We are a tight-knit, fun-loving family of 4 on a journey to create a lifestyle that gives us more time, money and choices.
Mom and dad, 46 and 47, both work full time. Our son and daughter are 11 and 13. Jack is our awesome 3 year old beagle/lab mix. My daughter would not accept an ‘about us’ that didn’t include Jack.
3 years ago when our children were 8 and 10 we were living in a 2800 square foot home with all the trimmings – crazy expenses, tons of maintenance and empty rooms. We could afford it, but it didn’t make us happy. Every $800 check I wrote for the oil bill made me think “that’s a long weekend away we won’t have” or “that would have made a nice deposit in a 529 plan.” The house consumed our time and our money.
I started to think …. If we didn’t have this house how would we spend our money? What could we do together as family? What other choices would open up to us if we were not paying for all of this?
We sold the house after only 2 years and downsized to 1300 square feet (losing 1500 SF, almost a whole house!) Reactions from friends and family varied. We were faced with head scratching, polite smiles with knitted eyebrows, questions about our job security and assumptions that we had bitten off more than we could chew and had no choice but to sell (nope, didn’t bite off more than we could chew. It just didn’t taste as good as we thought it would.)
We never looked back. Disposable income is for fun or extra savings. Sundays are for napping and reading instead of yard work. Vacations paid with cash are really happening.
The story doesn’t end there. We are now in full-throttle on a few new goals like having $1,000,000 in retirement savings by the time we hit 50, purchasing an investment property, starting ‘side hustles’ that we consider our ‘fun’ jobs and teaching our children to balance making money, saving money and enjoying money. And that is only the beginning. We have been on the receiving end of doubt and, frankly, I find it motivating. Tell me something is difficult, hard, or never gonna happen and it only inspires me to swing for the fences.
Difficult is not synonymous with impossible.