It’s Ok If…….. you don’t have what your grandparents have – RIGHT NOW

blog series

Hey All! Yesterday a bloggy buddy and I announced a series that we will be doing in May.

Its Okay if……………

The first post from me in this series is:

It’s Okay If…………… You don’t have what your Grandparents and Parents Have. (right now)


We are just starting to write our story and live our adventure.

We don’t know what our life will look like in 5 years, 10 years, or even 50 years.

My grandparents are pushing 80 years old and they have really cool  stuff.  They have a beautiful large home built on a bluff with a huge back deck positioned just right for the perfect view while they are sipping their morning Joe overlooking the valley and mountains from their elevated back deck. They have top of the line vehicles. They take SWEET vacations. When they have company they treat them to going out to eat. They have a really clean house and tons of free time to pursue whatever fits their fancy. They are able to be generous to their kids, grand-kids, and great-grand kids with birthday gifts, picking up things “just because”, or just helping when they see a need.

One set of our parents have just recently bought a new place and moved to their dream “forever home”. They are 55 and 60 years old. They moved to a 40 acre grandparents haven. The “Rock Nest” as we call it, is the ultimate hosting spot for the family. They have trails to hike, rocks to climb, a pond for fishing and paddle boating, multiple hang out areas, long deep rocking chair covered front porches, a library that has been built over many years, kids play room, and eventually will turn a barn into an outdoor hosting room fully stocked with a kitchen and outdoor cooking and gathering area. (Yes…. Just like the awesome ones you see on HGTV) They are able to go and help all of their children (who live in multiple states) in times of need- moving, having babies, busy seasons of life, etc…. They are able to bless with their time, service, resources, and love.

Another set of parents at the 60 year old mark are enjoying a peaceful country lifestyle on a 60 acre small farm that is PAID for with a beautiful farm house and acreage. Again, another great grand-kid haven.

All of these situations sound nice and awesome.

But 1 detail I want us to pay attention to is that they are twice – 2 1/2 times  our age. Their season of life is totally different than the one that we are in.

And talking and hanging out with people my age (the 20 somethings…. pushing 30) I see a common theme. Most are killing themselves trying to  live these lifestyles RIGHT NOW.

I see them going into tons of debt and living WAY out of their means to try and live the life that most don’t get until they are 50-60 years old.

Most of my generation has only been out of college for 10-15 years. We are all still just starting out and writing our stories.

Friends……. It’s OK if you don’t have what your grandparents have right now.


We are still young. We are still working hard and building and acquiring the old fashioned way with  hard-work, sacrifice, and saving- NOT by  neglecting  family and taking on tons of debt.

Don’t play the game of “Keeping up with the Jones’s” Don’t feel bad, embarrassed, or ashamed that you are still driving a 10 year old vehicle, doing DIY projects, or living in a smaller house that may not be your dream house or in your dream location.

Embrace IT! Take JOY in it!

It’s ok if you don’t have it all right now.

Your story isn’t over.

Lots changes in 5 years, 30+ years, and 50+ years. 

This is a season of family.

Your turn will come later to be the grandparent. It will be your turn later to bless your grand kids.

Don’t squander the season of family and kids at home to chase the retired life of grandparents  by over-committing yourself and going into tons of debt, being over stressed, and living out of your means.

My generation seems to have an attitude of RIGHT NOW, immediate gratification, and NO patience. I mean…… give us a break though…… we are technically considered the “digital generation”. We have everything always at the tip of our fingers with minimal wait time.

Which is why it is important to not forget the past and who has gone before you.

Grab some wisdom from those that have been here before. Be reminded to take it slow.

Our parents and grandparents did not enjoy clean houses and long exotic vacations during their child rearing years.

I interviewed my grandparents and parents that I mentioned in the above scenarios. Here is a wrap up of how they lived when they had small children at home and were in their late 20s early 30s.

