Why We Paid Off Our House Early

Why We Paid Off Our House Early

Why We Paid Off Our House Early

A paid off house sounds magical, right? For most of us, it just seems like a pipe dream or maybe not even a dream at all because the thought of a paid-off home seems unimaginable. Maybe you must be a unicorn or have some special powers to pay off your mortgage early.

Most people just wish to have a paid-off home before they retire so they are able to retire, but what would life look like if you could have a paid off house today? What would having a paid-off home give you the ability to do?

Could you go on that dream vacation to Greece? Would you be able to afford some things you’ve always wanted? Or maybe you wish you could be able to be more generous with your money and your time? Having a paid-off home gives flexibility and financial freedom.

Financial freedom looks different to each person. To some, that means being able to pay for whatever you want without caring how much it costs. For others, it means being able to work fewer hours, play more and be more present.

For me, financial freedom means that I don’t owe anyone anything and I’m not stressed by finances. Financial freedom would allow me to be generous when I see a need. It would give me the ability to live my life how I want to, without money being a roadblock.

 

I crave financial freedom, and I’m sure you do too. We all long for security, the ability to live our lives without the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. Finances impact every area of our lives, and sadly, most of us are held back by them.

The decisions we make about money profoundly changes our lives. This is why my husband and I have been on a journey of getting rid of every ounce of debt, including our mortgage.  And believe it or not, we’re debt-free! We didn’t get to this goal by accident or luck. We didn’t win the lotto or inherited money.  

Honestly, we’ve never had brag-worthy incomes that would make this goal an easy feat.  What we have had going for us is a stellar financial defence. What I mean by financial defence is that we are really good at saving money.  

Financial offense is the money you earn.  It doesn’t matter how good your financial offense is if your financial defense is not on par.  Financial defense wins the game. Here are a few of my articles that go more in depth on saving money: Live Like a College Student, The Phrase I Use to Curb Overspending, and How to Save 40% on Groceries Without Coupons.

My husband and I have had a clear goal and we are determined to change our financial destiny. We don’t have one big secret to help you be financially successful. Finances don’t work that way. Every little financial decision has an effect. That’s why I can’t pinpoint just one thing that has helped us more than anything to reach our financial goals.

A Good Financial Plan:

A good financial plan is a culmination of millions of everyday choices. The small choice of making coffee at home instead of purchasing it at a coffee shop can make a huge impact on your ability to save. Over time that consistent coffee shop purchase adds up. Our choices change our financial future and that’s why we need to start paying attention and being intentional with those decisions.

Now in the financial world, most people would’ve recommended that we should’ve invested into the stock market more instead of paying off our house early.  Their reasoning is that the interest rate you pay on your home is typically quite a bit less than you’ll make on your investments.  Yes, this is true.  But, we still invested and we’ll be able to invest quite a bit more when we have no monthly mortgage payment going out.

Or the other common reason people don’t pay off their home early is for the tax deduction.  When you actually do the math, keeping a mortgage for the tax benefit doesn’t add up. You’re only getting deducted from the interest you are already paying on your home.  It’s not a tax credit. But we took a different route.  

We didn’t want to just follow what the mainstream financial world recommended us to do.  We wanted to pay attention to what God says about money and He is very clear that debt isn’t good at all.  In fact, in Proverbs 22:7 it says, “The borrower is slave to the lender.”  That means that when I owe money to anyone or to the bank, I’m giving up my freedom and handing it over to someone else.  

Christ has set us free, but when we live in debt (being enslaved to the lender), we aren’t experiencing the full freedom given to us.  And that’s why we wanted to become debt free.  Now that we have no mortgage, we have more available finances to invest and use in other areas. 

If you want to here some of the tips that helped us pay off our home at 31 years old, check this out.  I’d love to hear about your financial goals.  What are you doing to make your financial future a brighter one?

