We had everything that most Americans aspire to have: the large fancy house on a hill in the "must live in" neighborhood, nice cars, expensive wardrobe, three beautiful kids, and the nice job to afford all of the "necessities" of life. The problem was that we weren't a family unit, not in the way we wanted to be. We were putting the things that were the least important in front of the most important thing: our family. We were trying to keep up with the Joneses (who by the way lived next door) and we were running a race that we could never seem to finish because something bigger and better was always there to attain next. You know what this is like, you are either doing this, would like to do this, or have already achieved and surpassed the status of the Joneses. As Americans we seem to always be in search of the next best thing and aren't happy with what we already have. My husband's job was a traveling one where he was gone Sunday through Thursday of each week. I was, in essence, a single mom 5 days out of the week and we were a family two days of the week. After 5 years, 3 kids, and 2 houses later, enough was enough. So we did something that most people don't do: he quit his job, we sold our expensive house, we sold his expensive car, he got a new job making less money, we moved (and downsized), we bought him an old cheap car to go to work in, and he comes home every night.
We did this one year ago, right after our third child was born. I don't want to make this sound like it was easy because on some levels it wasn't, but on the ones that count, it was. When I make dinner now, I can set my husband's place at the table. He can look at the kids each night and ask them how their day was. He and I can sit together at night and talk. He can take the kids to school each morning. He can hug and kiss us all he wants. He gets to do all of this seven days a week instead of just two days a week. We can be a family for the entire week every week instead of cramming a week's worth of family time into two days.
There are some parts that weren't as easy. We didn't have as much money as we once did so we can't live the lifestyle that we once did, but that doesn't matter to us. I don't want to go shopping and drop an outrageous amount on a pair of jeans just "because I can." We have had to learn to live on a tight budget and do things ourselves instead of hiring people to do them for us. We used to have a maid, a yard man, people that washed our cars, and various other things that sound ridiculous now. It took going into some debt to get us to where we are today, but we are working on that and that should be taken care of soon.
My purpose of this blog is to show that you don't need a lot of money to live like you want to, all you need is enough. Money doesn't make you happy, people make you happy. Hopefully through my writing I can help others get to where they want to be in life because we are getting there, and there is no better feeling in the world.