Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More on Living on One income and really being frugal

One thing we knew early on in our children's life, we needed to get out of the city in order for them to learn how to work, not be spoiled and to learn to live simply. We knew that living on one income was going to get more difficult as the children grew and saw all their friends having lots of extra curricular activities that cost a lot of money and create this whirl wind life where meals are eaten on the run, the miles on the car add up quickly and home is the place where you pick up your schedule. We knew that as parents we were going to have to make some major changes and one of those changes was to find work in the country, buying a house in the country is often much cheaper so you can either pay cash or have a small mortgage. We paid cash for our house in the mountains of Oregon. We lived so far from town that there were no short trips for whatever whim I had. It was an adventure to go to town !
I think maybe its a bit easier to make the changes to live on less when it stems from a conviction.
You don't have to live in the country though to live on one income, its just for us, we knew there would be more for the children to do without becoming bored. We had them raise goats, sheep, care for their pony, help in the garden, learn to build forts and drive a buggy. They had 4-H and church to make friends. No one even knew about fashion or the latest music, they were too busy to even notice. School was at home and full of adventure and excitement.
We have less than an acre of land, but you can do so much with what you have if you set your mind to it. With our income, we have chosen to not buy more than we need in way of a car, or house or furniture. We buy middle of the line appliances, not the most fancy one. We look at what it can do for us, not what the salesperson wants us to think we cannot live without. I don't have a big mixer, its better to use my muscles and keep them strong. We just have determined that life is better when kept simple.
I don't use plastic storage bags, they are harmful and wasteful. I use glass containers. The kind that can be used in the freezer or oven.
When the children were small, we didn't use baby sitters, we stayed home. We had quiet time together after the children went to bed. And living on the farm, makes children want to go to bed at night, they are tired from playing hard and working hard.
It helps to have friends that live the same way as you do. Keeps you feeling good about the choices you have made when your friends live the same way. My family has always thought I was a bit off my rocker for the way we live. Small house, no frills to it, and it was much smaller when we bought it as we have increased the size by adding on, but its still under 1500 sq ft.
The children shared rooms, the girls in one room the boys in the other. Hiking was our entertainment, a yearly pass to the state parks, makes that very do-able. I do have to stop and think before I buy fabric and crafts. I can get carried away quickly by colors and prints. So many pretty things out there, but how many quilts do I need for warmth ? How many embroidered pillowcases can I use ? I can hear Anne making fun of Diana for having so many doilies in Anne of Green Gables, when I think of things like that.
Its just a choice, that is all it is. Unless you are a one parent family, you can if you want, make it on one income. I quit work the day the Doctor told me I was expecting Melissa. Emery made almost nothing working as a janitor in a hospital, but we made it. Sure there were times I didn't have 2 nickles in my purse and my mother, God rest her soul was such a kind woman, she would stop by with a bag of food and say, "oh these were two for the price of one at the store so you take the extra one." We would have made it without that help but meals would have been a bit less interesting. Now we get to do the same for our children when they need it. What a joy it is.
Think of the basics and you can do so much more than you can imagine.
I wrote all about soap making a while ago, you can read about it here, if you are wanting to give it a try. Most butcher shops will either give you beef fat ( ask for the fat from around the kidneys and see if they will chop or grind it for you as it melts better) or they will sell it to you for next to nothing. Don't use lard, won't work well. You can make soap all vegetable if you want.


Lib said...

Hi Patty, Another good post. Thanks! I miss little ones being here somedays. There's just something about a childs laughter and playing.I love your pics. :o)
Sounds like we shared the same Mom.:o) I see so many today not willing to help their children or anyone. To me when you help someone it will come back to you in a good way.I don't think we should do it just for that reason. I'm not talking users, people that really needs a helping hand.Keep up the good posting.:o)

Jennifer F. said...

Wow, how inspiring! Thanks for sharing your tips!

Gift of Green said...

I am very impressed with the choices you have made. Thanks for sharing.


Dawn said...

How precious and inspiring.

Thank you dear Sister for giving us a glimpse into your past! Espeially with the pictures! Keep them coming!

The Lord bless thee!

2 LMZ FARMS said...

Thank you for allowing us a glimplse of your life and the post that you write. Yes, there is alot you can do with just an acre of land. Hope you and yours have a blessed day.

clairz said...

Is there a place on the blog where you tell how you got from Oregon to Texas?

This is a wonderful post with wonderful photos. We, too, brought our children up in the country with chores and animals. One son went to New York City for college and still lives there, but says that the perfect life for a child would be part time in Brooklyn, and part time in the little New Hampshire town of his childhood.

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