Collecting Dust: My Journey to Love and Use What I Own

Collecting Dust: My Journey to Love and Use What I Own

Collecting Dust: My Journey to Love and Use What I Own

I’ve always been one of those girls that held onto my fancy and higher-end items and would never use it. I remember being given some Burt’s Bees lotion, but I thought it was too expensive and special to be used only on special occasions. It just became a decoration on my nightstand. Then after a long while (it might have been years later), I opened the bottle and poured out the lotion into my hand. It was brown and watery and smelled funny. That too-fancy lotion ended up going bad because it was never used. At that point, something dawned on me. How often do I hold onto items and never use them because they are too nice to use?

That lotion experience was quite an eye opener for me. Too often I don’t wear that nice dress because it’s just too nice. I don’t use my wedding serving utinsils because they are too special. My china is in a box in storage where it hasn’t seen the light of day in years. How often do we not enjoy the special and sentimental things that we own? Honestly, I’m getting a little better in this area but I still need some work.

So how do we start to enjoy what we own instead of letting our stuff collect dust?

ONE

Scarcity Mindset

The more I contemplate my own tendency to not use the good stuff, I realize two key points. First, it shows a scarcity mindset. If you don’t know what a scarcity mindset is, it’s when you think and believe that there isn’t enough to go around. For example, phrases like, ‘I’ll never have enough money,’ ‘when will I ever be able to get this again,’ etc. Now back to the lotion example, I didn’t use it because I knew I wouldn’t spend the money to buy it again. It was special, so it was for display only. What a travesty. That displayed lotion ended up in the trash- that’s not too special.

I remember in college, one of my friends only ate on china. Yes, you heard me right. Real porcelain china, the kind your grandma passed down. I was in shock when I went to her home. She enjoyed her china plates and actually used them. I remember sitting down for a meal at her home and it felt so fancy and upscale. We don’t even use China for Christmas and Thanksgiving, and there she is using china everyday. When I look back at that experience, I want to be like my friend who actually used and enjoyed the fancy plates instead of storing them in a box in the attic.

TWO

 Don’t Wait for a Special Occasion

The second reason I think I’ve struggled with using my stuff up is feeling like it needs to be a special day or occasion to use it. Deep down, it really shows that I don’t think I’m good enough to use it right now. I’ve got to get over this. I need to wear the earrings that I got from my grandmother after she passed. She would want me to enjoy her things, and not just store them away because they are so valuable.

My daughter has nailed this!  She would get fancy dresses from her grandma every Christmas and Easter. Instead of only wearing her beautiful dresses just for the holidays or for church, she wears these fancy dresses to school or the library.  Her dresses get a lot of love and wear- which they should!  For her, wearing those dresses make her feel beautiful and special, so she wears them.

 

I’m ready to start using what I have and enjoying it right now. If I don’t use those nice items, they just become clutter. I want to honor those memories and the people who have given me lavish things. We aren’t meant to hoard, but to enjoy what we own. And I’m ready to start living that out!

Do you struggle with not enjoying and using what you own? What are some things you never use or wear because they are too special or valuable? Please comment below…

7 Minimalism Lifestyle Benefits

7 Minimalism Lifestyle Benefits

7 Minimalism Lifestyle Benefits

What we own impacts our wallets, time, energy, and our stress level. Don’t we all want to have the freedom to do more of what makes us feel alive? But most of us aren’t living in that freedom. We shop for more, spend more, clean more, and get stressed out more. Our accumulation of possessions don’t satisfy. That little retail therapy high only last the afternoon. So what’s the cure?

Minimalism. There are so many Minimalism lifestyle benefits that will change your life.

Joshua Becker describes Minimalism as, “the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” I just want to follow up with a whopping big Amen!  Minimalism gives us clarity of what’s important to us and what isn’t. It isn’t just about having less; Minimalism gives you the ability to focus on what matters.

