I stepped down from my job on December 31, 2007. (Due to a health issue, I cannot work outside of my home.) God honored our stewardship and we paid off our credit cards and auto loan in April 2009.
W e are now living on 63% of our 2007 income.
We paid off our home in December 2011 and paid cash to replace our van in November 2013. (I have subscribed to debtproofliving.com for years. It has been an invaluable resource.)
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We have three grown children: Luke, Laura, & Derek, and two grandchildren, Olivia and Gideon. When Luke married Bethany in November 2009, we paid our share without going into debt. Olivia joined their family in 2011. Derek married Rachel in September 2018. Once again, we did not go into debt. Gideon joined their family in 2020. Derek and Rachel are expecting their second child in May!
All three of our children bought vehicles without us co-signing the loan. Or loaning them money for a downpayment.
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My husband did not make six figures. When we both were working we got about halfway there.
I play the keyboard once a week for church. I enjoy singing, reading, movies, Soduko, crosswords, puzzles, sewing, embroidery, painting figurines, and quilting. I’m a comedienne…especially when I am under stress!
My husband, David, got laid off on January 2nd. The company went out of business at the end of that month.
He was unemployed for 3 months. He got a job with the company that purchased his former employer’s building. During that time we spent only $100 of our emergency fund. We still saved and invested in our retirement fund.
- January – health insurance premiums increased by 65%.
- February – furnace cracked releasing carbon monoxide.
- March – emergency gallbladder surgery.
- April – replaced the central air.
- May – washer broke.
- June – the computer was struck by a power surge.
We adjusted our budget for the health insurance premium. Then again to make payments to the hospital. We were saving for a new furnace/air conditioner and God helped us. The washer put our “new appliances” budget in the hole for a few months.
We used our income tax refund to pay the hospital bill off three months early! Our youngest son got engaged. Now we are saving for a wedding!
We painted the outside of our house and repaired and painted our shed. Then installed a new garage door and garage door opener – without borrowing.
Our daughter bought a house, without us co-signing the loan. Or loaning her money for a downpayment.
Our youngest son, Derek, married Rachel. We did not go into debt for the wedding. They bought a house a week before the wedding! We did not co-sign or loan them any money for the downpayment.
We are enjoying an empty nest. I am rearranging rooms and getting rid of stuff.
The year ended with a bang! A high school girl hit our truck and totaled it. Thank God David was not injured.
We took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University Course. It was good to see we were on track but found areas where we could improve.
We canceled all but 2 of our credit cards. Then we canceled the satellite TV and bought 2 small antennas. Each one gets 8 stations. We increased the insurance on our home and auto.
We settled with the insurance company in the spring but decided not to replace the truck right away.
Our Pastors announced another trip to Israel in March 2020. The settlement from the truck covered two-thirds of the cost. The savings from canceling satellite TV and what we have set aside for vacation for a few years will cover the rest.
Again the year ended on a sour note. I failed my mammogram and had a lumpectomy. Registering before the surgery, the receptionist showed us our copay. The only decision we had to make was whether to put it on a credit card for points, (We pay our cards off monthly.) or to pay with a debit card. That’s financial freedom!
We welcomed a new grandson, Gideon David, in August. He was a bright spot in a difficult year. Two-thirds of our family contracted and recovered from the Coronavirus or COVID-19.
My health issue came back with a vengeance. I had 10 rounds of Prednisone since October 2019. We made major changes because of this.
We replaced all of the floors with laminate, installed new trim, and replaced 5 doors. (I stayed at a friend’s during construction. They have a suite that their daughter used when she battled cancer.) We had the ducts professionally cleaned, removed all upholstered furniture, and bought a new couch and a used rocking chair. I painted every wall, ceiling, closet, and shelf on the main floor.
We used our COVID-19 stimulus and our savings took a hit, but we didn’t go into debt!
The trip to Israel was postponed twice because of COVID-19. It is tentatively set for March 2021.
The trip to Israel was postponed again. Maybe in 2022? Our indoor antennas now pull in 13 channels!
I endured three more rounds of Prednisone. (Sigh.) In March, I saw a specialist. She scheduled testing for July. The test did not work! We will try again in January 2022.
Three more members of our family contracted and conquered COVID-19.
I spent many happy days babysitting my grandchildren.
We are still debt-free!
The specialist didn’t help. I made it through the year with only two rounds of Prednisone.
The trip to Israel was canceled. Then a few weeks later, Israel opened their doors to tourism. We had two extra years to save and plenty of spending money!
Since we were one of the first groups to tour Israel, the sites were empty or with only a few people. At the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, they opened huge doors on the floor and showed us the original mosaic floors. It was the fourteenth trip for our leaders and they had never viewed those floors!
We celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary and at a special dinner, Derek and Rachel announced their second child would arrive in May 2023.
David had some skin cancer removed. (They got it all.) We were able to send a check for the surgery. I’m so glad we set aside money for medical expenses!
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8 thoughts on “Frugalfish Story”
This is inspiring. How’d you do it?
We give to God first, save 10% and live on the rest. Mary Hunt, at debtproofliving.com, calls it “Live the Plan,” http://www.dplassociates.com/idevaffiliate/idevaffiliate.php?id=205. You really should check out her website.
Hi, I nominated you for a Leibster award http://wp.me/p6Qqpc-19
I love your blog and really think that you deserve it!
Best wishes Xavier Rodrigues
I’m flattered! I don’t show the award, but I was nominated a few years ago, see http://wp.me/pKNzn-s4.
Great story. You have taken many negative events in your life and have turned them into a positive venture. Others might have felt beaten down by “life” but you seem to have a great attitude about all those unfortunate occurrences. There is a lot of financial wisdom in the Bible. A lot of it common sense which many of us lack when it comes to finances.
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Everyone has negative things happen in their lives. You either let them make you better or bitter. I prefer the first!
I’m so glad you commented on my “frugalfish story.” I read through it again and realized I hadn’t updated it for 2 years. 2016 was not an easy year!
We all forget to update our ‘About’ pages from time to time :)