We are really your typical American family. Well mostly. To start with, Mr. Man and I are high school sweethearts. We married early (1998), started a family early. We have been blessed with 6 children. In 2005, having just had our third child, we felt that pressure, the itch, to complete the “American Dream” and become homeowners. Despite our knowledge and trust in people like Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump and others who were already discussing the coming mortgage crisis, we let our emotions lead, found and purchased “the perfect” home.
Like many others, we purchased on a 3 year ARM. In 3 years the economy would still be going strong and we could refinance to lower the interest rate, right? Enter the Mortgage Crisis. During one of the many sale’s of our mortgage paper, someone lost a payment. It took 10 months for the new company to finally see the error and decide there was nothing they could/would do about it. Knowing our term was almost up and because of that one payment, even with documentation, we could not get approved for a refinance. We tried every avenue, every government program, to help us postpone the rate adjustment. The rate adjusted making our mortgage payment 50% of our income before taxes. Ultimately, we took the loan, we knew and agreed to the terms. We couldn’t do it. We had already slashed our bills and expenses, there was nothing more to cut. So we gave the house back. We became another statistic.
But we had an idea! What if we bought a little bit of land and built a house on it, paying as we went. That’s where this blog started. Our first attempt. Funny enough – pregnant with #5. Although it wasn’t near as small as our current build. The property owners had a minimum 1200 square foot requirement. We didnt get far into the endevor before life threw a major curve and all plans were off.
That’s when we really learned what heartache downsizing was – but also the joy it brought afterwards. Less stuff = less stuff to store and clean. We learned how to cut bills and expenses lower then we ever thought possible. We payed off debts, becoming debt free for the first time in our married life. (Sadly, that didn’t last long as we had not gotten to the “save for the future” part before the future came due with a dead vehicle.) It all became a game – how low could we go and still be happy and comfortable. The more we squeezed and saved to pay off debt, the lower our bills became, the more we found we actually had more of what we wanted – time, less stress, more freedom, ect. We were on our way to… well, an unknown future, but on tract for something good.
That “something” ended up being another trip to Texas. We learned a great many things there as well. Ultimately, carrying on the training – mentally, physically, emotionally and financially – for where we are now.
We started off in April 2012 – camping while building a tiny 600 square foot debt free house on our 11 acres of land. While pregnant with #6. Ironic, huh?