50% of our money goes to housing and transportation

In general, we all complain about the cost of healthcare, insurance, and of course taxes. But, according to the DoL’s survey in 2009 (dated, I know, though I believe still accurate), Americans do spend half of their hard earned money on where we sleep and how we get around. This is an astonishing view on something we should have known all along if we bothered to calculate it. So, is there anything we can do about it?

There’s a new social movement where people have chosen to downsize the space they live in. This isn’t an arbitrary or easy choice, as they are typically forced into a much more modest, humble, or simple life, but it affords them an unprecedented freedom that many American’s do not have. They no longer have a mortgage most of the time, and many times, their housing is ALSO their transportation.

What we’re really seeing is a modern, mobile take on convertible space. This isn’t a new concept. New York and Tokyo have many micro-apartments which utilize this same idea with great success. The basic idea is that the same room could be used as a living space, sleeping space, and working space. That way, whatever real estate is available is used as much as possible instead of being paid for and unused. This is not a push towards changing the world, but maybe one possible solution so we are not spending a third of a month’s earnings just paying for the roof over our head, which sits empty half the day when we are out working to pay for it. IJS