We live in “Da ‘Hood.” Corner stores, kids out late at night, gunshots, alley mechanics and all the glory of what the ‘hood life entails. Yes, this is where our home is located. A home on the next block is selling for $2,500. That’s a car note for some people. We are eyeing a property for $1,500 not too far away. Our property taxes are less than $1,000 each year. Oh yeah, the city of Chicago is giving away lots for $1 if you live where we live. Life is, well, not that pricey here. So consequently we are “Hood Rich.” Not because we are broke and have 3 or more 50″ flatscreens in our home (we actually have not one flat screen TV in the house), but because we can afford to save money due to the low cost of living in our particular neighborhood. Though Chicago can be expensive, we’ve been able to offset that cost by living in Englewood.
We don’t have a mortgage and we aren’t inclined to drive fancy cars for practical reasons. A Bentley might not be the best ride to bring in, not quite yet anyway. My husband and I decided that we would be smart about money (and safety) and grow roots here because financially, it just makes sense.
There are a few minor inconveniences: having to drive a little further for some shopping stores, not utilizing the neighborhood schools (home school) and things like gang activity. However, being the rogue Christian that I am, I have seen prayer truly work to improve the neighborhood: crime is down, the first cafe opened in the community EVER and Whole Foods, yes, Whole Foods is coming into our neighborhood. THAT could ONLY be prayer!
We came here to set up shop, but we have made it a point to be wise and put our trust God’s protection. He’s been so faithful. Plus, we stopped gang banging, selling drugs and slangin’ illegal firearms, so we are less of a target now, j/k! Just kidding, meaning we never did those things. But seriously, because we are not involved in those activities, the chances of us being victims of violent crime is so much smaller. So we rest pretty peacefully at night and amble about the community at ease during the day. Surprisingly, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of families just like us here: working hard and doing the best they can in life.
I run my business from home and have what I’d like to think as a great work life balance. I see my kids all day and still am able to contribute to the household financially. It’s truly ideal, but couldn’t be done if we started our married life in a $400,000 home in the ‘burbs. That may be our end later on in life, but I’m not going to stress myself or my family out getting there. We are still and will always be committed to a debt free lifestyle. It’s ok to start small and humble so you can finish strong and with integrity. That’s our goal.
Would you live in “the ‘hood” to save money on life?