As I mentioned yesterday, some readers have asked for the story of exactly how we got here and a description how were able to save up enough money to make this happen. In an old family blog of ours, I used to give some literal money-saving pointers. You can read them here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. And for even more budgeting tips, take a look at this site, which I heard about from a fellow money-saving friend. So in lieu of talking about changing our finances so that a family with kids can save $27,000 (because there really are so many more of them out there in google land), I thought I'd talk about changing our hearts instead.
Things have not always been easy for us. There have been times in our marriage that things were downright hard. I remember, when our first baby was still a baby, scrounging change from around the house so that Tommy could walk to the store to get milk because we didn't have enough money to put gas in the car to drive there. I remember having a four hour total daily commute to and from work when I was 5 months pregnant with our second baby because we were living with my in-laws, I needed to work, and that was the best job I could find. I remember our house getting foreclosed on and having to move into a two bedroom apartment when I was 8 months pregnant with our third baby because the adjustable rate on our mortgage adjusted and we literally could not make the obscenely high payments and still afford to feed our family. And guess what? Those are the days we still remember and marvel about. All of those were the best freaking days of my life because without any of that, I wouldn't be here where I am now, in this wonderful place with these incredible children and this amazing story to tell. My dear husband and I would not have the kind of love and appreciation for each other that many can only dream of. I would not be able to look at a snake skin under my kitchen sink and say "Oh my gosh, people are gonna crack up when they hear about this!"
Worry anticipates the worst. Wonder plans for the best. What I mean to say is: when will you have time to conjure up all the crazy and ill-advised ways for you to realize your dreams if you are wasting your time imagining all the ways things could go wrong? Example time!
Oh my gosh! We can't pay our mortgage! We're gonna lose our house! Then we'll be homeless! On the streets! And kids are going to be criminals! Then Lady Gaga is going to become presideeeeeeeeent! Waaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!
Oh my gosh! We can't pay our mortgage! I wonder how this is going to work out? Maybe we'll actually be able to start saving some money. Maybe I'll get to spend more time with my kids. Maybe we could start, like, weaving our own cloth or something. Yeah, and sell it on Etsy. We could be the most famous family of cloth weavers this side of the Mississippi!
If you really want...WANT....something, first you have got to stop worrying that it's never going to happen and start wondering how it IS going to happen. And then start doing it. Quit listening to them. According to them, we got married too young. We had kids too soon. We did a crazy thing by buying a house we'd never seen in a place we'd never been. And we, we who made all the wrong choices and broke all the rules, are having the most exciting, adventurous life that we could ever have imagined imagining. We are not special or different. We are just like you. All we did is exactly what you and anyone else can do- we let our hope be bigger than our fear.