Hey friend! My name is Carlie Kercheval, and I am the founder of Today’s Frugal Mom™. I am passionate about helping moms save and earn money at home, all while managing their roles as wives and mothers.
But before I go any further let me share this…
Before I share more of my story, I want you to understand what my definition of frugal is so you can have a better idea of where I am coming from and what you will see on this site.
When I refer to the word “frugal” I am referring it to being wise with your relationships, wise with your money, wise with your time, and wise with everything God has given you.
This site is not focused solely on saving money – but it is about being wise with all the amazing things you’ve been blessed with and how to manage them well. You can expect to see practical encouragement that will lead to being frugal in all aspects of your life.
Now that that’s out of the way…
I am proud to be a 4th generation frugal living mom that has seen what “frugal” looks like over 4 generations of amazing women. I first started to see what frugal looked like through the lives of both of my great-grandmas whom I was blessed to have around for many years of my life. From spending time gardening and reading to canning to coupon clipping to shopping for used things instead of new, my life was destined to be frugal. It was a lovely start to the frugal-living mindset.
Then life happened.
I grew up in a very destructive and violent household. While my mother was a master at turning a dime into a dollar, the turmoil in my immediate family began to take a toll on me. I just desperately wanted to be away from the chaos and fighting and when I turned 18 I left home – leaving my knowledge of frugal living by the wayside. Because I was now an adult with a job, the credit card offers started piling in. And since I really didn’t have much of anything growing up, I decided that getting these credit cards would be a “good” thing. As long as I could make the minimum payments, I had NO problem racking up thousands and thousands of dollars in debt. And the saddest part? It was all things like clothing, dinner out, and other frivolous things. Bottom line, I was in a lot of financial trouble. By the time I was 19, I had over $10,000 worth of credit card debt and I was headed off to Washington State University to try and improve my life.
During my undergraduate time, I worked 3 jobs while being a full-time university student, paying off my debt just one month before graduation. I was elated, and so thankful to God!
When my husband and I got married, like most people, we were in debt up to our eyeballs with student loans and broke. Thankfully we both had the same goal and determination to be debt free. We came up with a long-term plan to pay off all of our student debt (we both financed 100% of our college education), the debt of our first home, and a car we had financed together. 5 years later, in 2005, we were completely debt free from everything! No more student debt, no more car payments, and no more house payment!
How did we do it?
For now, I’ll give you the short version (I plan to do a series on it later). As a Christian couple, we believe wholeheartedly that the Bible is the Word of God, so we found scriptures that we could stand on to line up with becoming debt free. Then we took communion over it and prayed about it. We had printed out “contracts” that consisted of each of our debtors along with the amount owed. We signed and dated them. Then we came up with a detailed plan of how we could live on pennies for the better part of the next 7 years (however, we were blessed to be done early and it only took 5 years!) and committed to stick to it. And we did. We came together at the end of each week to go over our goals and make sure we were accountable for everything we spent.
The beautiful thing was that I was able to take all the knowledge that I had been exposed to in my childhood and make a solid plan to make being debt free a reality in our lives!
And guess what moms? I’ve been able to do it while continuing to be a stay-at-home homeschooling mother (this is something that we were unwilling to compromise on). While not everyone has the same goals as our family, that isn’t what is important. It doesn’t matter if you have one, two, or three people working in the home (I have some friends who have teens who work to help support their family). The important thing is to set firm financial goals and not stray from them. It can be done. You can become debt-free!
Let’s grow together moms, let’s help our families prosper in body, mind, and spirit as we live out a frugal lifestyle!
Other projects you can see me working on…
My husband Michael and I started a marriage website together in 2013. Our marriage website, Fulfilling Your Vows™ is where we pour out our heart and soul to encourage couples to continually work hard to find fulfillment in their marriage. The site gives a lot of practical tips to improve their marriage as well as a lot of great ideas for frugal date nights, stay-at-home date nights, and creative (and cheap) ways to celebrate your anniversary! We also now offer an online marriage book club for those who are looking to find community and fellowship while improving their marriages!
My husband and I published our first book in the summer of 2013 on Kindle and in paperback: Learning to Speak Life™: Fruit of the Spirit Family Devotional.This fun new 9-week family Bible study is geared for families with young children ages 3-9. It examines the fruit of the Spirit according to Galatians 5:22-23 – teaching children how to speak God’s life-giving words in place of words that tear down and destroy. We believe that if your family takes the time to work through our devotional, that you will see increased family unity and more intimate relationships as a result of speaking kinder words to one another. There is no limit to the amazing things God can do in a heart that is speaking positive words!
In 2011, I founded a women’s ministry site called Managing Your Blessings. This site is a place where women can come to be encouraged by a team of faithful Jesus loving sisters in Christ. I held a quarterly online book club for women for community and Christian encouragement. I have since merged the content from this website into Today’s Frugal Mom underneath the the appropriate tabs: faith, family, homeschool.
I started my first successful website, So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?™, in May of 2011. This site and my loyal readership have been such a blessing to me. Our family has been called by God to walk the path of home education and we love it. I’ve been homeschooling our three precious children since birth and have over a decade of experience in this are of our life. I am very grateful for the loyal Facebook community and readership that has formed through SYCYAH. This website is now retired and I have imported all of the blog posts into Today’s Frugal Mom™.