Monday, March 10, 2014

Frugal Living Equals Working a Little Less....

Mansion -- it is a word both of my children know, but I am not sure when or exactly how they learned it. Yet today after school they wanted to "take a drive" through the wooded area they saw off to the right on our drive home from school.  Feeling lighthearted with the 50 degree weather in Madison, I opened the sunroof and took them for a "drive".  We wound along a road that hugs Lake Mendota, and the view was of some impressive homes.  They even thought they were mansions (not quite).  Then they said they wanted to move to this area -- could we?  Well yes, I told them that their dad and I had always like this area, the homes are distinctive and it is near the lake.  But the prices are far more than we would want to invent in a house.  Plus, more house would mean more hours for Mama at the office.

And with that drive I was able to explain to them that our decision to spend half of what a bank would have lent us for a mortgage, combined with a heft down payment, resulted in a monthly mortgage payment that is less than the rent in some fancy new apartments in our area.  The upside of choosing the frugal path is a Mama with freedom to work less than 40 hours a week.  Since I run my own legal practice I can decide when I go into the office, and when I leave.  This week our frugal ways and self-employed has allowed me to both drop-off and pick-up the children from school while their father is out of the country on business. Would they want to trade time with Mama in for a bigger house?  No was the answer from the back seat.  I arrive at school between 3 and 3:30 every day, not the typical 5pm for most parents.  We have a few extra hours for art, stories, snacks, and apparently drives around town.  As teenagers their tune may change, but for now I am enjoying the work freedom that comes with our intentional frugal ways.

The wee ones I maximize time for, thus skipping over things like pedicures.

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