Little Things I’ve Learned Living in a Big Family (1 of 5)

I’m the fourth of seven siblings. My immediate family consists of 9 (count ’em) nine people! I realize this is not the norm for today’s culture. I also realize that because of my unusual family and even stranger up-bringing I’m a bit different than the average person. So this week I’ll share a few things I’ve learned from living in a big family.


When you have nine people in your family the term “necessities” takes on a whole new meaning. Most people would consider a cell phone a necessity, a car, a computer, a weekly visit to the massage or nail lady…(okay, kidding about that one… Or am I?)

Growing up in a big family has taught me that it is possible to live below my means.

I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 16 years-old and had a job where I could pay for it. I didn’t buy my own car until I had cash enough to pay for it all at once. My family never went out to eat only because a meal that would feed all of us cost around $70! And that’s the all-you-can-eat buffet at CiCi’s! My mom cut our hair and I wore hand-me-downs for most of my Jr. High years… Mostly because we had to.

Now, I’m on my own and I make a pretty good living for just one person. And even though I do enjoy some of life’s little pleasures I’ve learned not to take it too far. It would be easy to start adding things in my life that aren’t considered “necessities” but the lesson of living below my means, taught to me by my family, has carried over.

It’s the secret to financial freedom.

Are there some “necessities” you could give up in order to live below your means?

6 Responses to “Little Things I’ve Learned Living in a Big Family (1 of 5)”

  • Cindy Beall says:

    Good words, sweet girl. Your family is uh-MAY-zing. (Please say that with the emphasis on may and make your voice a little higher when you do so.) Now, because of your family upbringing, we get to have the wonderful effects by having your lead and pour into our teenagers. Again, uh-MAY-zing.

    I love the living below your means thing. It is key to financial freedom. Chris and I don’t eat out often, which we feel is a luxury. We realize how much money is spent on that type of thing. Our family could easily blow $35-$40 at a restaurant each time. So, if we feel the urge to eat something other than our food at home, we might pick up something inexpensive and bring it home. And we usually use our personal allowance for stuff like that which doesn’t bite into the family budget.

  • Anna says:

    Cindy–Thank you SO much! Isn’t amazing how much money we could save if we were just a little more mindful of where it went??

  • Robin says:

    This should be fun! A little scary, but fun = )

  • Abbi says:

    I thanked my mom for ‘teaching me to live below my means’. I’ve gone without internet at home since January (gasp). I’m even thinking of riding a bike (bicycle!) to work once it warms up…save on gas AND get some exercise and fresh air.

    At least you’re 4th and your sisters are fashionable…my cousins all got my hand-me-downs…I’m the oldest of 18 grandkids! :)

  • Kristie says:

    This is one area that I tend to hold myself less accountable, unfortunately. I have a huge weakness for petty things like shoes and clothes, which I have plenty of both. It’s been an uphill battle for me to teach myself not to live by the almighty dollar, but slowly I’m getting there.

  • Thanks for reminding me today that homeschooling all my sons is well worth it….smile….we, too, have a big family….six boyz…mom & dad….in a 1500 sq. house…..we try very hard to live within our means and that means no extras either till they can buy them for themselves….you sound well-rounded and that’s what I pray for my sons…..blessings to you today…

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