New Series: Living on Less than $28,000 A Year (pt.1)

Affiliate Link Disclosure B

pinit

Living on Less Than $28,000 A Year: How a Family of six survives and thrives on a less than average income.

 

[UPDATE Feb. 2013: Welcome! These posts are from a series I started in February of 2012. Our income has since increased, but we still use these same principles to live on less so we can spend our money on our true priorities.]

Yes, our family of six lives on around $2200 a month and for the next few weeks I’ll be sharing how we can survive, and even thrive on an income that is less than half the national median income, and what the government calls “below the poverty line” (less than $29,990 annually) for our family size.

 

Before we get started, I’d like to address two issues: (1) WHY I’m sharing the information and (2) WHY we live on such a small income. I’ll address the specifics of HOW we live on a lower income in future posts.

 

WHY AM I SHARING THIS INFORMATION?

I have written about money saving ideas for some time, but I have been hesitant to put an actual number on our annual income for a couple of reasons. Number one: it’s personal. Number two: it’s personal.

Growing up I often heard that there were two things that you never talk about–politics and religion. I would add a third: finances.

These three topics define who we are as individuals and families within our society, and therefore people have firmly held convictions about them. I really don’t want to get into a debate about someone’s firmly held convictions and let’s face it, people don’t just go around announcing their annual income.

I also don’t want to be judged. Looking from the outside, it’s very easy to say that someone should or shouldn’t do something. There are many choices that our family has made that you may not agree with, and I am taking a risk by sharing them. I am risking my “reputation” and I am risking being criticized and looked down on. (After all, when thousands of people read the blog, I have a bit of exposure to public scrutiny.)

So why am I sharing now? My husband and I have considered these factors and decided that the risk is worth it if we can encourage even one family in their financial decisions and struggles.

There are many people who have mortgages larger than our entire monthly income and who may be shocked that we can live on so little. If you are one of those families, I am honestly very excited for you that you make a larger income. Perhaps you would like to be able to save more, though, and maybe reading this series will give you some ideas you hadn’t considered before.

There are also quite a few of you who live on even less than we make and life is a daily struggle for you. Hopefully you can gain some ideas and encouragement from this series as well. Now to the second point.

 

WHY DO WE LIVE ON SUCH A SMALL INCOME?

There are many factors which led us to make the choice to live on one, smaller than average income. The two that come to mind as I write are reducing the stress from over-commitment and prioritizing relationships.

 

Simple is better.

Life with four children is busy for anyone, but throw in the fact that we have one child diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder), one child with a severe wheat allergy and one child with behavioral issues coupled with me working a full time job, and you have a disaster. My stress level was unbearable and I was very unpleasant person to be around (sometimes I still am ;)).

Simplifying to one job and one school (home school) keeps me sane and our family happier.

 

We love Dad (and I’m sure you do too!).  

I am a former public school teacher and my husband has most of his experience working for a non-profit charitable organization. It would make more financial sense for me to work and dad to stay at home, but my husband is much better in the role of encourager and entertainer of the children than he is as homemaker :).

Having no higher level training, my husband’s only way to make a higher income right now is to work more hours and more jobs. He could do that, but we want to have family time just to relax and hang out.

Time with dad is important at every stage, but it is crucial with three teenagers. Girls need their father’s approval and attention to form their identities at this stage of life. Teenage boys need to see how their fathers interact with others, especially how they treat women. Seeing Dad interact on a regular basis with Mom and watching him treat her with respect makes a lasting impression on a young man. All teenagers need someone to bounce ideas off of, and having more relaxed time at home means we have more time to listen and discuss things.

 

Remember, the judgment I mentioned earlier? Well, at this point you should know that I do not judge anyone who makes different choices than we do. We each have unique circumstances and values, and we each have to do what is best for our families based on those factors.

As a matter of fact, we would like to make more money. We definitely don’t want to stay where we are financially, but if we have to choose between money and relationships (and for now we do), we are going to choose relationships every time. Relationships are eternal. Money is not.

Now that you know WHY we live on less, in the next few weeks I will be sharing HOW we live on such a small income. In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment. PLEASE remember to play nicely. I would like everyone to feel welcome here. Thanks! :)

 

Subscribe to my FREE e-notes to get my best tips to help you save money, get organized and enjoy life sent right to your inbox! You can also join me on Facebook or Twitter for daily interaction.

Click here to join!

 

Click here to read other posts in this series.

 

 

 

You May Also Enjoy:

41 Ways to Save $1000 a Month

41 Ways to Save $1000 a Month

Earn Money Safely Online

Earn Money Safely Online

Real Ways to Make Money From Home

Real Ways to Make Money From Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related AD Topics

Comments

  1. says

    This is a very exciting series to me. I’m looking forward to reading how you do it. We are looking to be able to buy a home next year and could definitely use some tips on how to live on less. I can’t wait to read this!

  2. Jennifer Rooney says

    Wow, I can’t wait until you tell the “how” next week!! Although my husband makes 2.5 times what you guys live on it is still hard. I am now a stay at home mom that homeschools my three children. I stopped working almost a year ago after my then 9 yr old son was diagnosed with Asperger’s. Now we are a one income family. We live on Long Island where the cost of living is quite high. Although we have thought of moving our families, church family and job are all here. And since my husband works for a local town government he can’t ask for a transfer. Our property taxes alone are almost $8,000 a year for a 3 bedroom 1400 sq ft house on 1 acre. I just began making my own laundry soap and dishwasher detergent this past week and they work awesome!!! My downfall is groceries!!! I have looked at your $100 a week and need to be more diligent. I usually use coupons but am finding it too stressful to do everything AND coupons. Thanks again for sharing and I agree: Relationships over money every time!!!

    • says

      Hi Jennifer! I feel for you. It is difficult to live in an expensive area. Have you read my Save More-Clip Less ebook? It’s got tons of practical tips for saving without couponing. Click here to read more. Blessings!

  3. says

    I am so glad you are willing to be real–especially detailed. It does take courage. I have a family of six. We live on one income. When I hear of how some people can live happily (or contentedly or whatever word you choose) within their means, I am all ears. Without the details, I fill in all the wrong blanks and just figure it’s out of my reach. I think our income is similar to yours. I can’t wait to read this series.

  4. says

    My wife and I do feel like we are doing fine financially, but frankly, as we have progressed from living off of my one (low) income while she was still in school to my higher income after a promotion to finally a dual-income household, we haven’t really noticed any change. I know why; as we have more money, we are more inclined to “blow” it.

    I look forward to your series as I’d love to start actually SAVING money so we can buy a bit of land. :)

  5. theresa says

    awesome. thanks for sharing. we don’t make much (monetarily) either. i dropped from full time to 2.5 days a week after having our first baby and plan to work less in the future. i’m always looking for ways to do our finances better and try to be diligent about our spending. staying at home with our kids in the future is a big priority for us and i look forward to getting some more good ideas! thanks!

  6. Kathryn Nettles says

    Keep writing Kimberlee!! Looking forward to reading more! Maybe you can share my idea of a new paper shredder—-gerbils! (Just kidding!) I appreciate you opening up here and letting others know you better, and learn from you! We are in the same financial boat as you guys and I am always wanting to learn more!

  7. Danielle Estes says

    Thank you so much for starting this series! It brought me to tears, it takes such bravery to post this and makes me feel less alone in our families decision. We live a VERY similar way!! (Really, really similar actually!) We live on the same annual income (almost to the $$), we have 4 children, I WAS the “bread winner” until we decided I NEED to stay home with our four children, we have a daughter who has autism (along with some other disabilities), our youngest has behavior issues… Once again, thank you. This series is coming at a time when I really need it.

    • says

      Wow Danielle–maybe we are twins separated at birth. haha! It’s really important to be available to our special needs kids. I am proud of you for making that decision inspite of the sacrifices. Hopefully the series can help you.

  8. says

    Praise the Lord. I cant wait to here your story. WE have been there and God was so faithful. Your testimony is worth its weight and Gold. Be faithful and do what God tells you to do and He will get the Glory from it. I have been on your side of living and family is way more important than money any day. The sacrifice is well worth it my husband quite a very good job to be home with our family and God has blessed and redeemed for his obedience. My husband doesnt travel anymore day after day week after week. Know that we home school we all go together. Praying for you my friend.

  9. jerrysgirl1978 says

    Our daughter is married to a youth pastor and she is a stay at home mom. They recently had their 3rd child and she is a marvel at managing on next to nothing. I am excited to share this with her as I am sure it will be an encouragement to her. Thank you.

  10. Michelle says

    Thank you for sharing your sweet story of how much you believe in making sacrifices for the sake of your family! There was a time when I also was a SAHM. We lived very frugally on my husband’s medium/low income salary job (but with excellent benefits) and it was the happiest years of my life. Life has a way of making U-turns on us though, and mine did just that. He was killed in an auto accident when the children were toddlers. God always proved Himself as the Great Provider and I am now retired, but I always cherish the memories of the days when we had eggs for breakfast AND dinner when payday was still a day or two away! It was a peaceful time, and there’s no substitute for the contentment that comes with knowing you are doing what’s best for YOU at that particular time of your life. Blessings to you and yours!

  11. karen b says

    Thank you Kimberlee for going out “on a limb” so to speak & sharing this. As of right now we are making alittle more than what you are per month, but a year or so ago thats about what we were making also, so know the struggles that you face.( My husband is a dairy farmer & 3-4 years ago our milk check dropped almost in half for about 2 years so trying to make that business work & bills get paid was quite a struggle we almost didn’t make (& many didn’t). We get paid a salary from the business account so we didn’t get a raise for several years.) I am looking forward to this series & have read alot of your online book, but always looking for ways to save money.

  12. Crystal says

    Thank you so much for speaking from your heart, and for sharing something so personal. We are a family of 7. And gross about $1000 less than you, so we bring home under $2,000 a month. We also homeschool, my oldest daughter has aspburgers, as well as severe dyslexia. It is a very very big struggle. However, like you, the higher income meant less time with daddy, so this is the life we have chosen (Or God has led us too) We feel so blessed to be home with our children, our life is simple, it struggles, but we are super blessed. I can’t wait to learn from you! Thank you for being willing to share your advice, and what works for your family YOU are such a blessing to others!

  13. T.R.R. says

    Quote of the day, “Relationships are eternal. Money is not.” Couldn’t have said it better myself, Bless you and all that you are sharing!

  14. cary polakowski says

    Kimberly, I so appreciate your openness about your finances and your life. It shows that you have an open heart as well. As a former educator I truly admire your choice of relationships with your kids and husband as first in importance! I look forward to reading the rest of your series. Have a great day!

  15. Kim says

    So excited to read your blog, I too have a son that we are testing for Aspbergers syndrome and we are missionaries,my son also has a wheat allergy, not to mention I have four kids. I am so interested in hearing more from you! Can’t wait to see how you guys do it!

  16. mNewcomb says

    I am interested to ready your tips. At the moment we are living on a lot less than $2800, as a family of four. We are just starting out as a family, but it has been difficult. I do stay home with my 2 little ones. My husband works full time and is going to school full time to further his education. It’s pretty rough! Thankfully up to this point we have been able to stay out of debt! I am hoping you have some tips to help stretch what we do have a little further.

    • says

      Meredin-It is difficult, but I am really proud of you guys for making his education a priority so he can make more in the future. I hope I can be an encouragement to you. :)

  17. LeAnn Burley says

    I can’t wait to here what you have to offer. I think tips from other people help. Try them if they work great if not, your no worse off. I just became gluten free and have loved your tips. I have a family of 5 so just saving money and getting out of debt will help.

  18. says

    sooo excited!! I’m trying desperately to come home fulltime by December and that’s almost exactly my hubby makes alone so i am soooooo looking forward to this series!

    • says

      Erin, that is a very worthy goal. I think that you will find that once you are able to come home you can save even more money because you have time to do more money-saving things. I pray that you can make it home even sooner!

  19. Crystal says

    Isn’t it amazing how something like a blog on Facebook can be there at just the right time! Thank you for sharing. This little tidbit is uplifting for me at this very moment. Some details are different but at the end of the day we are all trying to make whatever our financial situations are work. Thank you for blessing me with your open and honest story!

  20. Hannah Shefferd says

    Thank you soooo very much for this series. We live on less but only have 3 kids right now and honestly I don’t know how to make it each month and because of that we have gone in debt a few times. I will look forward to any suggestions you have. Thank You!

  21. says

    What a great series Kimberlee! I look forward to it. I think everyone will be able to learn a bit from your series. No matter how much you make, if you learn to live on less it opens up so many possibilities. Relationships are worth so much more than we ever realize. Bless you for going where many people will not go.

  22. Lyn says

    I super admire you for sharing about your personal finances. You are right when you say that it’s almost a “no-no” when it comes to speaking of finances right along with religion and politics, even in the blogging world.

    I come from the same line of thinking that sharing what works and how you are able to make it can be more helpful to others than to not share. I actually wish more frugal/simple living bloggers would be more forthcoming. Not that I need to know what they make but rather it’s so helpful to know how they are managing on less. I greatly admire people like yourself who are making it, are proud of what they are achieving, and don’t have a focus on material wealth, stuff, and money in general. Your family’s focus is very meaningful.

    I look forward to your series. My husband and I live on less than your family does, but we also have a small family. I am home due to health, and cannot work out of the home. Nonetheless, we all share in common having to pay for many of the same things such as housing, heating, utilities, gas, etc. even if things such as food and clothing differ due to size. It will be awesome to see what you share, and hopefully we can all share back in return. :)

  23. says

    I just wanted to offer my encouragement and I can’t wait to learn more of how you do it. We are in a similar but very different situation. I am the “bread winner” and my husband stays at home. We know this is where the Lord wants us at this point in our lives and are facing some huge financial changes in the next several months so this series could not have come at a better time!

  24. sheri says

    I love your website and most people that are reading this blog needs some inspiration for the reason that they do not make alot of money. I love that you have been up front with us because I always thought that most bloggers had the money and was just trying to be nice and help us save money and they just put it in savings. Thanks Kimberlee for being real with us. Can not wait to see this series.
    sheri

  25. Jen says

    I think it’s wonderful that you are able to live on so little money. I envy that! I am so excited to see how you are able to do this. I’m hoping for some great ideas. :-)

  26. T.Niles says

    I LOVE THIS! Can’t wait for the next installment! I too am learning to live with LESS and loving it! making relationships a priority…more Daddy time at home! I love how we free up time for our children and we are wanting to adopt…so having Daddy home will help with building a relationship with our new child/children? :() You go girl! I will be right behind you …cheering all the way! Woo hooo! God Bless!

  27. Anna says

    Thank you for opening your life up with your readers. I am a single mom with 4 kiddos including one with disabilities (also 2 kids plus myself have asthma). I take that one to PT and MD appts several times a month plus I work full time as a professional. I have 1 teen, 1 soon to be teen, one school age and a preschooler. I work hard to keep us in budget but the medical bills catch up with us frequently. I spend a lot of money on child care but I also take summers off to work at home with the kids at home. I need my insurance and other benefits that my job offers because to put it simply my ex (kids’ dad) is not responsible. I do not wish I could be a stay at home mom because that is not an option for me right now. I try to enjoy the time that we all get to stay home together and/or evenings and make the most of that time. Childhood passes very quickly so I do not “regret” what life has handed me. My only problem is always trying to keep us in budget with unplanned medical bills cropping up. I look forward to learning about your frugal lifestyle and hopefully being able to apply to my own life situation.
    Again, thank you.

    • says

      Anna, you are absolutely doing what is right for your family and I love that you take the summers to be with your children. It is super difficult to be a single parent. I have a friend who is and it seems there is never enough, and yet the Lord always provides. Praying for more provision for your family. :)

  28. Dineen says

    Thank you for beginning this series, Kimberlee, with such open honesty with the reasons for your frugality. When I started reading your blog and subscribed a few weeks ago, our commonalities (family on the spectrum, fighting out of depression, and living frugally to name a few) appealed to me. Knowing just HOW and why you need to live so frugally touches me even more. I hope to learn more from you in the coming series.

