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The Frugal Reality of Living the Dream: One Woman’s First Hand Struggles at a Life Unchained



The Reality of Living the Dream

At what point does it get to be easy?

For the first 6 years of my son’s life, I was able to find work that allowed me to stay home, while supporting our family of two.

I achieved the seemingly unachievable single mother’s dream.

Heck, I achieved the dream of a lot of mothers that had partners and couldn’t find ways to make it work. But I did. Until I didn’t.

3 years ago, shit got hard.

When Living the Dream Falls Apart

Things fell apart, when I tried to detach from things that were no longer working for me so that I could move towards my passion and purpose.

I wanted to continue to be a stay at home mom, home school my child, and pursue my dreams. I decided that I no longer had to just survive. I wanted to thrive and do things that made my soul sing. It didn’t take long to realize that my new business was not as easy to market and the online sphere wasn’t as easy to navigate as I had imagined.

Between huge life transitions, devastating relationship endings, and rebuilding following trauma, I just didn’t work the same way anymore. And I couldn’t support my family…well, not in the typical sense. I found ways to lower my expenses, so that I would have the space to pursue my dreams.

Are you trying to live the dream?

Here’s what I’ve learned.

Do you want to stay home with your kids, but don’t know how you are going to afford it all?

Besides having a support system, I was able to find ways to lower my expenses, to give me a little more breathing room.

Tips and Tricks for Living the Dream

Rent would be first. Find a roommate or find an alternative living situation like renovating a camper into an RV. That was the choice I made and I have no regrets. It’s not easy to find one that you can purchase without having credit to finance or without the full amount in cash, but if you want it badly enough, eventually it will happen. I have been gifted 2 campers.

There are also ways to finance and keep your monthly cost under $200.

For a lot fee, you can find a campground or find a friend who would let you park on their land. It’s much cheaper and like a small version of an intentional community. What else can you lower from your expenses?

Lower gas by being intentional about your driving and planning it out more. I currently live in the country and only drive into the city 3 out of the 7 days. That works for me.


Want a cool journal to help your path to living the dream? Check this one on Amazon out!

For food, limit eating out. Meal plan with a free or inexpensive meal plan and grocery list like The Fresh 20 or something similar. I also use Dinnerly, it’s one of the cheaper meal plans that sends you ingredients for 5 meals a week. I only spend $60 a week on groceries. If you have food stamps, you can shop at farmer’s markets and get double the amount.

Limit your entertainment expenses by utilizing free resources, such as parks or family rituals at home. We have Friday Field Trips or Family Fun, depending on my income. I can either take my child on an adventure or when money is tight, we do something fun, like an outdoor movie or game night. There are so many ways to lower your expenses so that you can achieve the life that you want to be living.

Check out one of Elizabeth’s recent posts on carschooling. 

Check out this urban dictionary definition of “living the dream.” I don’t know about you but I love scrolling through these things.

Stay tuned for more!

Editors Note:  In my now 5 years experience blogging I found some of the most compelling relatable material was when being brutally honest about my situation.  I asked our writer Elizabeth to share her true feelings about her life in journal format.  What she shares to me is raw, I just edit for the sake of SEO.  For those unfamiliar, Elizabeth is a single Mom who lives in an RV as a freelancer, and this is her real life.  Stay tuned for the next chapter

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Zak Totkoff
Zak Totkoff
3 years ago

This is the way! 😀


[…] Check out these recent post from Elizabeth.  […]