Christopher Smith, documentary filmmaker of Tiny: A Story About Living Small, and I talk about the financial upside to living in a tiny house, and how he managed to build his own tiny house with his own money and no prior building experience.
Long episode description:
When I watched Christopher Smith and Marete Mueller’s documentary Tiny: A Story About Living Small, it kind of blew my mind. I was always aware of the tiny house movement, even fantasized about building my own one day, but it wasn’t until I watched Christopher and Marete build a tiny house from nothing that I became a bit obsessed. Like started googling plans to build my own tiny house obsessed.
Luckily, I didn’t have to just wonder how one would go about building their own tiny house because Christopher was nice enough to chat with me about how he did it himself — with his own money and no prior building experience. If he can do it, anyone can, right?
That’s one of the big takeaways from the film actually. Just because you’ve never done something before, there’s still nothing stopping you from accomplishing it. And Christopher not only built his own tiny house, he made a film at the same time. A film that went on to major success by premiering at SXSW and screening at a number of other noteworthy film festivals.
Another takeaway from the film is the idea of settling down and making a home for yourself. I must have been thinking about his film when I wrote my blog post about embracing life’s impermanence, because that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
I grew up believing that at a certain age you needed to settle down and stay in one place to raise a family, but that just doesn’t seem important or rational anymore. You don’t need to have a big house in the suburbs with a 30-year mortgage you can hardly afford to have a home. You can buy a plot of land like Christopher and build a tiny house on wheels for the same price as a downpayment and live an incredibly fulfilling (and debt-free) life.
Which brings me to another big takeaway — the financial rewards of living small. One of the women featured in the film was able to pay down her debt and quit her soul-crushing job to pursue her dream of being a writer because she lived in a tiny house.
It’s crazy what opportunities pop up when we don’t give material goods and commercialism any power in our lives. When we focus on what’s truly important in life (family, community, mental health), we realize how insignificant stuff is. And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times — no matter how much stuff you’ve got, you can’t take it with you.
Learn More About Christopher Smith’s Tiny House and What He’s Up to Now