What Would YOU Do To Get Out of Debt?

Apparently our answer is: we would give up our own personal space and move into another person’s home.

That’s right, Mike and I are boxing up our stuff, giving half of it away, selling another part of what’s left, and moving in with some other people. All by next Friday. SURPRISE!

The long(ish) version of the story is this: Mike worked at a coffee shop for the first 8 or so months after we got married and developed a solid friendship with a local pastor who was one of his regulars (coffee shop code for- addicted to coffee and thereby a frequent visior of said coffee shop). Mike’s kept up with this guy- Joe- and his wife- Jeanie- and he has even done some web and print design for Joe’s church since leaving the coffee shop biz.

Recenly, Mike’s been sharing with Joe about our desire to get out of debt quickly and about his recent cut in hours at work. Well on Tuesday night we got a voicemail from Joe saying- “Hey, you guys looking for a place to live? Because I’ve got a place- and it’s free rent. Call me back if you are interested.” We immediately called back.

Basically, Joe and his wife have a couple of empty bedrooms in their house, and they have had a long-standing tradition of letting those rooms out to various people in need- young singles, married couples with kids- they’ve had a variety of them all living under their roof! Anyway, they offered Mike and I the two empty bedrooms for no rent, no strings attached, for as long as we need. AWESOME!

The upshot?

  • Saving upwards of $700 in rent, utilities, and gas money since Mike will be within biking distance of work now!
  • We’ll be able to get out of debt by March 1, 2012 instead of the projected October 1, 2012- a full 6 months earlier!
  • We’ll be living in a community with sidewalks, and we’ll be able to walk to the playground or grocery store.
  • We get to live with an awesome older couple who love the Lord and who truly to live out the life Jesus taught.
  • Um, did I mention we are saving some freaking major money??? DEBT-FREE, here we come!


  • We’ll have our private bedrooms and a private bathroom, but everything else is communal! I’m sure there will be some challenges along the way.
  • Our favorite library will suddenly be a twenty minute drive away and the local library does not have a DVD collection. Bummer. Guess we’ll be doing more game playing and chatting. 🙂 Maybe this should not be considered a downside?
  • We have to get rid of a bunch of our stuff (which is actually pretty welcome, actually), and most of what’s left will have to go into storage. My lovely Calphalon pans, I’m going to miss you!

How about you? Got any words of wisdom or advice about moving and/or living with other people? We’re all ears!

Oh and stay tuned, because BOY do I have a Mayhem Monday story for you… I think it might even top last week’s mystery

Read more about Community Living here!


18 thoughts on “What Would YOU Do To Get Out of Debt?

  1. Isn’t it so awesome how God provides? It’s usually never what you’d expect. 🙂

    If you ever have any questions or frustrations or anything about living with people, ya’ll can talk to me/us. We’ve been living with people for a little over a year and a half – definitely longer than we originally thought! It has been frustrating at times, and I am starting to really miss my own kitchen stuff….but God has stretched and grown us immensely!

    • Yes, it is, Jonelle! Thanks so much for the offer. I actually thought of you guys when we made the decision. We still need to try to get together sometime too!

  2. Rachel and I lived with my dad to save up for the move to California (Which is over billions of dollars in debt, can you guys teach them your plans?) and we don’t regret it one bit! I think American culture is too much about us than family. What I mean by that is we like to be our own independent individual, when millions of other people live with their family members (Like mom, pops, gramps, grams, cousins, sibs) their whole lives. I know you guys are living with friends, but that’s just as cool!

    • Um, yeah, I don’t think those movie stars would like what I had to say. You should interview some of them about it. 🙂 Thanks for the support, too! I didn’t know you guys lived with your dad to save up money! It seems like we know more and more people living in “community,” and it is so true that our culture is way more individual oriented than the rest of the world is and has been. In many places, living alone and/or even in your own bedroom is the exception, not the norm! Although, it is a luxury we’ve gotten pretty used to…

  3. Hoo boy, DO I have thoughts on community! Not sure how much of this will apply to the situation ya’ll will be in, but you’re welcome to check out this post I wrote on the subject: http://indiainkelephant.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/ten-things-i-learned-from-communal-living-or-lessons-in-love-and-passive-aggressive-behavior/

    It sounds like this will be a really exciting and good move for you guys. I may be biased, but you sound like you have the right personality types and expectations to enjoy and benefit from communal living. I hope it’s a great experience!

    • Thanks for the link. I will definitely have to check that out! And I think you are probably right about the personality thing. Low-maintenance, generally easy-going, and honestly, I think the biggest thing is that we just have a positive attitude about the situation. Not that I want to toot my own horn, because we definitely have a our down days, but I’ve found that just attempting to be positive about things goes a long way to making what could be difficult circumstances an enjoyable experience for all. You are awesome!

  4. LOVE IT!

    Sam and I paid off a good chunk of debt by living in our friends’ basement AND saved up for a down payment on a house (Dave Ramsey would not like that buying a house part, but it made sense to us:))… I am sure God will do awesome things through the experience….I mean, we probably never would have started fostering if we hadn’t spent 14 months living with the Armentano’s and seeing the impact they made on their foster kids. I can’t wait to hear what He does in your lives 🙂 Very exciting!

  5. That is great Kate! It says a lot that you are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals. You are obviously putting your trust in God. I am sure this will be a wonderful probably challenging experience full of life long lessons learned:)

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