Home Economics 101

I am always posting about our homeschooling journey, after all that is why I started to blog, but rarely do I ever post about who we are as a family.

I am sure that if you have been following my blog for a while you probably figured out we are what others label a “green” family. I am also sure you know that doesn’t mean we are descendents of Kermit the frog. However I don’t think I have ever posted much about the journey we have taken to get here.

Today as I started to go through our house once again, downsizing anything that didn’t serve much of a purpose or took up too much space, I was reminded of the many changes our family has made over the years. I am going to be completely honest and say that what now is considered a popular choice wasn’t the reason our family became “green”, we had to be. We started a garden and hung our laundry out to dry because it was cheaper. We also bought a small house (less than 1000 square feet) because it was all we could afford at the time. The same goes with only having one car, not having cable, or cell phones( I am beginning to think we are the only family without one). These choices now however have finally paid off as I can truly say we have almost reached our goal of being completely debt free.

I have mentioned before Papa and I don’t exchange gifts for birthdays or Christmas (or any holiday for that matter). Instead each year we make a list of goals we would like to see accomplished within the next year. One of these goals was to be able to survive in an emergency situation if we were to lose power. This actually happened a few years ago to the people who live directly across the street from us. During a storm they lost all power for 1 week. Thank goodness it was during the summer but what would have happened if it was during the winter?

That became our number 1 focus. We saved (which is goal #2 but more on that later)and purchased our wood burning stove. Having a small house this meant giving up space that we really didn’t have to begin with. I had to make choices of having a collection of “stuff” or for my family to stay warm. Of course there are other choices not as costly as ours like a small propane heater but we didn’t want to be reliant on propane or gas. In the long run though our stove has already paid for itself just in heating bills. Our little stove (about 21 inches) keeps our whole house warm even during 0 degree weather, which thankfully we have not had to experience much of. During winter we don’t even need to turn our heat on. Goal #1 accomplished.(Merry Christmas 😉 )

Goal #2 not to be reliant on credit (say bye- bye credit cards). Yep all of them. Out came the scissors. If there is one thing I can teach my children it is not to get a credit card. “Oh but you need to establish your credit status” Trust me you will have LOTS of other opportunities to do this without the need of a credit card. If you don’t have the money to buy something now more likely you will not have it next month and before you know it you are in debt. This is something we learned the hard way and are still paying on.

There is just something about our culture that makes you believe we need all this “stuff'” to be happy. I mean you work hard you deserve to be rewarded right? Funny thing about that is the less our family has the happier we seem to be. Sure our family has faced boredom, lots of times. Not to mention all the things we have had to decline or go without like fancy vacations, but we can afford to go camping or even a hike can make all the difference in the world.

Shopping for hand-me-downs hasn’t always been the most popular of choices either. It seems shopping at Goodwill is no longer frowned upon. I have noticed more and more crowds lately and no longer find myself to be the only one in the book isle anymore. In fact during 50 % off sales I have seen the line wrap around the store. Being that we homeschool has helped quite a bit with this as my children don’t worry about what they wear, but I am amazed at how many name brands I have been able to find. I have even purchased 100% organic cotton shirts for myself.

Something I don’t want to lead on is that this has been an easy journey. There have been SO many times I have wanted to just give in. I mean you only live once. It has been years since we cut up our credit cards and we are still paying for them. Papa puts in lots of overtime sometimes an extra 20 hours a week just so we can double our payments and have a savings. Then it never fails when you finally feel like you are ahead that your dryer goes out, you need new tires, or your 4-year-old oven explodes (seriously). It is times like these when we are just grateful to replace them without the need of any credit cards. I also think about my girls and how I DON”T want them to get caught in the vicious cycle of debt. I want them to know they have choices. That consumerism is a choice not a necessity.

Okay so we have accomplished our goal to get us through a winter emergency and we no longer use credit cards, what is goal # 3?

Food ,but I will have to save that for next time.

Wishing everyone a great week!

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4 Responses to “Home Economics 101”

  1. MamaAcorn Says:

    Can’t wait to read the post on food! We’re also a credit card free family, for 5 years now. It’s tempting to fall back into old habits, but so not worth it! And you are so wise about planning for a winter emergency. It happened to us 7.5 years ago while living in an apartment, 10 days in December with no electricity or heat. One of our first purchases when we recently moved was a kerosene heater, just in case.

  2. Sally Says:

    What a great post! We are working our way out of debt – living off school loans while DH finished PhD was a BAAAAD idea. We currently have one CC, which I don’t touch (which would be a BAAAAD idea), and is used for certain things, then paid off completely. We hope to get away from that, too.
    Being so open about your journey towards self-reliance -and by that I mean to be free from the shackles of society’s ills like credit cards and stigmas- is wonderful for us as readers. You are always so real and honest here. This journey isn’t easy, but then again, nothing worth anything is easily gotten.
    (ick…terrible grammar)
    enjoy this day!

  3. Shelby Says:

    Hi there!
    I found your blog through your comment on a homeschooling site (Simple Homeschool…I think). I have loved reading through your posts! We are a homescshooling family that travels for much of the year in our RV (which is under 400 sq ft). I can so relate to making use of small spaces. I have actually grown to LOVE being on the road as I think living with ‘less stuff’ is just plain good for a person. It is helping ME teach my kiddos that it isn’t the ‘things’ that matter. It is the relationships!

    Anyway….I have enjoyed your blog! Stop in and see us if you get the chance!

    Shelby
    sweetviewfromthehills.blogspot.com

    • dkjsv05 Says:

      Hi Shelby,

      What a wonderful experience you are giving your children. I will have to check your blog out, so many times we have thought of doing the same thing.

      I agree about having less stuff, I think of all the opportunities we might have missed if boredom hadn’t set in 😉 .

      Blessings

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