The Average American

A while ago I wrote a post on being “weird” which was a huge hit and you can check it out here.  I was thinking about what it means to be an average American and started researching some of the numbers.  In particular I was thinking about how a typical American would compare to someone who lived in a Tiny House.   Tomorrow I will write a post on what the average Tiny House person is like to compare.



  1. I have decided to go totally transparent and answer the above questions so folks can get an idea of who we are at Tiny r(E)volution and how far we have come in our transitory life.

    * We have $72.17 in our savings account
    * Our house is worth $23,812. We subsequently owe none of it to the bank.
    * We have no traditional retirement plan
    * We make just at $60k/year
    * We have investments but they may not be in traditional stocks, bonds, 401s
    * We have less than $2k left on consumer debt

    NOTE: When we married nearly four years ago we had tremendous debt, no assets, and nothing to show for ourselves materialistically. In those four years we have reduced our debt by $41,265 (to-date) while living multi-generationally and having our first child.

    * We pay 33% tax to federal and state, collectively
    * We budget $175/pay period for food, $60/gas, and $45/”mad money”
    * We donate, tithe, and otherwise “give away” roughly 18% of our income
    * We own one car that we still owe $1,970 on (we also have car insurance and we have maintenance done every 3 months)
    * We have one cell phone. It features a data package.
    * We have one major credit card and one store card. Only the credit card has a balance.

    I am exposing all of this because I think it is important for more of us to speak up about how life can be. Life is not about money. We are NOT our salaries. My wife is a SAHM who has no income to speak of yet I contend she works 2x as hard as me each day. We budget our money so that we don’t overspend. We married in our 30s. Both of us spent our 20s buying in to what society told us spelled S-U-C-C-E-S-S. What it really spelled was T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Don’t get me wrong y’all. We are no better than anyone else and we don’t look down on anyone that lives life differently. We just know how much our lives were enhanced by taking control of our finances and deciding what was truly important to us and how we could be better stewards of the blessings we do receive.

    -Drew of Tiny r(E)volution

    • I’m so with you. We are about to build our tiny house this summer if everything works out. We have also realized that life is not about money and my husband walked away from a well paid aerospace job to enjoy life instead. We now have a blast living on a lot less money, one car, and a more simple living without all the material stuff we used to own…Life is so much more than keeping up with the Jones’ and desire new things all the time..We have reduced the stress in our lives and are able to spend so much more time with our children instead. It’s hard for others to understand how awesome we feel now, they just see us as having given up things in life instead of seeing that we gained so much more than we gave up..

      • I hear you Jo. Congratulations on y’alls life choices. Sounds like it is all working out for the best!

    • I went from $40-$50k a year income for a single, to $0 due to health issues, to $8500 due to early retirement. Cashed in the meager 401k, paid down a mortgage I should have walked away from, lost my car and now looking at foreclosure if I am unable to sell my home and get enough back in equity to have a tiny home built on land I already have. With the super-inflated prices of tiny-homes and my failing health, my hopes aren’t high. I was never much about money and saving, I was always the grasshopper, rather than the ant. but now I fear saving for a nice stiff morphine drip is my best bet.

  2. Average of 50,000??? Not anyone I know!!!

    • I Believe that $50k is for a household income, not individual.

    • Hi Deborah,

      Median income is not the same as average income.

      • The average income is actually higher because it is skewed by high-income earners. And the figures are per household, not individual.

  3. I am really interested to see how the average tiny house person compares and where you pulled those statistics from! You always have such interesting stuff Ryan! Nice post!

  4. FANTASTIC!I am preparing to build for many of the same reasons and I have been contemplating how honest to be about my motives when I start to document the build. I love this article and am sure I will link to it at some point in the future!

  5. Umm, ouch. Sounds about right, too, based on reading I’ve done on the subject.

    I’ve done it myself, and it took falling completely out of the “normal life” loop to stop it.



  6. I really enjoyed this information. These are great infographics as well. I really enjoy all the graphic design elements on your site as well as your videos. Keep up the awesome work!

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