Single Mom Took the Risk, Built a Tiny Home, And Now Lives On Only $75 Per Month


We have all seen them, the tiny house movement has taken the world and especially the United States by storm! From the more modest, minimal style homes, to those with gadgets galore! Many of us dream of leaving our lives behind and building a tiny home of our own and some of us go out and do it!

Building a Tiny Home

In 2014, single mom of two college-aged children, Michelle “MJ” Boyle, decided to make the move and create her tiny home. Michelle was tired of working for others and being dependent on anyone. And that is how her move came about. Once her oldest had left, she got started. Aptly naming her new little house “My Tiny Empty Nest.”

“I built my first house, this house, basically using cash and sponsorships to make sure that I have a paid-for nice, comfortable house when I retire.”

The house took Michelle 15 months to build and is 8-and-a-half-feet wide by 24-feet long. It boasts everything a large, modern home would. The difference? Michelle has no mortgage and no excessive space to clean up! The little house is located on an old Christmas tree farm property in Sherwood, Oregon, and while it is modern, it has flair with refurbished vintage pieces from the 1940s and 50s.

We think it’s safe to say that Michelle made the right choice. She went from paying $1,600 monthly to living in an adorable house with only $75 in monthly expenses, MJ is elated with the change she made.

A New Business

Since building her own tiny home, Michelle has created a business building a village of tiny homes for others and even for rent on Airbnb. Take a look at the video at the end for a tour!

My interest in all-things-tiny-and-old started at 12 years old when I became fascinated with a tiny abandoned farm house near my parent’s home…and I’ve been sketching floor plans ever since. My Tiny Houses are the culmination of a life spent dreaming of a tiny reclaimed space, all my own.

“My tiny house that I live in was actually set forth to reduce my overall living expenses. The concept of the village is the concept that I’m now going to increase my income.

I’m not going to lie one of the best things about the concept in general is I now have a comfort about my financial future that I literally never had before.”

Michelle has built so many tiny homes since creating her own. It is hard to pick a favorite! each little house is unique and special. Michelle goes on to say that each home build presents its own set of unique challenges, and many end up costing more than originally intended. Nonetheless, planning and building tiny homes is her passion, no matter how tricky or complicated a project may become. Here are a few of her other builds.

The little home above is called My Tiny Hideout and is rented to visitors as a holiday home. It is modern, yet also earthy. When upstairs on the loft bed looking out, your view is nothing but a peaceful forest. The items within this beautiful little home took Michelle two years to gather, making it extra special and unique.

While shopping, every time I would see something I felt evoked the theme, I would buy it.

This collection includes vintage tools, oil cans, medicine and alcohol bottles, a dark room timer,lantern, grenade, and galvanized salt and pepper shakers with loose lids.(too loose to use in the kitchen so they became decor!)

This tiny home is called My Tiny Wine Wagon. Michelle bought the wagon for $1000 and transformed it into something out of this world! Have a look at what it looked like before the transformation!

Michelle says that this build was quite challenging, more so than most. But, what was once a pancake shack, is now another lovely home you can spend some much-needed time away in. 165 feet of color and well thought out design, this home boasts all the amenities you’d need.

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