Save Money in a Tiny House: Our Monthly Living Expenses

Mrs. Epic and I have been officially living in the Epic Tiny House for nearly 10 months! We’ve been paying close attention to our monthly living expenses, and we thought you may be interested to see what it costs to actually LIVE in a tiny house!

Before we dive into the expenses, keep in mind that our house is 8’6″ wide and 24′ long with 11′ ceilings. The first floor is about 170 sq. ft, and if you count the loft, it’s about 250 sq. ft.  We used 3 1/2″ of Roxul insulation in our walls, about 3″ in our floor, and 5 1/2″ in our ceiling.  We used our custom made sun screen shades on all of our windows during summer to try to minimize the cost of heating/cooling our house.

On to the monthly living expenses!

Rent

Since we don’t have our own property at this point in time, we have chosen to rent a parking location for the tiny house. Our location in Eastern Tennessee is nice, private and very quiet. The neighbors are friendly, too. Our rent is $300 per month.

Electric

We have metered electric at our site, so I’ve been able to tell exactly how many kilowatts we use each month. Electric is used for everything except our tankless water heater and our cooktop. For the months April through August, this was our usage in relation to our monthly living expenses:

  • April: 52 kWh, $5.50
  • May: 39 kWh, $4
  • June: 80 kWh, $8.50
  • July: 175 kWh, $18.50
  • August: 221 kWh, $23

In April we were still using a our Envi heater maybe 1 out of every 7 days. Then in May and June the weather was so nice that we just left the windows open to enjoy the cool air flowing through the windows. In July the heat really cranked up, so we bought a small window air conditioner, which we ran approximately 10 hours during the day during the hot parts of the day and we opened the windows at night to use the passive cooling.  

During the month of August we had some friends visit, so we used our A/C unit more than usual, thus the increase in the cost. We’re anticipating that about 225 kWh per month should be our highest usage for any given month (including our winter months when we use the Envi to heat the house), so our electric should never be more than $25 a month, and on average, about $10 each month.

Water

Our water usage is included in our monthly rent right now, so we don’t have a way to estimate our usage or cost. A typical home in our location for 2 people seem to be spending on average around $40 each month, so I would estimate that our water cost would be maybe around $10-15 for a month.

Propane

Propane is used for our Rinnai tankless water heater and our Ramblewood two-burner cooktop. We have two 5 gallon tanks that sit on the tongue of our trailer. I’ve never allowed them to reach completely empty (because I don’t ever want to be stuck taking a cold shower!), but based on how much we’ve refilled them with, I can estimate that for the past 6 months, we’ve used approximately 5 gallons of propane, which is about $16. This means monthly, our usage is just about .8 gallons of propane, or $2.50.

Internet

We use a PocketWifi for wifi at our house, and we got a pretty awesome price. Our internet is $45 each month, while most other internet sources tend to be around $75 or more per month!

Summary

You can see from above that our total living expenses for each month is approximately $360.

Based on average expenses for the area we currently live in for approximately a 1,000 sq. ft. apartment, we estimate the living expenses to be around $980 a month for the same expenses, so we have a total estimated savings of $620 of savings every month.  

This reduction in our living expenses has allowed us to work less, travel more, and enjoy life more! As always, thanks for coming along on our EPIC tiny house journey.

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