Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our Story

I am ready to share our story so that you can know how we got to where we are today. I know you are wondering.

In 2006 we had been married for 10 years and had 4 kids ages 8, 6 and 3 year old twins. We were BUSY! We bought our dream house, husband had a great job and I was able to stay at home with the kids while managing several at-home businesses. We thought we were set for life. We had everything we "wanted", more than we needed. We weren't exactly the "keeping up with the Joneses" type, but we were happy and comfortable. We had accrued "some" credit card debt along the way due to my 3 horrific, near-death-experience pregnancies and my many attempts to start and maintain several businesses so that I could stay home with the kids.

In 2008 the market took a turn (for the worse) and husband's OVERTIME hours were completely taken away. Can't complain...he still had a job. Ironically, we were pre-approved for our dream house based on his overtime hours, which we had comfortably been living with for 7 years. Overtime alone doubled his annual salary. We immediately put the house up for sale because we knew that we were in over our heads and perhaps living WAY beyond our means. AND, my businesses were not making enough to keep us afloat.

2008 was a HARD year for us. We found ourselves in A LOT of credit card debt (and nothing to show for it). We came close to foreclosure, car repossessed, creditors calling, unable to pay the was NOT GOOD!!! In fact, it was really scary. We had to go to family members and friends for help which was and is EMBARRASSING, HUMILIATING, DEPRESSING, DAMAGING and HUMBLING! We wish that we could have tackled the whole thing ourselves, but it all happened so fast. We had no idea how the choices we had been making financially for those past 10 years would all come to a HUGE CRASH in one year. We were naive. We will NEVER be able to repay our family and friends for the help and assistance they gave to us. It SAVED us. It has changed our relationships with our family members and we have lost some friendships along the way, but it has helped us to realize what is most important. FAMILY...not Money or Worldly Possessions.

Now it's 2011 and we have come a LONG way.....................

We are renting (the perfect size house and within our means, LOVE the low payment)
We have not used a Credit Card since 2008
The creditors have stopped calling
Our 2 cars are PAID OFF (Last payment on Mini-Van is next month)
Overtime comes and goes sporadically (so we have learned how to Budget that in)
I have a "REAL" part time Job from home (no more home businesses that don't make money)
We VACATION/TRAVEL A LOT (thanks to my part time job for an airline)
I have cut my grocery shopping in HALF by couponing (so worth it)
The kids know the value of $1 and save for all the things they "want"
The kids are now 13, 11 and the twins are 8....I haven't aged at all :)
We DO NOT spend money on unnecessary things drives me crazy
If there is a cheaper way to do something, I will find out how
Since moving from our Dream House I have given away or donated HALF of our "STUFF"....did not need ALL of that stuff to have a happy home.
We have everything we NEED.....Family, Home, LOVE!

So...that is our story. I know that thousands of Americans may be going or have gone through the same thing in recent years. Let's face it, these are not the best economic times. I hope that you will share your stories and comments with me. I truly believe that by sharing we can grow and learn from each others experiences. The following is from a fellow blogger ( I couldn't have said it any better.

From one extreme to another (at first by economic force, and then by choice), we’ve learned to simplify.

We have minimal stuff, but ample quality time together. We lack a permanent residence, but are abundant in freedom.

Rousing ourselves from the hypnosis of social conditioning, we’ve awaken to a new reality: We’ve discovered that it’s not things that bring meaning to life, but relationships and experiences.

I'm hoping to share with you on a DAILY basis. I have chosen the TOP 7 areas in my life that I think I can continually WORK ON and DECLUTTER. I will focus on one each day. I sometimes get really overwhelmed with all there is to do as a wife, mother, friend, sister, etc. Breaking it down helps me to focus on one thing at a time, even though I am truly working on all of these everyday. Here is my breakdown...

Monday is Mental Declutter
Tuesday is Temporal Declutter
Wednesday is What's Cooking?
Thursday is Physical Declutter
Friday is Financial Declutter
Saturday is Shopping with Coupons
Sunday is Spiritual Strengthening

I am so grateful for this JOURNEY. I am so much happier and life is more "SIMPLE". I now bask in Simplicity. I hope you can too!


  1. I'm at the in-between stage of the clutter clearing. I'm really excited to follow your blog and find inspiration from someone who has been where I am now. Thank you for sharing your story!

  2. I'm so proud of you! You've always been an inspiration to me and this is one more reason why. I can't wait to hear all of your wisdom, heaven knows I need it! :) Thanks for being willing to share your story, I know it's hard. I love ya, Flame!

  3. My story was a bit similar, except I'm about 4 years ahead of you. We cleared up all of our debt in 2008. Now we have BIG bills looming with two more college educations to pay for. I'm looking forward to following your journey!