  29. says

    Thanks for your courage and honesty in this series. I am looking forward to reading it. While it is only my husband and I we are retired and live on a very limited income (retired elementary teachers), so I am very interested to see how you do it.

  30. Jay says

    I appreciate this incite deeply, for I see similarities in your circumstances to ours. I am a full time employee, and a full time mom. Having had the past few years to be a stay at home mommy (and work an alternate schedule), I have found a tremendous relationship with my child and even my spouse. Thank you for the glimpse into your life as a form of support.

  31. says

    Thank you for being so transparent and honest. I look forward to learning from you and your family on how to be a better steward of the money that God has trusted each one of of to have. My husband was down sizes a few years ago which then his pay was reduced by half…what a shock to have to learn to live on so much less…then the company closed down completely after over 18 years working there..he has been working for a new company the past year or so but isn’t making what he used to..but God is good and always supplies..sometimes through people like you to share your experiences and knowledge with others..Thank You.
    Connie

    • says

      Connie, I am so sorry that your husband lost his job. That is really difficult and you could probably teach me a few things as well. Thankfully he is working again! Hopefully you can find some encouragement here.

  32. Cindy says

    I am very interested how you are able to live on a small annual income. I also have chosen family over career but feel frustrated often. I would like to put some money away for the future but it is hard to find the extra cash. Can’t wait to hear some more”11

  33. says

    I cannot wait to learn from you. I too would love to learn how to live on less. I sure hope we see “Part One” this week. 😉
    Thank you very much for going out on a limb by sharing this very personal information. I commend y’all for taking a very responsible way of wanting to raise your children. I do believe relationships are way more important than money…but so many of us (me included) get caught up with trying to provide more and more but our relationships that are closest to us are to be short changed.
    Thank you again.

  34. Mary Ann Scholl says

    Kimberlee,
    You are to be commended for choosing relationships over money, and for being frugal and making your budget work!!!
    I know your husband must be proud of you, and vice versa.

  35. melissa martinez says

    Cant wait for your next installment.We too are living on around 2,000 a month after child support and health ins. taken out. It has been hard living on one salary but we are getting used to it. We feel that we should homeschool our daughter.

  36. LIz says

    I struggle everyday leaving my 2 1/2 year old with a babysitter so we can have a two income family. I am very excited to learn how I can follow in your footsteps

  37. says

    I’m looking forward to this series–currently working two jobs trying to get out of debt …beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but would love to start “saving” more!

  38. says

    wow sister, i’m all impressed and have nothing but respect for you. since i’m so bad with money, i actually am not sure exactly how your annual income translates to daily needs but i can imagine it must be very tight as my brother makes 33K a year and is single, yet he’s continuously in debt.
    you must be EXCELLENT at money management, and actually time management too cuz as a mom who homeschools, shops, takes care of house, is there for her dh and still finds time to blog AND share so many useful things with others in the world… yeah… you are really MASHALLAH flying very high in my respect:)
    now then, i want to say that i will be paying very close attention to the following posts because you are right, not many, if any, would put out their personal finance out there for all to see and i’m just so thankful to you that you have.
    i’m moving to the uk in a few weeks and well, its just dh working and he owns his own biz which is still young and developing so the income isnt that large and certainly not as steady but i hope to be of great help to him inshallah (God willing) in budgeting and also saving.
    i’m going to look to you my dear for any useful tips, and so far you’ve dished out some great ones:)
    ps. i love you on pinterest. i shared you with my sis who’s circumstances are also similarly tight and she LOVES your blog too. we are agog waiting for more posts.
    Thank you for sharing:)
    R

  39. norma says

    I’m looking forward to the series. I saw it posted on facebook. My family and I chose to live on one income for 10 years. We were able to do it because we lived debt free and were frugal. We also put our son through college. I’ve recently started back to work, and I have to say the extra income is nice. We’re planning to replenish our savings, go on some vacations, and eat out (guilt-free) once in awhile. :)

  40. Claire says

    I am so excited about this series. My situation is similar to yours in that my income has always been more than double my husband’s income. When my son was a baby, I worked fulltime and my husband worked part-time, opposite each other so one of us was always home with the baby. I hated being away from him so much. When he was 18 months old, I had the opportunity to cut back go part-time, and my husband went fulltime. Since then, I have gotten several raises, and when I think about what our household income would be if I were the one working fulltime, I feel really guilty. My husband is great with my son, but I’m in a better position to facilitate playdates for him (which is important, since he’s an only child), advocate for his educational needs, etc. So we’re going this route, even though financially it makes no sense!

  41. Samantha says

    I want to thank you Kimberlee for sharing your story with me! My husband and I also have 4 children ages 17 – 8 and we live on about 600 less than you right now so I am REALLY looking forward to learning some great useful tips! I really commend your courage and thank you deeply because I know how many other families you will help by sharing this personal story! My family being one of them for sure. I am very thankful I came across your site a few months ago and I cant begin to express to you how grateful I am for you opening up and sharing so much with me! I wish you and your family the very best always!!

  42. says

    Thank you for all the helpful advice you give to us on a daily basis. I’m trying to do better with money issues but saying no to older children & spoiled grandsons is very difficult. So i’m excited to hear & learn from your experiences. I need to make some new lifestyle changes. So keep up the good work :)

  43. Diane says

    I’ve just read part 1 and 2, and am looking forward to this series! I do think it’s helpful for people to see the numbers in someone else’s budget although I also understand wanting privacy and not giving people those numbers. Our monthly household budget expenses are lower than that (right around 2000) but we make more than that and anything extra is an extra mortgage payment (our only debt). I think you will never regret this choice of being home with your children. One of my passions is helping moms with budgets so they can see how to live on one income so they can stay home with their children. Right now my husband works Monday-Friday and I work on Saturdays so we avoid daycare and we plan to homeschool once our little girl is old enough.

    • says

      Thanks for the encouragement Diane. My hope is that people will find it helpful and be encouraged that they can make it on one income, even if it doesn’t seem possible on paper. We have done the split shift work arrangement to avoid childcare costs and I think it is always a win-win for the kids to have their parents as the primary care takers. Blessings!

  44. Janessa G says

    Thank you so much for sharing! I am one of those who wishes we could live more simple and on less!!! I cant wait to learn about your tips and tricks!!!

  45. TheDayCame says

    THANK YOU! Thank you for being transparent! We have an 8 year old and a 5 year old. Before our first child was born, my husband made more than double what he does now. We were paying a high amount per month to get out of debt but little did we know just how much more we actually had then. We have learned a lot of lessons over the years and are still learning. While we do have less children than you, we are have a similar income scenario. I haven’t read through all of the postings but so appreciate the encouragement. We have made a lot of sacrifices for me to stay home with our children and although I would like it to be less “tight” I would never trade even the not-so-great moments with them, over having more money. These posts will help me re-think what we are doing and reread the Cheapskate book we have. :) I don’t feel it will always be this way but appreciate knowing we aren’t the only ones. Thank you!

  46. says

    Just saying hello and giving my support for this new series. Kudos to you for choosing relationships over money- I completely agree with this choice. I got to your site from Pinterest- looking forward to following you. :)

  47. Katie says

    Kimberlee, thank you for this post. I’m sure it was a difficult decision to make to share your family’s income in such a public way. We are a family of 5 and we make around $30,000 a year as well. My husband works in retail management and I work at night doing hearing screenings on newborns. My income doesn’t provide much, but it pays for groceries. I think there are so many families living this way these days, but none of us want to admit it. I’m so glad to know I’m not alone!

  48. Sarah Johnson says

    I am excited to read this series. My husband and I have had many struggles financially with our decision for me to be home with the kids. We wouldn’t trade it for anything! Good for you!

  49. suzette cherrington says

    Thanks you for being so brave to share very private money matters with all of us. We are a family of 5 and have an extremely rough 3yrs financially. We are finally to a point that I think we might just make it through this ugly storm. I am super excited to read any and all of your suggestions.

  50. crystal says

    I think it’s interesting that you are worried about being judged. I don’t see anything wrong w/ what you wrote. :-) You go girl! I’m excited to learn from you.

  51. Jen says

    Can I ask what your occupation is? Do you still teach or is blogging your full-time job? Thanks being open and sharing.

  52. Michelle says

    Thank you for sharing this. I have recently lost my job. My husband and I are now trying to live off of one income. I am looking for inspiration in many ways. I am glad that I stumbled across your blog on pinterest.

  53. Dina says

    I am overwhelmed by your sincerity and eagerness to share. I teach life skills to at risk young adults in Brooklyn, NY. Tips, tricks, legal cheats are always helpful when teaching finances and budgeting. Not to mention needing help and guidance myself!

  54. says

    Hi Kimberlee,
    A friend of mine sent this to me this morning, stating that she thought of me while reading it. I am so happy to find this series and I am looking forward to anything knew that I can learn! My husband is active duty Marine Corps so we live on what would be considered below the poverty level income as well. But we are completely debt free and are putting away a considerable amount of money each month. I am always finding ways to cut costs and save more money (we’re saving up to buy a house one day) like making my own laundry detergent or using cloth diapers. With baby #3 on the way, a lot of people have this idea that we will need tons more money in order to survive but, thankful, my husband and I both believe in living simply and within our means so that we can be a close and happy family. I am excited to read what else you have written! Thank you!

    Oh and on a side note, I grew up with a brother who has Aspergers. I love him to death but I know how it is, totally! =)

    • says

      Welcome Hannah! I’m glad you’re here. Sounds like you can teach me a thing or two. :) As far as the Aspergers, maybe you can give me some tips for how to help the non-Aspergers siblings cope. :)

  55. Quinessa says

    I also would like to share my gratitude to you for being so open and willing to share that private part of your life! My family of six has struggled for several years and it only seems to be getting worse! So I’m very very grateful and excited to read how you and your family thrive!

  56. April says

    Hi Kimberlee,
    I found this link to your blog on Pinterest. I was intrigued by your openness about finances (I know it’s not easy to put that number out there), but then I was hooked when I saw you also have a child on the spectrum! My son has autism, so I know all too well about what goes along with… well… all of that. :) I’m sure my family of four can make much better use of our finances, so I’m really excited to read the rest of this series! Well, I’m going to go poke around the rest of your blog… So glad to have found you!

  57. Camara says

    I think it is very noble of you to make this sacrifice for your family. I look forward to reading the rest of your series because I could certainly use some tips on saving money!

  58. Holly says

    Thanks so much for taking the time to encourage and advise us. Just knowing that there are so many others out there who are succeeding under these circumstances gives me lots of hope.

  59. Katie says

    Looking forward to learning from you. I have 4 kids and stay at home too. Each year it seems to get harder and harder to make ends meet even when we are making a sincere effort to cut back. With gas and food so expensive it just makes it harder. Sometimes we think we will never get ahead of our debt! Thanks for sharing your insight.

  60. says

    I am a single mom with 3 daughters and I only make $28,000 a year plus anything I can make from my photography and crafting. I can’t wait to start reading your tips and suggestions. We went from $75,000 a year to $18,000 a year when my ex decided marriage was no longer any fun! It was a tough transition, but we made with the help of God, Family and friends. I had not worked for 19 years, as we had decided when we started having children that I would stay home, so I did. In the past year, I have moved up at my job so that I went from making $18,000 a year to just now making $28,000. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    • says

      Monica, I am so sorry about your divorce, but congratulations on your raise! I have a couple of friends who are single parents and it is absolutely the most difficult job in the world. Hopefully you can find some helpful ideas on the blog. Blessings! :)

  61. Tricia says

    I’m looking forward to reading more about how you thrive on so little. I was wondering, what area of the country you live? Or is that soon to come in an new post? Thank you for opening up and sharing your story!

    • says

      Hi Tricia- We are in the southeastern part of the U.S., but in an area where food and housing prices tend to be higher than other parts of the south. I recently talked to a friend who moved from Boston and she said that while people feel that Boston is really expensive, the area we live in is about the same once you factor in everything. I was surprised, but I do know that it has been more difficult since we moved here a year ago than where we used to live.

  62. Alyssa says

    OMG I’m thrilled that I found your blog! I’m a graduate student studying social work and will never be rich. I live with my boyfriend who works and just bought a house, so we both feel like broke 20somethings while a bit envious of our friends who work in law or finance. I try to save money on groceries, but like to eat healthy and am allergic to gluten, so many things cost more than “normal” foods.
    I love that you are so focused on maintaining the positive relationships in your family! Money definitely isn’t everything, so if I can learn to cut back and shop smarter, I’m on bored!
    Thanks for wonderful ideas in not-so-wonderful economic times :)

  63. Sarah says

    I am so excited that you are doing this – and I commend you for putting yourself out there for the shake of ‘us’. I am just starting out my life with my soon to be husband…getting married this year and planning to have kids in the next couple. I currently can’t stand my job and cannot see how this is sustainable – but I often ask how can we possibly make it without my income. I hope this is going to help us :)

    • Linda says

      I was excited to read your post and see that it’s been almost a year. Am curious if you found a way to save all of your monthly income, to prepare for the wedding and future children. I know when trying to learn to live on one income is easier without the stress of a little one & all that entails (though it is a tremendous blessing), but usually is more doable when your “in it”, unfortunately. I am curious to find out how things are going for you now.

      • says

        Hi Linda- As a matter of fact, I will be doing a follow up post very soon. We did not save as much as we would have liked, but we were able to spend on some things that mattered to our family, so we are happy with the results. Thanks for asking!

  64. Lindsey says

    Thank you for being willing to share. I know it can’t have been an easy decision. I have a feeling what you are going to say over the next few weeks is EXACTLY what I need to hear right now.

  65. Dorothy says

    We raised seven children on a labourer’s income. Now we are retired and living on one pension with a new mortgage on a one bedroom small old home in need of repairs, but no savings or assets. Looking forward to your wisdom. Thank you.

  66. says

    I commented on your recent post in this series stating that me and my husband live well below the poverty line. I honestly have never thought of us as “poor.” I know sometimes money runs thin, but we are so happy and content that making less money isn’t much of an issue.
    My husband is going through college and I really wanted to be a SAHM, so we finally took the leap and I have been staying home for three years now.
    I am so thankful I found this series! I am looking so forward to reading through the rest! I honestly do not know much about handling finances so I am hoping this will help me!

  67. Shawna says

    I rarely comment on other’s blogs, but you inspired me! Truly, to sacrifice what we seem to think we need, for something you know you need takes courage and consistency. It made me think of the story of the Mexican Fisherman (http://www.inewsu.com/news/money-isnt-every-thing) – we work hard to provide, for what purpose? To live well – both physically and emotionally. You are doing that all ready. Enjoy every moment together, you are making the BEST choice!

  68. Jean says

    I just discovered your blog. Thank you for sharing your insight on this matter.
    Yes, our mortgage is more than your monthly living expenses. I am wondering if where you live matters as well. Obviously, I haven’t read rest of your blogs and don’t know where you live. I will read on, but I am still skeptical if we can reduce our monthly expenses considering how expensive to live in Southern California. I joke that we pay extra premium for the wonderful weather here. 😉

    • says

      Hi Jean–welcome! The area of the country you live in definitely makes a difference. My point in sharing our income is not to say everyone can live on the income that we live on, but to encourage people who would like to save money that there are ways to do it. Southern California is one of the more expensive areas to live in, but you do have great weather! :)

  69. Connie says

    Thank you! My husband and I have lived frugally for so many years but now that the income has increased, those habits have slipped. We were just having a discussion that we should save more money. Thanks for the inspiration to use our money more wisely.

  70. Kim says

    I found your blog through a friend on Pinterest. I am so happy that you are sharing your story with everyone! My husband and I live on one income while I attend college one night a week and stay home with our daughter. We have also talked about him becoming a stay at home Dad when I am finished with my degree and am ready to enter the working world. There are people that don’t agree with the choice we have made, but I have learned to ignore the comments. We are happy with our arrangement. While money can get tight, I would not change the blessing I have of a great bond with my child!

