Last night, my wife and I were watching TV and came across a show on TLC about the Jeub family called “Kids by the dozen”. You may remember a show about the Duggar family that has made news with having 17 kids. I remember watching a couple episodes and was taken back by the size of the house they were building for the family. I believe the husband was a real estate developer and the boys helped build the house. Very impressive to be able to organize and motivate the kids to help build a house.
The Jeub Family has a large family as well with 14 kids. I was most impressed and challenged by the frugal lifestyle they lived and devotion to home schooling. They also have older children as leaders, I guess you really have to rely on the older children to help organize the younger children and form a buddy system to get tasks done. I had to stop and replay our DVR when I heard the Jeub’s family income was less than $40,000 a year. I realize they don’t live in New York city or San Francisco, but $40k? This is an inspiring family that challenged my thinking on so many topics. I had to stop the program and ask my wife the following question. How can you raise 14 kids on less than $40k a year? What about emergency accounts, dental bills, braces, vacations, college savings, and retirement? She just laughed at me.
The Jeub’s also spend about $100-$150 a week on groceries for 14 children. I know many friends that spend more than $150 on a family of 4. The Jeub’s really made me challenge some of my thoughts about spending on kids and luxuries of ours. For instance, birthday parties. Would you ever combine your kids birthday parties to save money? I have it set in my head that our kids deserve a special day to celebrate. Do they?
But really, how would you do it? I realize you have to live a frugal lifestyle with 14 children, but doesn’t this make you think hard about priorities for your family. I’m sure the Jeub’s are excellent teachers and that the kids could attend college through scholarships. And I do realize, college is not the end all, and be all for everyone. What about braces? So many questions were going through my mind. How do you tell your kids that braces are not in the budget? I know, I know, you just tell them “braces are not in the budget”.
I really enjoyed watching one of the Jeub daughters working with her dad in the family business. What a wonderful lesson that will teach her and allow her to understand what her dad does for the family income. The Jeub’s clearly have a love for children and a strong faith in God that keeps them focused. Watching the beautiful scenery in Colorado made me daydream to move my family out of the Bay Area and into the country. Maybe once I reach my goal of having multiple passive income streams, we could move our family to the country. The Jeub’s clearly include the family on shopping and finances and probably teach invaluable lessons on personal finance through homeschooling. If you have an opportunity, I would recommend you watch the show about the Jeub Family, and challenge the way you think about your family financial goals.