As many of you know, I’m a travel addict. But how I’m able to visit 5-10 new countries a year on the wages of a part-time blogger? It’s simple really, my monthly expenses are ridiculously low! How low exactly? Let me break it down for you…
Or watch this video explaining my Tiny House Monthly Expenses
MY TINY HOUSE MONTHLY EXPENSES
My house is paid off. If you’re interested in the total cost of my build, click here.
RENT / PARKING FEE
Paying rent for a parking spot is probably the biggest expense most Tiny Housers will face. While I’ve written an article on the trials and tribulations of Tiny House Parking, I’ve never explained my current situation in detail. I’ve been stationary for over a year, parking full time at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village. What is Mt. Hood Tiny House Village? It’s an RV resort that has been around for decades, and they recently decided to promote and embrace the Tiny House movement.
The resort itself is massive, welcoming hundreds of RVers every year. The park management has dedicated one area of the park for Tiny Homes, cabins, and park models. There are currently five Tiny Houses available for nightly rentals on the property, and these tinies are owned and managed by the park itself. There are also five privately-owned Tiny Homes parked there as well, and they pay a montly rental fee.
My home is one of the five privately owned Tiny Homes at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village. Rent is approximately $500 a month (depending on your spot), and it includes amenities such as access to the gym, hot tub, and pool. A few utilities are also included, namely water and trash. Gas and electric are metered at each spot, so these utilities not included in the rental price. Cable and internet can also be added for an additional cost.
You can find cheaper parking elsewhere, sure. But, in my experience, you get what you pay for. Whenever I see RV parks charging $300 or less per month, I know I won’t be happy with the parking spot or the amenities. Many RV parks are falling apart with poor management and/or located in less desirable areas. Of course, you can also choose not to park in an RV park. Read this article for more parking options.
What do I pay per month for rent? I do a work exchange, and in return, they wave my rental fee. I pay $0 for rent.
As I mentioned above, trash and water are included in my parking spot. Electricity is also included with my specific agreement, but I do have a few utilities that I pay for monthly: gas and internet.
I use a propane water heater and a propane stove top in my Tiny House. I fill my 15lb propane tank about every three months. It costs about $7 a month on average because I usually choose to refill the tanks at a gas station (rather than doing an exchange). I also have a 3-way refrigerator, which uses propane when I’m off-grid. Currently, I’m plugged into a hefty electrical outlet, so I’m running my fridge on electricity.
Monthly Gas Cost: $7
I use a local internet provider for high-speed internet in my house. I have a router and modem, like a regular home. My bill is $55 a month. I do not have cable, as that would be extra. When I was traveling with my Tiny House, I had a large data plan with Verizon Wireless and tethered my iPhone to my computer. This was very expensive, and I always blew through my data. I was spending about $130 a month on my Verizon bill.
Monthly Internet Cost: $55
I do have insurance on my Tiny House, and I’ve written an in-depth insurance article about my experience (good and bad) with different policies. My current policy allows for renters because, when I’m traveling, I do rent my Tiny House out (call 877-570-2267 or visit this website and book the “Journey” Tiny House).
My insurance costs $878.80 a year, and I pay it in full. For the purpose of this article, I’ll divide it out to a monthly cost.
Monthly Insurance Cost: $74
I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t experienced much home maintenance in the last two years. I repaired my water heater two winters ago when it broke due to user error. That cost me about $250. That same year, I replaced all four tires because I had traveled over 25,000 miles (for the monthly cost of towing a Tiny House, click here). I also replaced my electric space heater after it died on me, which cost about $50. Last year, I installed a winter skirt for around $100, and I purchased a few items specifically for winter living (click here to see my favorite winter appliances).
I haven’t spent more than a few hundred dollars on maintenance since parking at Mt. Hood Tiny House Village last summer. So, let’s estimate my monthly maintenance cost to be $30, on the high end. Normally, it’s zero.
Monthly Insurance Cost: $30
MY TOTAL TINY HOUSE MONTHLY EXPENSES: $166
That’s it. $166 is all I pay monthly for home expenses. Of course, I have other expenses such as student debt, car insurance, a car loan payment, health insurance, groceries, gas, contributing to my retirement fund, etc. I do not consider these expenses to be Tiny House related, so I am not going to disclose them in this article.
With all of the money I’m saving on my monthly expenses, I’m able to support myself with a part-time job that I love – writing for this blog and making YouTube videos! I am also paying down my debts (I’m hoping to be debt-free by the end of next year), and I use my extra income to travel about 3-months out of the year. I don’t consider myself wealthy. My yearly income might even shock some people. But I’ve redesigned my life so that I can do the things I love now, not in 40 years when I’m retired.
I live with less, but my life is richer. How about you?
I love this! Very inspiring. And wow, you were really able to drive expenses down with that work exchange. How common is that?
I’m afraid not that common. I felt very lucky!
How many hours do you do the work exchange and what sort of work do they have you do? I’m really interested in exploring this community.
Hi! This article is old. I haven’t lived there in more than 2 years. But, at the time, it was working one Sunday a month. About 6-8 hours, and also being available for questions (by phone) at anytime. But alas, they don’t offer this position anymore.
How much do u pay for health insurance, vision, dental? Do you have theee months of emergency expenses in the bank? Do u have savings for when your older and you want to make a change?
Hi, I have private health insurance. I don’t need to tell you what I spend, but it’s typical for a person my age, in the area that I live, that makes the amount that I do. I do have savings, emergency expenses, retirement, etc. The only reason I have those things is due to my low monthly expenses.
Do most long term living R.V. parks allow you to have your own internet/cable service or do you have to use theirs only? I work from home and need to have the best signal/data connection (land line also).
I find that the internet service at most RV parks is pretty terrible. So, I think it’s necessary to have a hotspot from your cell phone provider, and/or be able to hook up to a regular plan (via a local internet provider if you don’t plan on moving for months at a time).
You show the total cost of monthly expenses as $166, but my math shows $616! Did you invert two numbers or not include the $450 lot rent on purpose?? I love your articles and agree that living with less (we really need to do this more for many many reasons!!) and living fully enjoying life is more important than what we are being fed by mainstream society! Simple living is it!!
I mentioned that I did a work-for-trade. So my rent was comp’d. I told the price of rent as if I had to pay it, but I did not. And FYI, it’s now at least $100 more expensive to park there.
She works at the RV Park for swap for her rent.
I’m really curious about the cost of renting land. If you don’t own a piece of property how much does it cost to rent a location on average to plug into electrical and water supply, if your not living off grid. If anyone can answer this I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
It really depends on where you live. For example, at Mt Hood Village RV Park, it costs about $530 to rent a spot per month. This does not include utilities. I’ve also parked on private property before and paid a little less – $500 a month including utilities. This seems about the price for extremely coveted areas (I was at the base of Breckenridge mountain, near the gondola). I’ve heard of people paying only a few hundred dollars for less popular locations. Obviously, if you own your own land, it could be less. It just depends!
Agree with Jenna, it just depends. My property owner is charging me based on what the local RV parks charge (without metered elec./water) so I am getting a great deal with everything included, even wifi, at the same prices as an RV spot.
Hi, you are so beautiful 🙂 would love to travel with you and see the world.