It’s been a while. We added a new child to the family in October so I’ve haven’t had much time to blog. The following is actually a series of tweets from yesterday. I did make a few small grammatical/clarifying/organizational edits, but it’s basically a series of 15 tweets:
Looking at our income and all these tax numbers…
We are basically lower-middle class. A one income family with 3 kids.
From all the talk, one would think we are dirt poor and cannot survive. Yet we do. Pretty comfortably, I might add. Here are a few thought as to why.
- The only thing we owe on is our house.
- It’s descent size but not massive. Two kids will share a room until one of the 3 move out. *gasp* And we prefer it that way, shocking I know.
- We only have a house because my husband (as a single man) purchased a town home way below his means. And we lived in that “semi-inconvenient” town home until we had 2 kids and the profit of a sale would cover a house down payment.
- We also don’t owe on school loans because we bought nothing but needs for several years. (All extra money went to pay them all off.) Not having those helps tremendously.
- We drive 2007 & 2008 vehicles. No loans on those. One was bought used, with cash (other is a hold over from single days)
- While we use credit cards for convenience, we never carry a balance.
- Having little to no debt (just the house remember) frees up a lot of money every month. Less locked in payments and less waste to interest
- Having only one income provides opportunity for saving money
- I cook most of our food (healthier and cheaper). I have the time to clip coupons, find the best sales, and make meals from scratch. It’s a lot more difficult to do this when time is limited
- Our monthly budget for gas and clothing is lower than most. Not only do we drive less, we don’t need work clothes (helps that our one income earner also works from home)
- We don’t pay for any child care (except an occasional date night)
- Probably the most significant, we define “comfortable living” very different than most
- All of our needs are met (first!) Food, clothing, shelter, water, power, transportation, these items are always covered. We recognize this and are extremely grateful that our income covers the basics. Some are not as fortunate.
- We have such great peace of mind that the basics are covered, we get to really enjoy when there is extra to cover the fun stuff.
- We value getting a deal. We truly enjoy finding deals and bargains. We love shopping thrift stores. We love store brands. It doesn’t make us feel “less than” because we don’t value the pride attached to brand-name or new. The reverse is actually true. It makes us feel like we are smarter than others wasting money.
- We get to live our value of people & quality time over stuff. We trade money and a second income (which buys nicer stuff) for what we really want – joy, peace, love, less stress.
- Our idea of fun is different. We do lots of free activities with the kids. We drive for vacation and have adventures on our journey (see things you miss on a plane)
- For me, growing up as a preacher’s kid has impacted my world view in regards to money
- I trust God will provide for my needs. First and foremost, spiritual needs, but also physical needs.
- We (similar to my upbringing) have a wonderful community and support system. Should something terrible happen financially – we know our God provided support system would step up. And we do the same for others.
- Not having much money as a kid, I saw my parents work to cover needs and then some. We were loved and didn’t feel like we missed out.
In summary, our world view regarding money is very different than most.
Because of that, we can live comfortably with less. Practically speaking, we work hard to live this way. (Physically, emotionally, and intellectually)
The resulting freedom: Absolutely Worth it.
/End of Tweets
***Long time readers will know this, but I’ve blogged extensively on how we got out of debt. Starting in Jan 2012. We paid off 46K in 22 months. If you want to read about that, look for the “by the number’s” posts. To be fair, we were dual income for most of that time, pre-kids.
*PS: In the blog post editing page, I got the code to do a nice ordered alphabet list nested in an ordered numbered list. (Point 1. A, B, C, Point 2. A, B, C etc.) It’s driving me crazy that the actual post isn’t reading the code correctly but I don’t have time to fix it. Sorry. “Hashtag Three Kids” ;-p