Decluttering is a large component of Minimalism and it takes time. Most of us are so overwhelmed by our stuff that we feel paralyzed and don’t want to start. When you look at what you own and determine if it ‘sparks joy,’ like Marie Kondo says, it will take time.

Personally, I’ve been on the journey of pursuing a life of less for the past few years.  My life has drastically changed for the better through practicing Minimalism. Before I started practicing Minimalism, I was stressed and exhausted. I felt like I was failing in motherhood because I spent more time doing housework than with my kids.

The way I was using my time was not lining up with my priorities. Something needed to change. That’s where Minimalism came in. Minimalism reduces my stress and frees up my time. I cannot sing enough praise over the power of Minimalism.

 

7 Minimalism Lifestyle Benefits:

ONE

Reduce Stress:

Did you know that a study through UCLA discovered that for women, the more stuff they own, the more stressed out they become. I don’t need a scientific study to confirm this, I believe it hands down. The more we own, the bigger the mess and the more we have to clean, rearrange and organize. Most of us want a peaceful home, but clutter gets in the way.

Once I started purging my home of the excess, the hand-me-downs, and all the things that weren’t serving our family, I felt a wave of relief. It was like I reclaimed my motherhood.

My mood is directly linked to the level of mess of my home. I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is. By having a decluttered house, my home is so much easier to manage and stays neater even with two little ones.

TWO

More Time:

Minimalism and time management go hand-in-hand.  Envision time management like creating a spending plan or a budget. If you just spend however you please, your money is going to disappear out of thin air. But once we get intentional with how our money is spent, we have the ability to save more. It’s like getting a pay raise, without the raise.

When we start looking at how we spend our time and get intentional with it, you become more productive and have more time to work with. Minimalism gives you the opportunity to take charge of your time and your possessions, since you are focusing on what is important in life.

It takes quite a bit of intentional time investment to purge and declutter your home. But once that first wave of decluttering occurs, your time investment pays dividends. There would be no way that I would be able to create my own website, consistent content, learn all the new skills required, and still be present with my kids without Minimalism. I now have the time to pursue my own passions, and I’m enjoying motherhood so much more.

THREE

More Freedom:

Decluttering gives you a high, I’m not gonna lie! I couldn’t believe how freeing it is to give and let go of what isn’t serving our family. Instead of feeling stuck and needing to clean my home 24/7, I now have the freedom to take my kids to the park on a whim. Minimalism gave me freedom to do what I want to do.

The women I have helped declutter their homes have all said that it’s like an invisible weight has lifted. They didn’t realize that they were drowning in a sea of their stuff. Once their homes were lighter (literally), they were able to focus on other areas of their lives they were neglecting and didn’t feel capable of tackling like exercise, nutrition, and more family time.

FOUR

Save More Money:

Do you ever go to a store and buy a cute shirt on sale and then it sits in the closet and barely gets worn? I used to buy amazing deals on clothes and what not because they were a great deal and I didn’t want to miss out. 

Once I started practicing Minimalism, I saw what I owned with a more critical lense. I started asking more question about what I owned. It became harder for me to be ok with bringing new items in unless they were necessary and I loved them. I don’t want to undo all my hard decluttering work.  This is one of many financial benefits of Minimalism.

I look at purchases differently than I used to. When I wanted new curtains for my living room, instead of looking only at the clearance racks, I started to think about what I really wanted. What drapes would I love to see everyday in my home? The clearance curtains would be a band-aid solution (if I didn’t love them). I would end up being unhappy in the long run causing me to spend more and shop more.

I don’t buy things willy-nilly anymore. Nate Berkus says, “be a ruthless editor of your home.” What a wonderful concept that I’m learning to live out. I shop less and buy less than ever before, which gives me more money to save and spend on what’s important to me and my family.

FIVE

Stop Looking for Missing Items:

Can you believe that Americans spend 2.5 days a year looking for lost/misplaced items according to a recent study? These lost items cost American families $2.7 billion annually to replace! Holy smokes!! That’s insane!

