When Mark and I got married it was decided upon that I would stay home with the kiddos until they were in school. Little did we know, I would be home a lot longer since we would be homeschooling them.
Even though it is a decision we embrace, there are implications for doing so.
Living on one income- with four kids- and with the cost of living creeping up higher and higher, it has been crucial for us to budget and work within our means.
We were so blessed to come out of college with very little debt. What little debt we had we paid off within our first year of marriage. Our cars were always paid for with cash and we saved to be able to put as much down on our first home as possible. This was possible when we had no kids and were both working at good paying jobs. We saved and lived on a cash budget for quite some time.
After a few years, we moved back to our hometown and settled into a home we built on his family's land. We love it here and enjoy the three acres we get to make our own. For a few years, we got to enjoy living a little "looser" with our money and not being as tight with our spending.
Now that we are in our thirties, with our fourth babe on the way, we are beginning to buckle down again. We have a strict cash budget in place and are working hard to pay off our current home. Even though it was nice to live with flexible boundaries for a few years, it is also nice to tighten up and meet goals- like paying off a car, school loans, or a home.
Both Mark and I are competitive by nature, so we almost see budgeting as a challenge. For us, every penny counts. We budget every receipt and payment we make. This method helps us to shave off expenses where we can and it also helps us to see if we are living within our means.
Sticking to a budget, and living on one income, may seem restrictive. But, it doesn't have to mean that life has to be boring. It just means that we (or you) have to get creative with how we spend and what we do to have fun!
What are some ways you and your family enjoy time together without breaking the bank?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.