Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Mom of 4 Pays Off Debt & Now Lives in Million-Dollar Home: How Did She Do It?​

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2015 at 10:04 AM
  • 8 Replies

Mom of 4 Pays Off Debt & Now Lives in Million-Dollar Home: How Did She Do It?​


My name is Jordan Page. I'm wife to a handsome entrepreneur named Bubba (who in no way works with shrimp), a mom of four kids 5 and under (and might be mildly insane since they were all planned), a Utah transplant (but Oregonian at heart), and frugal living blogger at FunCheapOrFree.com.

Yup, life is good. But it wasn't always that way. Rewind five years ago when my family and I fell into horrible debt that we never thought we'd get out of.

My husband of eight years and I fell upon some rough financial times. Picture $15,000 on credit cards, a $500 a month car payment, $0 in the bank because of a real estate venture that went bad, and a new baby in our arms -- kind of rough. We found ourselves treading water, and quickly sinking. 

I was tempted to take the Well, forget it. We're already in the hole, why not go to Disneyland on a credit card and figure it out later route. But at the end of the day we envisioned life 5, 10, 50 years in the future to be a life of happiness and opportunity, not one filled with anxious worry.

My husband and I were both frugal by nature (not into designer brands, gravitated toward good deals, fine with hand-me-downs and upcycling) but had never been forced to figure out finances like that before. We had no idea where to start. It was like handing a caveman an iPad and telling him to beat your top Angry Birds score.

But one day we looked at each other and made the decision to change; to take control of our situation and determine our own fate. We decided we were tired of just getting by, and were ready to get ahead. And we did.

We sold our souped up Lincoln Aviator, leaving me with my car from high school, while my husband walked to work. We stopped eating out. We shopped yard sales. We made gifts rather than buying gifts. We took turns babysitting with our friends. We took advantage of every free event Salt Lake had to offer. We entered every contest we came across (and won amazing stuff! But that's a story for a different day). I trimmed my own hair, we cancelled our gym memberships and exercised at home, cut our cable and played board games instead of watched TV. The list of things we "gave up" goes on and on.

Want to know the real catch?

The list of things we gained is even longer. 

Like losing weight, our new financial "diet" was tough at first. It hurt. It felt weird. It wasn't fun. But quickly it started to change. We saw the "weight" (debt) drop off. It gave us encouragement and confidence, so we pushed harder. Before we knew it we had drawn closer as a family, made better friendships, had more fun experiences and way better stuff than we did before -- and found genuine happiness!

In just one year we got out of debt (making just a $32,000 salary, mind you!). In two years we built up a cushy savings. In three years we saved up enough to secure our 5,200 square-foot colonial dream home in a multi-million dollar neighborhood in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah (that we bought on short-sale for a screaming deal, of course). Oh, and that high school car? My husband drove it up until three months ago when he finally sold it (in less than 24 hours) and finally bought his brand new dream truck that he's been drooling over since we got married.

Now we live a fabulous life full of love, adventures, and true happiness -- all because of how frugal we are, not in spite of it. 

I am now a Family Finance Guru (yes, that's a title I gave myself to sound fancy). I'm no mathemetician. In fact, I'm horrible with numbers! I'm just your typical down-home, back-woods, barefoot-and-pregnant, wife, mom, and sugar addict. Who can't wait to have even more babies (told you I'm crazy). Yes, we're your typical Mormon family.

My mission on my site and here on The Stir is to bring the NEW definition of frugal to the world and prove that being cheap is hip, fun, sassy and exciting! 

One thing I can promise, I won't be telling you to clip coupons, and in my next column on The Stir, I will tell you why they are a total waste of your time.

What is your biggest financial challenge in getting out of debt and saving money?