How often do we keep something because we think we may need it someday, and then we end up unable to find it or completely forgot that we even owned it. That happens way too often. If we assess what we own and each item has a home, we save ourselves time and money.

This used to be me to a T. I knew I had a set of wire cutters for the shoffice (my husband’s shed office) we were building, but they could be anywhere in the garage. It would be easier to drive to the store and buy a new pair than to go through every nook and cranny hoping to find it and that’s what we ended up doing.

You could say my house used to be pretty disorganized, until one day I realized that everything in my home needed to have a home. I know that that’s common sense, but that thought seriously never occured to me. Maybe it was divine revelation that brought me this notion.

Here’s another example, I used to get so frustrated when my kids wouldn’t clean up well (I still do, but not nearly as often). After I talked to them about it, my oldest told me they didn’t know where everything went. My kids were overwhelmed and so was I. It was like a lightbulb went off and I realized that I wasn’t training my kids where I wanted them to put their toys. I had tons of unlabeled totes for them to fill with their toys, it’s no wonder they were confused and overwhelmed. So I made labels with pictures for each tote. That alone made a world of difference.

SEVEN

The Ripple Effect:

Once I saw how my life changed through Minimalism, I wanted to share it with others, especially moms. Most of us moms feel like our home is our territory, we’re typically running our homes. If our home is a disaster, we feel like our house is reflecting our character, so we’re a disaster. When our homes have less, we have time for more of the important things in life. I sure don’t want my kids to remember me by constantly cleaning and maintain our home. I want them to remember me as the mom that’s interactive, engaged, and plays with them.

Once I had my home simplified, I chatted with a neighbor friend about it. I helped her declutter her whole home, garage and all. She started sharing about the freedom she’s experienced from having less with her friends and relatives.  Many of them were inspired by her success, and decluttered their homes. Decluttering, if played right, can be a positive chain reaction. When you discover something this good, it’s hard not to share it.

SIX

Become More Generous:

I used to keep my mini-hoard just in case I may need it someday. It was all about the someday. I may need to have fifty washcloths, just in case a school bus drops off 50 kids that all need to wash their faces at the same time. Really?! The likelihood of that happening is slim to none. And don’t be like Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber and think that you’re telling me I have a chance.

Instead of keeping every little thing that might be remotely useful someday, I started to ask questions like when was the last time I used all these washcloths? Do I really need two drawers that are designated to washcloths? The answer was no. So I got rid of more than half of them. I chose my favorites and donated the rest.

By purging what I owned, I was able to help multiple new mom’s with baby items. I gave toys away to a few families I knew who were in need. Minimalism sparked generosity in me and my kids in a new way. Instead of keeping my stuff just in case, I started to think about who would enjoy what I don’t use. Seeing that my clutter was making a positive difference by giving it away is contagious. I realized that for years, I was keeping things just in case that could’ve been blessing people.

I prefer giving what I own directly to people who could use it instead of Goodwill or other thrift stores. You can contact local shelters and churches too.  If I can’t find a good home quickly for it, I’ll donate it. But seeing my clutter help others, gives me more of a desire to keep just what I need so we can bless the socks off of others with our stuff.

I never would have imagined that I would call myself a Minimalist, but I sure do enjoy the lifestyle benefits of Minimalism. I’ve always wanted a peaceful home, but I didn’t realize how much I was self-sabotaging myself by buying more and more. Minimalism has reduced my stress, freed up my time, given me freedom, and has saved me money.  I’m not looking for lost items like I used to, I’m more generous, and I love how Minimalism continues to create a positive impact on my family and others.  I never expected to experience so many positive effects from pursuing a life with less, but I’m so glad I did.

My hope for you is for you to take a look at what you own and ask yourself a few questions.

  • Do I love this?
  • When was the last time I used this?
  • Do I really need it?
  • Would this be able to bless someone else?
  • If my house was on fire, what would I really want to keep?