  71. Melissa says

    My 2 year old is NOT allowing me to read this at the moment, but I VERY much look forward to getting to read this article. We are a family of 5 (a 14 year old who is homeschooled, a 2 year old and a newborn) so I’m a SAHM and my husbands take home pay is under $2000 a month, he’s also currently in school (hopefully in a few years we’ll be able to do better!) but between full time school and one full time job he doesn’t have time for a second job (much less any family time at the moment!). But with all that I am very excited to learn more tips on managing our budget and being able to survive on so little. :-)

  72. Savanna says

    It is so amazing that you are putting yourself and your family out there to try to help others. Thank you so much for all of the insight you are sharing. And may I just say that you truely sound like an amazing person for all of the interest circumstances you are facing at home. I hope that you and yours continue to be blessed. And lastly, good for you for choosing your family over finances!
    Blessings,
    Savanna

  73. Faith says

    Thanks for sharing. I look forward to following as well. We have made similar choices.

    This paragraph:
    “As a matter of fact, we would like to make more money. We definitely don’t want to stay where we are financially, but if we have to choose between money and relationships (and for now we do), we are going to choose relationships every time. Relationships are eternal. Money is not.”

    Says it all.

  74. Stephanie says

    I’m not very good with words, but here goes nothing. Reading your blog has brought inspiration to my household. I have been trying to find more ways to save the little money we do have. Having just 1 child and 1 on the way. I am ALWAYS willing to learn new things. Can’t wait to see what comes next!!!

  75. CoreyAnn says

    I am so excited I just stumbled across your blog post! I am so comforted by what you have already said. My husband is about to start medical school and I am an RN. I alone have a decent earning potential, but we have a son and plan to have more children. I love that you have chosen relationships over money, and that is what I want to do. We have decided that once he starts medical school I will work very little, but I wonder how we will get by financially. I can’t wait to read your future posts! I admire you for putting your family first and want to do the same!

    • says

      Hi CoreyAnn! Thanks for your encouragement. Will you be able to work weekends or evenings when he starts school? I know sometimes nurses can work fewer hours and still make pretty good money. I hope you can find some good ideas here. :)

  76. Catydidd says

    My friend pinned your blog, I’m glad I clicked through to here. I’m really happy that you shared your story. When I first started reading, I was afraid I was going to be judged for not staying home with my child. I recently went back to college full time, which was the best decision for our family. Some people thrive being homemakers; I was falling deeper and deeper into depression and my family was not getting the best of me. For a long time, every homemaking blog I came across told me that “good” mothers stay home, and that I could be happy if only I would do X, X, and X. I did those things, and yet it still wasn’t the place for me. I came away from those blogs feeling like a failure. I’m grateful that there are other voices, like yours, out there. Thank you.

    • says

      Hi Cait! I am so proud of you for realizing that you needed to do something different and taking the initiative to do it. I absolutely agree that staying at home doesn’t work for everyone. I’m glad you’re here! :)

  77. crystal becker says

    WOW! Talk about God timing! I was a stay at home mom working very part time during my daughter’s first few years and my son’s first 18 months. I went back to full time work that includes working EVERY WEEKEND. I have been doing it for a little over 2 years and have been feeling very strongly about quitting because I have no full day off with my daughter and no family days very often because of the weekend commitment. We made it before, but struggled, thus the reason I went back to work. I’ve been looking for ways for us to get a handle on our budget and actually budget and possibly quit some time this year. “stumbling” over your blog gives me hope that if I choose to quit and go back to part-time, I’ll have some “tools” to help me feel more peaceful about us making it financially.:) THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing-the blessings this could provide to families will outweigh any negative criticisms.:)

  78. Elisabeth says

    I am excited to learn what you have to share with us. I thought we were doing well, but now I know that we could be doing better. I have said to people many times what you have said; I was just more blunt- I tell others that I would rather be poor and with my family, than rich and never around.

  79. Danielle Swanson says

    I am very interested in reading everything you have to tell us! Very excited to see how you do it. Also, do you guys do this and have debt to pay on? I am sure you will mention this in your upcoming posts but still very interested in knowing!

    One last thing, how do I “follow” your blog?

    • says

      Hi Danielle-We do not have any debt at this time, which is a big reason why we can live off my husband’s salary alone. As far as following the blog, you can click the green “subscribe” button in the right side bar, or you can click the Facebook or Twitter buttons on the right side of the header. Glad you’re here. :)

  80. says

    I have to say that I read the comments with the warmest of hearts. I can only imagine how vulnerable it must feel to put “the number” out there, but there are so many of us who are learning how to do the best we can with what we have. My oldest son has Williams Syndrome, and we’re constantly doing therapies, etc. My middle is a rambunctious wild girl, and the baby was premature so we’re also doing several therapies with her to keep her on track. I’m so delighted to be here. Thank you for fostering such a friendly atmosphere! What a pleasure to swap tips in what feels like a safe place. :)

    • says

      Hi Mercedes–thank you so much for saying the blog feels like a safe place. That is my intention and so good to know that I am achieving it! Sounds like you have a lot going on. Please do share any tips that you have learned along the way.

  81. says

    Thank you for your transparency and risk-taking by revealing the truth of your income as you approach this topic. Jacob Needleman in “Money and the Meaning of Life” predicted that financial transparency would be to the 2000’s 2010’s as the women’s lib and sexual revolutions were to the 1960s and 1970s, and I believe he’s right. I’m looking forward to your posts here. Take care.

  82. Erin says

    Thank you SO MUCH fir writing this. You are such an answer to prayer. I’m thrilled to read future posts. My husband & I have a 2.5 year old precious son & a baby girl due in June. I need your help through this exact message more than you know! Thank you again, we are definatelt that “one family” that will be positively affected!

  83. Jocelyn says

    Kimberlee, you and your family are an inspiration. Right now, we are doing good, mostly because my husband is a software engineer and so far still has his job, and I have a job where I make about $20K (before taxes) plus a side job at home. We have no living children together – our daughter was born prematurely in 2004 and died when she was a week old – but his two kids from his first marriage (in their mid-20s now) are both still particially financially dependent on him. Our biggest worry is that he will lose his job and not be able to find another. I think what you’re doing is great and I wish you the best success…thank you for sharing and keep up the great work!

  84. Kelsey says

    THANK YOU! I have just joined your mailing list because I do live on about $28000 a year as well. Although I am a single woman, I am still struggling and would like any information and help that I can get! Thank you again for sharing!

  85. Danielle says

    I have to say you are an inspiration! I am a 23 year old who just finished college, between credit card debt while being in college (I had to eat and pay the rent somehow) and just plain college debt I am looking for EVERY possible way to make ends meet. Your blog is already inspiring me to make changes in my life. :) Thank you so much!

  86. Kristin says

    Thank you for sharing! We are a family of 4 living off of $28,000/yr. Every week is a struggle to get all the bills paid and food on the table. I’m interested to hear how you guys do it. I appreciate your spirit of choosing relationships over money. I need to remember that as our stress level and fights about money often hinder our relationships. Our marriage started off in loads of student loan debt and stupid credit card debt. After 8 years it never seems like we’ll get anywhere close to financial freedom and security.

    • says

      Hi Kristin. It is so easy to fight about money, so I understand. Debt makes things more difficult as well. I hope you can find some helpful information here. :)

  87. Jennifer says

    I absolutely LOVE that you are sharing this. My husband too works for a charitable non-profit and I am a stay at home mom. Thank you for the reminder that the choices we are making are far more valuable than a larger income at this time!

  88. L.W. says

    I am so happy to see this post. Not for the information, I haven’t gotten to the rest of the series yet, but simply because someone else has chosen a path similar to my own. I am the single mother of 4 children, and I choose to live only on the support their fathers give. I occasionally wish I were “rich” and could spend money without guilt and watching every penny, but the reality of our lives and relationships while I was working was frightening for me. I hated the way we interacted. I missed my kids. We were all worse off for it. I manage by doing without. We live simply, and mostly debt free. I own my home, my vehicle, and live without public assistance. Yet I am frequently judged as being “lazy” and not giving my kids what they deserve. I happen to think they deserve ME and my time more than the latest clothing fad or electronic gadget. It’s my duty to them to be there for them and help guide them towards being an adult. Can’t wait to read the following posts…

    • says

      Good for you for choosing relationships over stuff! I am sure your life is difficult in some ways, but I know your sacrifice is making an impact on your children.

  89. Stepanie says

    Thank you so much for your post. We live on less, as my husband has been unemployed for a couple of years and is at home with our children. One income is hard but my daughter loves that her dad is here for her. Thank you again.

  90. Danyle says

    Thanks, for doing this!!! I cannot wait to read along and find out how you do it. We have a 7 year old and one more one the way.

  91. says

    Ahhh, thank you so much for this! I found you via Pinterest, and your reasons for living the way that you do are exactly what I try to explain to people when I tell them that no, I don’t want to work 6-7 days a week, and that I like a healthy work-life balance. No one I work with seems to get it (and, shocker, they all have some unhappy portion of their lives). My fiance and I are getting married next year, and we are definitely looking to live more frugally and be able to save more money for the wedding and our future. :)

  92. Jina says

    Kimberlee,
    You are brave and strong, amazing! Thank YOU for standing up and speaking out for those of us who are not just sitting back and watching the world crumble with our children in it! I will definitely be reading and watching your blog. We just went to the Colin Gunn’s “IndoctriNation” (Highly recommend!) Premiere and talk back with the Director…you are in the same vein and MAKING A DIFFERENCE!!

  93. Jennifer says

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting this! It is a true insperation to hear about your life & choices! I found this at a time that I truly needed it most & so for that thank you!

  94. Sabrina Massie says

    I love your site, and wanted to share something with you ..
    My husband and I both had been married before, … When we tied the knot we did it with FIVE children … Both our previous marriages and the subsequent divorces had been difficult for the kids.. SO, .. we made a CONSCIOUS decision for me to stay home and raise the kids…
    Hubby is a cop .. (a non-union public servant) and they make VERY little money here in the South. It wasn’t always easy, but in hindsight I can honestly say it was the RIGHT decision for our family .. The kids are now grown and I have 3 wonderful grandchildren with two more on the way !
    It CAN be done, you and I are both proof of that.. Thank you so much for being “brave” enough to lay it all out there for us …
    Sincerely …
    Sabrina Massie

    • says

      Sabrina, thank you so much for sharing your story. It’s good to hear from someone who is a little further ahead of us and to get affirmation that we are making a good choice.

  95. Ashley says

    So excited to read more of this little series. I too, choose to stay at home with our son. We can use all the help, ideas & tips we can find! I agree, relationships are what matter most, not money. Something more people need to remember. Thanks for sharing!!

  96. Alyssa says

    Thank You so much for posting this! I found your blog through pinterest and I am very excited to read how you do it!! My husband is in school and we have a one yr old that I stay home with so all the tips I can get help!! =] Thank You!!
    Alyssa

  97. Tiffany says

    I found your site via pinterest. I am so excited to keep reading. Your life sounds very much like mine…in so many ways. :)

  98. Christi says

    Thank you so much for all your hard work. I have 4 children, too and I am looking forward to improving my finances with your help!

  99. Joanne says

    Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story! My family also chose to live off one income and my husband is a stay at home dad. People really seem to have a hard with this and always make comments about him finding a job. They don’t seem to understand why we would choose this. There is definitely much less stress having a spouse at home to take care of sick kids and day to day business! Can’t wait to read your blog and learn more tips on budgeting :) Keep up the good work!

    • says

      Thanks for your encouragement Joanne. Living off one income is definitely going against the grain, but just remember that you make choices for your family, not for those who want to criticize you. :)

  100. LDJ says

    Thank you for sharing this! Your story sounds so much like that of my family. We, also, Homeschool and live off of my husband’s small income. I have a degree also and feel that I’m constantly judged for our decision. It’s comforting to know we aren’t alone. I look forward to reading what you have to share. Thanks for being open and willing too help others.

  101. Sara says

    I am sooo glad that I came across your site on Pinterest. My boyfriend of a few years and I have started talking about moving in together and between the two of us we will have 7 children between the ages of 2-16. Financially we will both have to work but with our combined household size and the income that we will bring home it will be very tight. I look forward to learning as much as I can from your experiences!!

  102. Brandy says

    Thank you for being proud of who you are and strong enough to do this. I admire this so much and cannot wait to read on !!

  103. Claire says

    Hi!

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m in a temporary position with no benefits and my husband is really unhappy in his position. It’s nice to read an article that reminds us that your job and income don’t define you.

    Thanks!

  104. says

    Very well put…it’s about personal choices. We choose for me to stay home as well and make it work. Yes, we could have a bigger tv, or more than one, and fancier stuff…but time together is more important. Playing games and music together in the evenings has been more than watching cable, etc…good for you for finding what works for your family.

  105. says

    Hi! I also found your blog via Pintrest and honestly can’t wait to find out more. We are a one income household and making it pay to pay is difficult too much of the time! I am now following via email! Can’t wait to find out more!

  106. Christy says

    Found your blog on Pinterest and so excited to read it, I make a bit more but I am a single Mom so I live on one income and support two girls. We do okay financially HOWEVER, I have a HUGE student loan debt that I would love to tackle and I’m hoping your website can help find ways to cut corners so I can start paying this debt off and living simpler!…Thanks for your help!

  107. says

    Thank you for being so vulnerable! I have a young family (two daughters, ages 2 and 3) and my husband and I have made some decisions very similar to yours over the last two years, decreasing our income drastically, and improving our quantity and quality of time together drastically as well. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series!

  108. Lauren says

    Thank you so much for doing this! My husband are going through a similar situation right now. We have two small children, I am in school fulltime, work partime and my husband works fulltime. We are working with a budget very similar to yours( slightly less) and we are really struggling right now. I am excited to follow your posts and gain insight! Thanks again!

  109. Ashley says

    I’m so anxious to see how you guys make it and compare notes. Between full time job and full time school in another city, my husband is gone from 7am-10:30pm most days. We don’t have children, but were in the same boat of being frustrated & irritable all too often. We recently decided that I would stay at home & we would live off one income. Mind you, I went from working 70-80 hrs a week to NOT AT ALL. I’ve always been pretty good at stretching money, but I’d like to learn to stretch it further so we can hopefully go on more little weekend adventures before we start having to worry about paying a sitter down the road 😉

  110. Shan says

    Love this! We made the decision to live a simple lifestyle. We have two kids and I stay home with them. My husband is currently a substitute teacher, waiting for a full time job to open up (tough jobs to get where we live.)

    We agreed that he would not take on a second job or work extra hours at his brothers company because it is more important for him to be home with us at dinner and on weekends. I never would have thought we’d get flack for a decision like that but it’s amazing how much we do!

  111. Nicholle says

    I am a stay at home mom and we to make very little money each year. My husband works as a chef in an office building cafeteria and while he could make much more money in a different setting we (the kids and I) like having him home in the evening and on weekends and holidays. For us it isn’t about the money either but the family time and memories we are making. Can’t wait to hear more from you. Oh yeah we have 5 kids so also a big family.

  112. Melissa says

    I am so thrilled to have found this on Pinterest! I am a Tay at home mom. I have two sons, my oldest is 2 years 9 months and my youngest is 9 months. My oldest son has autism and sensory processing issues. I want to give my boys the world, save for them to go to college, plan for retirement and enjoy our lives now! I look forward to finding a better way of thinking and planning!

  113. Melissa says

    Thank you! When my boys go to bed I will read them all! We are very new to this so I appreciate all the advice I can get!

  114. Janet says

    Congratulations on making such wise decisions! My family is grown (my husband and I have just retired–part choice and part lost job) and we could use more tips on being frugal. I stayed home when my kids were young, and we did without some stuff, but none of us regret it at all. Healthy children are way worth the sacrifice. Thank you for doing this for all of us! Blessings on you!

  115. says

    Thank you for being real. We firmly believe that it is the husband’s job to provide for the family and so we live a much different life than most. We would not change it for any amount of money! It is our own conviction and we understand that others may not feel the same way we do, but for our family it is what is best right now. Especially with 4 kids ages 9 and under! Thanks again!

