"Enjoy the LITTLE THINGS in life for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things."


What blog is about Intro

Come on in and sit awhile while I talk about the "Little Things" in life. I will share my journey of everyday life.... homeschooling, raising my children, homesteading, gardening, health and wellness, and real life.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Affording the Dream House with a Growing Family

As a family of seven people often wonder how we afford such a big home.  Some rare few will actually ask.  Ha!  The answer:  sacrifice.  It's simple really.... it's always been about financial wisdom and lots of sacrifice.

But I have to start a little further back.... like when I was a child.  My parents were raised poor and they did not want to raise their family poor.  They made some financial mistakes early in their marriage, had to get a consolidation loan, and they actually learned from that lesson.  They taught me and my brother by example how to manage money wisely.  Basically, we were taught exactly what Dave Ramsey teaches, so if you need in depth advise you might want to read some of his books, etc..  The main principle is don't spend what you don't have to spend and live withing YOUR means.  If you can't afford to buy snacks at the convenience store then, don't do it.  Simple.

So, back to the house.... I met my husband when we were both 19.  I was working at McDonald's and shortly after we started seeing each other I got a waitressing job.  I started building a house on my parent's property.  It was a cottage style house and was about the size of a small apartment (24'x26' with a 6' porch across the whole front).  I paid my car insurance, gas, and such expenses, and kept out about $20 each weekend for spending money and I put everything else back into the building fund.  It took three years to complete the house, but when it was done it was completely paid for.  I moved in  and shortly after became engaged to Cody and I lived there a year alone until we married and he moved in.  We lived there for several years and then, decided to purchase our own land and have the house moved. 

We had a plan to add on to the house, but my dad had emergency heart surgery and we decided that it would be best to sell the house and land and move.  We had our first child while living there at which point I stopped working outside the home.  That brought us to the location we are at today.  We sold the house and land for $40,000 and paid off the remaining balance on our land and put $30,000 cash down on our home.  Our home was foreclosure home that had been used as a rent house for few years with some damage that needed repaired.  We took the advice of our realtor and financed the house for 30 years to make sure we did not get in a financial bind.  I am so glad we listened to her because we had no idea what the utilities would be like in a 3500 square feet home that was over 100 years old.  Remember the other house was only 624 square feet of living space.  The 30 year loan allowed us to have payments really low and pay extra when we could.  A whole lot of income tax return money went towards extra payments when most of our friends were taking extravagant vacations.  We still went of vacations, but we chose frugal options and we had as much fun as anyone else was.

At some point I convinced my husband we were throwing money away on finance charges on our mortgage by showing him the statements showing how much had gone to finance charges.  This was the moment my husband got on board with frugal living.  We set a goal at that point to pay off the house in three years and we did it.  Mostly we paid an extra $10-100 on payments (which makes a huge difference) and started putting most of our income tax report into our mortgage.  We paid the house off in the 11th year of a 30 year mortgage!!!!!!

This was an amazing feat because of several reasons:
  • I am a stay-at-home mom.
  • My husband was a teacher.
  • My husband quit his job at one point to try another career then, returned to teaching. 
  • My husband went back to school to get his Masters degree.
  • We added four more children to the family (and lost two).
  • I had wrist surgery and Cody had surgery for staph infection.  There were probably other medical expenses, but I don't remember really.   ;)
  •  After three years of applying for administration jobs Cody got an Assistant Principal job shortly before we paid off the mortgage.
  • We also have been doing renovations since we moved in this house... some big, some small.  Some were as simple as a can of paint while others included adding a fireplace or finishing out the walls of half the upstairs.  We have replaced flooring at points where you could see the dirt ground below even.  Been we have chose wisely where to spend our money and where we could cut cost.
  • And we continued to vacation a couple times a year.  {Hallelujah!!}
 So, it has all been sacrifice.  And I believe with all my heart that God honors sacrifice and He has filled in all the gaps.  When the numbers on paper did not make sense God made a way for all of our heart's desires.  He has taken care of us for that I am certain. 


  1. I don't think people realize that paying just a little extra each month (to just about total just 1 extra house payment each year) can cut your mortgage in half. That is exactly what we did too. Great minds think alike...or should i say frugally great minds think alike...lol!

    1. Yes! When we decided to set a goal and get ours paid off we still owed a whole lot to the principle, but once we focused on it we got it down in three amazing years. I miss seeing you!!!


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