This blog springs from a very simple idea – a desire to share the tips, tricks, and lessons of my family’s ongoing journey to live a good life on a low income.
Recent years have not been kind to our household income. Like many American families, we find ourselves living on less and trying to adjust to a new normal that we did not choose but that was rather suddenly thrust upon us. It would be easy to fall into despair over our lack of means, and at times I do still fall prey to moments of self-pity and anger at the injustice of it all. But I will not let financial hardship define this part of our lives.
Trying to approach our change in circumstances as an adventure rather than a tragedy, I am devoted to learning how to carve out an enjoyable standard of living on our new income. Going into debt holding onto the past is not an option, and neither is meekly accepting that we’re now part of that large swath of American society known as the working poor and adjusting our lifestyle and expectations to match that label.
Some days I am more successful than others. Some days I am more optimistic than others. But looking back now over the five years that have passed since the bottom dropped out of our comfortable little life, I can see the snowball effect of little things adding up to big differences. There is nothing like doing without to clarify one’s priorities and by focusing on only those things that give my family the most enjoyment we have been able to reclaim the luxuries that matter the most without waiting for the recession to end or a new, high-paying job to come along.
I hope that by sharing the experiences of five years on an economic roller coaster I can help other families to have more, need less, and live well even in times of financial hardship.