We had to face the facts: we were out of whack.
We were getting by, but we were struggling financially, and it was robbing our peace of mind. My husband and I have jobs that we love, and four children that we love more. We knew we had to make more money so that we could build our retirement while also saving for the kids’ college funds.
Oh—while also paying for music lessons, soccer and ballet.
But even after completing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, and paying off all our debt except the mortgage (YAY us!!), we couldn’t keep up. All it took was for a surprise auto repair or an unexpected medical bill, and we were struggling again and sliding back into debt.
Which is why we got to a point in 2014 where we knew we had to make a change: we either had to work and earn more, or pay less. We definitely didn’t want to work more—if anything, we wanted to play more! And we had already cut back on cable, groceries, clothing and eating out. If we were going to cut back, it was going to have to be in a big way.
So we sold our house.
Despite loving our home, and making many precious memories within its walls with our babies, we realized that our house of thirteen years was a beautiful albatross hanging around our necks. While it was providing warmth and shelter and beautiful space for Thanksgiving dinners and backyard shindigs, it was punching us squarely in the gut each month when we payed our mortgage bill.
The past six months have been a time of learning, of letting go, of re-evaluating what is important and what we were willing to do without. We started a journey that we’ve called “unwanting,” because our new version of the American Dream involves wanting less, so that we can live more. This is not an easy task. For one thing, it’s completely counter-cultural. Many people who will hear what we’ve done will say, “That’s fine for you, but I could/would never do this.” Today, I am starting this blog on the other side, inside the cozy cottage we now call home, and I can tell you that we are no longer out of whack.
We are completely in whack, baby.
In April 2015, we moved from our 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home of over 2,000 square feet to a cozy 2-bedroom, 1-bath home, coming in just under 1,000 square feet. We have half the space and half the bathrooms, but we also have half the mortgage payment and half the worry.
We still have four kids and a dog. You may think we’re crazy.
Maybe we are.