  116. Cory says

    THANK YOU so much for doing this! I’m going through a very hard time right now and I’m a saver by all means but I’m always looking for more ways to do it! I’m a SPED teacher too, so I don’t really make that much $, and with a toddler daughter another job is not something I want to find right now! So looking forward to reading all about you and your family! :)

  117. says

    I look forward to reading your series! Kudos on doing what works for you and choosing what was (is) more important for your family and thank you for sharing it!

  118. says

    Can’t wait to read more…. I have 7 children and one more on the way and I left a full time well paid job (I’m the bread winner) to work part time so I could enjoy probably my last pregnancy and my children more. I have 2 special needs children and frankly wanted to be more available to all of my children. My husband stays at home and we tag team very well…. We save our income tax return and budget tightly. We make it on less than $20,000. Half of that goes for housing….. I am so happy to see your blog!!!!

      • mamabear says

        Thank you for this. You got (excuse me for being blunt) Balls.. I have been so afraid to talk about it until recently.. still am to friends.. because I do not think they would understand,
        2 years ago, We went from making 60k a year to I think less than 24k. After purchasing a home, and DH getting laid off 3 months later, it hit us hard. Thank goodness we took into consideration possible layoff before the home was purchased.
        ( and paid off all debt but student loans ) but still we did not expect to lose so much income. Being a SAHM for 5 years, and being thrust back into full time work was so hard. I could never make what DH made. Thank goodness as a SAHM I researched more and more ways to cut costs at home. I wish when we were making what I considered decent money at the time, we were smarter about it. We finally learned through God, our church, that should have never been about the money, but about the relationships. Funny thing is, now that we are not making the “big bucks” we are happier, DH is happier in his new job. But he learned through all this, that his identity is not what he does for a living or how much he makes.. I am happier. Our relationship with each other and our kids is better. When we are not focused on buying this or that or having this or that, and we focus ourselves on each other and our relationship with God instead, how much more fulflling life actually is. I have so much pride and joy in making things now for my family. It is a sense of accomplishment when i can proudly say I spend 300 bucks a month on food for a family of 5 ( to be a family of six soon!) or, that I made something from scratch that cost me .50 to make instead of 5 dollars to buy. ( thank you Miserly Moms book and internet) Knowing for me, my purpose is to raise my kids the way God wants me to, show them what a woman, mom and wife is suppose to be and I am content and happy where we are at. The lay off was a blessing. It Put everything into perspective. It is possible to live on a small income and be happy. I, like you, choose relationships over more money. I may have no TV, cell phones, etc. but all those things distract us from our relationships anyway. I believe I have a more fulfilling relationships because I don’t have those things (I also have more money in my pocket too :)

  119. Diane says

    We are a blended family with 5 kids ranging from 1 yr to nearly 10. It would have cost more in child care than I make doing admin work so I stay at home. We have always had tight finances with all the unexpected expenses that come up in life. I’m really hoping to keep up with your blog and see how you’ve managed to handle these things as they come along on a budget. I’m hoping I can incorporate some into our life and make things easier so my husband doesn’t have to work 80 hours a week to keep us afloat. We both really want him to be able to be home more because we have seen the changes in the children with him being away from home more and more. Looking forward to reading!!

  120. Jeri says

    I have a small child with a milk intolerance (bordering on an allergy), and two step daughters with weight related health issues. we live ok for what we make, far below the poverty line, and do very well all things considering, but I am always looking for ways to help make our lives even better.
    Thanks. :)

  121. Diane says

    We are a blended family with 5 kids. I have 4 of them full time ranging from 1yr to nearly 10. Do you recommend homeschooling to someone who doesn’t have any educational or teaching training? I went to college for business but I don’t have any teaching experience or knowledge. Public school has lots of unexpected expenses. Is that another reason you homeschool? I’m trying to decide if we should homeschool or rather, if I would be capable.

    • says

      Diane, there are so many resources available that you really don’t have to worry about having teacher training. Check with the requirements for your state (hslda.org is a great resource) as far as the requirements for your educational level. Most states only require that parents have a high school diploma.

      • says

        Holy cow, what a trip it was stumbling over your site! My husband and I don’t really talk about the reasons why I am at home and we are homeschooling to anyone outside the family, so it was very strange to read our reasons here in someone else’s words! I would like to add that the discipline needed to function at this level of financial means makes us more disciplined (that’s a no brainer, eh?). When we were DINKs we had more stuff, but we were always chasing after more. We’ve learned a whole lot more about life and ourselves and even charity choosing to live this way. So glad to have “met” you!

        • says

          Nice to “meet” you too Christie! This lifestyle has definitely produced more discipline in my life and let me tell you, I needed it! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  122. Andrea says

    We have very different lives as I am single with no children, but I am trying to live on less and simplify my life. I applaud you for putting your income and numbers out there. It’s not something most of us were raised to do, but I think if more of us did it, it wouldn’t be so taboo and people wouldn’t try to pretend they have more. We all have different priorities and things we are willing to splurge or save on. I love to hear people’s ideas and see how they save money even if that isn’t how I would do it! I wish you the best of luck with your blog and I look forward to reading more!!

  123. Alicia says

    When I was pregnant I knew I would resent not being their to watch my baby grow. I chose to work part time. By not having daycare we have saved money, but we also have an amazing relationship with out son.

    I am great at being poor. 😉 We don’t miss cable (we do have Netflix) and even though we qualified for food stamps we didn’t take them, we can afford to pay for our food by being smart.

    What you are doing is great, and I look forward to reading through for more ideas. I could rant forever, but you probably share similar sentiments on most of what I would say.

  124. says

    You are making such good choices. I find it sad that you have to be sort of cautious that people may judge you because you make little money. Everyone should have the same idea as you, to live on what you have and to be happy. That’s what life is all about! My husband was in the army and is currently going to school so we live off of my income (which is actually very good) and I am ALWAYS looking for ways to live more simply so that we can save money to help our little one have a stress free and debt-free education when he is older. I often wish I could stay home because I feel like we all have life wrong (living to work instead of working to live) but currently that’s just nto an option for us. I am so proud and even envious of you to MAKE what you want happen. Congratulations!

    • says

      Thanks for your encouragement Judy. The important thing is to make the choices that are right for your family, which is exactly what you are doing. :)

  125. Christina says

    Thank you so much for sharing! I can’t wait to read through this series. My husband and I have been married for 2 1/2 years and have an 8 month old. We’ve made the decision for me to be a stay at home mom and would both love it if I could homeschool when the time comes. As of now our income is not quite as much as yours and we could use any encouragement and advice we can get on how to cut back. Again, thank you so much for this!

  126. says

    Well, Kimberlee – you apparently made the right choice to come out and write about your income and how you live on only $28,000/yr. Kudo’s to you and your family. I look forward to following your blog.

    There are a lot of comments :)

  127. Emily says

    My family also lives on an income of 29,000 a year with 8 children. I do all I can to make EVERY penny count! It is often hard, but I would rather raise my babies to love Jesus and themselves more than going out and getting a job so we can spend less time together and more money on stuff not needed!!! I know I can not provide All their wants, but I do provide all their needs and we allow ourselves a CHEAP vacation EVERY year…..It is so worth the efforts to spend time with my kids!!!

  128. Carrie says

    I came across this when a friend pinned it on pinterest and it came at the perfect time! My husband and I have decided for me to take a break from work (I work part time from home but it has become such a source of stress), so I can focus on raising my 4 month old. Its something we just started praying about and feel like finding this was an answer to pray as it will be a bit of a strain financially for me to not be working. I’m excited to start reading along!

  129. Katy says

    HI! I am already so encouraged by this post! I was teaching in a public school last year and my husband is also a teacher. We decided we wanted to start family and knew we could not keep our values with me working full time. I am not staying home and am pregnant with our first baby. We are living on my husband’s salary which is about $2,200 a month as well (health insurance, retirement, etc. takes away about half of his check). I can’t wait to read the rest of your posts and get a some good ideas before we welcome our new addition! Thank you for being willing to be vulnerable in order to bless others!!! :)

  130. Tina says

    I’m so excited to have stumbled on this series. I found it on Pinterest. I’m really looking forward to seeing how you do things. We are also a family of six, homeschooling, one income and don’t bring in much more than you do each month. It’s a struggle. I’m very excited about your series. Thanks for being willing to share.

  131. Sarah says

    Hello,

    I just found your site off of Pintrest. Thank you for stepping out and sharing. Sometimes I think people forget that we are meant to help each other out and I feel you are doing this well by sharing your successes. My family has made the choice to live off of my income alone while my husband returns to school and helps out around the house with our two little girls. It is challenging and not everyone in our life understands our choices. Please for everyone who was precious enough to comment above do not be discouraged by anyone. For every one negative there are a million positives. I look forward to reading more.

    Thank you – Sarah

    • says

      Thanks so much Sarah and you are right, we shouldn’t be discouraged by others negative comments. We just need to do what we feel is right for our family based on our beliefs.

  132. Kadi says

    I also found you on pinterest and I am glad I did. I love that you are brave enough to this; that by itself is inspiring. I definately agree about the relationships and money (family is EVERYTHING). My Uncle Andy even quit his job one time along time ago because they wouldn’t let him have Christmas off to spend with his family and that is exactly how I am. Anyway, I can’t wait to read more. Thank you Kimberlee.

  133. says

    Thank you for doing this! So many people are quick to judge others financial decisions and it can be so hurtful! I am so excited to follow this series!

  134. says

    Yay! For similar reasons, we also live on a pretty small budget with four children, and I’m struggling trying to make it work. I’m really looking forward to your ideas + suggestions. Thank you!

  135. Bonnie says

    I too found you on Pinterest and I am so excited to see what you have to offer! We are working on becoming debt free and any help in the area of saving and budgeting is welcome. I admire you for sharing and look forward to following!!

  136. Bridget says

    I am so glad I came across this on pinterest. It is so refreshing to see that there are still people who value relationships and family over things and money. I live in a community where things and money are considered far superior and its sad. Also as a single mom of two making far less it is essential to make every dollar count.

    • Kimberly says

      Bridget, I completely understand your situation. I grew up in an area where most people live in poverty, but where I live now, things and money are definitely superior to family values. I get frustrated with co-workers who always preach about having more things and making more money. I LOVE being married to my husband and best friend and don’t care that he doesn’t make much money doing a job that he absolutely loves and that I admire him for (he’s an EMT, which makes me so proud). But I have co-workers who tell me I made a mistake because I didn’t marry for money, despite that I say I’m happy and have a wonderful family with my husband and our 2 sons. One co-worker always says to me that she’d rather be crying in the back of a Bentley than happy on a bike. In other words, being rich and unhappy would be better than poor and happy. It makes me sad that people think having money is much better than happiness. But that is the attitude with people where I live. It frustrates me sometimes as I get tired of hearing it, but when I go home and find so much to be happy about and thankful for, I don’t care what anyone else says or thinks.

  137. Lori says

    How blessed your children are to have such wonderful parents! I think it is overwhelmingly unselfish of you to make such a sacrifice for your family…..although I’m sure you feel blessed to be able to spend so much time with them. May God rain down blessings on your sweet family. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with other moms.
    Lori

  138. Anna says

    I am so impressed by the hard choices that you have made for the greater good of your family. You are sooo right that relationships are eternal and money and possessions are not. I live in a pretty affluent area of the country, and needless to say, priorities and values seem mixed up. People can say what their values are, but how you live shows what you truly value. No matter what a family’s income is, we all need to live within our means. Your children are learning such valuable lessons from you. I feel blessed that I ran across your site and can learn from you as well. Thank you for your transparency, so that others may learn from you! God bless!

  139. Kelsea Flinn says

    Thank you so much for this! I’m still a college student and am getting married this decemeber to my high school sweetheart. Even though we have the support from our families we still worry a lot about how we are going to make ends meet with school. You give me hope that we need to put our relationship first and not money, with being smart and frugal we can do just that. As you said I will never regret being with him and having that quality time, however I would regret working 60 hour weeks. Thank you I look forward to reading more!

  140. Michelle says

    I am so thrilled to have found out about this! I saw a pin for this series on pinterest and had to look.

    We are a family of six and until last July, made less than $28,000. My husband left a job he loved for an increase in pay only slightly above the poverty line. This job, however, is more of a burden to us than we had expected and I’m not sure it was worth it for us. He is now looking for work again. He still has work, but we both want him to find something more suitable for him.

    This is an extremely encouraging post for me. It reminds me that it can be done! Even if we never wind up under 28,000 again, this has encouraged me to be more diligent with our finances. I love both Mary Hunt and Dave Ramsey, by the way. It has been a rough year for our family in more ways than one and the careful budgeting we had in place kind of fell apart for awhile there. Time to get back up and start again!

    Thank you for having the courage to share this with the public.

    God Bless!

  141. Frank says

    I want to preface my comment by saying that I am sooo excited to read this series. Though I make almost 3 times what you are living off of, I have started to think that I should learn to live with far less than I do now (as I used to when I was younger). Mostly this is driven by my desire to live a simpler life and to depend less on my job (living on less allows me more job opportunities).

    Now on to my comment, which it not really on the topic of your series, but on one comment you made:

    “Growing up I often heard that there were two things that you never talk about: politics and religion.”

    While I agree with you on the latter, the former I have to disagree. As a nation, as a world really, we need to be more involved in our government and be willing to discuss openly our views on that subject. Yes, people will disagree, but learning to get pass that and really come together is something we need, now more than ever. I don’t look down on you for your decision to not talk politics, but I encourage you to give it a try and make sure you preface any conversations with the idea that you are looking for an open forum of discussion where anyone’s ideas are welcome. Maybe if we really learn what each other think/want, we can start to understand and eventually compromise for a better country/world.

    Just my $.02.

    Now on to your articles! Can’t wait!

    • Stephanie says

      Frank,

      I was thinking the same thing! Well said :)

      We don’t have to agree but we must talk. Sharing ideas is best.

  142. Jessica Sheridan says

    Just wanted you to know that your story is such an inspiration! So excited to know that it is possible! Our family also values relationships/family more then money but we just needed to know how to make it work. Thank you for sharing!

  143. says

    Hi and congratulations on your new adventure.

    I am a stay at home mom. I have a 15 yo with asperger’s, a daughter who’s 13 and lost her mind and an 11 yo with ADHD, OCD and probably some learning problems.

    I am looking forward to your suggestions!

  144. Audra Curtis says

    You go girl!! Hang in there knowing that, though some may criticize, there are many more of us standing behind you!! (And willing to stand in front of you too, if you need it!)

  145. Jenn says

    Thank you for posting this! I am a (former) public school teacher who decided to become a stay-at-home mom when my son was born last year. My husband owns his own small trade business so our situation is somewhat similar. I have been very encouraged by your post. Things have been tight at times but God is good and He has always provided. I think God shows us favor when we put relationships before money and I pray that He will continue to bless your family (and mine) :)

  146. Shannon says

    Our recent financial hardship has been a bonding éxperience for our family. My daughter actually sent me the link to this article. I can’t wait to read the next one. Thank you for opening up your experiences for us to share.

  147. jo says

    I think it’s really great that you are doing this. We are a family of 3, living on less than $28,000 is sometimes a struggle for us, and I feel like I get a lot of judgement for choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. I am excited to read about your tips for living on a budget. Thank you for being brave enough to “put it all out there”

  148. Meg says

    I just wanted to say that it truly is amazing the lifestyle that you are able to lead. I wish that I had 1/10 the financial sense and self control that you do! I make about what your family of 6 lives off and I feel like things are tight just for me and my one dog!

    Reading this has made me really consider looking at where I can cut back (I’m one of the ridiculous people who buys $200 jeans you spoke of in another post – that’d be a good place to start, huh?) Thanks so much for sharing all of this and good luck with everything, your children are very lucky.

  149. Tammy says

    Like a few others I read found this through Pinterest. I have made some monetary choices most people won’t also. But like you I deal with Asperger’s syndrome in my oldest child. I also have a wide gap in ages with my oldest being in her teens and my youngest in preschool. I look forward to reading more about how you did it. I know I can learn something.