Too many of us are owned by our stuff. We feel suffocated by the sheer amount of it. Don’t wait until someday to go through it. Do yourself and your family a favor by having less.  Once you start, you’ll be surprised how much better you feel.  

What is one of the hardest areas or items to declutter? Please leave a comment below…

Unleash Generosity: How to be Generous Even When it Doesn’t Come Naturally

Unleash Generosity: How to be Generous Even When it Doesn’t Come Naturally

Unleash Generosity: How to be Generous Even When it Doesn’t Come Naturally

I have been so tight-fisted my whole life. I worked throughout high school and I saved almost every penny for college. If I was given birthday money as a kid, it went straight to the bank. I would never spend it. In my mind, money was to be saved and not spent. I held onto every penny for a rainy day. I was so busy saving that the thought of being generous with my money never crossed my mind.

I grew up in a family that didn’t live like everyone else. We rarely talked about money. My parents didn’t buy a new car when my dad got a raise. He actually drove a Chevy Nova that was consistently covered in bird poop. He parked underneath a tree at work and his car was the pooping target.  I remember being so embarrassed when he would pick me up from high school in his baby blue eighteen-year-old ‘poop mobile.’ Needless to say, my family didn’t spend extravagantly which was a blessing in disguise. My family modeled to me that we didn’t have to keep up with the Joneses (whoever that elusive couple may be).

 

It wasn’t until I was in college that I actually started practicing generosity and it was scary. I started to tithe at a local campus ministry group I was active in.  Then eventually I started supporting a child in Africa. I didn’t have a lot of money to be generous, but I felt like I needed to take that giant leap of faith. God was really working on my heart and the way I was thinking about money.

I remember one day when I was a sophomore in college, I felt God was saying that I needed to give everything I had out of my wallet. At the time, I had no idea how much was in my wallet, but I opened it up and gave every last penny. And boy did it hurt.

I needed to own up to the fact that money isn’t a security blanket. God provides for the sparrows and the flowers, how much more will God provide for me (Matthew 6:25-34)? Reading that passage is one thing, but living it out is another.

Instead of worrying about money, God was giving me opportunities to give and trust in Him. And God has a sense of humor because He gave me my husband, who is one of the most generous people I know. I needed to be with someone who is generous, so I could catch and experience that generosity first-hand.

 

The Mindset Shift

When my husband and I were dating, I remember hearing someone ask him if they could borrow his car.  I was shocked by his response. He said, “it isn’t my car, it’s God’s.” And he let them borrow it.

I was blown away with his perspective that everything he has is not his own, it is God’s. This truth wasn’t something new to me, but I had never seen someone live it out like my husband.  If I was asked the same question, my response would have been no.  I wasn’t open-handed with what I had and I sure didn’t live out the same belief that everything is God’s. I was the one who needed to change.

Having the mental shift to accept that what I own isn’t mine, it’s God’s, has helped me embrace giving in a new way.  It cuts out my selfishness and pride.  I have a new lens to look at other’s needs.  I’m still in the refinement process of becoming a generous person, and I’m ok with that.  I’m a work in progress.  

Giving has become a little easier over time, especially when we are able to meet someone else’s need. Those experiences help motivate me to continue practicing generosity. My husband’s generous nature has encouraged our whole family to embrace giving.  In our family mission statement, being generous is one of our Rich family traits.  We want our kids to be transformed by giving just as much as we are. Kids watch what we do.  If we are generous, that will be our children’s normal. I want my kids to start practicing generosity now, not when they go off to college like I did. 

It is easy to slip back into being busy and not noticing the needs of others around us, especially when we are feeling financially strapped.  When I start to notice that I am worrying about money more, I know it is time for me to be generous. Generosity isn’t a logical response to worrying about money, it is counterintuitive. But time after time, I have experienced how letting go and giving has helped me be less dependent on money, and more dependent on God.  There is even scientific proof that “generosity has both altruism boosting and anxiety decreasing effects.” according to recent studies.

