We came across an article on the Washington Post and completely fell in love! It is during our lifetimes too and it was too much fun to read and discover the ways that this family lives.
Although there are many similarities to this family and ours – there are differences.
They are a couple with 13 kids. We have 6.
They live on one-income. We have one-full time income, but I am a stay-at-home-work-at-home mom (finding ways like this to bring in a few thousand each month).
They live in the East. We live in the West.
They are debt-free (except for mortgage) and have always been debt-free. So are we (except for mortgage), except we are debt-free after learning the hard way and digging ourselves out of over $100K of consumer debt.
They have put 5 kids through college. Our oldest is 12, but it’s coming.
They homeschool. So do we.
She shops for the best deals on fresh foods and markdowns and makes it work for her family. So do I.
They live a frugal, yet full-life…we do too. 🙂
Reading this story was such an encouragement. I don’t know about you, but when I can read the real-life stories of others in this world that are making a full, yet frugal lifestyle work and work well, it gives hope, it gives motivation and it develops a determination to make it work for me and my family.
Not to mention, this family lived off us less than $50K a year for many years. It is only recently that they moved up to making over a $100K annual salary.
They also had all odds against them on that $50k or less salary. They live in one of the most expensive parts of the country and they have 13 kids – two factors that many who are deep in debt do not have to deal with financially.
They were smart, buying a 5 bedroom house that was repossessed for $150K. However, it did need major repairs and renovations, they they did themselves over time, including an expansion on their home to make it a 7-bedroom house.
What’s great about their story as opposed to our’s is that they started off the right foot from the beginning. Staying debt-free (except for mortgage), always saving at least 10-15% of their income no matter how little they made and being as frugal as they could be from the get-go. The dad even wrote an article on How To Retire Early with 13-Kids.
Although we live much the same way they do now with the same principles, we are often frustrated with ourselves for our foolishness, selfishness and bad choices early on in our marriage.
You see, we got into over $100k of consumer debt in the first 4-years of our marriage. We only stopped because we couldn’t get any more credit, because our monthly minimum payments could not be covered by our paychecks, because our creditors were knocking down our door wanting to be paid.
By God’s grace, the realization we would parents and feeling so low, dark and trapped in our own misery – we began working hard to get out. Bankruptcy was barely avoided, we didn’t use credit counselors, we didn’t do any fast fixes or tricks, we worked hard and we worked to pay off every penny.
And looking back on that, if we had been and remained debt-free from the beginning, lived like we live now, which is FAR less as a family of 8 than when it was just the two of us, and worked hard to make and SAVE $100K instead of paying off $100K of debts, we could only imagine how our lives would be now. How we could have nice college nest funds for each of our 6 children, how we could have debt-free investment properties, how we could retire much earlier than planned, how we could be living a much fuller life. Things we are trying now, later in life. Just wishing we started 10 years ago instead of spending into debt for the first four and paying it off over 10-11 years.
Let their happy-from-the-beginning story and our deep-in-debt to debt-free story be of encouragement and motivation to you today to either become debt-free and or stay debt-free and become financially free!
What do you think of this story? How do you live a frugal-life, no matter income?