Grandparents Pushing 80 (The ones mentioned above)

  • No Debt
  • Did not go into debt for cars (only drove what they could afford and paid cash)
  • built house debt free
    • lived in their house for 1 year without it being sheet rocked (only had studs and sub-flooring)
    • did not have cabinets for over a year
    • Grandad made all the bricks for their home by himself
  • did not go on elaborate vacations
  • did not  put things on credit
  • did not go “shopping” for a past time hobby
  • going out to eat was heading to the park with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

In a nut shell, after interviewing them I learned that they were committed to living within their means. They did not overspend. They only bought what they could afford and built their house debt free slowly but surely. It took a lot of hard work, money management, and sacrifice. They reported that they didn’t start living more freely and comfortable until later in life around the 55 year old mark. That is when they were able to buy their dream house and have all the above things that I mentioned.

Their advice to our generation was:

Do not sacrifice the time with your family for “stuff”. It is over before you know it. Its those relationships that matter. Stop and read a book to your kids and leave the mess. Your house will be clean later- your toddler won’t be there later. Don’t have regrets later about not investing in your kids today— do what matters today. Don’t go into debt for “stuff”. “Stuff” will come later.  Life is short.


Rock Nest Owners

  • Made kids clothes
  • Bought kids clothes on extreme clearance
  • did not shop at “Name Brand” places
  • made all of their own home decorations
  • decorated with what they had or could make
  • did not get to go out to eat as a family at a sit down restaurant
  • Sonic was considered going  out to eat
  • went to grocery store with calculator to make sure that you stayed in budget
  • did not go on vacations
    • Visiting grandparents and family was considered the family summer vacation
  • Did not buy any extras
  • Kids played with siblings and outside rather than be involved in tons of extracurricular activities
  • ate simple meals
  • did not feel pressure or entitlement to comforts and luxuries

Their advice to our generations was:

Be Patient. Life is short. Things change. Don’t be in a hurry. Live within your means.


Both parties that I interviewed had the same overlying theme. Don’t spend what you don’t have and –

Be. Patient. Life. Is. Short. 

I’m sure if you interviewed your grandparents you would probably find similar answers. I enjoyed hearing the stories of how they lived then  compared to how they live now.

Focus on what matters. Live in the present.

Enjoy the season that you are in.

Live it up! And soon you will have your story to tell. Things change quickly.

Its okay if………………………..

This post was the first in my new series “It’s Okay If…” which is running on Tuesdays in May. Now head on over to my pal Kelcie’s blog and check out her post  Its Okay If……..Your Life isn’t a Facebook Fairytale. This girl is the real deal! You don’t want to miss her story and encouragement!


PS: Our story is already shaping up to be a good one to tell our kiddos- maybe I’ll share some of it with you sometime.



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  1. Love this! Such a good reminder… one that I needed! Thanks Amanda!

  2. Thanks for the reminder! It’s hard when we’re finally settling down to want all those things right now. But! we need to prioritize.

  3. This is so true. We’ve begun to expect instant gratification and sometimes waiting makes it all the more sweet.

  4. I wouldn’t trade our “little apartment” anything!

  5. Thanks so much for this! It is the truth, and neglecting this truth is a big part of what is wrong with our economy, right now.
    We are in our 60’s and enjoy a 30-acre plot with a hill and a pond and a deck and a guest house. And we did it the same way, making do or doing without. Shopped consignment or the 5$ rack, only. grew our own veggies and fuel (wood fire–mmm–so romantic and so dirt cheap!) Kept the AC set at 78, when we had one; got over it when we did not. Hung clothing on the line. Cooked from scratch. All that.
    You are so, so right! 🙂

    • Katharine! Thanks so much for describing how you guys lived! That sounds exactly like my parents and grandparents. Great Points! I failed to mention those in “how they lived”. But you hit it dead on. I love hearing their stories of sacrifice and hard work and then seeing them now enjoying exactly what you described you are enjoying now. Those little things do make a big difference……. and you know what…… They are still cooking from scratch, hanging clothes on a line, using wood stoves, and growing their gardens (and the LOVE it) while enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.

  6. THIS IS GENIOUS! I find myself ofen thinking about what our parents and grandparents have and there is no point in it. Really well writte, you just made my day. Thanks!

    • Amanda Farris says:

      Thanks so much for the words of encouragement! It can get tough— but so worth it to just chill and be content.


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