Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Welcome to our 215 sq. ft. apartment

As promised, here are a couple of photos of our teeny tiny apartment. :) There’s nothing special or fancy about it, but it’s clean and functional. And with the rental market so tight here in Stuttgart, we’re just grateful that we were able to find a place that we liked within our price range.

The apartment came fully furnished – which was a huge advantage for us. Aside from a few small items (and maybe a toaster oven – since we don’t have a kitchen oven), we won’t have to buy anything. Not even bathroom towels or bedsheets! :)

This is the view of our one room from the entryway. As you can see, there’s a ton of natural light, a table big enough for two computers, and a twin-sized bed – which, surprisingly enough, is big enough for the two of us.

This is the view from sitting on the bed. You can see our kitchen is tiny. There is a small fridge underneath the stovetop, which actually works perfectly for us. For the past couple of weeks living in the hostel, we’ve done one big grocery shop each week, then mid-week, we’d usually do a much smaller trip to the store to restock on fresh veggies, fruit, and bread.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering – why yes, that is a Justin Bieber calendar hanging from our wall. It was  Nic’s Christmas present to me, so you can bet I brought it with us! :P

The view from the table. You can see there’s two storage cabinets. Nic has his clothing in the bottom shelves of the glass cabinet, and all of my stuff is in the far cabinet near the door. Although, I stole a shelf in Nic’s cabinet because I brought way more clothing than him. :)

We even have a TV! The apartment comes with satellite and a TV, but our landlord informed us that she is going to buy a new TV for us since the one we currently have doesn’t work very well. It doesn’t really matter to us, since we don’t watch TV anyway.

I forgot to take a picture of the washroom, but there’s nothing special about it. There’s a shower, a sink, and a toilet. It’s clean, so that’s all I really care about.

Before we saw the apartment in person, I was skeptical. But when we went to see it, we scooped it up immediately. And now that we’ve had a couple of days to settle in, I really, really like it. It’s just so ideal in many ways: cheap, close to town, in a great neighbourhood, and it comes fully furnished. And while I’d love to paint the bare walls and change up the ugly bedding, spending any amount of time and money just isn’t worth it. Especially when whatever we buy, we won’t be able to take home with us.

Could you live in this apartment?

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Avery says:

    I think it’s cute. Although, I’ve always had a preference of living with less. Some may be turned off with the tight space but if you start feeling stuffy, just go for a walk or go to the library. Then again, I also have experience living with a large family in a small house so I do also understand the attraction of wanting more room just to have your own space.

  2. Ashley says:

    Toaster oven makes sense to buy. It’s cute – it’s not like you are living here forever – it’s just six months!

  3. what says:

    not sure what the big fuss was about. Im glad you posted pictures, as I couldnt understand why it was such a big deal to other readers that you chose to save money by living less. I think the apartment is cute, and I definitely think it is livable.

  4. Paige says:

    My apartment is smaller than yours, so yes, I could definitely live there. The only thing I really miss is a big kitchen.

  5. Dee says:

    I think if I chose to live in something like that, I’d call it “my room with kitchenette” rather than “my apartment”; for psychological reasons, I think I’d find it difficult to refer to it or think of it as an apartment. Having said that, I don’t think I’d ever want to live in something like that for more than a week or so (but I totally don’t have any issues with other people doing so — all the more power to you).
    For me what is most amazing is not that you are living there but that you are living there WITH SOMEONE ELSE! I would definitely not want to share that little space.

  6. psychsarah says:

    If I were alone, I could probably handle it for a while, like your 6 month stay. DH and I have very different schedules (I’m an early bird, he’s a nighthawk) so we’d drive each other mad in a space like this were there was nowhere else to go if someone was sleeping. Plus, we can’t handle a twin bed-we’re big people, and need at least a double (we have a queen at home) to be comfortable. We also have a 7 month old now, so it would be challenging to figure out where to put a crib (and the toys, gear etc.) and be quiet and dark enough for him to go to bed (at 7:30 most nights) and still have adult time.

    Good on ya for setting your priorities and finding a place that works for you. Seeing your travel plans, you’re only going to be there during the week for the most part anyway, and changing up the scenery here there and everywhere as you travel, so it should be do-able.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I think I’m lucky because Nic falls asleep really easily. I’m constantly up late working, with the lights on, or my bright laptop open in bed. He’s not bothered by it. But, if he’s the one staying up late (which is super rare), I can’t fall asleep unless it’s dead quiet and pitch black. :)

      Also, I agree with you – there’s no way we’d be able to live in the space with a child. It’s a good space for 1 person, tight for 2 people, and not even thinkable for a family.

  7. Jay says:

    I could live in it, but I couldn’t share it. But then again, I couldn’t share my 3 bedroom house (with 2 bedrooms empty), so it’s not the space that’s the problem.