The Benefits of Generosity

If you struggle with generosity like me, don’t be overwhelmed.  Every little act of giving counts, even if it is buying the person behind you in the drive thru’s order. We all know that giving to others feels good.  Giving shouldn’t be focused on increasing our own happiness, but it is a good side effect. Another study discovered that “planning to give away just a little bit of money had the same effects on happiness as giving away a lot.”  Start giving, because it will help others and be an amazing example to your kids, all while bringing you more happiness.  That my friend is a win, win, win situation!

If you don’t know where to start, I would recommend first tithing to your church.  If you don’t belong to a church, there are so many amazing charities out there to choose from. Beyond that, maybe set a certain amount of cash aside each month to bless others- it could be as little or as big as you want. 

In the meantime, I hope I can get to the point where I am generous by nature. Nevertheless, I will practice being generous because I serve the most generous God.

I’d love to hear your insights on generosity. Is generosity difficult for you? What has helped you be more generous? Please leave a comment below…

This Christmas Tradition Turns Your Kids into Santa and Teaches Generosity

This Christmas Tradition Turns Your Kids into Santa and Teaches Generosity

This Christmas Tradition Turns Your Kids into Santa and Teaches Generosity

by

Santa is kinda controversial. We all know that most Christmas traditions include Santa, but every parent has to make that decision for their own family. We all want our kids to have a magical Christmas, but should Santa be in the mix?

I grew up without having Santa because my parents felt like they would be lying to me and my siblings. They wanted us to focus on the true reason for Christmas- Jesus. When I was growing up, I never felt like I was missing out without having Santa. 

My husband, on the other hand, grew up with Santa and enjoyed the whimsy of it all. He even sports a red t-shirt with Santa on it that says, “I Believe.” Ah yes, this is a recipe for a disagreement in the making. We had quite a few discussions before we landed on some middle ground, and honestly, I love how we ‘do’ Santa in our house.

So how did we reconcile our polar views (no pun intended)?  

My husband, who grew up with Santa, views him as a fun make-believe tradition that helps children exercise creativity. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that if I go along pretending that Santa is real, I’d be setting my kids up for disappointment.  What will happen when our kids eventually find out the truth? Will they start doubting other things we say that are real, like Jesus? 

So instead of the classic Santa approach of focusing on being good so you get presents, we are teaching our kids to BE Santa.

In reality, Santa is a modern-day parable of Jesus (if you tweak it right). Jesus is so generous to us and doesn’t expect or need anything in return. He meets our wants and desires even if we don’t say them out loud.  

We want our kids to practice BEING Santa to others. When our kids give to others, without expecting anything in return, they BECOME Santa. So instead of our kids getting tons of toys from Santa on Christmas morning, they are given the opportunity to give.

Let me put it plain and simple, this is how we DO Santa:

ONE

The Gift

Our kids get a little stocking from Santa with a few pieces of fruit in them, plus a card with a $5 bill. We didn’t do this with our son last year since he was only one, but we did it with our three-year-old daughter. The card tells our kids that they get to BECOME Santa.

The money they were given can’t be spent on themselves. They need to buy something for someone else (preferably someone in need) with that money.

TWO

Be Santa

Last year, we talked to our daughter about who she would like to BE Santa to.

At the time, one of the ladies in my weekly Bible Study had just passed away from breast cancer. My daughter would play every week with her children, while all the moms met up and shared life with each other.

My sweet girl wanted to be Santa to her four children and her husband. Let me tell you, it was a proud mom moment, and it was totally her idea.

THREE

Buy the Gifts

As you can guess, five dollars doesn’t go very far to help a family of five (you could use any amount), so we pretty much had two choices: The Dollar Store or Goodwill on their Monday $1 day. She chose Goodwill.