  150. Julie says

    Thank you for sharing – we made the decision for my husband to stay at home last year with our daughter. It was the best decision we ever made, but a year later we blew through most of our savings, and we need to start being a little more intentional about our finances. It’s worth every dime and saved our family for one of us to stay home – I can’t wait to learn from your experiences!

  151. Amy says

    Hey! I just found your blog through Pinterest and I am already encouraged. My family is in a similar situation… I had a teaching license, but we decided I would stay home when our daughter was born. My husband has struggled to find a job that fits him, and this past year he said no to a higher-paying career because it would take him away from his family. I’ve often felt judged or guilty when friends have asked him, “why doesn’t she go back to work?” but that wasn’t what we wanted for our family. I’m excited to read your blog because, although I know we’ve been able to budget with one child, I sometimes wonder if we’re crazy to want more kids on our income! Knowing that you’ve found a way is so encouraging to me!

  152. L. says

    Thank you SO MUCH for writing this series! My boyfriend and I are seriously considering getting married this summer. I was browsing Pinterest and saw that someone had pinned this series. It jumped out at me because that’s what he makes after taxes! This will be such a blessing as we start to learn to manage a household together! Thank you!

  153. L. says

    I forgot to mention that I have Celiac disease, therefore I have to eat Gluten Free. I’m so thankful for finding your blog! Such a blessing!

  154. says

    I am so grateful to have come across this post on Pinterest. I, too, am a former school teacher. I, too, have decided to stop working for the sake of my family, thus living on far less money than we are used to. I was going crazy trying to juggle my demanding full time job (that I always took home with me) and my husband and three kids. I think people thought we were crazy, at first, that we made the decision we did (maybe even my husband!). We even have debt we are still trying to reduce, but I couldn’t take the stress and chaos in our family anymore. My house still isn’t spotless, and I am definitely not the perfect homemaker, but it was definitely the right choice for us at this time. With faith in God, we have made it just fine so far (a little hard to believe when I really think about it). I am looking forward to following this series. Thank you for your bravery, and know that you are not alone!

  155. Robyn says

    Wow…I read this and it is nearly a duplicate of my crazy life! I too have a child with Asperger’s (a daughter), another with severe asthma and a third that thankfully just wants to be busy! They are all girls (triplets) and just became teenagers. I work full-time as a one-on-one aide and also have a part-time job as an on-line instructor. My husband substitutes in our local school district. We live so close to the wire sometimes that it is very scary. I am so excited to be following your blog so I can help our family learn to live better with less as I do not want (or need) yet another job to keep me away from my family!

  156. Tessa says

    So glad I found this on Pinterest! I’m 22 and work as a massage therapist while trying to put myself through physical therapy school. I like any ideas on how to stretch a dollar because I certainly do not make much money to live off of!

  157. MommyNamedApril says

    good for you. we also went down to one income (my husbands) which was the smaller of the two for similar reasons… hoping to learn something from you!

  158. says

    wow over 300 comments! Amazing what opening up your heart and being honest does! I am so so so excited about this series, I cannot even describe it. We are a family of 4 and we have chosen to have me stay at home with our 2 daughters (1 will be 3 in May and one is 3 months) and my husband currently makes $24,000 and just accepted a new position, in a more expensive town that he’ll make $28,000. I left a job where I made nearly double, but not only would my husband be a miserable as a homemaker he is also a veterinarian, so using his doctorate degree is important. It just is long hours and doesn’t pay well during the residency/training years. We know it’ll be a sacrifice to have me at home with my girls, but it’s what is truly best for our family. I cannot wait to hear the other parts!

  159. says

    thank you for sharing this this is really encouraging to see somebody choosing relationships over money even if it requires discipline and careful planning. lots of people i know would in theory choose relationships over money, but they actually don’t, even though they have a choice with a much better financial outlook than your family (or mine). My husband works for a non-profit organization too and we are below the poverty line considering the numbers… but we do much better financially than lot of people we know who earn up to 5x more than we do and it just doesn’t make sense to me. I wonder where all their money goes?

    I will be back to read on and maybe learn a few more bits for our financial planning. we do have a strict no debt policy ever since we got married and stick to it. for budgeting we did try different things but haven’t settled on a certain way… which is not a big deal, because after rent, bills and groceries there isn’t much to budget so usually extra money goes for clothing or shoes that are needed. for hobbies we either use birthday money, or I sell stuff we don’t use/need or things I made to get some funds for craft supplies.

  160. Stephanie says

    I am very interested to find out your ideas. I work full time and so does my fiancee but we by no means make a lot of money. I have two girls 4 and 7. I would like to have another child but money is a concern for me. I would love to be able to stay home and can’t wait to hear your great ideas. I like the idea of focusing on the family and not the financial.

  161. Alaina says

    I was so excited when I discovered this on pinterest..you gave great hope and encouragement to my family who value family over anything and are pretty much in the same boat as you! thanks so much!

  162. Julianne says

    I am SO excited to read these posts!!! My husband and I have been completely blessed to have our housing included in our employment, but it means that we make minimum wage. Budgeting what we have can be difficult and I can’t wait to hear your advice. I am definitely with you on this journey :)

  163. Elizabeth says

    Thank you so much for sharing this!!!! It seriously warms my heart to know that there are families still out there that know the true meaning of a family. I come from a family of eight and money could be tight sometimes but my parents always made time for each individual. It always helped me knowing my parents were there for me and I could talk to them about anything. I hope to be the same way with my family whenever I become a mother and wife! Thank you again for sharing and I hope your life is filled with many pleasant adventures! :)

  164. penny says

    I’m so glad I found your blog. You inspire me. We do ok financially, but doesn’t everyone want MORE!! I know I do. there are lots of things we would rather spend our hard earned money on, than overpaying for ANYTHING we NEED. So, I hope i can be motivated as well as inspired, unlike pinning all the things on pinterest that i will do ONE DAY. LOL. congrats to you, and your family for the hard work and god bless you for sharing with others.

    • Erin says

      I am glad I ran across your blog. I am in almost the same circumstances. My husband is the only one that works, and he only makes $15/hour, which gets us about $31,000/year for a family of 7. It’s pretty tough. We don’t live in the house we want, things are tight, but we manage, and we do pretty well at it. It’s all a matter of priorities.

  165. Liz says

    Good for you guys! We too, value our relationships. We are in a similar boat. While my husband does have a master’s degree, he is a teacher so we’re in no way rich. We are always looking for ways to save money and I’m excited to learn more. Thanks for being so brave as to share!

  166. Lindsi says

    God Bless you and your family. how beautiful it is to know there is a family who values each other. I try to imbed that with my husband and daughter as well. We are currently in debt with medical bills, etc and I am very much looking forward to learning your tricks.
    Thanks for taking that step and sharing. what a blessing to find your blog!!

  167. Carla Budde says

    Good for you! My husband and I made the same choice. We raised 5 children. A lot of people judged because I choose to be a stay at home Mom instead of working.I will never regret my decision! Often times, less is really more! You cannot put a price on time spent with your family and being able to pour into your children. They won’t remember the material things, but they will remember that you were always there for them……..God always provides! He showed me time after time how to be creative and use what resources I had available. I am glad you are sharing what you have learned. Blessings to you and your family!

  168. Anou says

    Wow – so happy i’ve found this site! In this day and age your words are so honest and refreshing, it’s exactly the kind of thing we need more of!

    Keep up the good work!

  169. Marla says

    Thank you for the encouraging posts! I will be following. We’ve made very similar choices and the ONLY thing I’ve ever regretted about these choices is that I am a poor money manager. Looking forward to learning more!

  170. Erica says

    I just want to thank you for making this blog…I so desperately needed to hear this…my husband and I have 2 children (a 16 month old boy and a 3 month old girl) and we have had financial struggles the whole time we have been married…a few weeks after getting married, my husband lost his job and I was working as a preschool teacher for a church preschool (more of a ministry than a money maker) so needless to say, we didn’t have enough to support ourselves. Thankfully our church family helped us a lot. When I became pregnant with our second child, I decided not to teach the following year, and my husband still hasn’t been able to secure a job. I feel so strongly that I need to be home with our children (and I plan on homeschooling as well). It is so difficult for me to do this because my husband isn’t working, and I know I could have a job quite easily with 3 years teaching experience and a cosmetology license. I want to work, and I hate having no money, but I want to be home with my children. Lots of people do not understand my choice to stay home, and I hate the feeling of being judged; but I am so blessed to say that God has provided for us despite our circumstances, and the relationship I get to have with my children is worth so much more than all the money in the world. Thank you for sharing your story!!! It has encouraged me, and I look forward to reading your blog :)

    • says

      Hi Erica-That sounds like a really difficult situation. Can your husband find any work to do (like delivering pizza or working in retail) until he can find a good paying job? I pray that he can find work soon. Glad you’re here. :)

  171. says

    I saw your post come through on Pinterest and thought it looked interesting so I pulled it up. But that’s where it stayed – as a tab, just waiting for me to read it….for probably a good two weeks. Well just the other day we had our taxes done and while I knew we were pretty broke last year due to my husband losing his job just 8 weeks after our 4th child was born, I had no idea that our family of 6 had lived off a gross income of $23,000. I was FLOORED to say the least. I mean I had an inkling, but when you’re living paycheck to paycheck anyway, what’s the point of actually figuring out how much you’re making?! Like you, from the very beginning, my husband and I decided that I would stay home with our children. It just comes down to priorities, plain and simple. I think it’s AWESOME that you are being so open and honest about everything. I was wavering myself about how open to be on my blog about this, too. I do think that subjects like this can be super helpful for those struggling to decide if they can “make it” on one income, or other situations. God provides – there’s no denying it.

  172. Christi says

    Thank you for sharing. I am a stay at home mom of two. We also make sacrifices with my making this choice but every time I feel like, gee, maybe I should get a job, I read something like your story and it keeps my perspective in tact. There are so many positives to being at home with your kids and daycare is so expensive! God is great and He will provide. Keep doing what you’re doing because it really is helping others. :)

  173. Elaine says

    We are at a different stage in our life – empty nesters! We’ve been where you are, but now we have more money. However, we would like to be good stewards of our money and use our money unselfishly. So, I would love to learn how to maximize our income not just spend every dime we make!

  174. Holly says

    I love reading this very first introduction! Our family too values relationships over money. My husband could easily find a higher paying job, but with the current one he has his employer is understanding and flexible when it comes to when our children are ill and such. To us right now that is a huge benefit versus money right now. I’m glad to find someone else who values those relationships and know they will be around much longer and more valuable.

  175. Tressie says

    Thanks for sharing this! I am currently a school counselor and mommy of a 15 month old daughter and new baby due in July. My husband and I are considering me staying home after this school year, as I desperately want to be home with my kids. We are working on our budget and this post has really inspired me that we are moving in the right direction. My husband is self-employed and does well, but my income is huge in our budget. Learning to re-think our spending and reduce our debt is challenging but able to be done. We are trusting God will lead us in the right direction. I am looking forward to reading more of your blog and learning more ways to save. Thanks again for sharing!

    • says

      Tressie-I really hope that you can work it out to stay home with your children, and I’m happy that hopefully I can help you in some small way to do that. Blessings!

      • shawnda says

        Just wanted to let you know, I appreciate all of your advice. You are such an encouragement. My husband just got a new job and I quit mine to be home with my boys and take some classes to further my degree. So anyone who judges you is ridiculous. Thank you for your blog! I love it!

  176. Maria says

    I’m so happy my friend shared this on FB. Our family of 5 lives on about $21,000 a year and I’m not sure how we struggle through. I’m excited to read the rest of this series.

  177. says

    I am so excited and blessed to read this series on your blog! We also live on less than $28,000. I stay home with my 3 kids, one who has celiac and another with a sleep disorder. My husband works for his family’s business and works at least six 12 hour days a week. It just doesn’t make sense for me to work, at least not for our family. It is very reassuring to see other people in this situation. Thank you for sharing!

  178. Ali says

    I think its great what your family is doing. We have chosen family to live in less so that I can continue to be a stay at home mom. It had been difficult so far, and I may go back to work part time eventually. I look forward to your tips!

  179. Courtney @ Bake. Eat. Repeat. says

    I am so glad I found this! Thank you so much for sharing. My husband and I are considering having children, but I would like to be able to stay home when we do. This, of course, means transitioning from two incomes to one, and adding the expense of a child. This post was a huge encouragement though. Made me realize maybe we don’t have to wait another 10 years for that to be possible!

    • says

      Definitely not Courtney! Could you possibly cut some expenses now and start saving most of one of your incomes? Then you would have a realistic idea of the kinds of changes you would have to live with. The other issue is that children really aren’t as expensive as people would lead you to believe. You can get many items cheap or free and if you breastfeed you can save an amazing amount of money. Good luck!

  180. Kim says

    I want to applaud what you are doing. I followed the same path and all of my kids (4) are adults now and they ENJOY being around us (their parents). We didn’t have a lot, and we still don’t, but our kids are the best proof that people who put relationships first always win in the end.

    Other things I’ve noticed because we did this:

    1. The kids interact with other people of varying age groups better. I attribute this to the homeschooling environment because they didn’t have their *age group* around – but had something better – variety and diversity of ages.
    2. The kids have a “I’m going to choose the better things in life – like philanthropy and relationships” mentality. They are also very practical and know they have to support themselves, but you can choose to live simply and be rich in other things.
    3. They weren’t “sheltered” – we had lots of examples in our neighborhood of some really bad environments and situations. But because we emphasized relationships, we had the time to talk to them about the choices others made and how it produced the bad results they saw.

    I just want to encourage everyone out there that living simply can be done. Since I am speaking from the other end of the path – it is entirely worth it. The joys will be in the fruits you produce in your kids.

    • says

      Thanks so much for the encouragement Kim. I too enjoy the fact that my children can interact with people of many different ages and walks of life. It’s funny that people think home schooled children are socially backward. I have found the exact opposite. :)

  181. MICHELLE says

    I am so glad I found this! My husband and I want to start a family and it is important to us that one of us stays home. I was scared we could not afford it but this gives me hope that we can! I look forward to reading this blog.

  182. Elizabeth says

    I am SO glad u decided to share this and that I found it! Can’t wait to read the rest of the series! After taxes, tithes, insurance…we live on probably around 16,000. And that’s being optimistic! And we’re doing well! It’s hard, but it can be done!

  183. Sara says

    I haven’t even finished reading your entire blog and already i say THANK YOU FOR SHARING SUCH GREAT INFO! My husband and I both work so we can pay our mortgage, bills and be able to go out a little. We have a little one and we hope that one day I’ll be able to stay at home with him and (God willing) our future kids. I hope to try to use some of what you are sharing so I can raise my kids instead of a sitter. It’d be nice to spend more time with my family. By the time I get home from work, alls I have time to do is wash dishes, get dinner ready, feed my little one, eat, play for about 1/2 hour, bathtime for my little one and bed time. It’s just rush rush rush. I spent a weekend with my neighbor who is a stay at home mom and we WALKED to the grocery store (i’m always in such a hurry and our grocery store is only a mile away- but i stil drive to get there faster!) and our kids were playing around and she looked at me and happily said- “Well, we’re in no rush”.. and FOR ONCE! I thought- wow- we aren’t! And this is so darn nice! I don’t want to become bitter – I am a happy person! But work, motherhood, and being a wife is tiring me out and the stress is sucking the happiness out of me. :( So thank you! You give me hope and inspiration that YES- IT CAN BE DONE! :)

  184. says

    i came across this post through a friend’s pin on pinterest, and i am so excited to get into the series. my husband and i are working towards becoming debt free, and are striving to simplify our living. Lord-willing, by the end of this year we should be able to live off of approx. the same amount as your amount per month (and we are so excited for that!). we are also a family of 6 (soon to be 7) and living off of one income (and currently partially supporting my father-in-law who is also living with us). God has really convicted and transformed our views on living and money, and how much more peaceful and stress-free it is when you simplify your living. like that one commenter said about God showing us favor when we choose relationships over money…i think he blesses us abundantly when we are walking with him and staying faithful to him (even when it comes to money).

    thanks for your honesty and for sharing something so personal.

