Living a 'Less than average' Life: Housing

Danny Kofke and family
Danny Kofke and family

In these troubled economic times, there's a lot of anxiety about providing the finer things in life for your family in order to keep up with the Joneses, that mythological, average American family who seems to have it all. But for people who are willing to step off that endless cycle of acquisition, the rewards can be great. Some who embrace a "less is more" ethos -- who are perfectly satisfied being "less than average" -- are motivated solely by the desire to live a simpler life. But scaling back can also yield serious savings.

This is the first in a series of pieces about living "below the average." WalletPop has interviewed real Americans who've made a conscious decision to scale back their homes, their cars and various personal luxuries in the name of saving big bucks. We also spoke with financial experts who offer their professional advice about the best ways to cut back so you're no longer trying to keep up with those darn Joneses.