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How to Make it Under One Paycheck

We are no Team Kramer or the Jolie-Pitts. Not a celebrity family who gets millions with just one photo. We are just a simple family of four living under one paycheck trying to make and enjoy our everyday.

How?

Three things: PRAY, PRIORITIES, TEAMWORK.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

For the past 7 years I have seen how God worked in our lives. He has been our provider. October of 2014, Mike and I started PRAYING and looking for a house. We saw terrible ones and after 2 months we saw one that we considered but our hearts is not just in to it. Weeks after that, Mike’s cousin told us that there are houses for rent in their village but I negated the idea since their village is located in a good area near the central business district, we can never afford to live there.

Mike surprised me one day by visiting his cousin and checked out the house for rent just in front of theirs. Upon entering, I knew that this is it. A townhouse with 3 floors, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a car port. The only thing that’s stopping us is the advances the landlady is asking. we prayed for days and tried to negotiate and by God’s grace we were provided with the amount that we needed!

Paul said in his letter to the Philippians not to shy away from God when asking for something — big or small, do not be anxious. Either it’s a house, a car, a job, healing or just a good day that you want, lift it to the Lord. I find myself most of the time praying for Miguel to sleep 15 minutes more so I can finish a chore.

You might ask: if prayer then works, why didn’t I pray for us to own a dream house instead of just renting? Well that’s the original plan and we still have been praying for God to deliver us from the burden of paying rent but you must know that God gives us only what we can handle. We have learned to accept God’s will for us. After all a rented house is still better than nothing. I will remain faithful up until the day he gives more.

So we got the house, next are the things we need to survive. What are our PRIORITIES? 

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

We started with a couch, a monobloc table, 22in TV, a fridge, washing machine all given/lent to us by our family. The only one we bought was a king size mattress (yes we still don’t have a bed frame!) because that’s the only thing we can afford. Logically speaking, we don’t and can’t have too much things in our house because Miguel is in a phase where he was just learning to stand and walk and discover the world around him. Less was best for us that time.

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Miguel during the time we were moving in

 

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then
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now

Through prayers, we welcomed our 2016 with a new dining table and additional and functional furniture and decors.

It’s never bad to have a lot. To have the things you always wanted. But if those things will pull you away from what is essential in life then that’s where the problem begins. We were once taught by our Ninong on how you can remember the important things in life: God being number 1 (SEE IMAGE BELOW).

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I also made up this argument to stop me whenever I wanted to buy something that is not included in the budget: “will I die not having this?” If the answer is NO, I don’t buy it and wait until I have extra money. I realized that usually, the things that I wanted are just so I can feed my humanly desires.

Set your priorities and goals. Make a list of what you (really) need and your wants. Pray for God’s provision and be contented on what he gives. My husband drives an old, small car. A 1993 Honda civic hatchback to be exact. Yes, 2 door car and we fit ourselves in it and yes I would like to think sometimes that the car is an inconvenience but positively thinking it gives us way convenience than those people lining up at the taxi bay one rainy payday Friday. The car gets us where we needed to be. Sure, we pray for a new one sometimes but if a brand new car does not come along, it’s alright. The kids will grow up anyways to the point that we won’t be bringing them with us all the time. That day where it’s just going to be me and Mike once again.

Prove to the Lord that you are worthy of the little things he is giving you for him to be able to give you big ones.

Did I mention we don’t have a house help? It wasn’t really our best option but since we are living with one paycheck, we cannot risk having another head in our household.

But I am blessed and proud to have a husband who does dirty tasks with me. He does not mind wiping soiled bottoms or washing the dishes for me. We have TEAMWORK.

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I remember when Ryry was still a baby and I was still working, Mike having a night shift job and I on the other hand has the 9-6, there were times that we don’t have a nanny so I would wait for Mike to come home before I leave for work and vice versa to take care of our child.

Basically from day one we did not depend on helpers knowing they come and go. We made a pact that parenting is a shared task.

Right now, Mike is the only one who is working and I dedicate my time to be with the kids and attend to their needs each day. But this doesn’t mean my husband don’t help with the chores. He’s in charge with cleaning when he comes home at night and during weekends he takes care of the kids while I do heavy chores.

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(God willing I will share to you how I do my chores with 2 kids on my next blog post!)

And to be honest I think it’s only here in the Philippines where people expect you to automatically have a helper where in fact in other countries they do everything by themselves and still they make it.

But I’m not shutting the idea of having a helper one day, in fact I always think how light my load would be if I have one. Maybe God will bless us one soon but until then I believe it’s also a good example for the kids to see us do everything on our own because they get to be responsible with some tasks too.

All in all, one year of independence  turned out pretty well. Especially when you hear your friends say that their goal in life is to be like me — a housewife, someone who will dedicate full time at home nurturing the kids.

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” Matthew 19:26

It is not easy but everything is possible.

I remember a friend of mine motivated me to fully leave and cleave and I keep telling her that with what Mike is earning, we cannot do it. She re assured me that you can make it just go and check your finances and adjust what is needed to be adjusted and you will survive. Three years forward, here we are, making it, day by day. Be confident.

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A pastor once said that it is not important how well you start in life, what matters is that you finish well.

So what is stopping you?

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115 thoughts on “How to Make it Under One Paycheck

  1. Thank you for blessing me with your blog. I have always lived a comfortable life and when I got married, my husband made sure we were always secured and taken cared of. When I lost him two years ago to aneurysm, I was inopportunely thrust to the life of being a single mom. I am now solely responsible for raising our only son, and I have never felt so fearful about how to provide for his needs – on a single paycheck, only my own . Adjusting lifestyles and spending habits was a big challenge, but by God’s grace He slowly taught me how to manage our finances properly and prepare for the future. He has blessed me with a career that can sustain our needs and a support system that helps me manage both work and family. So far, 2016 looks promising! We just got a bigger car and are ready to move in to our new home by June. Truly, God gives the desires of our hearts in His perfect timing, this is coupled with unwavering faith, hard work, and positive disposition 🙂

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  2. Very inspiring. I am in the same situation you were three years ago and everything you wrote is right. I am hoping that in 3 years time, the house we are renting will turn out into a beautiful home. Little by little, one step at a time. Thank you for this wonderful story. You have no idea how you touched our hearts.

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  3. We somehow are in the same situation… Your story inspires me and I am glad to have stumbled upon your blog. God bless your family.

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