    If I was living there long term, though, I’d spend a few thousand dollars making it PERFECT. Wall mounted TV and replacing the table/kitchen with countertops, an induction hot plate and stools that fit under… and there looks like there’s plenty of space for shelving above.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I totally agree – if we were there long-term, there are a lot of things we’d change with the place. Nic commented yesterday that it’s a big enough space for us, it’s just that nothing fits properly. There’s lots of potential to create space and storage. We’re just not interested in investing any money in a place that we’re only in for 6 months, and on stuff we can’t take back with us. :|

  8. Daisy says:

    Will you be also working in the apartment?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I think I’ll work there sometimes. The light during the day is really nice! But I’m going to keep working at the library and see how that goes. It’s a 30 min. walk from the apartment, so I can get some (free) exercise into my day. :)

  9. Jessi says:

    It looks like a college dorm room. I sure wouldn’t want to live there, but I could handle it. It would be a lot more comfortable for 1 than 2.

    Do you have storage units too? That’s the only issue- if I’m paying to store stuff, it seems like it would be worth it to just pay more rent and actually have the stuff.

    But, if I were just living in another country for 6 months, and the bulk of my stuff was staying “home”- then it is completely reasonable, but not quite the same as if everything moved with you.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      HA! That’s what I thought when I first saw it. But I lived in a college dorm room for 2 years, so I can’t really complain. :)

      No, there isn’t any storage that I know of. That’s one of the reasons why we knew we could live here. All we have with us is what we carried in our backpacks. It wouldn’t work for us long-term as a permanent residence, if we had to move all of our stuff along with us.

  10. Michelle says:

    As others said, I think it’s definitely cute and livable. Good use of space.

  11. SWR says:

    I think that the worst part for me would be the tiny bed…especially if sharing it with someone else!

  12. Kristin says:

    Is there an oven? And is it just a fridge, or a freezer too?

    I think I could live in a small space for awhile, but long-term it might be tough.


  13. Johanna B says:

    I would gladly have lived in that apt when I was in Paris and a bit younger.

  14. Rina says:

    I’d totally live there in your position. It’s actually really nice!!!

  15. Rina says:

    (husband and I slept on a twin mattress for a long time – you gotta get cuddly but it works!!)

  16. S C says:

    I like it! I think your apt. is a fantastically sufficient size for temporary living in Europe.

  17. Brittany says:

    Oh, it’s so cute! I love it!!

  18. Marianne says:

    I think it’s perfect!! When my husband and I were first together we also slept together in a twin sized bed. Over the years we’ve upgraded to a Queen… though we’ve added a big dog into the mix that likes to cuddle with us.

  19. carah says:

    Your Moneyville article today notes the importance of buying a proper bed… so I’m a bit surprised you share a twin bed. I like your posts and blog, but I’m finding it’s more about you and your boyfriend rather than about money/saving/student debt/cost of life, etc., so I may not be checking back as often as I used to.

    • Suzie says:

      Sadly, me too. I’ve been following your blog for quite a bit and your moneyville articles as well and while I enjoy your postings, I feel like you’ve made a very dramatic change in the content of your postings. While I’m thrilled that everything is working out for you and your demostrating the reasons why people should do the ‘right thing’ with their financial situation, I feel that you’ve moved on past the point where your current experience is of any relevance to me.
      I’m not saying this as a broke person, but as someone who is debt free and on track. I use postings like yours to keep me on the right track. I’m just not really interested in hearing about how amazing your life is, how great it is that your in Europe for 8 months, how smashing your bf is and how your making an impossibly tiny appartment not only work for you but put the rest of us to shame for having more then 215 sq ft and feeling just a tad bit cramped. I wish you all the best in the future but I dont think I’ll be stopping by to read your blog postings anymore.

      • Krystal Yee says:

        Well obviously I’m sorry that you both feel that way – that my blog is no longer relevant to your lives. I guess that happens over time. We grow apart from people we know in our everyday lives, it makes sense that the same thing happens online.

        You’re right, my life has changed drastically. I’m no longer a student. I’m living here in Europe for the next 7 months, on an extremely tight budget, and I’m now trying to figure myself out as a freelancer. It’s tough. But the great thing is, there are plenty of other blogs out there that you will be able to relate to, if you can’t relate to mine anymore. :)

  20. Bexxx says:

    I love it! It is perfectly functional and cute. Very minimalist. I love how you are using the sink storage for clothing. I actually live with my boyfriend in a 290 sq ft apartment (that I pay $1195/month for) so I feel you. Plus, the things that I like to collect – board games and records – are huge room hogs. I posted pictures from my apartment in the linked post if you want to see what it’s like to live somewhere small full time.

