Walk Your Walk

by Katy on June 30, 2008 · 2 comments


Because we live frugally, my family has some wiggle room in our finances. Thankfully, we no longer have to count each and every penny.

This means we get to make a few fun choices with our money. (Of course, what’s fun to me, The Non-Consumer Advocate, might be different from your idea of fun — I am a bit of a freak of nature).

We make 13 mortgage payments per year. We simply add an extra $150 each month. By doing this, our house will be fully paid off before we retire.

We sponsor a 4-year-old girl in Zambia. This in my older son’s name, so he is the one who takes responsibility for this commitment. For birthdays, we’ve had family give money to her, instead of the boys.

The letters we get from her family are full of the richest details. Like, how she is really good at imitating the sound a cricket makes. She is able to catch 75 per day, which she “relishes.” These letters act as a sound reminder to appreciate our Western lives. It’s the best $24 per month ever! It may sound sappy, but I really love Freida.

We have played host family for foreign exchange teachers here in Portland. Twice, we’ve hosted Japanese teachers for the boys’ school, once for three months, once for six. Both times the experience was incredibly positive for everyone. We do this despite our one bathroom house. The relationships we formed will last throughout our lives.

We are just now finishing hosting an English soccer coach who was teaching at a one week camp that the kids attended. He was great fun and had a high tolerance for knock-knock jokes.

If our finances were close to the bone, it would not have been possible to afford soccer camp, yet alone give room and board to a stranger. 

Living a frugal life gives us the freedom to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk.

I still am extremely careful with how we spend our money. Not because I have to be, but because I want to continue to spend in ways I consider to be enriching to our lives.

-Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline June 30, 2008 at 8:56 am

My husband and I are in a similar position, we now put our money where are mouths are – and it’s made a huge improvement to our lives! We too, pay more off our mortgage and sponsor a girl (in Malawi). We foster animals locally until they can be rehomed. I volunteer, attend uni and travel to amazing parts of the world – the greatest education of all. My life is so much richer and more fulfillling than it was before these things were possible… not only that, frugality has eased our money worries, given us freedom in the work we do, increased our relaxation levels and ability to enjoy our life. And of course… it’s just going to keep getting better!


shinebrightly July 1, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Another fantastic post, Katy! What a great reminder of the richness of well-chosen frugality! Beautiful!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: