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.