Your home is your castle. If there's one thing castles are good at, it's being filled with old junk no one's used in centuries. If you want to reduce your needless spending, start by removing the extra space for it.
Picture: Will Keightley/Flickr
When looking for a home, many people tend to go for the "Then we'll have it" approach. You may not need a spare bedroom now. But you'll sure be glad you have it when you run low on storage space, right? As value-focused blog Miles Dividend MD explains, empty space in a home is just asking to be filled. At best it's wasted money on square footage you're not using, and at worst it's an enabler for shopping:
The cost was reasonable relative to my salary and we loved the place so we bought it. And I still love the place. It's just that it's… too much.
Too much empty space waiting to be filled with new purchases that I have no desire to make. Too many closets and garages and basement nooks to store the detritus of our past unnecessary purchases. Too many cubic feet of air to efficiently heat in the winter and cool in the summer.
Of course, a smaller home won't necessarily guarantee you can't waste money (some expensive things are very, very small). And you don't have to put a family of four in a studio apartment. But ask yourself what you need the space for before you buy a place. If the answer can be described as "The junk we'll add to our already too-big pile of junk", maybe a better solution is to get rid of the crap you already have.