06/17/2015 05:29 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2015

Design Student Builds Tiny Home To Live Debt-Free

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Joel Weber made a fiscally responsible decision when he was a sophomore in college. He decided he wanted to live debt-free and happy -- so he built and designed his own “tiny home."

“I think living simple has always attracted me,” the University of Texas student said. “A lot of times we forget about the perspective of what we really need. I would rather be happy and be debt-free -- not be tied down, trying to be in the rat race because I have to pay for this lifestyle that’s really not even making me happy.”

Weber says tiny dwellings are generally categorized as 500 square feet or under, but his home is just 145 square feet. “I’m definitely testing the boundaries of living smaller,” he added.

The design student challenged himself by creating an efficient home in which everything has multiple functions and uses. Weber was resourceful with his materials, as well. He used reclaimed wood, repurposed items and energy-efficient lights to build the space.

For about $20,000, Weber has a mortgage-free home with minimal utility costs. He’s taken sustainable living to a new level and hopes to inspire others to do the same. “Tiny homes are a movement,” he added. “They are a movement that’s going to last and not just be a trend. I really feel as if this is the way we are moving for the future.”



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