Budget Living Magazine — The First Family of Frugal
In October of 2004, we hosted a writer and a couple of photographers sent by a New York magazine to do a feature story on our family.
We had a fun weekend as they asked hundreds of questions while following us through daily life including: once a month cooking, repairing furniture, doing Payday, weekly schedules and coaching a Pony League baseball game.
There are a few things in the article that we think need a little explaination. One area is our four-car garage. In Arizona, most houses have no basements, and many have flat roofs, both of which make attic and other storage areas non-existent — this is our situation. Since we have only two cars and have a four-car garage, we utilize half of the garage space to house: Steve's nine-foot work bench and tool storage area, kids clothing storage, camping equipment, large holiday decorations, collected items for a Scout troop garage sale and other Scout troop supplies — son Joseph was the troop quartermaster. Many of the items mentioned in the article are now gone as a result of our annual fundraising mega-garage sale.
Our son John (age 22) is dong extremely well and we're very proud of him. We don't lie awake at night worrying about his finances. He just moved into a house with a couple of buddies, is working full time with benefits, a terrific salary and is enjoying his independence.
Eric also wrote that we have, “more systems than NASA.” In fact, we have only five systems that have evolved over 23 years of marriage.
- Payday — for the kids,
- Once-a-Month Shopping (You can read about this in our America's Cheapest Family Book — Published by Random House)
- Once-a-Month Cooking, (you can read about this in our new book in January 2011 - Published by Thomas Nelson)
- Schedule Night — we all sit down and discuss the week ahead and:
- Our Household Budget — (You can read about this in our America's Cheapest Family Book — Published by Random House)
But over all, Eric portrayed the lifestyle we've chosen in a positive light and as a result, we've received lots of media attention, new subscribers and many encouraging letters and emails.
The photographer William Howard (behind the camera) and his assistant Joe (on the left) were some of the nicest people we've ever met. They took great pictures too — you should see the photo of son Joseph, peeling onions with his swimming mask on. It's a hoot!
By: Eric Dexheimer
Photos by: William Howard