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Mark and I have made a tough decision this year, and that decision means being broke again. Why, you may ask? The biggest reason is that we felt like our life was stuck in a vicious cycle; we worked hard all day, only to put the kids to bed and spend the night on the couch exhausted. However, through those years of hard work and sacrifice, we have another option available. The income from this blog, speaking engagements, seminars etc. is enough to pay our bills and live. So we made the HUGE decision for Mark to step away from his career as an actuary and join me full time on this website.
Mark has been commuting 50 minutes each way to work for the past 11 years. He doesn't see our kids in the morning, and doesn't get home until around 5:30 – 6:00 PM. This has left me to work full time on this blog doing my media segments and seminars, cleaning the house, cooking dinner, taking care of the kids, soccer practice, ballet, school, homework, nurse and everything else that goes with being a full time mommy and wife. I love doing all of these things, I truly do, but it is exhausting (as any mom can attest to). Many people might think that working from home must be an amazing opportunity… and if you don't have kids, it might be. But with 4 very spirited kids, it is NUTS. After 3 & 1/2 years of living this way, we realized that our life had gotten far too crazy, and decided to make the JUMP and become self-employed.
So after much prayer, consideration and saving for an emergency fund, we decided that being broke is enough for our family. If having the luxuries of life means that we can't provide the fun and nurturing home life for our children that we desire, then we will forgo the luxuries and live simply. Being broke is enough for us.
Before I continue, I should clarify what I mean when I use the term “broke” – we will have enough to live on each month, but that's about it.
And I know this is a tricky topic, because many of you so deeply desire to have more money to provide for your family and maybe get out of debt, and I totally understand that! I was in those shoes 7 short years ago; I remember the feeling of just wishing and praying that someone would hand me $10,000 so I could live a little and pay my bills. I realize that I might get some negative feedback on this post – you might be scratching your head, asking ‘why would we give up a good income just to struggle again with finances?' This is a HUGE faith step for us; it is scary but yet so exciting!
Here are some of the reasons why being broke is enough for us…
As I sit in my 5 month old daughters bedroom rocking her to sleep at night, and hear Mark playing with our other 3 children downstairs, I realize again… being broke is enough.
When I see my kids light up every morning to see their daddy make them breakfast… being broke is enough.
Having time to help our son study his spelling words at night together… being broke is enough.
Being focused 100% on teaching our kids how to live a godly life full of faith… being broke is enough.
Knowing that Mark will never miss another soccer practice or game, ballet recital, or school play… being broke is enough.
Being able to have lunch together every day… being broke is enough.
Getting back to the frugality that got us out of debt… being broke is enough.
Kissing the boo boo of a child who has fallen down, while the other children are being cared for… being broke is enough.
Vacationing whenever we want, making our own work hours… being broke is enough.
No more using the TV to babysit the kids so I can get work done… being broke is enough.
Sharing the household responsibilities as a family – the weight off my shoulders is HUGE… being broke is enough.
The first crawl, first steps, first foods of our last child – Mark will not miss these this time… being broke is enough.
Knowing that we are going what we are passionate about, teaching people how to be better with their money… being broke is enough.
Looking into the eyes of my children, knowing that we will be better off as a family… being broke is enough.
As I am typing these things, I have tears running down my face. The life that we had 7 years ago, $40,000 in debt with no way out has led us here. I want to pinch myself. All of those late nights I worked at the restaurant, working on getting out of debt, downsizing from our new 3,200 square foot home to a 900 square foot rental home to get out of debt, never going out on dates, eating on $50 or less per week… all of those things brought us to where we are today.
You see, this FREEDOM of being debt free gives you so many options – options that were once only in our imagination. Never dare to dream of the impossible – because you never know where that dream will lead you.
All moms sacrifice for their families. Whether you are able to sacrifice financially and stay at home, or if you sacrifice time by working and providing financially – you're doing it – you are enriching your family. You are sacrificing so that your children can grow up in the best environment that you can give right now. And that is enough.
Mark and I are so passionate about turning our financial struggles into helping others. On this website in 2014 you will see many more financial advice columns, debt reduction articles, meal planning tips and strategies, fun family articles, and more! Having two people working full time on this blog is going to make it SO much better! Of course, there will still be coupons and deals, but we want to bless you more than that – we want to teach you how to make YOU financially wiser.
I am SO excited for the year 2014 for many reasons and I hope that you enjoy the new face behind ‘I am THAT lady'.