Mom of 4 Pays Off Debt & Now Lives in Million-Dollar Home: How Did She Do It?​


My name is Jordan Page. I'm wife to a handsome entrepreneur named Bubba (who in no way works with shrimp), a mom of four kids 5 and under (and might be mildly insane since they were all planned), a Utah transplant (but Oregonian at heart), and frugal living blogger at FunCheapOrFree.com.

Yup, life is good. But it wasn't always that way. Rewind five years ago when my family and I fell into horrible debt that we never thought we'd get out of.

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My husband of eight years and I fell upon some rough financial times. Picture $15,000 on credit cards, a $500 a month car payment, $0 in the bank because of a real estate venture that went bad, and a new baby in our arms -- kind of rough. We found ourselves treading water, and quickly sinking. 

I was tempted to take the Well, forget it. We're already in the hole, why not go to Disneyland on a credit card and figure it out later route. But at the end of the day we envisioned life 5, 10, 50 years in the future to be a life of happiness and opportunity, not one filled with anxious worry.

My husband and I were both frugal by nature (not into designer brands, gravitated toward good deals, fine with hand-me-downs and upcycling) but had never been forced to figure out finances like that before. We had no idea where to start. It was like handing a caveman an iPad and telling him to beat your top Angry Birds score.

More from The Stir: 10 Completely Creative Ways to Save Money

But one day we looked at each other and made the decision to change; to take control of our situation and determine our own fate. We decided we were tired of just getting by, and were ready to get ahead. And we did.

We sold our souped up Lincoln Aviator, leaving me with my car from high school, while my husband walked to work. We stopped eating out. We shopped yard sales. We made gifts rather than buying gifts. We took turns babysitting with our friends. We took advantage of every free event Salt Lake had to offer. We entered every contest we came across (and won amazing stuff! But that's a story for a different day). I trimmed my own hair, we cancelled our gym memberships and exercised at home, cut our cable and played board games instead of watched TV. The list of things we "gave up" goes on and on.

Want to know the real catch?

The list of things we gained is even longer. 

Like losing weight, our new financial "diet" was tough at first. It hurt. It felt weird. It wasn't fun. But quickly it started to change. We saw the "weight" (debt) drop off. It gave us encouragement and confidence, so we pushed harder. Before we knew it we had drawn closer as a family, made better friendships, had more fun experiences and way better stuff than we did before -- and found genuine happiness!

In just one year we got out of debt (making just a $32,000 salary, mind you!). In two years we built up a cushy savings. In three years we saved up enough to secure our 5,200 square-foot colonial dream home in a multi-million dollar neighborhood in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah (that we bought on short-sale for a screaming deal, of course). Oh, and that high school car? My husband drove it up until three months ago when he finally sold it (in less than 24 hours) and finally bought his brand new dream truck that he's been drooling over since we got married.

Now we live a fabulous life full of love, adventures, and true happiness -- all because of how frugal we are, not in spite of it. 

I am now a Family Finance Guru (yes, that's a title I gave myself to sound fancy). I'm no mathemetician. In fact, I'm horrible with numbers! I'm just your typical down-home, back-woods, barefoot-and-pregnant, wife, mom, and sugar addict. Who can't wait to have even more babies (told you I'm crazy). Yes, we're your typical Mormon family.

My mission on my site and here on The Stir is to bring the NEW definition of frugal to the world and prove that being cheap is hip, fun, sassy and exciting! 

One thing I can promise, I won't be telling you to clip coupons, and in my next column on The Stir, I will tell you why they are a total waste of your time. What other topics interest you? What questions do you have for me?

Leave me a message in the comments so I can consider it for an upcoming post!

What is your biggest financial challenge in getting out of debt and saving money? Share in the comments and Jordan may write about it in an upcoming column!


Jordan's advice from her FunCheapOrFree blog has been featured on TLC, The Today Show, Inside Edition, Today Australia, and the DailyMail. Be sure to check out more of her frugal living and lifestyle tips.

 

Images via Jordan Page

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