We love to hear testimonies from young men who have chosen the less traveled and far better route of being debt-free even in purchasing a home. One such guy shared his experience with us recently. It shows how with vision, determination, hard work, and dedication, you can achieve a debt-free lifestyle. Here is Amos’ story, Part 1.
When I was about 16, I listened to your audiobook of Preparing Sons. I liked the book and believe it has had an influence on me. In addition, my family watched and was distinctly changed by Jim Sammons’ presentation of the Financial Freedom seminar. Teaching from the Bible about problems with debt was also included in my Accelerated Christian Education high school math curriculum. Perhaps the greatest influence on me came from memorizing each chapter of Proverbs when I was 13 and then memorizing the book again when I was 14 and reading it through many times in the following years.
I grew up on a dairy farm. My siblings and I helped on the farm a lot, and Dad paid us by giving us portions from the sales of cows or by giving us calves. I used some of this money to buy beef cattle and thus got more funds. One of my brothers and I also had a lawn mowing business, and I tried never to spend money. I lived at home, used my parents’ vehicles, and didn’t buy myself hip clothing, coffee, or gadgets. I had thousands of dollars in savings by the time I got engaged. However, there is no way at 19 years old it would have been enough to go out and buy an average house.
When I got engaged, it was obvious that we’d need a place to live, and it seemed most sensible to build a house. My grandfather owned a number of pieces of farm land, and he offered to give me the land to build a house on. My grandfather got power put in to the property and set up a submersible pump in the well. He also dug a trench with his backhoe to bury the pipes and main wires to the house.
Dad and Grandpa dug a basement with tractors, and then I rented forms for basement walls from the concrete company so we could set them up ourselves and save hiring labor. We put old scrap metal in the forms instead of buying rebar. The company I bought the cement from also sold me a used concrete septic tank! My dad negotiated a good deal on lumber from a building center. I bought whole pallet loads of OSB and agreed not to return any boards from the loads they delivered. For framing the walls, I bought used boards from a man who was tearing down some old buildings. The boards were rough cut and only had four or five usable feet but they were still solid. We nailed these 4’ 2”x4”s together to make 12’ 4”x6” studs which were spaced every two feet.
Part 2 will complete Amos’ story soon!
“but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.”