We initially rented for six years as we saved money for our own home during the years we were both working. Our first son was born four years post-wedding but our rental home was sufficient for one extra tiny being, and it offered me the opportunity to stay at home to raise him while always looking for ways to save money and always following my husband's example. We only spent our money on "needs" rather than "wants".
After two more years, we were expecting our second son. We had enough money to buy our first home, not a down payment, but actually purchase a small home. It wasn't necessarily located in a place that would have been our first choosing, but it WAS a home and it WAS paid for. Our second child was born and we continued to put our money towards needs rather than wants. It allowed us to eventually save enough to add to the equity of our home and buy another small home in a more desirable location. Our kids always had clean clothes, food, and a roof over their heads while growing up. We always had control over what they did, when they ate, and how much sleep they had.
In the last eight years, saved money was once again added to our home equity allowing us to build a new home with 3 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms. We have always lived debt-free, I have always been at home to care for my family. Our sons, who are now 22 and 19, have always saved for their own cellphones, iPods and brand name shoes.
I read somewhere that "most people don't live within their means because they don't consider it living", but it allows for a truly beautiful life without financial worries.
By oSandi from Sherwood Park, Alberta
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Now on a very small fixed income, I kept finding myself running out of money before the end of the month to pay my monthly bills and living expenses. So I wound up drawing money out of my savings account every month to pay bills until my next monthly check came in. I realized that my savings account was shrinking at an alarming rate. In looking at my lifestyle, I realized I had to change some of my habits.
Raising three children as a single mother is never easy. But the key to contentment is learning to live within your means. I never owned a new car, a house of my own, and worked in trade for most of my furniture.
Listen to Dave Ramsey, and take his advice. Save as much as you can; Invest, but only in something decent. Never try to live beyond your means or try to impress someone.
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