I recently read a report that said, on average, people are spending half of their income on housing. After you pay for the house itself, there is the water and electric, plus basic upkeep. Then, as the square footage grows, so does the surrounding cost. With each additional foot comes more room that has to be heated or cooled or repaired when something goes wrong.

Either you are renting, like in the case of our family, and therefore paying someone else’s mortgage, or you have a mortgage yourself that you will likely be paying on until you finally retire (assuming that any of us will be able to retire at all.) Once you spend half of your income on rent or mortgage, plus surrounding bills and maintenance, what is really left?

The other day, I was sitting down to pay bills and balance our budget when the kids approached me about “doing something fun.” Their list of things that would be ‘fun’ cost a lot of money. While there are a million blogs about free things to do with your family, isn’t it sad that we work all day to support our families, but in reality it is mostly just to have a home to put that family in?

Instead of blogs about free activities, why aren’t there more posts about how to have a place to live for free or cheap? What if we started spending our money on experiences instead of just on trying to maintain a home?


Nathan Monk is a husband, father, author, and former Orthodox priest who writes about growing up in childhood homelessness, and brings awareness to the social and justice issues related to first world poverty.

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