Build Financial Security With Less Effort

by Tammy Taylor

When RancherMan & I married I already had a house of my own.  As a single mother I was making ends meet, but just barely.  Of course he had his own home as well.  So when we married we sold my house since his house was easier to fit our growing family.  The kids and I moved in with him & his children.  Now of course with a larger brood the previous household expenses were bound to go up, but certainly not by double.

Most people would find this blending of homes, income and expenses as a way to finally relax the financial stress of barely getting by.  And of course we certainly did, it was a breath of fresh air!  But I asked RancherMan, “I’m already used to making a house payment of approximately $1,000 each month for my house.  Why don’t we continue to make that payment but put it into a CD every month instead?”

Make payments to yourself. Start small and build on it and you won't feel the pinch at all. The feeling of financial freedom? Priceless! #TexasHomesteader

The Power Of Systematic Saving

It was hard to wrap my brain around the potential of us having $12,000 worth of CD’s in one year!  But we really wanted that financial security, so we decided to go ahead & give it a try.  We were thrilled to find it was beyond effortless.

Of course at first it took discipline not to just consider it spending money.  We still had to watch our budget. But soon it became a habit we no longer needed to even think about.  Then our CD’s began to rack up.

After that first year we were never more than 30 days away from a renewal if for some reason we needed the cash.  With each new renewal we would simply add this month’s $1,000 payment to the renewing CD and put it back out there for another 12 months to earn yet more interest.

This was brilliant!  And because it was using money we were already used to spending, it didn’t even come out of our budget.

Building A Dream

We both dreamed of a day when we’d have our own little place in the country.  Could it be possible??

We contacted a real estate agent and found this piece of paradise in Northeast Texas.  I fell in love with that old 1880’s Barn & he loved the lay of the land.  We decided to call it our own.

But we didn’t want to risk our financial security by blasting through the nest egg we’d built up.  So even though the land payments were only a fraction of our monthly CD amount, we started making those $1,000 payments to the mortgage company to pay for the land.

Make payments to yourself. Start small and build on it and you won't feel the pinch at all. The feeling of financial freedom? Priceless! #TexasHomesteader

We paid it off in record time yet it still didn’t come out of our monthly budget. Wow, that’s exhilarating.  NOW WHAT?

Expensive Acquisitions Necessary

Well now we needed a tractor, storage buildings, fencing, ponds, etc.  These things were all taken care of with that same effortless step started years ago. We simply continued to set aside that same amount equal to my old house payment that we were no longer making.

Our equipment and our pasture improvements were all paid using that method.  And ponds were dug and fences were built using that method as well.  The beauty of it was that we weren’t going into debt.  And it still wasn’t coming out of our monthly budget.  Effortless!

Make payments to yourself. Start small and build on it and you won't feel the pinch at all. The feeling of financial freedom? Priceless! #TexasHomesteader

Living Our Dream… Debt Free!

Fast forward a few years.  We built our home & moved from the big city to live our dream of country living.  And when we decided we wanted to pull the plug on corporate employment and run the homestead full time we were able to do so.  With no debt looming over our heads, our monthly income requirement was already low.

Wow, what a tremendous difference being debt free makes in your ability to make decisions.  Those decisions are not based on your debt load, but on your CASH!

Are you longing for financial security?  This is a more effortless way to build that nest egg.  I urge you to try it in a way that works for your household.  Maybe make a small monthly payment to yourself into a savings account each payday, just like any other bill.  You won’t even have to take it from your current budget if you can free up a little budget money by skipping a night or two of eating out each month, eliminating ‘boredom shopping’ or saving money by buying groceries cheaper in bulk from Amazon.

When that washing machine goes out or the lawn mower dies, the money will already be in the bank to pay for its repair or buy a new one. If you start small and build on it you won’t feel the pinch at all.  And the freedom of financial security is priceless!


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54 thoughts on “Build Financial Security With Less Effort

  1. Karen

    I totally agree with you. When a bill is paid off, continue those payments toward your savings or investments. It really isn’t hard because you already are used to not “having” the money. Glad you wrote about it because it has been successful for my husband and I too. Thanks for sharing at Let’s Get Real Friday.

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  4. Kennie

    Thank you for sharing this! When you break it down like that (12 mo CD), you realize just how simple this is. With the amount that I tend to throw away each month on frivolous items, this is definitely doable! Thanks!

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  11. Joyce @ It's Your Life

    My southern man and I do something similar, and were debt free. I went back to school and now have a student loan to pay back, and other things including a move, and illness leave us in debt. However, we are slowly getting things back under control, yes it is nice to be debt free. Thanks for sharing once again on Tuesdays With a Twist.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Joyce, although I know it’s frustrating to have debt after previously being debt free, thank goodness you were debt free before dealing with an illness. I was watching a news story yesterday about how many people are just one illness away from financial ruin. I’m sure being debt free beforehand made a huge impact on your ability to bounce back financially. ~TMR~

  12. Natasha @ Epic Mommy Adventures

    What a great story! It’s amazing what you can achieve by just starting to save today. I am definitely headed on that same path, and I hope to achieve great things like you have.