Jordan's advice from her FunCheapOrFree blog has been featured on TLC, The Today Show, Inside Edition, Today Australia, and the DailyMail. Be sure to check out more of her frugal living and lifestyle tips.

by on Mar. 4, 2015 at 10:04 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-8):
RonaH
by Silver Member on Mar. 4, 2015 at 12:43 PM

I was with you until you said the coupon thing! haha However all in all good tips. I used a lot of them to pay off my student loans whille making less thank 30,000 a year mostly much less.

thefiregoddess
by Optimus Prime on Mar. 5, 2015 at 7:36 AM
Yeah.. no.
I make a lot of money clipping coupons...so not a waste of my time at all. Good for you but looks like these entries will be completely irrelevant to me.
michiganmom116
by on Mar. 5, 2015 at 7:49 AM

I do all of those things, and much more.

Biggest financial challenge?  Wait until those kids are teens.....feeding them won't be so cheap  LOL

Our biggest challenge(s)...well, there were numerous EXPENSIVE car repairs to our old cars (she's lucky she didn't have those, I guess.)  We're talking $1000 to $2000 at a time!  Older kids' clothing is much harder to find at garage sales or thrift shops.  DH works 30 miles away...no walking to work for him.  One of our sons had unreal/unfair/unbelievable legal fees less than two years ago due to a lost debit card (we're still paying those off.)  Our highest bill is auto insurance, which is REQUIRED in Michigan...one of the highest in auto ins. rates in the nation.  We are currently paying $700/month for that and are looking for ways to get that lowered, but our ins. co. recently informed us they want to inspect our house to "update" our house insurance policy a.k.a. raising that rate, too. 

romalove
by Member on Mar. 5, 2015 at 7:58 AM
1 mom liked this

I'd love to know how she paid off $15,000 of credit card debt on a $32,000 salary.  It doesn't say how much their house payment is (or rent).  They still have to have electricity/gas to run their home?  Telephone even if not cell?  Is she writing to us from the library internet?  Does she grow all her own food?  

There are certain things I am willing to do to save money.  I coupon if it makes sense, I shop sales and bulk buy when it saves money, I'm a great clearance shopper.  

I'd rather worry about building wealth than living with little to nothing in order to live on little.  

spitfire06
by Member on Mar. 5, 2015 at 8:16 AM
Yaarrr I want us out of debt but creditcards are the devil..dh won't cut them up either :/
ablox
by Aisha on Mar. 5, 2015 at 8:44 AM
She was on an episode of extreme cheapskates. All that I remember about her was that she baked cookies in her car because it was so hot outside, they had this giant bounce house in there house from Zulily that she got for free through referral credit, and at one point her parents were renting out the basement or maybe it was just the bottom half of their house and it helped lower the mortage payment. I'm sure she doesn't have to do that anymore if she doesn't want too.

Quoting romalove:

I'd love to know how she paid off $15,000 of credit card debt on a $32,000 salary.  It doesn't say how much their house payment is (or rent).  They still have to have electricity/gas to run their home?  Telephone even if not cell?  Is she writing to us from the library internet?  Does she grow all her own food?  

There are certain things I am willing to do to save money.  I coupon if it makes sense, I shop sales and bulk buy when it saves money, I'm a great clearance shopper.  

I'd rather worry about building wealth than living with little to nothing in order to live on little.  

Alieda
by Silver Member on Mar. 5, 2015 at 1:01 PM
She is right about free events like if Lannie at be home on Monday OSU was allowing people to see the men's basketball game for free ,next Saturday Jeff and I are going to the Dr yet Saturday at a local art museum. When I exercise I do so at home ,I will say I need to do more of it. Lannie has to drive a hour and 15minutes to get to work,then is no way he could walk it.
As far as coupons I found it relaxing to cut out coupons ,nuts I know.
Jsanchez125
by Bronze Member on Mar. 10, 2015 at 10:19 AM
I liked every thing she said. But i use coupons. And i only clip the ones i need. I saved $50 on coupons and sales at babies r us alone!! Srry I'm not giving up my coupons. My last trip i got a free dr browns bottle. FREE!! Just for clipping the coupon and buying diapers which i was going to do any way.

I think the reason she was able to pay off so much debt is because her husband was on the same page as her. I cant ever get DH to budget with me. He is always spending too much!! But i try my best, when i get excited about sales ( and i mean I'm jumping up and down) he just looks at me and asks how long are you going to be!! Drives me nuts!! 😒
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)