“God will take care of me”

[This is an awesome look into the financial life of a pastor friend of mine, Jon, who also blogs over at 2-Copper-Coins.com with his wife, Krista. I think you’ll enjoy this whether you’re Christian or not :)]

We are super pumped to be writing here at Budgets are Sexy. We recently joined J Money’s “millionaire club” and are big fans of everything you will find on this site. Before we tell you why we think you can be rich and generous on almost any salary (the topic of this post) we want to tell you a little bit about ourselves. This is us:

jon krista 2 copper coins

My wife Krista and I met six years ago at George Fox University in Newberg OR while serving as student ministry leaders. Our passion for Jesus and people was well matched and we decided serving side by side helping others was something we could do our entire lives. We were married three years later in Portland, OR. I work as a full time youth pastor at 2nd Street Community Church . My wife Krista is a part time administrative assistant at the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends,  a board member for Love Inc Newberg and a volunteer mentor in Love Inc’s weekly relational ministry program.

Will I ever be able to retire?

When I was 24 I went to my first “pastors conference.” The conference itself wasn’t all that memorable (sorry conference speaker) but I had one conversation there that shocked me. An older pastor who had over 50 years of experience shared with me that he couldn’t stop working because he had almost NOTHING saved for retirement. He had resigned himself to the idea that he would have to work until he no longer was physically capable of doing so. He was continually asking himself “will I ever be able to retire?” How effective can you be in whatever field you’re in if that is fear is weighing on you?

When I came home I vowed that no matter if I was making $75,000 (probably won’t ever happen) or $15,000 a year, I would make sure my financial future was secure. The longer I have worked as a pastor the more I have realized that this one gentleman wasn’t alone. A remarkable number of us are ill prepared to face retirement.

There is often a shared sentiment that “God will take care of me” among pastors, which causes them to live above their means.

I certainly believe that “God will provide” but I also believe that I have a responsibility to be a good caretaker of the money given to me. I’m a pastor, it is unreasonable for me to expect to take an international vacation every year, drive a new BMW or Mercedes or buy my food at Zupans. It is reasonable for me to take the occasional vacation at the coast, drive a used Honda and shop at Trader Joes. God doesn’t “provide” for me to be irresponsible, God also gave us logic.

What’s life like for me?

So now to the nitty gritty. As you can imagine, working as a youth pastor isn’t the most lucrative of professions. Don’t get me wrong, the church I work for is incredibly generous with me – I have a retirement matching program that rivals most of my friends working in business or engineering. However, I certainly don’t pull in a huge salary. I have a masters degree, work full time, and get paid about $28,000 annually after taxes. In total my wife and I make about $44,000 in annual net pay.

Here is some of what we have been able to do with that money in the two and a half years we have been married:

  • Pay cash for grad school to the tune of $24,000. My wife just finished her masters in Dec, 2013.
  • Pay off over $20,000 in student loan debt, all accrued from our undergraduate education. We only have $3,700 left to go.
  • Pay cash for our new (to us) Honda Civic – a sweet ride that set us back about $7,900. We are huge Honda fans.
  • Save 15% of our income for retirement. Once our loans are payed off this will go up to 25%.
  • Give away 12% of our income each year to organizations, individuals and causes we support.

While we are proud of those first 4 things, it is the fifth one we find real joy in. It is awesome to be able to be generous with others, we do so because of how great it feels to use your wealth to be a blessing to other people. By lowering our expectations and focusing on GameChangers (radical choices that increase your income or decrease your spending) my wife and I are on track to retire in our mid 50’s live very comfortably and just maybe live out our wildest financial dream, giving away half of our money.

The story behind “2 Copper Coins”

[Editor’s note: I was curious about Jon and Krista’s blog name, “2 Copper Coins” (mainly because I’m a coin collector, as you know ;)), and here’s what they said about it]

We started our blog 2-copper-coins.com because we believe that no matter how much (or little) money you make, you can have an incredible life and be incredibly generous with your money. The title of our site comes from one of our favorite biblical stories, the widow giving all that she has. It comes from the gospel of Mark 12:41-44 (although it can also be found in Luke) this is how the story reads in the NIV:

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Jesus commended this woman because of how generous she was given her circumstances. Where as many more wealthy people had thrown in huge sums of money, she had given all that she had. She realized that generosity is essential, no matter how much or little you have. That is what our blog is all about, how you can build wealth and be generous even if you work in a career that isn’t very financially lucrative.

All of this is possible because we got honest about our finances, sought help where we needed it, and became really comfortable with the word ‘no.’

