Do you want to have a large family? I’m talking large, like four or five, six or seven, or even more kids. Is it in your heart to adopt two or three or even four children? Are you worried that your middle class income is a limiting factor? If this describes you, the articles in this category “Big Family Budget” are designed to help you.
What You Can Expect From “Big Family Small Budget” Articles
During this series of articles on Big Family Budget, I want to provide you with information that will help you to spend your resources in such a way that you can achieve that dream of having a large family. Over the coming months and years I intend to share my experiences. Hopefully, you will find them useful. Some of the upcoming topics will include:
Making the right decisions on big purchases, like homes and cars
- Should you buy a new car or a used car?
- When should you replace your car?
- What kind of vehicle do you need for a large family?
- Are you going to need to move to a bigger house?
Recognizing and reducing wasteful spending
- Analyzing your spending
- Areas you can make cuts to your spending
- Needing vs. Wanting
Living comfortably on less
- Getting the most out of your limited resources
- Comfort vs. Luxury
- Saving Hacks
- Eating for less
Confession Time (TMI Warning)
Carrie and I sort of stumbled and bumbled into our large family. No really! We were only going to have two kids, but God placed the next four on our hearts and we adopted them without much planning. As a result we went from free spending DINKS (Dual Income No Kids) to having six children in four and a half years.
We wiped out our entire savings and retirement in order to cover the expenses for six foreign adoptions. Trusting in God, we didn’t worry about our finances. For some reason every time we needed money for travelling or for the next adoption fee, it always seemed to be there. God provided exactly how much we needed, exactly when when we needed it. Fundraisers made exactly what we hoped they would, no more and no less. Gifts came from unexpected places, meeting our needs exactly. It was miraculous really.
As a result of miraculously coming up with all of the funding for our six adoptions, we were lulled into thinking that we could continue to be careless with our money. As a result we incurred debt. We have had a budget for the past 10 years, but just like the federal government, we had largely ignored it. Over the past 2 years, we have made changes to our spending. We are doing a better job of sticking to our budget, and we are chipping away at our debt.
We have had to make some tough, or at the very least, unpopular decisions when it comes to our expenses. We have had to sit down and really evaluate our spending on cars, home, groceries, travel, etc. Going from two people with two incomes down to one income and eight people is a drastic change to say the least. It took us a while to realize it and it wasn’t painless. At first, we made minor changes to our spending, but they weren’t enough. Not even close. So, we cinched up our belt a notch, and then another. It’s been tough, but finally we have been able to live within our means, usually. Here are some areas where we have cut back on spending:
- We don’t buy new cars, or even slightly used cars.
- It’s a tight fit for the eight of us living in this 1640 sq. ft. house, but moving is not even an option. Instead, we have made modifications to our house in order to make it more comfortable for the eight of us.
- We don’t take long trips any more. We camp at nearby state parks instead.
- Unfortunately, we don’t get to see friends in other states as often.
- We don’t eat out as often as we used to.
- Instead, we eat simpler and healthier and have a tight grocery budget. Steaks? whatever!
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Yes, we have made financial and material sacrifices, but the rewards have been so much greater. I would not change a thing about having this big, crazy family. I love our life and have no regrets other than not being more prepared. That’s why I started this blog, so you can be prepared, and learn from our experiences and mistakes. If you are a large family living on a limited budget, you too can experience the joy and blessings that we have.
So Why Am I Telling You This?
Well, as a result of our experiences, we have gained wisdom. We aren’t experts, just a little bit wiser due to our mistakes. I want to pass along what we have learned about the expenses of adoption, as well as raising a large family. We can agree that I’m not a financial expert, but I am willing to share both our mistakes, as well as, tricks and lessons we have learned along the way.
I suspect that most of you are much smarter than we were in the sense that you will research, save or do whatever it takes to become prepared for your adoptions or large family. Good for you. I hope you will gain perspective from my articles. I also hope to provide you with encouragement and a way for you to make your dreams come true.
Where Are You At In Your Journey?
Some of you are just now getting the call to adopt or have lots and lots of kids. Others of you are about to take the plunge. A few of you have families similar to ours, and some of you are old hands full of wisdom and knowledge. I look forward to hearing from all of you. Lets build a supportive community. Whether you are just learning or sharing your knowledge, please feel free to join in the conversation.