    Toaster oven is definitely key and the time will go by fast if you find that it is killing you. Have fun and looking forward to hearing more about your adventures!

  21. Bridget says:

    I definitely could.. but I’d have trouble sharing it ;) impressed that you can make it work as a couple! I think it’s cool

  22. Tracey says:

    I think it’s perfect! Cooking could be a bit of a pain, and if you and Nic have an argument it’d be hard to avoid each other. But it’s all you really need and with Europe right outside your door, you probably won’t spend a lot of time there anyway. :-)

  23. eemusings says:

    It’s bigger than I thought! I’m not used to feet and inches, so was struggling to calculate how big that area was.

    What is a twin bed? Is that a double bed? (I seem to recall you mentioning Nic was quite tall – my partner is about 6’3 and 120kg – we have a queen bed which is about the right size).

    The main thing is that you have cooking facilities IMO – that’ll save you heeeeeaps.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      No, I think a twin bed is smaller than a double bed. Nic’s about 5’8″ … it was my ex-BF who was tall (6’7″!), so since I’m 5’2″, a small bed is a little bit small, but we’ve been making it work.

  24. Miss J says:

    It’s actually much better than what I was envisioning given the size & all. As others have said, we could possibly live in there for 6 months while travelling especially in a new city. However longer than that, I would start getting antsy about the lack of space. Our first studio is just a little bit larger than this (about twice this), the weird thing is that it didn’t have a kitchen sink & the bathroom was huge. So no washing facilities meaning you guys would still have to go to the expensive laundromat?

  25. Vanessa says:

    I love it! The only concern I would have is that it looks as though you don’t have any counter space… Where do you prepare your food?

  26. Asia says:

    I am impressed you can both sleep on a twin size bed. It is good you have an alternative place to work. If I stayed in there all day I think it would start to feel like jail.

  27. Tim Andersen says:

    I could totally live in that apartment of yours. It is really nice and above all is very clean. I think you have got yourself a very cute place to live in.

    Thanks for sharing those lovely photographs.


  28. It’s perfect! With minimal personal belongings – it’s really all you need. So long as you get along with well with your room mate =)
    Whenever we go camping, I seriously have this desire to LIVE in the tent! I think I’m comforted by small, cozy (yet comfortable) spaces. But then I realize that homeless folks live in tents…. and it’s frowned upon in the city!

  29. Lauren says:

    I could for sure manage there short term, in a situation like yours – not sure about with my boyfriend though as he can be quite messy! I’m even nervous about the mess in our new 640sqft apt, when we move in lol. But if he stayed neat and tidy (and in a space like that, you HAVE to), than I could manage. We’re also on different hours, and while he can sleep through anything I’m a light sleeper so that could be an issue. Sharing the twin bed would bother me though – I’ve done it a handful of times, and I really don’t sleep much – as I said, I’m a light sleeper so every little movement by my boyfriend wakes me up.

  30. Anonymous says:

    you are so annoying

  31. The space doesn’t look that bad! I could see being in there for 6 months – definitely not long term as you’ve mentioned. I’d only have trouble with the twin bed. My boyfriend and I recently upgraded to a queen size – even a double felt too small for us!

  32. Amy says:

    Cute space! I feel like if it were a short-term stay like yours, we could make it work too. It looks cozy and functional and while I’d miss things like an oven, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    The only thing I don’t think I could deal with is the twin bed. Pete and I are both fairly small people, and we wouldn’t be able to spend more than one night in a twin bed without going batty.

  33. TekGems says:

    Cute space. I think perhaps only kitchen table should be able to be lifted (attached to wall) with foldable legs. Its a better use of space since your space is so tiny. Also, TV could be flat panel against the wall, but for what it is and probably what you’re paying the landlord did an okay job.

  34. Cyril says:

    Not a bad space. I guess it’s cool to live like a college student again and simplify. But, as a personal finance blogger, you are very uninspiring. Who wants to live in a 215sqft place with another person and ruin their career, lives, credibility etc?

    Pretty weak.

  35. duddes02 says:

    I think it’s great. We live in a really small apartment too and the less room we have-the less sh*t we buy! We don’t have any drawers in our kitchen so we have one set of utensils that we keep on the shelf. We have 1 pot and 1 frying pan. Works for us! We never just randomly buy something for the apt-everything is thought out.

  36. Ashley@PacificCoastPlanning says:

    Wow that is quaint! I have a small studio apartment but fortunately it is triple that size; kudos to you for making it work!

  37. Rona says:

    I could totally live there and share almost everything.. However, I could not share the twin bed. I would go nuts and probably murder my SO in his sleep.. ha-ha We have a hard time on a queen. I would have to do some kind of memory foam pallet or something that I could slide under or sit on top of the twin bed. This I would consider a worthwhile investment if he wants to survive the night. hahaaha

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