  185. says

    I too found your blog through pinterest. I cannot wait to read more! We are a family of 6 soon 7 … working on becoming debt free … simplifying living … one income … gee kinda sounds like prasti’s pots all over again, huh?

    Thank you so much for this series – I am looking forward to hearing more!

  186. Amanda Clark says

    I admire your bravery in being so open! You have every right to be very proud of the way you manage your finances & your home. I look forward to reading all you have to say. Thanks!

  187. tarah says

    i came across your blog through pinterest. and its AMAZING. I tried to figure out how to set up something like this with our budget but I cant seem to figure it out. we get paid every 2 weeks. is there any way you can help me with this?? i would greatly appreciate it! i am so tired of living paycheck to paycheck.

    • says

      Welcome Tarah! Basically you would figure out your monthly expenses and divide them by two to get the amount you need to put aside from each paycheck. You probably have some bills you will need to pay immediately with the next paycheck. Pay those and then leave the minimum amount you need for living expenses (food, gas, toiletries) in your main account. Transfer any extra money (even if it is only a small amount) into a second account. As much as possible try to leave that money alone. With each paycheck as you add money to the account, you will eventually get to the point where you have enough to pay the bills that are due and have enough in your regular paycheck to save for the next month’s bills. Does that make sense?

      You can also read my post here about how to quickly get some extra money to fund the account or read this post about how we changed things around in 3 months.

    • says

      We, too, get paid every 2 weeks (well, actually twice a month), and what I did was to sit down with our bills and divide them out so that we would have an even amount of money coming out from each check. So, some bills that are due the 3rd of the month, get paid early from our 15th of the month check. I have a lot of my bills set to auto pay through my bank’s billpay system, and when we get our paycheck, I can sit down with the checkbook and budget, write down everything that’s going to come out…then go to the ATM for our cash envelopes (gas, groceries, household/misc. needs, date night, small amount of spending money), and not think about my finances at all until our next pay check. It’s actually quite nice to know it’s all taken care of!

  188. Kathy says

    I too love these posts. I have a question? When you plan your meals do you buy or plan any snacking? and How do you keep your kids from eating some of the stuff you bought for meals. Meaning they eat them for a snack. My son who too has aspergers tends to want to eat all the time. I try to do menues, because like you I am on a very tight budget, and when I go to make some of the meals I end up with missing ingrediants. Like the pop corn, cheese, corn chips.
    As I have told you before I love your blog. You are the one mother I can really relate to. My son will be 16 this month. I would love to chat sometime about our sons via e-mail if we could.
    thank you so much for you time you put into this blog.
    Kathy

    • says

      Our solution to the snacking has been to designate a shelf in the pantry just for snacks that the kids can eat. Everything else is off limits. When my son was younger, his snacks were kept in a separate box with his name because he would get very upset when his siblings ate “his” food (something he wanted). We have a fruit bowl that is available at all times and I buy things like microwave popcorn, banana chips, nuts, fruit snacks, raisins, etc. when I find them on sale. We also make homemade yogurt or fruit juice popsicles (click here for the yogurt pops recipe). Anything that seems “snacky” like the corn chips or tortilla chips is kept on the very highest shelf of the pantry and I make it very clear that those are off limits. So far it has worked for us.

      I would be happy for you to send me an email. My address is kimberlee (at) thepeacefulmom (dot) com. I look forward to hearing from you. :)

  189. April Counts says

    You are doing exactly the right thing for your family and marriage, and I applaud you for it. God bless you.

  190. Michelle DeHart says

    Thank you so much for sharing! Our family, too, has made the decision for me to stay home. I am so scared about our financial future but am trusting God. He knows our hearts. I have a 10 year old son with Aspergers Syndrome and am a home school mom as well. With 5 children ranging in ages from 3-23, I am so excited to hear how you are making it all work. Thank you, again, and God bless you and your family!

  191. tracy dickinson says

    love the idea of this series…..just started reading…found you through pinterest. maybe this has been asked already…but is the 28k your gross or net income? just curious. my husband and i are also a one income family and stretch the limits to make it work. looking forward to maybe getting some new ideas.

    • says

      We make between $1800 and $2200 a month net which is $21,600-$26,400 a year. I used the “Less than $28,000” as a round number since our income fluctuates and I didn’t want to exaggerate how low it actually is.

      • says

        Thank you for sharing, finances are very personal. We are a family of 5 living on about the same as as you, we get told all the time that there is no way we can live like we live, be debt free and make that amount, it’s about priorities. Thank you for sharing, it’s nice to see we are not the only one that places family and sanity above money.

    • Annette says

      I found your blog via Pinterest! I’m so excited to start reading this! We have a 12 year old (13 next month) and a 7 month old. It took us 10 years to get our 7 month old, (fertility treatments, shots, surgery, etc…nothing worked) when she finally came along we were thrilled. We decided to try for a 3rd, expecting to need fertility treatments to get pregnant, but it only took one month and we’re pregnant. We’re excited, but scared too. My mil has always watched my kids, but because she has other grand kids to watch she refuses to watch another baby. Choosing not to put the babies in daycare, we decided I will stay home after the baby comes. This will cut our income in half. The thought of it is already causing my husband to be on edge with me. I’m glad I found this blog…I am definitely needing encouragement right now.

  192. says

    Like many others, I came across your blog through a pinterest link. I am so looking forward to reading more! My husband and I are expecting our first baby any day now and while we have known all along that me staying home is a priority for us, we have still struggled in making the decision because of past financial decisions we are still living with. I follow many money-saving blogs, but at times it gets discouraging because it seems like no one (even the frugal bloggers) lives with the reality of a budget as small as ours. Thank you so much for taking the risk of being open and honest and actually putting a number to it – I am sure you will bless many more than you know!

  193. Tammy Eifert says

    I just found your blog and find it very encouraging. Just like your family, my family decided it was more important for dad to be home than for him to earn the big paycheck. He went from working for the US government to working for the local public library. We cut our income by more than 2/3rd. Though it has not been easy–we have gained more than we lost. Thanks again and I will keep reading.

  194. Kathi says

    I am a single older woman living on a small salary. While our circumstances are different, the goal is the same, to live a comfortable life. So I will follow along to learn new ways of living that life. You will never regret your choice of spending this time with your kids. It may be difficult at times, but you will be rewarded. My girls are mothers now, and if I could only give them one piece of advice about raising kids, it would be “give them your time and attention”. It is simple, cheap and the results will be so rewarding as you watch them grow into their own lives!

  195. Alyssa says

    I am glad to hear about more people devoting time to financial awareness. I have learned that it is rarely about how much money you make but rather it is largely about how you handle it. My husband and I currently both work full time. We have been married for almost 2 years and do not yet have any kids (and probably won’t have kids for at least another 3-4 years since we’re still young, at 24 years old). However, when we first got married we made the choice that our future was more important then the present. To us, right now, that means the following: Even though we have 2 incomes (and we make roughly the same amount) we CHOOSE to live off of just one of our incomes. We save the other income for our future. This way, in the future, we can buy a house when we want, we can afford to take time off for family, and we can have plenty of savings to help when we start having kids and so forth. We honestly get made fun of by friends and family fairly often because we are careful with our money- we both drive beat up cars, we don’t go out to eat every night, we thoroughly research and bargain hunt before we make any large purchase, etc. They don’t understand why we are so uptight and don’t “live a little more.” But, like you mention, this is extremely freeing to us. We never have to worry about basic bills and are totally at peace with our situation in life.

    • Rachel says

      Alyssa,

      I am a mother of three with our fourth on the way and I wish someone had talked to us about doing this!!!!!! I worked for 2 years before we had childeren and we “played” with my income. I wish we hadn’t!!!!!!!! This is the one thing every young couple should do. Stay as debt free as you can and save, save,save!!!!!! I also wished someone would have talked about a budget with us. It would have saved us a lot of headache and debt. We are getting out of our debt now and it feels so good to be freed from it! I guess I just wanted to say way to go and keep it up!

  196. says

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! We have been living on 1/3 of our “normal” salary for the last 4 years now. It has been tough, especially considering our hefty mortgage. However, with 2 years of haggling and LOTS of prayer, Bank of America has given us a loan modification!!! We are still tight, but holding on. And do I want to go back to spending the way we used to??? NEVER!!!! I love our life!!! Thanks for your transparency!!!
    Blessings,
    Linda in GA

  197. says

    I love that you are being open like this! I’ve planned to do a full financial series on my blog but never really got around to it. We have a smaller family (4 people, but diapers are involved..lol), but live on about the same amount per month. I’m often criticized for why we choose to do so, but people just don’t understand.

  198. sarah says

    i am so encouraged by your first posting on why you do what you do. my husband and i have been struggling for the past 3 years to keep our kids in a private school that i was working at part time. we have made the choice this year to homeschool, and live on only his income. i was a monster of a mom and wife at the end of each day, and i realized that my relationship with my husband and children were way more imoportant than my job or keeping the kids in a private school. i realized that i can be who God has created me to be by first serving my husband and then my children. thank you for sharing, i look forward to reading and hopefully applying some of them.

  199. Lisa says

    Hi! I found your blog this morning (thru your post on moneysavingmom) and already read thru your ebook. I am SOOO excited to read thru this series. We waited a long time to get pregnant and when we did we found out we were having twins. I ended up deciding to stay home since daycare costs just as much or more and I didn’t want others raising my kids I had waited so long for. SO many people ask me why I don’t go back to work since it is a struggle to survive on half our previous income with 2 kids in diapers. No one seems to see the value in purposely choosing to give up luxuries, cable, meals out etc. It is hard to live a life against the mainstream culture and continually focus on the fact that you made this choice for your family. My husband loves not having the stress of what to do with our kids when they are sick, or having to get done with work at a certain time and pick them up before daycare closes etc, there are perks to our decision as well. I agree with a previous comment that most of the budget sites I follow have way more $ in each budget category and we just don’t have that option. I can’t wait to read how you do it-you are a true inspiration and I wish more people could be honest about how hard it is but also how worth while. You are helping way more than one family! Thank YOU!!

  200. Jennifer says

    I am really looking forward to reading more of your blog and seeing the ideas that you have here! I have (had) worked two jobs for 21+ years and recently gave one of them up. Reason one: poor management (manager was new and we didn’t see eye-to-eye on customer service) and Reason two: I’m single. I’m 40. I’d like to have time to meet someone, take care of my house, etc. The fact that you shared so much of yourself makes you seem unbelievably credible. And sincere. Again, I’m REALLY looking forward to reading more! THANK YOU!

  201. Tylene Hayood says

    I haven’t finished reading your blog, but I can tell that you’re family values are much like mine. I wish you would concider writing a book of some kind that can show people they can make it a lower income and build their relationship with their family at the same time. I would buy it, read it, and use it as a tool in my life.

  202. Gaby says

    I totally agree with you… family comes first, relationships are eternal, and your children need you. I am very excited to learn more from your website. THANK YOU for sharing.

  203. Kelly says

    Came across your blog on Pinterest and can’t wait to follow. We are a family of 4 on a very close income with just one working parent as to stay home with our children. We have eliminated a second car and various bills we considered extras such as cable in order to make our family dream reality. My husband gave up a second job and is now home 2 days a week and every night. We wouldn’t trade this time for anything!

  204. chandra says

    Thanks for sharing your story. I prayed this morning, right before finding your story, asking for guidance, a new way to make it. We are also a family of 6 with an income of less than $28,000. I too have chosen to be a stay-at-home mom, sacrificing “things” for relationships. I greatly appreciate you sharing. I will pray for you and you for me!!!

  205. Rachel says

    Thank you so much for sharing with all of us! I am a mom of three with one on the way. My kids are 4,2,1, and I am due in October. My husband is in the military and I am a stay-at-home mom. We started out fine with our daughter on one income and then came our son. I kept spending like we had two incomes and that is when we started living from pay check to pay check and using our credit card when we didn’t make it! Now with three and owning a home at our last duty station and renting a home at our current station we find very quickly things had to change and fast! We sat down with some friends that have gone through Dave Ramsey’s finacial books and we got on Crown Financial and planned a budget. We have a spreed sheet that looks very similar to yours for our long term and not “monthly bills” but ones that we pay through the year. We then pay our bills due that pay check (every 1st and 15th) and then we get cash out for everything else like grociery, misc,clothing, ent/rec, and childcare (we pay a sitter for our small group with our church). After that we pay as big a chunk as we can on our debt and then what ever is left we put in our savings/spreed sheet. As you said to try to “stock up” the accounts that will come due first and then work from there. We do have fun goals on there as well but those are waiting for now untill we have paid all our debt!!!!!!! Once we have used up the cash in the catagory it is gone! We have really learned to use it only when we need to and learn to live without things! We get asked often by friends to go out to eat and have to say no because the money for the 2 weeks is gone. We have very small amounts in the “fun” ones but we are able to do it so we do. I am so thankfull that we have started doing this. Bills are not stressfull like they once were! O and the meal planning has been a LIFE SAVER for us!!!!!!! I shope once every two weeks and most times we have cash left over!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I hope one family changes the way they budget there money and there life can be changed they way ours have!!!!!!!

  206. Tiera says

    We have made difficult decisions over the years that involve our finances. I left a job making more money for a job that had more family friendly values. I was still working full time, but as the church secretary I was able to have my daughter come into my office, often with friends during her school recesses. She went to the Christian school at our church. Later we decided to homeschool during Jr. & Sr. High due to a move across country and knowing that the schools in the area we moved to are not that great. Instead of a nicer car or bigger home, or newest electronic gadgets, we invested in our daughters Christian education and our family values. It is often difficult doing the right thing, but the right thing is just that and worth it in the end!

  207. Amanda says

    I am so glad a stumbled across this blog/series! I am 22 and will be graduating from college in a few weeks. I am hoping (and praying) that I will be able to get job and support myself within the next few months and and the idea of organizing my finances has been hanging over my head. Thanks for these great tips!

  208. Dld779-browse1 says

    So proud of you for making choices that are best for your family and not what others think is best for you!! You go girl and best of luck to you always!!

  209. Dld779-browse1 says

    So proud of you for making choices that are best for your family and not what others think is best for you!! You go girl and best of luck to you always!!

  210. julie fulmer says

    I also came across your blog through pinterest. I have recently cut my hours at work from 40 hours a week to 8 hours a week. My husband went back on dialysis 9 months ago. I felt like I was needed at home more. Dialysis patients can get very sick very quickly. The money will be very tight but right now the relationship and time that DeWayne & I have is more important than anything else. I am looking forward to reading more.

  211. Mira says

    I like to hear that you value relationships over money. It is nice to hear also that you like to live simply. That has been a goal of ours for a while.

  212. Mira says

    I like to hear that you value relationships over money. It is nice to hear also that you like to live simply. That has been a goal of ours for a while.

  213. says

    I think you have made the right decision for you and your family. Good luck to you and I look forward to reading more about your saving. Please feel free to drop by my site as well.

  214. Camilla says

    You rock! I look forward to reading your hints and ideas on how to live with less.
    Thank you for sharing!

  215. Jennifer says

    Thank you for your openness on this topic! My husband and I decided to make the sacrifices it would take for me to stay home and raise our baby son. It is definitely not the cultural norm and it is difficult at times, but it is SO worth it. I look forward to reading the rest of your posts. I feel encouraged already just knowing of one more mom out there with the same values for her family. :)

  216. says

    Thank you for posting this, I too am a stay at home mom who feels judged for our decision for me to stay home with our 4 boys. I am so looking forward to reading your posts.

