Simplifying Money by Being Car Free

4:00 PM

Our journey to simple money:

We had debt from starting an online store selling earth friendly products about six years ago.
It didn't work out because bigger stores starting selling some of the same products at much cheaper prices.
We were still living in a way that was not helping to pay down the business debt, or our personal debt. 
We had a car payment and honestly needed the car for where we were living at the time.
We always made our payments, but were always at a stand still with our debt.
Luckily Brian has amazing parents who have helped us along the way and we are very grateful, but we didn't want to keep being dependent on them to keep our heads above water. 
Something had to change.
We moved back into the town where my husband works about two years ago.
His work is directly across the street, so he didn't need his truck anymore.
We saw an ad for a cargo bike and started thinking.
I saw this video with Man vs. Debt and it sparked a major change.
We started selling things we didn't need anymore.
We took part of our tax return last year and bought a Madsen Cargo Bike and used the rest to pay down debt.
We sold more stuff.
We thought about selling our car, but with the baby coming we needed a different version of a cargo bike to truly be able to be car free. I didn't feel safe with somehow putting her in the bucket bike.
We sold more stuff and saved up more money, and then purchased our bakfiets. I can now get places on the bike with all three of the kiddos.
We took my husband's bonus and paid down some more debt.
We sold our car and paid down more debt, completely getting rid of the failed business debt! YAY!
We have less payments with insurance and cost of gas.
Yes, we travel less and not as far all of the time. Which means less time going places you really don't need to and spending money we don't really have anyway.
We are taking this years tax return and paying almost all of our personal credit debt down.
By Spring we will only have about 2,000 dollars in debt left and we have more money now to throw at it each month. It will be gone hopefully by the end of the Summer.

We can now save money.
We are now fully understanding what we really need and what we don't. We weren't really keeping up with the Jones', but we were definitely still way too deep in the rat race a few years ago.
We finally feel more in control of our lives and our finances. 
We are way more aware of where our money is going because it isn't so overwhelming anymore. 
We haven't used fancy spread sheets, or budgeting. We have made major life changes in order to be in a better place.
We have been honest with ourselves and how we have spent money. We have sold stuff we don't need and are not hanging onto it.
We have made sacrifices in luxuries (we are not martyrs by any means), so that we can give our kids a quality driven life, not a quantity driven life. 
We will not skimp on the quality of our food, the quality of family time, or our children's education. Being car free helps us to make sure this all stays that way.
It hasn't been easy, but it has been honest.

What do you need to be honest about? 
Who are you living for? 
For society? 
For money? 
For your children?
Where can you make some honest changes?

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  1. It's hard to know what to say to something so simply inspiring. Being debt free = being free to live! Awesome post.

  2. An early congratulations on working toward debt-freedom! It's a beautiful thing and once you're there, you'll never want to go back to owing money to anyone. I love how honest you were in this post, as I would lost to share our debt-free journey and how we succeeded, but it's a taboo subject for so many people. Keep on, keepin' on!

    One suggestion, take it or leave it, up your deductions on your W-4, so that you get less of a tax return and more of a paycheck throughout the year. You could invest it in your health or elsewhere instead of waiting for the government to send it to you a whole year later.

  3. We also have always struggled with debt and can fully understand how stressful this can all be. living paycheck to paycheck is not easy either. Your efforts seem to be working and you are a very happy, close family. The answer is to change and do something about it, and you have started to do that. Kudos. We love you. Mom G