We invite you to embrace the lifestyle you can afford and secure your financial future too.

Big thanks again to Jon & Krista for sharing their story and mindset with us today. You can reach them at their blog over at 2-Copper-Coins.com (d’uh), or tweet with them over at @2CopperCoins. Hope you guys enjoyed this as much as I did :)

[Photo of old pesos by Clearly Ambiguous]

(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)

Get blog posts automatically emailed to you!


  1. Matt Becker February 27, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    This is really an inspiring post. I love the focus on “GameChangers”. Never heard it called that before but couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. And what I love most is that you guys were able to find a way to do the work you love, at a small salary, and still find a way to make your financial goals a reality. Really powerful lesson. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 9:19 AM

      Thanks Matt, we’re doing our best. Our next goal is to not NEED to work at all so the financial pressure of our job isn’t that much of a burden.

  2. a terrible husband... February 27, 2014 at 6:05 AM

    Generosity is such an incredible topic – and one that’s not written about enough if you ask me. So I loved seeing the story of their blog name. Loved the other points, too, the early retirement on a modest income, the overall generosity, and just the fact that they actually have a plan that looks into the future and involves them taking steps now instead of leaving it in God’s hands like many of their fellow pastors do. I suspect that diligence will be rewarded in several ways. Awesome stuff.

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 9:20 AM

      Thank you, we’re hoping to help other pastors not avoid this topic as it has been done historically in this line of work. That’s important to us.

  3. David Hunter February 27, 2014 at 7:22 AM

    God gave you wisdom to handle your money. I’ll take wisdom over riches any day!

    I love the fact you gave away 12% of your income on $44,000!! Rock on!

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      Thank you, we’re doing our best. Hopefully the scale of giving will move up once Krista lands full time work in her career field but we’re happy being where we are now.

  4. Catina Mount February 27, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    Super inspiring! I just checked out your blog…I am definitely a fan!
    Catina :-)

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      Thanks Catina, we look forward to your readership.

  5. Sarah Greesonbach February 27, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    This one strikes a chord! I’d be curious to know both J and Jon & Krista’s take on tithing/donating while in debt. I know that is a many-sided topic!

    In my journey to full-time freelancing, I’ve also journeyed deeper into my faith. Financial and physical/health risk makes it easier realize and accept everything belongs to God in the first place — we’re just the intermediaries :-)!

    1. Krista@ 2 Copper Coins February 27, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      This is a sticky subject and while we’re not people to force anyone to give, especially if they’re in debt, we do believe that on giving you generate a sense of gratefulness. I think gratefulness is healthy and often can be a redeeming feeling when you’re feeling overwhelmed by things like debt. I work with people in poverty and because it’s a faith based organization they encourage tithing. I was against it at first, but soon realized that asking someone to give a small amount of money away helped them feel valued (maybe ironically) and while I don’t subscribe to the prosperity gospel, watching this new sense of value was pretty epic in someones life who forgot what gratefulness felt like. So… There’s a long answer to a complicated question.

      1. J. Money February 28, 2014 at 8:08 PM

        I’m not the right person to ask about this – I agree it’s a sticky and personal subject – BUT, I can say that what works with me to “get in the giving mood” is to just say YES anytime I’m asked. Say, at church, by friends running on behalf of causes, homeless people asking, whatever the case. I suck hard at tithing so this “trick” really helps me out. I’ve been able to give to all kinds of causes this way and it feels good :) Especially because it means so much to those asking too! I don’t have a “cause” I believe in hardcore, so to see others who do is really inspiring and makes me want to give more. That’s why we launched Love Drop years ago, which I kinda sorta want to bring back again :)

  6. Lucas February 27, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    Thanks for sharing. They have a very inspiring story of following their values, trusting god, and not worrying about what the “world” thinks of them.

    1. Krista@ 2 Copper Coins February 27, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      Thank you Lucas. We do our best.

  7. Brian@ Debt Discipline February 27, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    Thanks for the introduction J! A great post. One of the big reason the family and I are cleaning up our finances it to be able to give more.

    1. Krista@ 2 Copper Coins February 27, 2014 at 10:30 AM

      Great to hear Brian, best of luck to you.

  8. Elisabeth February 27, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    The math here is blowing me away: just to confirm, housing, food, car fuel/insurance, utilities, clothes, medical bills, the whole shebang, for TWO people, for under $1,000 a month after education/loans/charity/retirement? I’ve lived for under $1,000 a month, and it wasnt unlivable, but I sure wouldn’t want to do it for two people.

