If you are going to learn how to save money, as in saving money on just about everything in life, then learn from the best. Steve Economides, his wife Annette Economides, (their real last name) and their family of seven (five children) flourished on one modest income, and are smiling today because of it.
They have been dubbed the name “America’s Cheapest Family”, and while they have accomplished a lot financially, they still wear that name with joy and pride.
Here’s what we have today:
What was once a frugal life out of necessity has become a life of riches in so many ways. Fortunately, the Economides are willing to speak about their life activities and lifestyle choices and are here today to teach us all a lot.
Here’s where they started:
Steve and Annette Economides got married in 1982. Steve was making $7.00 an hour, and Annette, who was not working at the time, became a new mommy by their first anniversary one year later. It seems as if they weren’t thinking of their life as one of a financial journey then. They were just trying to get by.
However, Annette figured out some good ways to stretch a paycheck, and the two not only lived comfortably, they were soon thriving. They learned to live on a modest income even with five children. They purchased their first home with 15% down and paid it off in nine years. They realized at some point just how many money saving tips they had incorporated into their lives throughout the years.
Their first financial influences:
Steve and Annette seem to have been greatly influenced by Larry Burkett, the founder of Crown Financial Ministries and most likely one of the big influences of many of the big name Christian finance names of today. I’m sure you will see they would readily testify that their greatest influence came from Jesus Christ himself though.
What their life was like:
They have been given all kinds of labels from frugal to tightwad, but don’t let those labels deceive you. As Annette says quite frequently in media appearances, she learned to stretch money until it begged for mercy. Did they go without necessities? I would say no. Did they go without wants? Yes and no. They went without buying with credit, at least for the most part. With the exception of mortgages, they figured out how to make expenses manageable and then manage money so well that they had money to purchase things along the way, many nice things.
Was their life one you might enjoy living?
I can’t answer that. I can tell you that I think most people would feel very comfortable with their lifestyle once they got the hang of it. I also think many people would feel very happy if they could figure out what the Economides have learned to do.
What do I think The Economides (America’s Cheapest Family) could teach you?
Among so many other things, they can teach you how to save money on groceries and other everyday purchases and services, how to save money for a mortgage, how to build a savings account even on a small income, the best way to save money for a vacation, how to teach kids about money, and how to make good choices every single day.
They are also great teachers of budgeting and money management.
It seems as if they could help anyone learn how to budget too. Annette says that even those who find it hard to budget can learn to budget by just setting SOME budget categories to start out as they learn.
Gas, for the most part, she says, is what it is. Water payments are what they are. Insurance is also pretty set from month to month.
Budgeting for recreation though? That’s a different story.
Recreation is one area that is easy for new budget-aware families to start working with. Note: She never said do without fun. She said this is an area that is easy to learn budgeting and an area where a family could begin to cut some expenses and discover the joys of saving money monthly almost immediately.
Groceries? Oh yea.
She believes there is definitely a chance to create positive movement in a person’s finances there and a good place to start a budget process. The Economides have written a book titled “Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family: Includes So Many Innovative Strategies You Won’t Have to Cut Coupons”. Go here to see their book on how to save money on grocery shopping. (Amazon)
Why do I like them so much?
To start, I believe their understanding of how hard it is to learn how to start budgeting makes me see how ‘real’ these people really are. They don’t put you in a place where you feel overwhelmed to start. They step back to the beginning and walk you through those first really, really hard steps.
I also love the philosophy they seemed to have instilled in their children. All of their kids, now adults, have grown up with a financial discipline that was, and still seems to be, natural to them. They do not feel as if they have “gone without”. Instead, they enjoyed their childhoods and are now enjoying adult lives with the valuable knowledge, insight, and financial enjoyment (yes, I put financial and enjoyment together) they discovered as they were growing up.
For me too, I love how they ALL view purchases a “treasure hunts”. As I heard their oldest daughter say once, “Who doesn’t enjoy a treasure hunt?”
Well, I believe all if not at least most of us love a good treasure hunt! I’m just glad my last treasure hunt took me to The Economides, America’s Cheapest Family, who wants to help us all learn how to save money now.
You’ll be inspired.
The Economides Money Saving Resources You Can Learn From:
America’s Cheapest Family on the Web: Money Smart Family
Steve and Annette Economides and Family on YouTube: America’s Cheapest Family on YouTube
Also check YouTube for “America’s Cheapest Family” and “Money Saving Family” and “The Economides” to catch them on other folk’s channels.
Also on Amazon:
And don’t forget from above:
Hope you enjoy learning how to save money with America’s Cheapest Family!