After 5 years of wonderful marriage, meaningful work, fun summer adventures and starting a family we were fully enjoying life…and yet we felt a tug to something more.
As we began to question what God expects of us we began to see a different path for our lives. We prayed, studied, questioned and God began to give us a dream that would radically change every aspect of our existence.
When you dream about the perfect life what do you see? Where do you go? What do you do?
As God inspired us to dream we saw:
• Shae being able to stay-at-home with our kids.
• Living a simpler life with less clutter & possessions.
• Investing in & enjoying relationships & experiences.
• Having the ability to travel to see family & friends.
• Giving our best time and energy to God and our family.
• Spending our money on more than payments and buying more selfish stuff.
Ultimately we dreamed of being the best possible stewards with the time, talents and treasure God has entrusted us. This meant intentionally planning & pursuing the life we wanted.
But this dream was in direct conflict with almost every aspect of our present lives. We had debt, we had work obligations that left us drained with little time & energy to spare, we were tied to one place, to maintain our lifestyle Shae needed to work outside the home…the list continued…
After months of discussing our dreams then setting them aside because of our present circumstance we finally sat down and made a list of all the barriers. We then used this as a checklist of what we needed to accomplish before we could start living our dreams. Specifically the barriers were:
• Payments / Debt: car loan, credit cards, students loans
• No Savings
• Insufficient Income
• No place to live
• Health Insurance
• Lots of possessions
Once we had this list something changed in our attitude. With all of the skeletons out of the closet we could clearly see what we needed to do. We now not only had a dream but we also had a plan.
Step #1 – Eliminate Debt
We cut our expenses to a bare bones budget with only the necessities then put everything else on our debt snowball. Once our debts were paid off we could move on to savings.
Step #2 – Build Savings
After paying off our debt we began to build our savings. We needed a trailer, truck, business startup expenses and an emergency fund for the unexpected.
Step #3 – Travel Trailer + Truck
We needed a simple, portable, affordable housing solution. A travel trailer made the most sense and an Airstream fit our minimalist mentality. We bought the Land Yacht from Craigslist for $2750, plus it needed some work (way more than we expected)! Besides the trailer we needed a big truck to pull our house on wheels.
Step #4 – Purge Possessions
With the limited space in the Airstream we needed to trim down our possessions – MAJORLY! These possessions were assets that we could leverage to help financially. While it would have been a lot easier to donate everything spending a little sweat equity selling stuff on craiglist, ebay and our garage sale helped beef-up our emergency fund.
Step #5 – Live Simply & Intentionally
Finally we set out to intentionally pursue a meaningful life. For us this meant: traveling to see friends and family, simple moments TOGETHER, pursuing work we are passionate about, and other possibilities we can’t see yet.
As we took step after little step God compounded our efforts and our momentum grew until we overcame every obstacle! (It’s a little surreal to be writing this and to remember the beginning of our journey.)
Life continues to be a challenge with endless tradeoffs. Yet having the option to intentionally decide how we spend our life is worth every bit of effort! We invite you to start your own version of intentional living!
What are some obstacles that are keeping you from living your dreams? How can you start living more intentionally? We would love to hear your input – comment below with your thoughts and dreams!
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The Land Yacht – 1966 Vintage Airstream
Amazing and inspiring, thanks for sharing!
I love your just do it attitude. But how are you dealing with health insurance? That is my biggest obstacle.
Yes health insurance can be an obstacle…
Shae had SWEET benefits when teaching so it was startling to price out private pay insurance. Full coverage was simply to EXPENSIVE for us.
We are young, active, healthy and even with excellent benefits rarely need care besides checkups, dental cleanings and eye appointments.
After pricing out the different options we decided on a Catastrophic plan (5k deductible) that would cover anything major. With this plan we were eligible for a HSA (Health Savings Account) which is basically a tax free savings account (that can be invested) and used for health stuff. We can put in up to $6k per year tax free. Then we pay for any care that we need from this account.
So we are basically covered for anything that would be financially devastating then pay-out-of-pocket for everything else.
The HSA is pretty sweet in that whatever is in the account at age 55.5 you can use, even outside of health stuff, tax free. So it can also double as retirement savings.
I would recommend talking with a Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider. They don’t hard sell and are great at showing you the different options available.
I am inspired by you two!
I cannot find a link to sign up to follow your blog or receive your newsletter.
Would you please sign me up?! Best, Mary
Thanks Mary! The form is on the sidebar (on a computer) or at the bottom of the page (on a mobile device).
Y’all are precious. I am so thrilled for the two of you to figure this out so young…it usually takes a lot of people decades or unfortunately not at all. Blessings!
Thank you for your kind words!