Everybody has an ideal life. Plain and simple. How many people are actually living it?
For our family, time together with a very free flowing schedule is our number one objective. It looks different for us than if another family listed the same exact objective. Interests, hobbies, income, physical abilities, location time and money all play into how that objective is shaped.
The main change that needed to happen for our family was for me to stay home. We had a mentality that “one day” we would homeschool when we could “afford” to take them out of school. Every year there was a nagging feeling that we should homeschool and every year we thought it didn’t look right in black and white. In order for me to stay home, we would need to cut a little over $1,000 of expenses from our monthly budget. That seemed impossible!
It soon became obvious that homeschooling was becoming more of a need than a want. Now we needed to make this happen. We were not going to let years pass by, living a life that we didn’t love just because the numbers said we shouldn’t. We were not going to live life saying, “Well, we don’t like it but what else can we do?” I am here to say that, “You always have a choice and you can always find a way to make it work.”
We said goodbye to our fancy cell phones, and set habits in place. We unplug every electronic when it is not in use. We (meaning the men in the house) take shorter showers. We are conscious of when we use the air conditioning. We lowered the internet speed to our house, we haven’t had cable in eight years. We bought our second car with the cash we had on hand the day we needed a car. We live in a modest house. I have a car gas budget. I use a half a tank of gas a week. So I plan where I am going carefully. Our grocery budget was created with the money we had left after working out our bills, and we often have too much food in the fridge. We don’t see movies first run unless it is on $5 Tuesday and it better be a good one! Like Star Wars good… We don’t go on fancy vacations and the house needs a paint job.
We have been able to get our main expenses down to one salary. It’s not perfect. Sometimes it gets downright stressful. When we think about the not so ideal parts of our lives, we are okay with it. Everybody has parts of their life that are not ideal. It’s up to you to figure out if you are okay with the parts that you struggle with. For us, the struggle is worth every tear that may come our way. Nobody’s life is perfect. Everybody has something that they would improve if they could. If I am going to have stress, I want it to be because I am working to create the life that I want. Not because I am living in a situation that I do not like and I don’t have the gumption to get up and change it.
This is the way we have lived for years. I honestly think we were meant to live within these means so that when we were better off financially, we are able to do good with it. That doesn’t mean that we won’t go on vacation, buy a bigger house or newer cars. What it will mean is that we will understand how far a dollar can stretch. How little we actually can live on and how to maintain a lot of those habits so that we can support organizations that need a helping hand.
Just because I stay at home with the boys, doesn’t mean I have no desire to earn money. For a few years I had been praying about the perfect job for me. I could see it in my head. It seemed effortless. It was “just a part of me”. I saw myself with my modest little corner desk and I knew that a mighty power was coming from there. I could tell I felt healthy, energetic and at peace. A peace that comes from knowing that you have everything covered financially. My work load was not overwhelming. Then it just fell into my lap. An answered prayer bigger and more perfect than I could have dreamt for myself.
I am having the best time watching my life unfold at the moment. Everything that I could see. Everything that I have been praying for, is unfolding neatly as every minute passes. I am so grateful and just delighted. That putting what we believed in our heart to be the right move was in fact the right thing to do. That trusting if I kept that vision in my heart clear and tried to faithfully find the path to it- that one day I would get it right. Sometime you have to knock on a lot of doors to find the right room. When you do, you will know. It will feel peaceful and exciting. Enjoy it, honor it, treat it like the incredible gift that it is and give it everything that you’ve got.
The days of having coffee with friends are back. We are steadily adding back pieces to life that make living more relaxing and fun. Dreams are getting goal dates put next to them. Not only are we able to dream again, we are able to see the fruits right now. Before the struggle was worth it because we were prioritizing what our family needed. Now we are still doing that, but with a little more financial freedom every month. I’m not going to lie. It feels pretty darn good.
I’m happy to talk to you further about joining my team if you feel lead to this path as well. It’s a blast and I just can’t believe more people aren’t doing it! I want to scream about it from the rooftops, but I will just trust that this blog post is enough.