  217. Tia says

    Thank you for sharing your story. I hope more people speak out on the importance of family before things, and money. Here is my story.
    Before my husband and I had our son (9months old now), we brought home a six figure salary. With both of us working, we rarely saw one another. My job required 50 hours a week and 24 hours of being on call. I worked weekends, nights, and many early mornings. My husband would typically travel two weeks out of the month on business. We realized in order to enjoy life with our future kids we would have to make some major changes. We both quit our jobs! He “started over” giving up his supervisor position. I chose to stay at home to care for our son. Suddenly we were making less than half of our previous income. The financial freedom we once enjoyed is now a thing of the past.
    I will forever be grateful we made the choice to live frugally when we had the choice to make. We bought a home that was half of what the bank approved. We chose to save not spend. We paid off student loans and any other looming dept. By the time our son was born our only dept was our house payment, and we had a modest nest egg saved.
    It is tough to watch as our friends remodel their homes, and buy new toys. However, we are still determined to live bellow our current means. We drive used cars, I still own a flip phone, and an old school television. We have cut out cable, and eating out for date night. I have chosen to make all meals from scratch including baby food. I use cloth diapers, and I shop at consignment stores and garage sales. I am eager to follow your blog to learn more great money saving ideas.
    The decision was not an easy one to make, but nothing great ever comes from ease. Thanks again.

  218. Ellie says

    Thank you so much for your blog posts. They are such an inspiration. It was the ultimate reality check.

    My husband and I were both blessed with good jobs. Nevertheless, our spending had been out of control. We spent at least $1000 a week on food, shopping and entertainment . . . to the point where date nights/anniversaries were no longer special because spending $200 on dinner for two happened at least twice a week. I couldn’t remember the last time I went inside the kitchen or a week when I didn’t buy a new pair of designer shoes.

    Reading your blog has really made me assess our need to go back to basics and realize how many luxuries we don’t really need and be grateful for all we have, and most importantly, to not lose sight that the real blessings in marriage are not material.

    Most importantly, until I read your blog, my husband and I were afraid we would not be able to afford kids, even on a six figure income, but you have really shown us otherwise. While we may not have kids for a while, the principles you teach here, give us hope that one day we will.

    Thank you so much for posting.

    • says

      Wow Ellie–thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I think the important issue is not how much money we make or spend, but that we are spending it according to our priorities. Sounds like you’ll be doing that now. I am truly happy for you. :)

  219. says

    I too found your site through a pin on Pinterest. When my husband was laid off 2 1/2 years ago, our income was cut by two thirds. We are a family of four and at the time were living paycheck to paycheck. I never thought we would make it on a third of our income. Now my husband has recently started a new job and although it’s no where close to his previous salary, by taking in all the experiences from the last 2 1/2 years, we should have no problems living very comfortably on half of his new salary and putting the other half in the bank. I will never go back to living paycheck to paycheck again if I can help it.

  220. jennifer says

    Hi, As alot of other people, found this though Pinterest. Gotta love that place. lol

    I’m interested in how you do it! :) We’re trying to live on a budget, and find it difficult. We could use some serious tips. :) Oh and my Oldest child also has Asperger’s Syndrome. (and a severe anxiety disorder, while my middle child just has the anxiety) We are apparently a very anxious household. lol

    Can’t wait to read! thanks for sharing! I think this will help alot of people. :)

  221. Carly says

    Thank you so much for these posts!!! I found this site on Pinterest and I’m so glad I did. We are a family of five right now, and hope to adopt in the next several years. I am a stay-at-home mom who also homeschools. We have only one car and we try our best to live responsibly on what we have. I am SO excited to read all the posts and learn some great stuff! :)

  222. Josie says

    I just want to say thank you for sharing this! I have (so far) only read this one post, but I was ery encouraged by it… My husband & I have an almost identical story & it is so encouraging to know we’re not the only ones making these choices! It is so easy to become discouraged when everyone around you is making different choices & some are even trying to convince you that you need to make more money-making choices. Anyways, its nice to know were not alone & i really look forward to seeing what else you have to say!

  223. says

    I have only read this first post and I have to tell you thank you. Admittedly, I was surprised to find that so many others have made the choices my husband and I have made. At times I felt as though I was reading my own story. It is so encouraging to find support among strangers. It is sometimes difficult when your friends or family don’t agree with your choices. We strive, in everythng we do, to serve God faithfully and provide a home filled with love and support. I look forward to learning how to stretch the few dollars we have. We are blessed beyond measure!

  224. Audra G says

    I just wanted to say, all I have read are the reasons that you are sharing and why you have decided to be a SAHM…I applaude you for making such a hard decision. Not many can do this and you should be congratulated on making such a hard decision. I have not read any of the other comments but wanted to add my two cents. I am excited at the prospects of savign money with your hints and tips. I appreciate your time, effort, and taking the time out of your life to write this.

  225. Jeannie says

    Wow – what a blessing to find this website and read all the comments. My husband and I are empty-nesters (kids are 26 and 23), enjoying two grandbabies and a different phase of life than most of you. I just wanted to encourage all you moms of young children who are sacrificing to stay home, cut work hours, and/or find ways to spend more time with your children. You will NEVER EVER regret this fleeting, precious time with your kids. My husband and I talk about how thankful we are that I could quit my job (cut our income in 1/2) and stay home. Years later, do we feel deprived one bit? NO WAY! I’m now back at work, loving it, but full of wonderful, PRICELESS memories of our children growing up (picnics, going to the library, gardening, camping….gosh there is SO much you can do with your children that doesn’t cost much). Bless you all!!

  226. says

    WOW!!! More of us need to live like you!!! Thanks you for being about life and happiness not CASH! We choose to live in a 980 sq foot home because it is better finacially and environmentally but still people I meet look on me with distain because I don’t live in a big flashy house and we choose to live debt free… yep that means if we don’t have cash for it we don’t buy it!!! crazy concept right :)
    Keep spreading the word sister! our earth and our families need to hear it!!!
    xoxo
    p.s.- sorry my spelling sucks :)

    • says

      Good for you for living in a smaller home! It’s sad to me that people feel so obligated to judge though. I truly wish that we could allow people to make their own choices based on their value systems. It is important to share the truth with others and to have open discussion about our values, but I don’t think we should ever make people feel badly about their decisions.

  227. Sherry says

    I applaud you for your choice. We did without for many years when our three older children were young. At one point I was able to take a good-paying job I could do from home and that allowed me to still be with the family, but it was always our first priority for me to be home. We had to make choices along the way and had to do without a few things but the relationships and the time spent together can never be replaced. If I had been able to read your blog back then we might have done it better. Thank you for empowering others to see how they might make those choices for their lives.

  228. Maria says

    Thank you for this! As I’m sure the hundreds of comments before me show, your honesty is not only appreciated, it is needed! It gives me hope too… We’ve managed to keep me home with our two boys on roughly $1,300- $1,400 (net) a month for the last four years. It has NOT been easy, and there have been many tears. My husband is soon getting a slightly better paying position, and we’ve started talking about another baby. I’ll admit to being scared by the idea. I dearly want a big family (as in, 6 or 7!) but our tight finances make it difficult for me to commit to the welfare of another child just yet. We also want to buy a small farm someday, but that feels even further out of reach. Can’t wait to see if my husband’s new income comes near yours, because that will go a long way to reassuring me that we could have another little one AND start saving for the future! I like to say that being broke isn’t a curse, it teaches you to appreciate what you have and pushes you to be resourceful for the things you don’t. I certainly appreciate this, but I’d sure love a little MENTAL security!

    • says

      Hi Maria. I am so glad to hear that you have been encouraged by these posts. I think the important issue is to stay close to God and listen to what He is telling your family. If He has another child for you, He will most certainly provide for him/her, but there is wisdom in becoming stable before you add a baby to your family. I pray that your income will increase and you will be filled with God’s peace.

      • says

        For others reading this comment, I realize that the issues of family size versus income can be a controversial topic in our society and especially between Christians and non-Christians. You are welcome to voice your opinion here, but make sure that you do so respectfully and realize that others are entitled to their views. I believe strongly that each family has to make the best decision they can for themselves and while we can share information, it is not our place to tell someone how to make those choices.

        • Maria says

          Thank you for your response! I agree with you wholeheartedly, and it probably is a lack of full trust in God that leaves me hesitant. My parents had 7 kids and barely had two dimes to rub together, so I do know a large family can be raised very well on very little! The Grace of God always swooped in right when help was needed most. Thank you for reminding me of that. I think it’s the stress of the last few years that makes me antsy. Every time I think we’re secure, something pops up to throw us backward. I need to remember to trust. I’ll take your words to heart and have a few chats with The Big Guy over this. Our youngest is only 15 months, so we’re not in any rush at the moment!

  229. Kate says

    Kimberlee,

    All i can say is – THANK YOU! I also came across your blog through Pinterest, and just love what you had to say about life, respecting others, and why you have this website. I’m of like mind, and look forward to further postings!

  230. alyssa says

    Thanks for sharing all this. My finance and I are just starting out. I am still working on my undergraduate degree, but with a part time job that pays for it. My finance just became a lawyer and is starting on his own, however he makes the same amount of money as me most weeks. We run a photo booth rental company together on the side, but the income is random, we are in our first year and just don’t know what the income will be like month to month yet.

    We both live with our parents to save money but are eager to marry and move out. He shares space in the basement with his mother’s wedding decorating supplies (her side bushiness) and my folks are preparing to sale their house and rent a place while they build a new home. Sharing a smaller space with my folks and two younger teenage sisters would get really ugly really fast.

    What we have going for us is no major debt. No student loans or credit card debts. Just a small loan for a car we are paying to my finance’s father. The photo booth has paid for itself and everything is profits now. We are eager to buy a home for our selves and start our life together. But with most of our income being random every penny needs to count.

    So I am looking forward to your tips and ideas, that your experience will help us miss a few pitfalls.

  231. Michelle says

    Enjoy your blog.

    Her’s a money/sanity saving tip for you.

    I think you have three metal toxic kids. I recovered my ASD kid (who also had severe gluten/soy/casein intolerance and profound sensory issues) And our daughter with apraxia/eczema. It’s all g.o.n.e.

    We used Andrew Cutler’s (http://onibasu.com/wiki/Cutler_protocol) chelation protocol (with ALA you can buy at the local drug/grocery store. There is a great Yahoo group “low dose frequent chelation” that could help.

    Oh, and just say no to flu shots!

  232. Denee says

    Wow this will be really eye opening for me. We live on close to 70K a year and find it hard sometimes. We are only a family 4! This should really help me not feel the struggle.

  233. Kelly Loving says

    Just wanted to thank you for these posts.

    We also make less than what others find to be manageable but with some planning manage a family vacation and even some fun time :)

    I also have a husband who is better at encouraging and entertaining (love how you described that) vs. homemaking, even though I could probably earn more and work less than him. But this works for us.

    And I am right behind you – no judgements.

  234. Katie says

    I totally applaud you…you only have your children for a season….you are a wise Dad and Mom to cherish it…

  235. says

    I’m excited to start reading this series! With my maternity leave coming to an end, I’ve been toying with the idea of not going back to work. Like you, relationships are a priority and I’d love to be at home with my son. I’m sure I’ll find lots of inspiration and tips here.

    • Lisa says

      Donna – maybe you could try becoming a home daycare provider. Be sure to check for qualifications for licensing in your area. This worked for my daughter who has been blessed to be able to stay home with her children (now 10 and 4).

  236. Bethany says

    I look forward to reading your posts! My family of four live on a meager budget with me staying at home with my kiddos and I’m always looking for new ways that others stretch their budgets. I grew up with the same three unwritten rules, but I appreciate that you gave that information…. gives others (like myself) a certain kind of hope.

  237. Kellie says

    I am so excited that I found this post. I am also a stay-at-home mom and I do not regret it. I had a job and had worked all my life until my second son was born. I had a three year old and a newborn and would have basically been working for someone else to raise my kids. My boys are now 10 and 6. The youngest just started school this year and I have been cleaning a few houses to help out but I am always there for field trips, to help in the classroom, when they are out for the summer, etc. I feel like MANY of my friends do not understand why I don’t work but I don’t care about their opinions. I left a job I REALLY LOVED to be with my kids. They will grow up one day and I can go to work but for right now I am willing to make a sacrifice. I cannot wait to read more of your posts! I need all the tips I can get!!!! Thanks you SOOOOOO much!

    • says

      Welcome Kellie! I am so happy for you that you can spend time with your children. It’s a difficult choice, but I know you will be happy about it now and later.

    • Lisa says

      Kellie, you do work. You do the most fullfilling work anyone could do – you raise children. Those mothers who do not understand your decision need to remember, it is mothers like you who are there for the field trips and to help in the classrooms of their children also. They should be appreciative of the sacrifices you have made for their children as well as your own.

  238. says

    I love your website and your committment to your family. We do only have our children for a short time and we need to cherish them. You have some great ideas and tips. Thanks

  239. Donna Estes says

    I have been a stay-at-home mom for thirty years. My last child is graduating this month. Staying at home,living on one income was a God directed decision,and thus I have had thirty years of blessings that continue to today. All of our needs have always been met and our children have memories that will last long after we have gone. I applaud your stand and look forward to future posts. One of the perks of living on less is adjusting to less is easier the longer you do it. And while others have run into financial hardships they reel in panic. We tighten the belt one more space and go on.

  240. Jennifer says

    Love your website. We are a family of only 3, and live on about the same amount as you. It’s tough at times. But my husband says, “what ever we need,you always seem to make it happen.” LOL! But we decided long before we had our son that we would homeschool no matter what.

  241. Lisa H says

    found you on Pinterest – I have only read this ‘why’ post and haven’t yet poked around the rest of your blog but I just HAD to comment and say ‘thank you’. our family income has been reduced by 40% in the last few years and what we sacrifice financially we have gained relationally. while it’s easy to look at the numbers and think if i ‘just worked full time again’ it would make more sense. in reality it makes less sense. the sacrifices are worth it. i look forward to digging around your site and learning new strategies from you.

  242. Jennifer Bowyer says

    I too, found this from pinterest and have yet to read other posts, but I have to say… I’m on the verge of tears! I have a 9 year old and a 7 month old, my husband works 40 hours a week and I work 32-36. My baby is with a “baby sitter” 3 days a week, who lucky for me is also my best friend, but that’s still time that I’m missing. I also am required to work every other weekend as part of my job, which is time missed with all of my family. Recently, I have become very stressed and emotional due to all of this (I just want to be home!). I can’t help but think and feel that I should be at home, with my baby and my little girl but just can’t find a way to make the finances work. I am the one who provides health insurance through my work, so that’s another obstacle to get over. I am SO anxious now to read the rest of your posts and see how you all make it work!! Thank you, more than I can express, for opening up about this :)

    • says

      You are very welcome Jennifer. Even if you can’t come home completely right away, maybe you can reduce your hours. Let me know if you have any questions.

      • Jennifer Bowyer says

        Kimberlee, Thank you! We have toyed with the thought of me going part time and moving insurance to my husband’s work. And if I do that, I only have to work one weekend per month instead of two :) If we make that work, I’ll let you know!

  243. Michelle VZ says

    I say kudos to you! I look forward to following your blog. I love it when bloggers put it out there no matter what may come, just for the idea of helping one person. Thanks so much for sharing!

  244. Rebecca says

    As a fellow teacher, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your perspective on family first, money second. I see so many students every day who are starved for the attention of involved parents who care enough to make time for them! Kids can thrive without expensive clothes, the latest iPhone, or regular trips to McDonalds. They CANNOT thrive without loving families. Kudos to you and your husband for being brave enough to make the tough decisions and then share them with all of us!

    • says

      Thanks so much Rebecca. I also taught in the public school system and I saw the same thing. You can’t fill the hole in a kid’s heart with stuff. It just doesn’t work.

  245. Lisa Clark says

    Enjoyed reading about you and your family. About 2 years ago, my husband lost his job which reduced our income by more than half. We have made the decision that our kids are more important than having “things”. We drive cars with over 150,000 miles on them because they are paid for and we shop for clothes for our kids at yard sales, consignment and Goodwill. We live on about the same amount of moeny to support our family of four. Because I had a good job, I am the one who works while my husband stays at home with the kids. Others have their opinions about us but what I have realized is that the family time we have been blessed with is worth more than any money my husband could make. I found you on Pinterest and I am glad I did. It’s good to see others that choose family over money:)

  246. Lisa says

    You are a true inspiration. Thank you for your openness and honesty. My husband and I have been very fortunate to be able to work and feel as though our two boys have had full lives with us, but now as they are entering college and we are in a beautiful home that we can not sell for what we owe, we wonder if we have made the most financially responsible decisions all see years. It’s time for us to make changes and I look forward to our journey and learning tips from your blog.

