I am a 30 year old Christian, husband, father and Colorado resident. I’m an entrepreneur who sustains his family on hard work, careful budgeting and couponing.
I wasn’t always this way of course. Prior to age 23 I was a punk rocker, drug addict, momma’s boy living in NJ. Through prayer and patience my sister, uncle and father helped lead me to Christ. It was like a whole new world opened up to me. Still a single man, I went on a trip exploring Greece through the eyes of the Bible. We visited ancient Philipi, Demascus road, Corinth, Athens, Thesalonica and many other Biblical locales. The trip with 2 dozen or so Colorado native Christians was so fantastic that I couldn’t imagine continuing on the way I had been. 2 months after I returned to NJ from the Greece trip, a man of 25, I up and moved out of my mom’s living room to Colorado. I joined a magnificent church and started the hunt for a good woman.
1 year later TO THE DAY, I was married to a beautiful Dutch born woman named Maxime. I had used the prior 12 months to start 2 businesses that were sustaining me while working 2 part time jobs and 1 full time job. Unfortunately, during my first year I was also the victim of a terrible real estate scam perpetrated by none other than my very own cousin. Without going into detail, the scam left me the owner of a downtown denver loft and a dilapidated condo, complete with mortgages totaling nearly quadruple the actual value of the property.
As you can imagine, such an endeavor proved to be a very costly one. The real estate scam sucked up my time, my capital, my sanity, almost got me killed, destroyed my credit and forced me to deal with drug dealers, squatters and vagrants on a routine basis. Needless to say, I quickly learned the value of a dollar.
My new wife of 19 at the time, who was really only a child herself, was hurled into this crazy situation and through a bit of leadership she too learned the value of a dollar.
After 2 years we’d experienced a foreclosure on our primary residence (the downtown loft I’d acquired via the scam), dealt with a swat team raid on our scam rental condo, a fire in our scam rental condo and a cockroach infestation in our scam rental condo, and nearly saw a quick end to our marriage compliments of all this added stress.
Fortunately, there was also a bright side. My fledgeling side-businesses took root and began to grow. Also, I was hired as an inspector for a real estate field service company and our first daughter was born (at home!). For the first time ever I felt wealthy and successful. I frantically put 90% of my extra dollars toward our debt, scrounged up a decent emergency fund and had a some fun with my family. But it wasn’t to last.
After two years of working with the field services company, they went out of business. Like 10% of Americans I was out of a job. Luckily, I still had my growing side businesses to support me. My advertising company and a flock of eBay Partner Network affiliate sites would keep me afloat until I found the next big thing. Until then, it was scrounge city.
We were already pretty thrifty folks, but our new situation forced us to look into alternate forms of saving and income. We learned couponing, developed even more strict budgeting systems and I started taking on any job I could find via friend and family and began selling things on amazon and ebay and even making a few bucks on fiverr.com. Today, Dec 13th, I’ve been unemployed for a full 3 months. My strict budgeting, couponing, hard work and fearless attitude regarding business has allowed us to stay perfectly afloat (with a bit of cash to spare for Christmas presents). I just made my first ever resume and am looking for “a real job” as some of my friends say.
When it comes down to it, I’m really proud of where I came from and where I ended up. I’m glad that I’ve been able to learn from my mistakes, to trudge forward through adversity and that I’ve had the courage to try new things. Being out of work, strapped for cash and worried about the future has been some of the best medicine I’ve ever received. I’ve learned the value of money, developed budgeting and coupon techniques and created sources of income that can sustain my family, even when I’m out of work. Currently, with so much time on my hands, I’ve been cooking up some new business endeavors that I can’t wait to unleash on the world. I’ve got a couple of children’s books (hand drawn by yours truly), a fledgling new marketing concept, some fun blogs and I get to work on it all out of the comfort of my home, with my beautiful family by my side.
You’re only out of work, if you do nothing while you’re unemployed.
Save wisely and live happy!