    1. Krista@ 2 Copper Coins February 27, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      That’s accurate although it might help to know or church covers medical so we don’t pay for that and they have an HSA for medical expense s for us. Our biggest help is that we only pay $400 a month in rent and $200 for food, utilities are around $80 so our essential costs are pretty minimal.

  9. Dave @ The New York Budget February 27, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Wow – such impressive goals met on $44,000 per year. This is really very inspiring!

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 9:30 AM

      Thank you! We have many financial bloggers to thank for making us feel like we could make it work.

  10. Jon @ Money Smart Guides February 27, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    This is a great lesson on how you can reach your goals regardless of how much (or little) you make. If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen.

    1. Krista@ 2 Copper Coins February 27, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      Word. That’s our philosophy!

      1. J. Money February 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

        “If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen.” – exactly!!! Cuz deep down EVERYONE knows how to save money, lose weight, stop smoking etc, but until you REALLY want it and make it a priority it’ll never happen.

  11. Apples February 27, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    I’m going to assume their housing is taking care of by the church he works for. And that potentially a few meals a week are eaten during church events. But even still, to live on less than $1000/month is amazing.

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      Housing isn’t taken care of by the church at all, although they do provide a housing allowance but it’s in that $44,000 that we bring in each year so normal people might call it a salary. :) We do find that we eat with a lot of families from our church as many of them like to meet and get to know the youth pastor but our church doesn’t have a building so meals isn’t a common thing in our congregation.

  12. Slackerjo February 27, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    I am curious about housing. Rent or own?

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      Currently rent. We’re also looking into a move soon in which we’ll probably not have living expenses (Krista’s goal is to be a resident director at a university in which you live on campus and they cover housing/food/utilities). We have mixed feelings about home ownership. Not its inherent value just whether or not it’s responsible to do at certain life stages, like our own. Our ultimate dream is paying cash… but who knows.

      1. Kim April 30, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        Good luck with the RD position. It’s how I put myself through grad school.

  13. James Lathrop February 27, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    Completely agree! God will provide for us but that doesn’t give us an excuse to not plan. Loved the post! Thanks!

    Also if you are ever in the Portland/Gresham area, I’d love to meet up for coffee sometime.

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 9:26 AM

      We’d love to! Swing over to our page and perhaps e-mail us? Or we’ll take the initiative. Thanks for reading!

      1. J. Money February 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM


  14. Brad @ RichmondSavers.com February 27, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    I really enjoyed this post and I can’t wait to check out their site in greater detail in the days to come…

    I particularly enjoyed this quote, “God doesn’t “provide” for me to be irresponsible, God also gave us logic.”

    I feel like “logic” is so often missing from the conversation when true believers are reciting their beliefs; this just tends to turn off more logical, free-thinking people who then invariably label that entire group as not worth their time (and much harsher things than that…).

    If all people could apply more logic to their lives instead of being so doctrinaire the world would be a better place!

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      Thank you, that’s huge to us. We’re also big believers in the fact that everyone was blessed with certain skill sets and NOT using those (like the ability to develop side income) is also not being logical. It can change a lot of the defeated attitudes prevalent in many of today’s religious leaders. (Maybe not the mega church leaders that make a ton more than we do but the general group).

  15. John S @ Frugal Rules February 27, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Great post Jon! We have several friends that are pastors and have seen both sides – the saving nothing for retirement and the more prudent and logical approach that you’re taking. I think so much of it goes back to not really mattering, on numerous levels, how much you are making, but how you’re managing it. In your case, it’s very, very well and with a solid giving plan to boot. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Krista@ 2 Copper Coins February 27, 2014 at 10:02 AM

      Thank you John. We just hope to see more pastors make their way over to the money well managed side of the street. Glad to hear you know some who are!

  16. Becky @ RunFunDone February 27, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    You know, so many Americans manage their money terribly, and I love personal finance blogs for getting the word out there about how to change your financial life around. However, I have found that most PF blogs don’t chat much about generosity. It drives me crazy! I have found that most often when the writer is generous, it’s religiously motivated. I’m religious too, so I’m right there in that boat! :)

    1. Krista@ 2 Copper Coins February 27, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      Thank you, we actually thought that was the main piece we might offer that frustrated us a bit about other blogs. Bloggers do talk about it but typically not in substantial ways.

