Why we choose to live on a small income

Long term readers of my blog, (Hi, Mr T) will know that our mission is to be mortgage free by forty, which probably makes us sound quite wealthy, but we are just a ordinary family of six. We overpay our mortgage by living simply and being careful with our finances.

We decided that early on in our marriage that we wanted one parent to raise our children at home. It means we live on one income, this has its negatives but the huge positive is that we are time-rich, which for us is more valuable than a larger income.

I stay at home and care for our four children, and Mr T works a 10 minute walk away from our home, it’s also a 5 minute walk away from our children’s school. Mr T comes home for his lunch, seeing our younger children, and he is home no later than 5.30pm, meaning we can eat together everyday. We are very lucky that we both get to see our children grow and develop, and they are lucky that we both can dedicate so much time to them.

Mr T works in ICT but works in an industry that doesn’t pay very well. If he choose the same career in a different industry or sector, his wage would nearly double, but would probably involve lots of travel and much less time at home. The other positives to his current position is that its secure & flexible, he has amazing colleagues and he loves going to work, there is a lot to be said for all those things!

Why we overpay our mortgage

Even though we live on a low-income, we choose to spend over 50% of our monthly income on our mortgage, to reduce the overall term. We compromise meals out and holidays abroad now, so we can work towards financial freedom, and so we are in a better position to support our children through university and later in life.

The Allotment

We work hard on our allotment to grow our own food, which has a whole host of positives, from good exercise & cheap food, to education for the children and a smaller footprint.

A good balance

We don’t feel like we are ‘going without’, we still have treats, eat out, go to the cinema, buy new furniture and clothes and we achieve a good balance. We do work hard to save money, by cooking from scratch, being creative, upcycling, and meal-planning amongst other things. I think living simply helps us appreciate things more, especially each other and the children.

Love Language

A while ago, I read an article on ‘love language’ and both me and Mr T completed a test (here). We both received the same result, we don’t feel love through gift giving or material possessions at all, but we do feel loved when we spend time together, help each other, through touch and through showing appreciation & respect. I think this is an important factor too in our lifestyle, that we understand what our needs are and both completely agree on the same goal.

There are negatives,  It means that my career has come to a standstill, and probably wont continue properly until the children are much older. We have to be careful with money and sometimes its hard saying no to the children.

I think the definition happiness & success is different for every person. We are happiest when we are together as a family, it doesn’t matter if we are on holiday or at the allotment with a picnic. Money doesn’t define our happiness, our happiness is what we make of it. The children are at their happiest when we spend time with them, talking, playing, joking, exploring, cooking, growing, learning or reading.

The simple things make them happy, and when they are happy, we are too.


No Comments

  1. Jess @ Picnics in the Rain April 16, 2016 at 7:28 am - Reply

    An interesting read Hannah – we spend around 60% of our income on our mortgage, but this isn’t really through choice – property prices in the south, mortgage rates at the time we bought, and me now not working have all contributed and we have been forced to live frugally. We’ve never been extravagant people but now we have to be extra vigilant. Like you, I love that I get spend time with my daughter and I think at this age time is more important than money as Rosalie does’t want for anything except love and attention. Jess xx

    • Hannah Tasker April 16, 2016 at 8:02 am - Reply

      Wow that’s a huge amount & it’s amazing how property prices differ between the north/south. Hope that your high rate ends soon and make things a bit more comfortable. We had an higher rate and debt previously that forced us to live frugally too, things are much more comfortable now, but we decided to continue living on the same amount and we use the extra to overpay. It seemed like a good thing to do because we never had the money to spend before, so we don’t miss it. I think time is the most valuable thing we can give to children xx

    • Hannah Tasker April 18, 2016 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Wow that’s a huge amount, it’s amazing how property prices differ between the north/south. Hope that your high mortgage rate ends soon and make things a bit more comfortable. I think time is the most valuable thing you can give to children 🙂

  2. Dan Leeman April 18, 2016 at 3:26 am - Reply

    Cool to see you paying ahead on the mortgage! That’s what we did on our first mortgage on our condominium, and paid it off over four years. Now as we move into a house, we can dump that equity into investments.

    That’s interesting on matching love languages. My wife and I are both frugal, but giving and receiving gifts is one of her love languages, and not one of mine. We’ve worked hard to find a balance that works for us, but she looks at me like I’m nuts when I’d rather just invest more on my birthday than receive a gift 🙂

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