The Downsizing Chronicles: Almost There

It’s been three months since we moved to our little house, and I’m thrilled to say that we can now get one car in the two-car garage with room to spare. This was no mean trick, as the garage was literally filled to the brim with stuff (rows of stuff stacked as tall as I am) not very long ago. We’ve gone through everything, only letting into the house what we really need or want. That’s been hard, because we liked all of our stuff!

We took some ribbing from family and friends about how much stuff we had, but the fact is that I never had time to completely go through things over the years because I was too busy homeschooling my kids, and I certainly can’t regret that. Also, we kept things that would be needed for our long-held dream of living on acreage, a dream that was apparently not in God’s will, and it wasn’t until we bought this tiny house in town that we knew we could give those things up.

We took countless boxes to Goodwill. We’ve given a lot of toys and homeschooling items to friends with young children. We’ve sold a lot of things on Craig’s List. And there are a few more things that need to go, but we’re working on that.

The hardest items to give up were the books. We love books. And though we do have a Kindle with plenty of books on it, the fact is that there’s nothing like holding a much-loved book in your hands. But there just wasn’t room for all the books we loved.

I’ve sold and given away many books in the past, but there were some I could never let go of, including those I used for my kids when I first designed Life Prep for them. I’m going to be giving those away on this blog soon, because I can’t use them with my youngest.

There is an upside to all of this. As much as I miss the things we gave up, it’s very freeing to live small. The housework doesn’t take nearly as long as it did when we had five bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The utility bills for this house are lower than the last house (90 years old with 38 windows!) and the small closets here forced us to get rid of a lot of our clothes (which weren’t getting much use anyways because we don’t have jobs and nobody dresses up at church these days.)

So I’m not complaining. And the fact that they’re predicting snow tonight and we won’t have to clean off the car tomorrow because it now fits in the garage makes me extra glad we worked so hard to get rid of all our stuff after the move  🙂

The Downsizing Chronicles: I Keep Finding Things I Forgot I Had…..

….Like a few more booklets, which I’ll continue to give away free while they last. And then there are some of the books from the reading list of Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers. I don’t need them anymore because my kids are grown, and I hate to give them up because they’re great books, but I just don’t have room for them in our new little home. So stay tuned; I’ll be giving them away soon!

Teaching Our Daughters About Money

Seven years ago, Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers was first published. Since then, I’ve gotten many email messages from readers who used the curriculum with their kids and were pleased with it.

Sadly, I’ve also been asked why I chose to include girls in my target audience for the book.

Now, I realize that many homeschoolers are even more conservative than I am, enough so that they plan to keep their daughters at home until and unless they marry. But to keep them in the dark about financial matters seems so misguided to me. Continue reading

Another Winner :)

Congratulations to reader Sarah, who won last week’s drawing for a free copy of my book, Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers.

I want to thank everyone who entered the drawing. Your responses to the question, “What do you think is the biggest blessing of homeschooling a teen?” just blew me away. Anybody who’s intimidated by the thought of homeschooling through high school should read all of those wonderful comments!

The deadline for this week’s drawing is this Friday, April 16, at midnight. Don’t miss out on your chance to win a free copy of The Imperfect Homeschooler’s Guide to Homeschooling….enter now!

Raising Financially Literate Kids

These “15 Money Rules Kids Should Learn” are not exactly the ones that we used with our kids, but that’s ok. The rules are up to the parents; the important thing is that parents teach their kids how to handle money responsibly.

Our country’s financial situation makes it clear that there are an awful lot of people running around with NO idea of how to handle money. Unfortunately, many of them hold public office. And not only is their lack of financial sense hurting us, but it’s going to hurt our kids and grandchildren, because they’re going to be left holding an enormous amount of national debt.

What can we do? We can start teaching our own kids to handle money from the time they’re little. It’s not something you do in an afternoon. It takes many years. As I write in my upcoming book, Thriving in the 21st Century,

Those who are truly prepared for this new economy will be mostly unencumbered by debt, and therefore free to make changes in their careers without being forced to find another job immediately because of all the payments they have to make each month. They’ll have bank accounts to live off of when they need to go back to school for additional training in order to become more marketable. They’ll be able to take time off to start a new business, or to keep a current business afloat by not taking a paycheck for a while. Financial flexibility is of prime importance in the global economy.

Even now, having money in the bank and minimal expenses is what separates those with choices from those tied to a job and living in constant fear of layoffs. By raising money-smart kids, we give them the tools to handle both prosperity and financial difficulty; in the rapidly changing global economy, there are plenty of both.

How do you raise financially literate kids? You start when they’re young, so that by the time they’re teens, they can understand what you’re talking about when you teach them about budgeting, mortgages and other topics they’ll need to know as adults. You can find projects that teach these subjects and more in Life Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers, the parent-friendly curriculum for teaching your teens how to become morally and financially responsible adults.

This week I’m giving away a copy of Life Prep. To enter, go here; the deadline for this giveway is Friday at midnight. Good luck!