Stay small.

For seven years, my family of seven lived in a 900 square foot apartment.  We owned it.  So, technically, it was a condo.

The name change did not change the size of the place.  It was still small.

For seven years, my wife and I slept on a mat in the living room/dining room.  My son slept in his bedroom, which was also the classroom, and the office, and a storage room.

My four girls had the largest room.

We did this because we had fallen on hard times financially.  Things got bad.  Really bad.  At the lowest point, my wife called from the grocery store. She was crying. We had $23 dollars left.  It was two weeks before Christmas.

During those dark times, I swore I would rescue my family.  I prayed that God would bless my efforts, and then I launched with all the strength I could muster.  I took multiple jobs, started rising early, and focused my reading with laser precision.

I cut all frivolities.  No football games, no T.V., no novels, no radio, no idle conversations, and other than Sundays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, no days off.

From time to time, friends would tell us that we needed a bigger place.  My wife and I knew that a bigger place would sink us financially.  After all, we had been there, done that.  No thanks.  We didn’t want to face foreclosure again.  So… we stayed in our “tiny home.”

I wrote Visual Latin in that little condo.  I wrote my book Via in that little condo.

I believe that God blessed my efforts.  But, I have a bad feeling that it would have all been for naught if we had listened to others and bought a bigger house.

In some of his writings, Michael Masterson, author of The Pledge, gives this advice to those trying to get out of debt: Stay in the house you are currently in or, downsize.  Do not “level up.”  You can save a lot of money by living small for a while.

On Monday, after nearly a decade, I am selling that little condo.  The sale will eliminate most of my debt.

That little condo was a sturdy ship in our fierce financial storm.  A bigger place would have sunk my family.  Now that we are in a safer harbor, that little ship is going to provide even more freedom for my family.

My tip for you this week?  Stay small if you need to. Stay small if you can.  Resist the temptation.  Do not “level up.”  Ignore the siren calls of the culture around you.  Someday, you may be glad you did.

Have a Happy Saturday!