Photo by Dar’ya Sipyeyekina
This time last year, my wife and I were making preparations to place our house on the market. We weren’t looking to move to an enormous house, but since we now had two kids, we were looking to gain another bedroom and a bit more storage space.
After several weeks of preparation and organization, a couple of things became clear:
We had a lot of junk in our house.
No wonder we were tight on storage space; we had too much stuff. As part of the organizing, we got rid of two pickup truck loads of stuff, and we still had too much left. The garage housed most of this until we did more purging.
The houses that would be a “move up” in space and amenities were more than we wanted to spend.
For the past several years, my wife and I have been working to live below our means. To move would stretch us a little beyond where we wanted to be – not that we couldn’t afford it, but why try to afford it? Part of having a simple marriage is living simply.
In other words, living life more alive and less tied to things and stuff.
This process has made us realize how easily you can be trapped into living according to a perceived expectation of society.
How did society evolve to the point that when you have x number of kids living in an x number of bedroom house, you must get a bigger house in order for everyone to have their own room, and an office, and a playroom, and on and on?
Didn’t our parents grow up with two or more kids in the same room? Plus, I heard that they walked to school through snow uphill both ways.
We feel entitled to a certain lifestyle. A certain amount of luxuries. But at what cost?
Since my wife and I decided not to move, there was a new level of passion and love in the house. We were less worried about the finances. Spent more time with the kids. Planned future trips and excursions. Plus, we got away on the weekends for fun.
I think there is a correlation between living within or below your means and passion in marriage. There is less stress. Less worry. More room for more adventure.
Try it. Spend some time organizing the house – Tsh has an upcoming series on this. De-clutter. Then spend the time planning an adventure together. Spend time with friends. Serve others.
In other words, live and enjoy life.
If you are interested in applying these ideas to your marriage and family, check out my new marriage book.* It’s available as of today!
*A note from Tsh – I haven’t had time to read Corey’s book deeply yet, but from the little bit my husband and I flipped through it this weekend, it looks fantastic! A lot of depth, good exercises for couples, and quality stuff to think about. I recommend it.
Have you seen a correlation between deciding to live more simply and watching your marriage improve?