  247. says

    We are a family of soon to be four and live on this income. It isn’t easy, but it isn’t hard either. I am a stay at home mom and my husband is a retail manager. Living simpler is something I think many are afraid of. We have lived on more before and I have to say I am much happier now. I think what you are doing is great by showing that it can be done.

  248. Pam says

    Good for you for living your life in a way that makes you happy. That is awesome, and thank you for sharing!

  249. says

    Thanks for sharing your story and wisdom. We used to be very low income and I dreamed of the day when we’d made what we make now. Sadly, the more you make, the more you spend, and I’m still pinching pennies and in debt. I’m looking forward to making changes for the better.
    Oh, and kudos for sacrificing so you could be there for your kids!

  250. Anuhea says

    I am SO glad I came across this… I’m just starting to plan our family of four’s budget because I really dont want to have to work full time anymore. Here’s to hoping it all works out. :)

  251. Annette says

    Thanks so much ……I so needed this right now to help me see what’s important. After yrs of working and then having my boys we’ve struggled since my youngest son was born and I’ve stayed home. You are dead on it, the more you make the more u spend….I’m going to look forward to finding out how to do it your way.

  252. says

    Hey there! So, excited!!! I feel as though I have found my long-lost best friend!!! We too live VERY frugally, some years are more frugal than others, as my husband is self employeed. By government standards we too are impoverished. Hmmm….poverty feels pretty good! :) Like you, we made the decision to live off of one income so that I could be a full-time, and not overwhelmed and stressed-out Mom and wife to our family with 5 children (2 are now in college, with NO debt and are successfully on their own, 2 go to the local public school, and I homeschool our youngest.) Like you, I also do not judge the unique situations of other families, and the best decisions they have made for their own families, but, am thrilled to have found someone who must live simularly to the way that we do! Looking forward to enjoying your blog!

    • says

      Welcome Rhonda! I’m sure you have lots to share with me too. Congratulations on sending your kids to college debt. I love it when people challenge the status quo. :)

  253. Stephanie says

    Hi,
    I work for Premier Designs Jewelry and I think it is something you should definitely check out. It is worth the investment and you can make 50% of what you sell. I have heard so many success stories at our monthly fun girls night out meetings. They are all over the country but not saturating like some other direct sales companies out there :)
    I thought I would share what has helped me through low income times of mine.
    I also wanted to say that what you are doing with your blog is a great thing :)
    Keep Going!
    Warm Regards,
    Stephanie

  254. Courtney says

    Thanks so much for writing this. I’ve just discovered these posts and have only read the first one. I can’t wait to read the rest. Our family has recently made a similar decision. I have decided to put aside my teaching career for awhile so I can focus on family relationships and raising our children. I can’t wait to keep reading!!!!

  255. Lindsey T says

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Kimberlee. It is quite humbling to know that someone in your situation would be so brave to post a blog in this matter. I commend you for that, as so many of us are living by the same means. My boyfriend and I are living off around the same income as yourself, (I’m the only income) and it is great to know that there is a website such as yours where I can go for tips and advice. Also to know that I am not the only one! We want to have kids pretty soon, and I just hope that we can continue living this way if we do decide to. But I’m also hoping that he can help start to help out more too. Thank you again for your blog and the kind words I have read. Oh, by the way, I found this on pinterest, tons of people have pinned it! You are helping so many!! :)

  256. kat says

    I am a grandmother of 3 kids and have 2 daughters living with me. Right now the total income is less than $2100 a month. That includes a care payment, full coverage insurance and rent.

  257. Lisa says

    Thank you for reminding others that it isn’t all about the money in life. I think too many have forgotten that. The time you spend getting to know your children and instilling good life values in them is worth more than any amount of money you could earn. My children and now grown with children of their own, and seeing how they are raising their children (as they were raised) makes any financial struggles we may have had worth it. I work with young people daily and see what happens when Mom and Dad are too busy with work to raise their children. Bless you and your family, for you have it right.

  258. Stacy says

    Can’t wait to read what you have to share. We just had our first child (to raise, our first baby is with Jesus)…and we will be changing our family income quite a bit..(I will be staying home). So excited for some great tips…hoping to help put my mind at ease!

  259. says

    Thank you so much for letting people share this time with you. My husband has recently had to quit working to finish his engineering degree. We also have 4 children. He has cashed out his 401K, which we will be living on for the next 2 years. We won’t qualify for any assistance so I am very interested in your strategy for these difficult times. I have been a stay at home mom for years and it works well for us but going into this time when he won’t be working too is really stressful. I am excited to see your posts.

    • says

      That sounds difficult Christina. Is your husband able to work part time at all? Hopefully you can find some ideas on the blog that you can use. I hope it goes well for you and your family.

  260. says

    Kimberlee,
    thank you so much for putting it so beautifully. Our family sure could use the extra $60k a year I could be bringing in, but we value our family relationships and time more than what that money can buy. Who could argue with your intro here? Mainly because you say it’s a personal choice, and you’re not preaching that everyone should do what you (we) do. It’s what works for your family, and that works for me! God Bless you!

  261. Julee says

    You are an inspiration in this age of excess. Looking forward to reading more of your blog. You are teaching your children an INVALUABLE lesson! God bless!

  262. Celeste says

    I love your way of thinking and agree wholeheartedly! I think that families are all-too-often neglected in this day and age for the ongoing quest for more money (and fancier “stuff”). We’ve made a lot of sacrifices as well and our family has really been blessed.

    Great idea to share your tips – who couldn’t benefit from a suggesstion of two?! Kudos to you for being content with what you have (some people never are) and making the best of your situation!!!

  263. Marissa says

    Thank you for doing this! I am just now learning about this blog so I have a lot of reading to do, but I am a single parent living on a little less income than your family and I am finding it very difficult and very stressful. My views on living have definitely changed since becoming a mother and I agree that simple is better. I am so encouraged by reading this and can’t wait to read more!

    • says

      Welcome Marissa! Being a single mom is very difficult period and having money problems makes it even more stressful. I pray that you will be encouraged.

  264. Sandra says

    Wow, what a refreshing point of view you have. I have been a stay at home mom to our two girls for 14 years. As they are becoming more independent, I have often thought to myself, “should I go back to work?” My answer was always about the money – but after reading your reasoning for sacrificing a double income, I realize it is also what I value but didn’t know how to articulate! So thank you for sharing and helping me see the “value” in why I choose not to have an income.

  265. says

    Kudos to you for your willingness to share, be honest and put your family first. I admire your ability to keep such an eternal perspective… I forget that often. I’m excited to see how you manage, honestly. I can always use more tips on making life more frugal!

  266. Sarah says

    I find your courage very inspiring. I just found your blog today and am looking forward to reading it.

  267. says

    One of my friends post this site on Pinterest. When I read the title, tears came to my eyes. If 6 can live on that amount successfully, then I know 4 of us can live on slightly less. I’m excited to hear your thoughts and ideas for saving money.

  268. says

    This is so great! I’ve been on a mission all year to minimize my “stuff” and to live a simpler life. The money part is by far the hardest! I will definitely be using your blog as a reference and motivation. I always say, “I’d rather be a poor good mom, than a rich absent one.” I look forward to reading more.

  269. Hilaria says

    I have to say that I wanted to cry when I started reading this post and all the comments. I had a baby in March and because of the cost of childcare, it didn’t make sense for me to go back to work just to turn around and give my paycheck to someone to keep my son. We now live on about $27,000 a year, less than half of our previous income. Add onto that having to buy diapers and formula, and there isn’t a whole lot left over. We have been struggling a lot financially lately and the stress of it is starting to get to both of us. Often times I feel like I can’t enjoy having a new baby because of the stress of being broke. I try to keep a positive attitude about our situation as much as possible, because after all, I have the greatest gift in getting to be with him all day, but sometimes it’s hard to not stress about money. It is SO good to know that there are others out there who are in the same position. It makes me hopeful that we CAN make this work and do what’s best for our son, and not have the stress of unpaid bills hanging over our heads while we do it. I can not wait to dive into this series and hopefully make some changes that will benefit the entire family. Thanks so much for being so open and putting a number on it. I imagine that it was something you would have rather not done, but please know that by doing so you inspire others and help them to be more hopeful about their own circumstances…myself included.

    • says

      Thanks so much for your encouragement Hilaria! It takes sacrifice, but it is so worth it. My children are teens now and I could never buy back the years we would have lost if I had worked outside our home. I hope you find some ideas that you can use.

  270. Marsha says

    I am really looking forward to reading this blog series.

    My hubby and I are recent college graduates (with LOTS of student loan debt to pay off in the next coming years), newly weds looking to start a family in a few years (at which time I will become a SAHM) and to also buy our first house around then too. Though he is currently making a nice income, we still want to live in a way that will allow us to save as much as possible so that when we go to buy our first home it will not cause us to have a HUGE mortgage payment to add to our already HUGE student loans payment.

  271. says

    You are an inspiration and I look forward to reading this series of blogs! I agree Family is more important than money, as long as you are happy, the money is secondary

  272. Paula says

    I am excited to find your blog and can’t wait to start reading! We have lived on less than $28K for many years, with four children as well. It’s not always easy, and I get very tired of people who do not know about our situation saying, “I sure wish MY husband made enough money for me to stay home! You’re lucky!” Luck has nothing to do with it, we’ve made a lot of tough choices, choices those women can never make because their priorities are all wrong.

    I’m looking forward to reading about your journey. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Paula

  273. keaton davis says

    i am so excited to read your post. we are a family of 7 living on an income of about 27k a year and people wonder all the time how we make it. first an foremost the good Lord provides every day. secondly we budget. i am so happy you decided to share. thank you.

  274. Elizabeth says

    Just wanted to say thanks for sharing this! It is nice that someone else thinks the way we do! Thanks again!!

  275. Heather says

    Thank you for your honesty and help. We are very fortunate to have a comfortable household income but I want to have my child’s college paid for and I want to retire and see the world with my husband. Your tips are wonderful and you are an inspiration.
    Thank you.

  276. Betty says

    kimberlee, i am so glad i have found your site, i am on social security disability and so far it meets most of the household bills, excluding food, auto expenses, or any of the upkeep for the house… i have physical problems that keep me home most of the time… as you see i am fairly bad shape financially but my daughters help with the groceries when they can.. i will be anxiously waiting to see if any of your tips and treasures fit my problems… thanks so much

  277. says

    We are a family of five, hubby works fulltime, I’m a self employed massage therapist but work only a few hours a week because I cant justify working more just to pay a sitter. My income could change our finances big time but at the risk of losing family time. We homeschool also! Im so excited to here how you pull it off too! We get constant greive for not “using” the system. I feel we are “making” it and there are those out there that really do need government assistance. We have a mortgage, all vehicles are paid off, we have chickens for eggs, shop our local discount and thrift, buy from our local farmers, and are currently cutting our overpriced tv service for Huluplus for $7.99 a month cause we do love our tv nights.
    It’s a struggle at times no doubt and yes we’d love to make more money but right now this is where God wants us. To learn to be grateful for just what we have. God’s economy is NOT man’s economy and HE provides!

  278. Twyla says

    I so, so, so agree with your reasons for living on one income and putting relationships and children as your first priority. Thank you for your article and I look forward to future ones.

  279. says

    I am really looking forward to this series. We both work full time, hubby at home and me in an office setting. Our next goal is for me to join him in our home-based business which will allow us more time with our kiddos. We’re thinking this may happen later this summer! I’m always on the lookout for ways to save and also ways to change how we view “wants” and “needs”!

  280. Angela kotschi says

    Wow, I actually really am loving your replies to comments. You have a Christ like spirit

  281. Teresa says

    Thank you for this. We have 4 children the oldest I home school with Asperger’s. My youngest is only 21 months and is already showing signs. My husband works as a correction officer and all i hear is how I should work. We do not have cable TV and I look at that as a wonderful thing. To read someone else who is living a life like mine is nice to hear. Thank you for opening up and sharing.

    • says

      You are very welcome Teresa. It is a difficult choice, but my son with Aspergers has made so many improvements and I truly believe that it is from being able to stay home in a calm, quiet environment where he can actually learn.

  282. Lorna says

    Kimberlee, what shows the type of caring person you are is that you replied to every post. You are certainly an inspiration. I am of the older gereration. The last year has been a struggle. My husband was hurt at work and can’t work anymore, he was in the oilfield for 30 years. I am a nurse and have been sick since sept. Haven’t had a full paycheck since then. But that doesn’t stop the medical bills. So I am excited to learn how I can save money and get those bills paid quicker. Thank-you so much. Can’t wait.

  283. JMR says

    Found you through Pinterest. I love this series idea. We are a family who’s current mortgage is more than your monthly income- but that has not always been the case. My husband is an entrepreneur and I am a stay at home mom to four. When we were first married I worked while my husband finished school. Before the birth of our first son there was about 6 months where we both had an income. My anual income was around $30k a year and my husband had a base plus commissions type job. Rather than begin the idea of living on two incomes though, we put everything he earned in that time span in savings. We were blessed that once our son was born his salary was able to replace my income and I could stay at home. From day one we have been strict budgeters. The first few years were really tough, but like you we felt that the sacrifices we made were worth it. My husband’s income has increased substantially since then, but because we’ve always been frugal we were able to pay cash for him to go back and get his MBA. We now have much more flexibility in our finances, but I think we get judged now when we make frugal (I would just call them wise) choices because we “should be able to afford more”. Again though, as an entrepreneur, thing could change, and so we try to think long term. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I believe budgets, frugality and healthy attitudes toward money are important at any income level.
    So thank you for your reminder. We can all do a little better!

    • says

      Thank you so much for this comment! I love that you continued to live frugally as your income increased. That is what we hope to do as well. I totally agree with you that you made wise choices and it’s sad that others don’t see the value in that. Good for you for doing the right thing.

  284. Katie says

    I ran across this on pinterest and it’s like I could have wrote this myself! We are also a family of 5 that live on less than 28,000 a year. We are a single income family, my oldest son has Autism, we homeschool and we choose to live on less. I want to praise you for sharing your story and say thanks for more tips! We are always looking for more ways to pinch an extra cent anywhere we can. We save anywhere we can and it add a sense of freedom when we are to do it on our own. I’m always looking for ways to stretch things around our home. We make our own detergents, cleaning supplies, I stretch clothes from winter to summer by cutting winterclothes and sewing them into summer clothes. Thank you sooooo much for these posts!

  285. Sally M says

    Kimberlee, I as well for i the teaching field. One of the things I have learned to do at home is to UNPLUG ANYTHING that I normally use on a daily basis. The microwave, lamps, smell good plug-ins, etc…. Even though they are turned off, by being plugged in they are still using electricity. I have saved hundred bydoing this!! If I could unplug the fridge too i would! LOL! Thank youfor your tips!!

  286. Laura says

    Just came across your blog on pinterest. I grew up in a family of 6 on a small income… my parents had the same mindset that you do, in that it was more important to them to spend time with my sisters and me than to work longer hours. My parents were incredibly involved in our lives (both of my parents chaperoned field trips, my dad coached my soccer team, etc.) and work never came first. Growing up, I think I was a little embarrassed that we didn’t have as much money, but as I got older, I discovered that my friends were more jealous of me and my relationship with my family than I was of them and their bigger houses.

    So now I’m out on my own, and while I’m not doing too badly for myself, I’m definitely looking for ways to save money so I can travel back home to visit my family more often!

    • says

      Thanks Laura–It’s good to hear from someone down the road how living more frugally affected them as children. I hope that my kids will appreciate our sacrifices too, but at least I know that I have done what I think is most important as a parent.

  287. DeAnna P says

    We are a family of 7. We have two children on the autism spectrum, 4 of our children have serious food allergies, our 5 year old