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Please welcome Megan of TheMayfieldEstate.com! She has written this post to encourage us with her story and to give us a few tips to apply in our own lives. Be sure to check out her blog to learn more about Megan and her story.
On the Hunt
In May of 2010 my in-laws came to visit myself, my husband, and my daughter in our new apartment for the first time. I was in love with our space. However when my husband’s parents found out our monthly rental payment, they explained to us we could pay for a home and actually save a few dollars instead. I was a stay at home (pregnant) mom with a young daughter, and soon to be son. Our family was going to be increasing from three members to four. My husband was finishing up his degree in Business and Communications while working part time. I thought to myself, there is NO WAY we could afford a home. Then my father in law explained to me that because of the low housing market (this was during the time when there were multiple foreclosures) we would in fact be able to afford a home.
My husband Markaus and I were nervous. As young parents and newlyweds we had not spent any time building our credit, so that was another element of purchasing a home that felt out of reach. My in laws told us they were going to help us out because that’s what family is supposed to do. My father-in-law sat down with us and explained rates, and ideally what we should be aiming for regarding price range. He and my mother in law were going to purchase the home in their name, and we would make the house payment on a monthly basis. Markaus and I thought over their offer and we were excited to start looking for a house! So the search began.
We Live in 1,400 Sq. Ft.
After submitting three offers we finally found a home we loved. 3 bedrooms 2 baths and 1,400 sq. ft. It was perfect for our family of four, and get this. The mortgage payment is $448! You heard me correctly. I was thrilled to move in and make this house our own. Just enough space for our little family, a payment we could afford, life was awesome.
Since we felt like our home pretty much fit our lifestyle as a family of four we had no plans of moving. Each child, girl and boy, had their own bedrooms, and at 1,400 square feet there wasn’t ever a ton to clean. But just as any ‘plan’ in this thing called life we were blessed with a surprise baby #3. Now we were a family of 5 living in a home that a lot of people were telling us was much too small and upon the arrival of our new baby we ‘needed’ to buy a home for our children to grow into. My husband and I were never comfortable with that option. In fact we often wondered why so many people associated new baby, with new house. A new baby meant more expenses. Diapers, clothing, bibs, etc. the list goes on and on. We made our minds up then and there we were not going to be apart of the “norm”. We were going to make our own decisions and raise our children in a loving, smaller space, and we were going to hope that through their experiences, they would grow to love our lifestyle of having more with less.
More With Less Lifestyle
Right now the balance on our home is $47k. My husband and I sat down and created a plan to pay off our home within the next two years. The thought of being completely mortgage free is uplifting, and terrifying at the same time.We are open with our children regarding financial stability even at a young age. Our oldest daughter and youngest daughter will be sharing a room. And when the time comes we will explain to them why we chose this option instead of buying another home. We want them to understand how important it is not to live above your means, and the rewards that go along with leading a financially conscious lifestyle.
Teaching Our Children
The Mayfield Kids are ages ten, six, and three. It is never too young to educate your children on financial growth, and awareness. I’m not saying to dive right into stock options and diversifying portfolios, but it can be done on a much simpler scale. Here are some helpful tips you can use with your kiddos to teach them about spending their own money:
- Before they go into a store, count with them how much cash they have on hand.
- Explain to them what items they should be looking to purchase within their means.
- Ask them to sort their money into two separate places. What they want to spend vs. what they would like to save.
We have learned by taking these small steps with our children they are more aware of their personal finances.
Goals and Aspirations
By 2019 we hope to pay off our home and be apart of the percentage of Americans that are debt free. I have followed the tiny home revolution and it fascinates me to know that we have so much square footage for less money than some families pay for their tiny house. I have listed out my reasons for staying in this home:
- Financial Stability– we are able to handle the expenses of the home off of one person’s income. A second person working is not needed but it is nice to have spare cash.
- Travel– smaller home and cheaper mortgage means more money to enjoy the experiences you love most out of life. One of mine happens to be exploring new places.
- Togetherness– when you’re in a smaller space you have no choice but to work out your differences.
I could not imagine what it would be like to pay a more expensive mortgage during a time of transition for our family. I am not sure if we will stay in our home forever, but I would find it very hard to leave. Our smaller home has been our heart, our love, our faith, and our stability.
My name is Megan Mayfield and I run TheMayfieldEstate.com Blog which focuses on living more with less. The main principles for the content of my blog focus on finance, food and family. I have been in the digital writing world for a short time, but I love every minute of it. I never knew about this community that shared their lives and advice so freely.
I enjoy spending time with the love of my life, my husband Markaus, and our three kids Areli, MJ, and Amiyah. Some things I am passionate about are fashion, budgets, and recipes. I currently own 3 businesses. Entrepreneurship is hard, but also rewarding. It allows me to express my creativity.
If you would have told me a few years ago I would be openly writing about my experiences through a blog, I would have laughed. My dream is to share useful and life applicable content on a regular basis for my readers.