My daughter took her $5 and went up and down the aisles looking for the right color tags and what our wonderful friends’ kids would love.

She found a Little People princess castle, a big dump truck toy, a pretty dress, and BSU football shirts for the oldest boy and dad, all for a whopping grand total of $5. Our girl was so proud when she handed over her $5 bill (I paid the tax) to the Goodwill clerk.

FOUR

Preparing the Gifts

We came home and washed everything up and my sweet daughter chose to add some of her own Little People to go with the princess castle.

She ended up wrapping the presents as best she could on her own. Martha Stewart would cringe at the masking tape she used, but it’s the thought and effort that counts.

She colored them a card and everything. We made a meal and brought that over with the gifts ‘Santa’ (our daughter) wanted to give them.

FIVE

Giving the Gifts

Let me tell you, tears flowed by pretty much every adult there. My husband and I told the family the whole backstory. My sweet daughter was able to see their kids open the presents she worked so hard on. The kids loved their gifts. It was such a blessing to see the pure generosity from the heart of a child, even a three-year-old.

 

My kids will remember BEING Santa, and my hope is that this kind of generosity becomes their DNA. In our family mission statement, one of the Rich family traits is generosity, and BEING Santa gives our children the opportunity to practice giving.

For children, the classic way of doing Santa isn’t focused on generosity. Santa detracts from the real reason we celebrate Christmas, but BEING Santa aligns with the character of our Savior, and I’m all for that!!

We still read the occasional book about Santa, but our kids know that Rudolf and the whole gang is pretend. Our kids sat on Santa’s lap for pictures with our kids’ cousins, and we’re totally fine with that. But on our way to see Santa, I overheard my daughter telling her grandma that she IS Santa. Yes, my sweet child, you ARE Santa, and all of us should be.

Does your family do Santa? What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? Let me know in the comments below…

Live Like a College Student

Live Like a College Student

Live Like a College Student

One of the best pieces of financial advice we have been given was from my mom. She told us to live like college students as long as you possibly can.

You may be thinking that you made some of the worst financial decisions of your life in college. That’s not what she was talking about. She meant, live on as little as possible and save, save, save as much as you can. And that is what we did and continue to do.

Our income has fluctuated throughout the years, especially when I quit my job to be a stay-at-home mom. When we had a higher income, we did not change our spending habits. Most people already plan out how they are going to spend their raise before they even get it. Our lifestyle has never reflected our income.

 

By living on less than what we made, we were able to save enough that we had a good cushion if there was an emergency or if we lost a job.

When we were double-income earners, we lived on less than half of our pay. Mind you, we didn’t have high-paying jobs, think teacher’s salary people. This gave us the ability to save and put extra money down on our house and put quite a bit into our retirement.

Beyond that, I was able to be a stay-at-home mom and we didn’t really feel like we were living differently (except we couldn’t put extra into savings, retirement, or on our house).

Having extra savings and not having to live paycheck to paycheck gave me so much more peace. As women, most of us find comfort and reassurance by being financially secure. Sadly, most women (and people in general) are stressed over money because their spending is out of control.

 

The Benefits of Living Like a College Student:

If we didn’t live like college students, we would have been so stressed financially. Buying a home would have been tough to pull off. I probably would have never had the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom.

There are so many moms who would love to be home with their kids, but they don’t think they can financially pull it off. How tragic. If this is you right now, there is always a way. Those changes may be drastic like downsizing your home and vehicle(s). Maybe you or your spouse will need to add a side gig in to make it work. You will have to change your spending habits and live with less.

My big question for you is this:

What do you want to do in your future?

Are finances holding you back from reaching those goals or dreams?

If so, what changes do you need to make?

Most people are broke, and have piles of debt. Dare to be different. You don’t have to have what everyone else has. Live like a college student. Learn like crazy, enjoy each moment, be social, and live on a shoestring. You survived it then, you can do it today.

Share your thoughts on living like a college student below.

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