    Thanks so much for sharing on Turn It Up Tuesday! We love having you! 🙂

  13. Angie

    When I decided I wanted to be a stay at home mom back in 2003, I put my paycheck into our savings account for the last year of my employment. This was a test to see if we could live off of one income. We passed and I quit my job in 2004 and am still currently home today. The blessing of our savings came in 2005 when we had the chance to start our own business. The finances were there to get us started. We are still plugging along supporting ourselves. My husband doing the physical part, me doing the paper part.

    Angie at Oak Springs Farm

  14. Tiffany

    Great advice! Really made me think of ways my family and I can put money away while decreasing money flowing out. Thanks for sharing at the Blog Hop Blitz, you were selected as one of our Most Valuable Bloggers!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Tiffany, I find that just being mindful of money in/money out can often lead to painless ways to cut back on things that never really mattered to you in the first place, leaving extra cash for those things that really DO matter! ~TMR~

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  16. brokeGIRLrich

    Great advice! I’d been paying down $500 a month in student loans for years. When I finished, I just split that $500 between building up an emergency fund and investing and I never even noticed the difference. I like that even with “extra” money, my lifestyle didn’t inflate at all, since I never really see it – I just have a comfortable safety net and a small, ever growing, nest egg too.

    Also, your farm looks really cool! I’m a little jealous ;o)

  17. Tshanina @ Thrifty T's Treasures

    I’m stopping by from The Thriftiness Miss linky party!

    What a wonderful story you have! Thank you for sharing and encouraging the rest of us to live debt free. You hit it spot on when you said, “what a tremendous difference being debt free makes in your ability to make decisions not based on your debt load, but on your CASH!”

  18. Rebecca @ Stapler Confessions

    “make decisions not based on your debt load, but on your CASH!”

    YES! What a liberating feeling! Well, we still have ridiculous amounts of student loan debt but we also keep a supply of cash for anticipated big expenses, like a car purchase and our wedding.

  19. Lisa Lynn

    I’m very proud of your family for saving up for your homestead and future! We are doing something similar, but not with cds. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom on The Creative HomeAcre!
    Hope to see you again tomorrow at:

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  22. Jenny

    Great advice! Thanks for sharing this at the HomeAcre Hop! Look forward to having you back on Thursday:

  23. Linda @ A La Carte

    Great advice! When I lost my job to ‘downsizing’ a few years ago I was able to make it because I was debt free. I remain that way, except for a low mortgage payment. I keep urging my kids to pay yourself a little bit each month, it’s hard but so worth it. Thanks for sharing at TTF

    Linda and Diann

  24. Tulip

    Financial independence is hard in this country, but for me represents true freedom. I agree, it takes small steps and patience. Thank you so much for the encouragement and beautiful pictures. I hope I can own a piece of the country someday. Hope to see you at True Aim!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Small steps and patience is often the combination for many rewarding things we wish to obtain Tulip. I think sometimes people living day-to-day just don’t think it’s possible, but as you said: Small steps and patience makes it possible. Thanks for your comment. ~TMR~

  25. victoria witte

    I read your comment on the Down to Earth blog and was surprised to see your location as Wolfe City, Texas. When I was freshman in college (ET) we lived in Gainesville and I came home most weekends. Since I didn’t have a car then my Dad would drive me back . We usually went through Wolfe City early in the morning and always remarked at the line up of trucks in the downtown at 6:30 or so. Guess there must have been a great little cafe there that was the place to have breakfast on Monday mornings.

    I haven’t thought about that in such a long time.

    Victoria in southern Indiana

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Small world sometimes, huh Victoria. Cafes have come and gone in town, but I actually did a post about my beloved small town of Wolfe City – might be fun for you to see the pictures and stroll down memory lane. Check it out –> ~TMR~

  26. Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe

    I used to be really good at that – not so much now. In addition to doing that, it was in the days before debit cards, etc., when you actually had to go to the bank, so I would take a weekly allowance from my pay check and deposit the rest. At the end of the pay period, I would also take whatever money I had leftover form the last and stash that away separately. That money would accumulate pretty quickly too, and I would use that to either fund my Christmas shopping that year, or a trip, etc. 🙂 [#TALU]

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Chris, banks are making it really easy these days with free automatic transfer if you have a savings account with them as well. Once you see that balance inching upward it almost becomes a challenge to see how fast you can make it increase! Thanks for your comment. ~TMR~

  27. angi

    Such a great reminder! And something our culture really needs to hear. My husband spent four years unemployed/underemployed. When he got a fulltime job in his field last year, we committed to continue living at the level we were and using everything extra to rebuild our savings. Now, a year later, we’re able to happily do some projects around our little homestead because we know we have plenty of savings.

    BTW, my oldest son goes to jewelry school in your neck of the woods. It’s a nice area up there.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Angi – your method of continuing to live beneath your means when things ease up is another way to ease into financial security. It’s not a sacrifice since you’ve already adjusted your budget. Good for you! It’s really hard to put a price on a good night’s sleep because you’re not worried about a house of cards falling on you at any moment! ~TMR~


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