re in Half Moon Bay in California you might be paying $500 a month. If you’re near New York City, you might be paying more. I would try to find a situation where you can do a work exchange, like what I mentioned above that I am doing. If they feel your value is equal to, or more than, what they normally charge — then it’s a win-win for everybody involved.
I do have insurance for my tiny house. I’ve gone through a couple different agencies, and I figured out what works for me. It covers a lot of things, like wildfires emergencies, if somebody hurts themselves while staying in my tiny house. I do rent it out occasionally, so I do pay a little less than $900 a year for my tiny house insurance. I pay it all in one lump sum to save a little bit of money. If you break it down, per month, I’m spending just a little over $70 on tiny house insurance.
Let’s talk about utilities. One of the benefits of parking in an RV park is that you get a lot more amenities than you might if you’re parked in somebody’s backyard. You don’t have to be off-grid in an RV park. You have the sewer there. You have the power. You have the electricity. You have cable if you want it. In my parking spot, water and trash is included, so I don’t have to worry about that.
Electricity does charge, but I don’t have to pay for it because of the deal that I have with the company. Normally, you would be paying electricity here as well. I can’t tell you how much a normal electrical bill would be, but I wouldn’t think it was much. At least, it wasnt much for my tiny house because it was built to be off-grid. I have all LED lighting and a lot of propane appliances. My electrical bill, I would assume, would be very small because I have a propane stove.
I have a propane water heater. Every three months is how often I have to do a tank change for my 15 pound propane tank. It cost about $30 every three months so that’s $10 a month. Sometimes I go and get that propane tank filled, instead of doing it in exchange. I switch off depending on what I feel like and how much time I want to spend. If I just do a fill, it cost me around $11. Propane fluctuates, so I save about $20 if I fill instead of doing exchange. Sometimes I like to get a new tank, just for peace of mind that I have a new tank. Let’s say, on average, my gas bill per month is about seven dollars. I think that’s fair to say.
Something that is very important to me is Wi-Fi. I pay around $55 per month for internet. Sompe people here choose to also put in cable television on their parking spot. There’s a couple of other tiny houses here, where the owners think that is important. I don’t know how much that costs, probably the same as a regular cable television provider would charge.
Other Typical Expenses
What else do I spend money on? It’s hard to think of, because I really don’t have that many expenses that are “tiny house” related. My expenses are like regular people’s expenses — car insurance, health insurance, thinks like that. The expenses that I have here are my insurance (about seventy dollars a month), my internet (which is $55 a month), and my gas bill (which is $7 a month). That’s my home expenses, for living in a tiny house.
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When I was traveling with my tiny house, there were different expenses that I was experiencing. I had to pay for gas to tow this thing around. I was getting about eight miles per gallon. I was spending about $700 a month just on gas. I also was paying about $300 a month and campground fees, because I was staying overnight in different locations. I was also parking in locations that didn’t charge me to camp, so like BLM campgrounds, Walmart parking and lots people’s driveways. I had to have the capability to be off-grid, so I had my own solar generator. I had a lot of things going on in here that allowed me a water tank, allowed me to park off-grid in those locations, so traveling around was already a lot more expensive than staying put.
I also had my truck payment and I had truck insurance, so those cost a significant amount of money. I also need internet while I was on the road, so I had to up my cell phone plan to be able to do a high-speed Wi-Fi that I could tether to my computer. I was paying for a 30 gig plan through Verizon at the time. I didn’t have their unlimited option, like they have now, and it was costing me about a hundred and thirty dollars a month for that plan. I was blowing through it every month, 30 gigs was not enough. I wasn’t even watching Netflix, it was just me doing my internet things and uploading videos.
Maintenance-wise, yes, I have spent some money on the tiny house every year. I have to winterize. Some things have broke over the years. I’ve had to replace a couple hoses and a couple sewer lines. I have had to replace the tires, all four tires have been replaced. That is because I traveled 25,000 miles with this tiny house. That pertains to the traveling aspect of tiny house living, so if you park your tiny house in one location (assuming that your parking isn’t really expensive), you can live a very affordable lifestyle.
That is how I’m able to travel for 3 months out of the year. I also travel very budget-friendly. I must say, I’m not staying in resorts. I’m staying in hostels. I’m camping. I’m backpacking. I’m doing air B&B and I’m finding affordable flights. I’m really being economical about my travels, as well, which allows me to travel more frequently and for longer periods of time.
Everybody is always asking what do you do with your dog when you travel. I have friends that watch her, or I have a trusted pet sitter that I pay to watch her. She has her own little vacation when I’m gone for 3 or 4 weeks at a time. It’s actually harder for me to leave her than I think it is for her to be left. I hope this explains a little bit more of what tiny houses cost per month.
Hi, I’m Jenna Spesard. I built and live in a Tiny House to free up my finances so that I can travel the world! On this YouTube channel, I share Alternative dwellngs, lifestyle videos, Tiny House gadgets, and my travel adventures around the planet. My story has been featured on HGTV, Travel Channel, the Huffington Post, USA Today, and many more!