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Meet the Millennial Saving for a Tiny House

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I’m Brittany and I am the creator of Tiny Ambitions. I am a Canadian millennial, fresh out of grad school living in the mystical land of rural Ontario.

My blog, Tiny Ambitions might sound a bit counterintuitive to those in the finance realm, but I believe that all ambitions big or small are worthy of exploring! I started Tiny Ambitions to track my journey in minimalism and downsizing, with the ultimate goal of building my very own tiny house on wheels. A big part of this journey has included organizing my finances to support my dream!

Saving for a Tiny House
Brittany Bruce, Creator of Tiny Ambitions

How would I describe my current financial situation?

Three words: work-in-progress. At the moment, I have a steady income from a full-time job, but I never bank on having this stability in the future. A major shining light in my financial situation is that I don’t have any student debt anymore, even after six years and two degrees (thank you scholarships, grants and two jobs every summer).

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Because of where I live (small town, rural Ontario, Canada), my living expenses are incredibly low. My one bedroom apartment costs $728 a month, which I split with my partner (score 1 for co-habitation!). Our main expenses every month are rent, groceries & Netflix, or the trifecta as I like to call them.

The downside of where I live is that there isn’t a lot to do for fun besides exploring the great outdoors. The upside? There aren’t a lot of entertainment expenses draining my bank account every month.

Do I consider myself to be money-savvy?

I am a reformed shopaholic, so the short answer is, I am much more money-savvy now than I used to be. My regular outing every week used to be going to the mall to ‘find a deal’. Needless to say, that hobby only ended in me being overwhelmed with stuff, with very little income (i.e. zero) left for saving.

What financial advice do I wish I had heard when you started working?

Don’t settle for the first salary offer that comes your way. I could have negotiated my way into a moderately more lucrative gig, but I didn’t even know that was an option! I was just starry-eyed at the prospect of someone wanting to hire me! Chances are, you have a ton of education and training under your belt. You’re skilled a hell, don’t sell yourself short.

What financial achievement am I most proud of?

Opening my first investment account! Since becoming employed full-time, I’ve been slowly stashing away cash in a regular old savings account and made nothing off of it.  

I only opened my first investment RSP (Retirement Savings Plan), two months ago because I was too scared and risk averse to do it before. I was flat out terrified that I would lose all my money and be back at zero.

I also didn’t realize that the interest rate of a regular savings account doesn’t keep pace with inflation, which means I was guaranteed to lose spending power of all that money I had worked so hard to save! My investment account has a modest balance right now, but I hope that it will only keep growing!

What expense can I not live without?

Netflix. Don’t you dare come between me and any Scandinavian crime drama ever made.

What expenses could I cut down on?

Food. I am always trying to save money on my grocery bills. It is one of my biggest expenses and I know I could be saving more if I took the time to shop the local flyers and make a shopping plan. Nothing says sexy like coupon clipping!

What are my long-term financial goals?

My Tiny House! I’ve budgeted $50,000 for the tiny house build, and I am 10% of the way there right now (Blog post coming soon!). I’m saving 40% of my income every month, with half of that going straight into the tiny house fund, no questions asked. ‘Long term’ for me is five years max, and I hope to have a tiny house to show for my savings efforts by then!

What are my short-term financial goals?

Not spending another $1800 next year on new tires for my car. Been there, done that.

Do you have any side hustles or ways to gain supplemental income?

Fun fact: I am a trained yoga teacher. It was something I did during grad school, and if I ever need the money, I can downward dog my way into some extra cash!

What career path would you choose if money was not an issue?

Crazy cat lady. If money wasn’t an issue, I would love to devote my time to helping as many animals in need as possible. I blame my cross-eyed, rescue cat for my bleeding heart.

Closing thoughts?

Don’t be afraid to start your passion project, even if it’s on a whim. I started Tiny Ambitions last December because I just wanted a place to store my thoughts, and it has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORY?

All of us have a story to tell about personal finance, and I created the Meet Millennials series so that anyone can share their story with money. Talking about money has been considered taboo in the past but we are here to change that. 

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