Hey there, I’m Olivia. I’m the blogger of Joyfully Prudent, graphic designer of Joyful Art Designs, I’m a wife to a wonderful Algebra teacher (and college basketball official), and a mother to two wonderful boys! Most importantly, I’m a daughter of Jesus Christ!
I originally started blogging under the name “Snyders Tell All” about our family. People kept asking me questions about how we paid our house off in 33 months (briefly explained below), so I started sharing tips we learned along the way, and still do today, to live a prudent lifestyle. It evolved into a lifestyle/personal finance blog. I recently relaunched it with a new name and website.
It took me months to finalize a name for my blog. I landed on Joyfully Prudent because that’s exactly how I aim to live my life. “Prudent” means “wise & careful in providing for the future”. Being prudent can be kind of very difficult, especially in today’s world, but I aim to find joy in it all. There’s always something to be grateful for.
My faith is very important to me. I believe making prudent choices with a joyful heart honors the Lord and that’s my journey in this life, and much of what you will see on this blog. I use the word “journey” intentionally because that’s what it is…a journey. Trust me, I have not mastered being joyfully prudent by any means (just ask my husband), but my goal is to live as close to that as I can.
DEBT FREE STORY
We live a debt free life. Ryan’s proposal was the start of our journey to financial freedom. 33 months after we bought our house, we paid it off. I was 24 years old. Ryan bought a house in December of 2006 and surprised me with it during his proposal. We decided we would double our payments so we could knock off as much interest as possible and pay it off quickly (we originally had a 15 year note). We married in August of 2007, while I was student teaching (making no money, therefore his income was doubling payments). In January 2008, about a year after the house purchase, I got a teaching job and our income instantly doubled. We decided to put another payment towards our house each month and pay it off even quicker. We kept an extremely tight budget during this time with these top 4 tips. Eventually we would end up paying 5 times our mortgage and pay it off several months later in October of 2009! We paid only $11,000 in interest, saving us thousands of dollars that we actually ended up investing so we could MAKE money on that interest saved. This also afforded me to stay home when we had kids, a dream of mine since I was younger.
Currently, our house has appreciated well over the total amount we ended up paying for it, so when/if we move, we’ll end up making money on our house (or rent it out and use that money for our new mortgage). We haven’t had a mortgage since 2009 and it’s the most freeing feeling. We are very passionate about money. We’re very intentional about college savings and retirement, while still enjoying luxuries that require money. It’s one of the most talked about topics in the Bible and I can see why. The way we handle our money is really important. And really, I shouldn’t call it “our” money. It’s God’s money that we manage here on Earth.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND ON THIS BLOG
Whether you’re trying to pay off your house, a student loan, credit cards, or simply budget better, I hope you’ll find some useful information here. I’m a very down-to-earth wife and mom just trying to stay within my budget. Saving money does not come naturally to me and I much prefer to spend money, but I also know the importance of living within our means. My husband is the saver and much wiser than I regarding money. You won’t find confusing financial analyst “secrets” here because, quite frankly, I don’t know any. Small, consistently good choices make a huge difference. My motto on personal finance is simplicity. I love this quote by Calvin Coolidge…“There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.” I also love Dave Ramsey and recommend all his books no matter what your financial stage is.
Our income and financial goals are what force me to budget, but what I’m really excited about are things like home décor, cleaning, organizing, planning, motherhood, entertaining, and good food. You can find all of these things in the categories at the top of my blog. I love a balanced, organized life…and when I find that, I’ll let you know. I’m very honest on this blog. I’m a terrible liar and what you see is what you get.
I love answering questions or writing topics based on interest from readers, so feel free to contact me if you have any questions…or just to say hi! Readers are what excite me about this blog!
FUN FACTS ABOUT ME
I was born and raised in Texas. I have an older sister, a younger brother, a younger sister, and two wonderful parents. We’re all about 2 years apart (15 months between my brother and I)…bless my parents. I lived and breathed soccer growing up and was given the opportunity to play at Southern Methodist University all four years, while getting a degree in Business Marketing and Elementary Education. Shortly after college, in 2007, Ryan and I got married and I started my teaching career as a 2nd grade teacher. I started blogging in 2011. In 2012, after 4.5 years of teaching, I decided to stay home with our first son, Beckham. In 2013, I decided to start a small business, Joyful Art Designs, which has been a huge blessing. And a year after that, in 2014, we had our second son, Maddox. You can read 28 random facts about me here and 29 random facts about me here.