Have you wondered where we have been? You may have noticed that it has been nearly a week since we have posted anything – which is quite a dramatic change from the usual 8-12 posts a day for the last 15 months!
We have not gone one day without several posts in all of that time, other than Sundays to enjoy a day of rest, worship and fellowship.
Last week, we came to a crossroads, thanks to the wisdom and maturity of our seven-year old daughter. She brought to our attention that this side project and business has consumed our lives and been a very hard strain on our family! She requested that we really figure out what we need to do as they (our children) would like to have “free-time” and “play-time” again with them. We homeschool our children, which we find to be a very big blessing and joy for our family. So our days and nights and all day Saturdays were consumed with blogging and school work, not counting the fact that Alex goes to work all day.
Our kids were right, there were some things that we intended to set-aside temporarily, but it was becoming more and more long-term on a normal basis. We let our free-time and play-time go, we let projects around the house go, we let real vacations go just to name a few things. In addition to this site itself, we found ourselves getting more and more off-track to our original goal and purpose of starting it.
We started this blog to share with others how to live a more fruitful life with the income that you have. We have loved this so far and have thoroughly enjoyed sharing what we have shared so far. But we are not done yet, we have soooo much more to share with you! We feel like we have barely scratched the surface as far as the articles and meaty content that we have planned.
So the crossroads became this – we need a break, not only us, but our children as well! We felt like we did not have any time in any given day to plan, write and prepare the meaty content, let alone keep up with the deals we felt were worth sharing with you. In addition, many things at home were being set-aside.
This blog has also been a business for our family. We do earn some money from this site from the ads, sponsors and affiliates. So it was a blessing in all regards. We had an opportunity to share with others our story, everyday frugal living, and the deals that came out daily to help others who would like to have help and resources while making a little extra! But this site was requiring us to wake early to get started, then Alex off to his full-time day job while I was at home balancing blogging and teaching. Alex would come home at night and would plan to write the articles, but would get consumed the the ever growing list of administrative tasks and computer work needed to maintain our site until the wee hours of the morning. We just plum ran out of time before the burnout hit!
We haven’t had the opportunity to share our full story yet, but in a nutshell, we have been running side jobs and businesses for those years that we were working towards becoming debt-free. The summary is, we found ourselves in over $100,000 of debt (besides our mortgage) in a short 3 years. We worked for 3.5 years to only pay off $15,000. We were feeling quite convicted about taking on this debt and had really learned the true meaning of being a slave to your creditors.
After fervent prayer and confession – we have a new found vision, plan and focus. We found new strategies, side jobs, money saving ideas, and the most important tip of all, working as a couple and family to dig ourselves out. By God’s grace and mercy, we paid off $85,000 in the final 3.5 years. We completed this stage of our financial journey on April 3rd, 2010.
It was hard work though! Since starting that venture, we have always worked side jobs in addition to any regular full-time jobs from delivering newspapers and phone books, to selling on Ebay and side jobs. In addition, Alex was utilizing his skills as a software engineer to find side jobs contracting at night and on the weekends. I started teaching others how to coupon and money saving classes in our local area (as cutting our budget in addition to the side jobs added to the quickly decreasing debt-load) at night and on the weekend too! In summary, we have not stopped working – that is, until last Wednesday!
It was shortly before we were finally debt-free that we started this site as we did not want to see anyone else in the trouble we had been in and see anyone else work this hard. But we didn’t give ourselves the message as we have yet to take that working break!
So, we have enjoyed this past week where we decided to take a full and real break – not posting anything and free ourselves for a time! In that time, we have learned to appreciate again the personalities and joy that our children bring to us each day!
- We have enjoyed just sitting in our living room at watching our children with random acts of pretending and putting on shows for hours on end.
- We enjoyed watching daddy get whopped by our 6 and 7 year old girls in rounds of My Little Pony Memory (as he claims they all look the same).
- We enjoyed an all-day adventure on Saturday that we have been wanting and promising to take with our kids for quite some time. We had yet to do this as Saturdays were major work days to catchup on admin tasks and complete two-day’s worth of blogging so we could take Sundays off.
- We got caught up on some of the projects needing to be done around our home.
- Each of us have enjoyed more reading with each of our kids.
To make a long story short, for once in several years, we did not have another job commitment and have enjoyed being a family instead!
We love our children and our family and they are our top priority! God has given us this great responsibility to care for and nurture these precious gifts! We realized that for once, it was okay to not work so hard and not have to feel guilty for taking a break. We have been debt-free for nearly a year and that is why we did work as hard as we did! It is now time for us to focus on our young children – the days and moments we have now, we will never have back again!
With all of that being said, we are enjoying this break. But with this break we are regrouping, refocusing, rescheduling and trying to figure out how we got so off track with our family and with our site and to come back when we are ready to tell the rest of our story and to continue to help others in becoming debt-free, saving money, finding a deal, and changing their financial future as a couple and as a family!
We appreciate you being a reader and not giving up on us as we take this needed time! We do plan to come back to continue to share with each of you and help however we can. We do absolutely love it!
While we are out, we recommend that you use the following resources:
- Find any coupon that you are looking for by using our searchable coupon database. This covers, newspaper coupons, printable coupons from all over the web, magazine coupons and more! This is a service that is updated continually to bring the most recent coupons finds easily to you!
- Reading the About Us page to at least get started on knowing who we are
- Reading the first 5 parts of our personal financial story
- Visit the Frugal Living section of our site that you can access from the button on the side or from the top menu bar
- Visit the In The Kitchen section of our site that you can access from the top menu bar
- Finally, for the last several weeks and months, to find consistently awesome diaper deals and low prices on name brand diapers, the Amazon diaper deals are consistently the best and easiest to take advantage of.
We have laid out several scenarios before that show 3 different prices depending on how many coupons from magazines that you have, but there have been reports of coupons now available in the March magazines for both $10 off and 20% off.
We have a feeling that these deals will be ongoing for quite some time and we have personally used this the most in recent months as we do not have to leave home, they ship to us for FREE and 90% of the time, they are cheaper (and less out of pocket) than grabbing name brand diapers at any store around town! So this is what we recommend on a normal consistent diaper deal basis. Even without the $10 or 20% off coupons, the prices with the Amazon Moms subscribe and save are cheaper than most weekly store deals.
With that being said, again we very much appreciate you being a reader and sticking with us! We have enjoyed the journey thus far. We hope to be talking with you again real soon!
Also, you may have stumbled upon on our site or maybe have been a reader for a while. But either way, we encourage you to stay connected with us so that you will know when we are back from our break and not miss us!
The easiest ways to stay connected with us and be right back where we ended (when we start up again) are:
- By subscribing to our FREE email newsletter which will send you an email when we post updates. It is FREE to receive our email newsletter and you can sign-up.
- By “liking” us on Facebook as our posts will appear on our Facebook page and also be a part of a fun frugal online community. You can head to The Thrifty Couple on Facebook to like us!
- Follow us on Twitter
- By subscribing to our RSS feed.