Monday, June 7, 2010

Our Story

The purpose of this blog is to share an unusual journey...

Our lifestyle has changed pretty drastically the past several years. I'm sure we're not alone. The 'Great Recession' has impacted many households. Our household is one of them. Providentially we've been forced into a situation which is taking every skill we've ever learned in stretching our income. We're learning new lessons daily.

This is our story..

Approximately four years ago our trucking business was booming. We were like many people.. we had lots of work and made a lot of money.. and unfortunately we spent a lot of money, too! As our business grew we slowly began outgrowing the property we lived on so we made a decision to move to a larger piece of land.

A year after we moved the price of fuel went up along with insurance rates. A few of the larger companies we worked for began to pay later and later. Then, as the housing market began to fall, work became less and less. Each month we went farther and farther into the hole. We tried to keep the business afloat but after 1 year we finally had to make the decision to close our doors.

My husband went to work for another company pulling their trailer and we started to sell off our equipment. Our income dropped considerably and we were not sure we'd be able to keep our home so we put it up for sale. Kevin worked long, long hours and we kept our head above water. We had multiple offers on our property but they all fell through. We finally were able to sell a year and a half later but by that time we had lost 3/4 of the equity from our previous home. We moved into town and purchased a lovely home nearly half the size of the previous one. We thought things were settling down.

A few months after moving my husband's job came to an end. There was just no work. Within a few weeks my son offered him a job where he worked. It would be another cut in pay. We were sure there was no way we would be able to make it financially on the new salary but we took the job knowing we were blessed to have work. By then the housing market had dropped even more and the unemployment rate was high. We cut every expense we could and made it through another year.

We had no way of knowing that this job would be the end of my husband's career and put a heavy toll on his health. Over the coming months the physical nature of the job began playing havoc with the arthritis in his back. He was in excruciating pain which effected every area of his life. Nearly a year later my husband was laid off from this job due to limitations caused by his health and it was then he decided to file for disability.

We sold our home and ended up losing our rental home (which we had hoped to help fund us through our retirement years) and moved into a studio apartment in my aunt's barn that was smaller than our previous garage.

So.. that's our story... but it doesn't really end there. It's only the beginning. We're learning many new lessons. Some lessons are hard... but many of these lessons are bringing new joys as we discover that the simple things in life really bring the greatest joy.

This blog is dedicated to those who are facing hard financial challenges. It may be the working mother who wants to be home with her children but sees no way she can obtain that goal.. or the couple who desperately wants to retire but don't believe they can live on social security... or it may be the couple who need to dig their way out of debt by finding ways to cut back on their monthly expenses. I hope that this blog will give you the encouragement and necessary tools you need to thrive on LIVING WITH LESS MONEY.

18 comments:

  1. So blessed to have read this. It is mine and Dee's story along many others. I look forward to you teaching me the ways the Lord has shown you. Thanks kevin and Georgene... Love Dee and Sunnie Burton

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  2. what a feeling to know I am not alone ,read your comment on xanga ..Blessings to you!!!!!!!

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  4. This looks like a beautiful story about to be read. Already I have to say that I thoroughly appreciate your positve tone. Thank you.

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  5. Thanks Georgene...looking forward to hearing how the Lord is working in your lives.

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  6. Well now I don't feel so bad offering my daughter and her husband our 'shed/cabin' to rent while he's in school.. if they want it.
    You are amazing to find the blessing in living in your aunt's garage.

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  7. It's purely by God's grace Mary. :-) His grace is sufficient. He prepared my heart for this 'home' through many missionary stories (examples of living with less) and the example of a godly friend.

    You'd love having your daughter on the same property, esp. with a baby in tow! :-)

    P.S. It's actually a barn! hehe! It's the size of our last homes garage.

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  8. Great idea for a blog, but mainly because you lean on Our LORD Jesus Christ for your outcome! Notice I didn't say income. I have found that the LORD has helped us through our situation when we didn't know how. He just worked out the OUTCOME even without an income! LOL Praise His Glorious Name!

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  9. Also glad to have found your blog. May the Lord continue to sustain you while we come along for the journey.

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  10. I'm enjoying refinding your blog. I took a break from blogging for a few months. I just wanted to let you know how encouraging it is to read here. Our family is living on less too due to job loss. We've been frugal for years, but it's now at a new level. ~smile~ Thank you again for your sweet spirit and sharing your story. Also, thanks for the follow.

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  11. Okay, I think I got to your first post. Now I know your story. VERY interesting. I know I could live with less--less stuff and less space-wow, would we ever have to get rid of things! Some I'd be happy to see go, some other things like items that belonged to my Grandma I would hate to let them go. I did realize that I could give them back to relatives... and the other decorative items in my house, they don't have the sentimental value. Like I've read in your later posts, I realize that a smaller place takes less housework/cleaning, and I embrace that idea with gusto! I used to spend a lot of time making the house look 'perfect' (clean and decorated), but I'm getting tired of that (and the old back and knees aren't getting any younger). My husband is just 60, but he is feeling the body pains also. We know we want to be able to do some things before we get completely worn out and selling our house and moving closer to children/grandchildren is one wish. My husband says, "Do we own this house or does this house own us?" The house and yard own us! I'm already dreading the yard work, even though he does most of it. I have a flower bed that I keep minimizing, but this might be the year the flowers go to a loving home... hurts my back and knees too much. Anyway, I am enjoying reading about how you are saving money, and I know you are trying to save every penny--but, what about the big expenses? Electricity? Vehicle repairs? These are the things that can really hit the wallet. Well, I could ask and tell a lot more, but I'd better quit.

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  12. Joy: You asked about electricity and vehicle repairs? We voluntarily paid $40-60 a month for utilities at our last caretakers job. Now we are given free utilities at our new caregivers job. Thankfully we have a savings that we have not deleted to use towards expenses. We've moved to a smaller town so there is a good chance that someday we won't be able to afford a vehicle but will take public transporation. That would be fine as long as we can get to church. :-)

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  13. Hi there. I found your blog today by doing a google search for "how to live on less money." I write a blog about finances, and another about life, but my point is that I'm always searching for new topics AND new tips. I had to find my way back to your initial post because I wanted to know the story. WOW-what a story it is. I'm sorry you have gone through this, but I know that God provides and blesses, you are doing the same by sharing your story.

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  14. found you today, Thank you for sharing your story, life often throws us curve balls, but if we are willing to trust and learn from the experiences they often work out for the better in the end, looking forward to reading more from your blog. Nell

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  15. I recently discovered your blog and I'm looking forward to looking around and reading more.
    My hubby and I have also had a bit of a struggle since "The Great Recession." He works in construction and that has been a hard hit industry for the past few years.

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  16. Have recently found your site as well and going to bookmark you and start reading from day one- should make for interesting reading.
    Do hope you'll check out my site as well @ http://www.oneincomedollar.com

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  17. I am really loving your blog and am going through all the past posts~ so glad I found you!

    It's funny how the Lord can take all of these situations~ trials, death, and grief and teach us wonderful lessons on grace and how to live life being grateful!

    I'm at one of the most difficult times of life right now but I know that God is faithful.

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  18. I'm so glad to have found your wonderful blog! I have subscribed via email and also to your pinterest boards. I was actually looking to re read Laine's Letters, but cannot find them anymore on the internet. I used to read them many years ago. A google search for her letters brought me to your blog.

    I have really been enjoying reading about your story and how you are putting the lessons into practice in your own life.

    You have a very inspiring blog and I feel very blessed by your posts.

    Kaye from Australia

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