I figure that the first step in starting this blog is to share more about how I arrived at the conclusion that I should live frugally. If you already know me, this may be old news. Feel free to skim. Here we go…
I went to a private university for 5 years, and in that time, I took out close to $25,000 in student loans to fund my education. I married my husband Fred a month after we graduated. He brought around $70,000 of debt into our lives (he went to the same university). Between the two of us we had almost $100,000 of debt, 4 university degrees, and no money.
We had 6 months of grace before we had to start repaying our loans, and neither of us had jobs. Our first summer was rough – we did some odd jobs that kept food in our fridge (barely) and spent a lot of time playing Settlers of Catan to fill our time.
Fred got offered a part-time teaching job a week before school started, which he took (after all, some money is better than no money) and I spent a lot of time at home, thinking about what kind of work was right for me in that season. Being a person of faith, through prayer I came to the conclusion that I was being led into non-profit work, which required raising funds for my salary.
I didn’t receive a pay cheque until almost our first anniversary, and I had become very comfortable working in the home and saving money. I learned a lot that year about budgeting and what not to do, along with frugal ways to cook, clean, and manage a house.
Some of the things I do to keep up my house have changed since then. We now make more money and have been paying on our loans for 3 years now. We’re less in debt than we used to be, but we’re still working hard to become debt-free.
Part of our inspiration to get out of debt has been Dave Ramsey and his principles of “living like no one else so later you can live (and give) like no one else.” I listen to his radio show when I’m cooking or cleaning to remind me why I’m doing what I’m doing. I really believe that being out of debt will enable us to live a life that is more stable and generous.
For us, this journey to live frugally to get out of debt will last for a few more years, which is why I have started this blog. I know that I have many years of frugality ahead of me, and that writing about it will keep me inspired and enthusiastic about what we’re doing.
So we’ve arrived to the birth of this blog.
Some of you may have different stories, but I really believe there is something here for everyone: for the student, the single working professional, the young housewife, and the stay-at-home parent. I’m excited to share some of the things that I’ve learned along my journey, and get to know others in the process.
Feel free to leave a comment to tell me more about your story and your reason for living a frugal life! I’d love to hear other people’s stories because after all, we’re not on this journey alone.
Until next time, friends.
Fred and I on our wedding day – blissfully unaware of what was to come
(Photo credit: Pia Baerg)