      1. J. Money February 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM

        That’s why we need more of you guys!! Gotta keep spreading the good word so it rubs off on all of us! :)

  17. Big Guy Money February 27, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    Unfortunately, I have a hard time trusting pastors for this same reason. For the most part, if they haven’t saved anything and can’t retire, what you’ll hear from them is “I just don’t feel like God is calling me to retire yet.” When they get interviewed and take a job at a larger church that pays more, you’ll hear “God is really calling us to minister to the people of *insert city here*”

    I’m not necessarily saying that this would be Jon’s message, but unfortunately it’s true in many cases. Great post – I hear all the time from people that mis-manage their money that “God will provide” and while it’s true that He does, we have to do our part.

    1. Krista@ 2 Copper Coins February 27, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      Thank you for this. If you knew us you would know that using the God Card as we call it is one of the most aggravating things to witness and it’s so common. It really drives us crazy. It’s used in other ways too ‘Gods calling me to break up with you’ is the Christan school version of ‘it’s not you it’s me’ and is unfortunately also a common cop out.

      1. Big Guy Money February 27, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        Absolutely agree. Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that God is capable of speaking to people but ‘Christians’ way too often hide behind it.

        Another great one is asking someone to help out with something. If the reply is “I’ll pray about it,” that equals “Nope.”

        1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 11:13 AM

          You definitely hit the nail on the head about the prayer piece. Which is frustrating because scripture rightfully challenges us when it says “if you see one of your brothers or sisters in need and say to them ‘keep warm and well fed’ but do nothing for them where is your faith?” Tangible help is often what we are asked to provide.

          1. J. Money February 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

            You guys are too much, haha… But sounds very accurate from where I stand too.

  18. Angie February 27, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Awesome post about responsibility and good stewardship! This just goes to show that what matters is how well you’re able to manage what you make, not the amount. If you’re making six-figures but don’t have a plan for your money, you’ll end up worse off than you started. I definitely took away a lot from this one. Sacrificing now pays off big in the end!

    1. Krista@ 2 Copper Coins February 27, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      Thanks Angie, obviously we are big believers in stewardship trumps income (not that we wouldn’t mind a healthy dose of both).

  19. Pengepugeren February 27, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Personally I don’t find the story of the poor woman appealing at all. Handing out your last coins only digs you deeper into the hole, and it won’t make much of a difference anyway. Instead she should have kept the money and bought herself some food.

    I could give all I own to charity and still it would be nothing compared to what Bill Gates has done with a fraction of his wealth.

    1. Krista@ 2 Copper Coins February 27, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Totally a fair analysis of the story one Ive struggled with many times. I think the flip side is that sacrifice is important, and someone sacrificing a very small amount of what they earn and trying to collect the accolades at the expense of the poor woman trying to do be generous is not the point of giving.

  20. Sarah R. February 27, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    I love this story! I clicked over and was amazed to read you game changers. I’ve often thought that we would be so smart to do the very same thing and move into a trailer. The extra $$ it would free up would be life changing. I’ve always tithed 10% to my church, but in my twenties I didn’t prioritize correctly because I forgot to pay myself as well. I paid my bills, my tithing, and that was it. Now that I have children I realize I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by not saving for myself. If only I could go back and do it again! Great story!

    1. Krista February 27, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      That’s a very important reflection Sarah. It’s not just about getting right with your monthly responsibilities and tithing, it’s about doing yourself a favor and saving/investing so your future’s secure. Thank you for reading!

    2. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      Thanks so much Sarah. Right now we are in the fortunate position of being able to comfortably live where we live. If we had kids we would certainly be doing it differently, but right now is the season of life for us where we can leverage our living situation to our advantage. We often advise people to give what they can while getting their finances in order, but you are right if you don’t have anything saved for yourself then it is going to be super difficult to be generous in the future.

  21. Ginna February 27, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    I love this post and especially their dream of giving away 50% of their income. It’s one that my husband and I have talked about a lot too… a real tangible way of living “love others as you love yourself.”

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Thanks Ginna, we hope to get to 50/50 but if we even get close we will consider that a big win. We can love others as we love ourselves emotionally and spiritually but we think (as it sounds you do as well) that at some point we need to love others fiscally as well. Many of the worlds problems take money to solve and if we don’t have a good handle on our money we aren’t in a position to be able to do that.

  22. too funny February 27, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Many people in ministry elect not to pay the social security tax on “religious grounds.” Or they take a lot of income tax free for living expenses. I find that this behavior is disingenuous. Skipping out on a tax that helps the elderly and disabled, or expecting other people to pick up the tab for government services. Ugh… my moocher relatives that are evangelical/fundamentalist pastors really bug me.

    You sound much more sane than them.

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      I agree with you on that. I made the intentional choice not to opt out of social security for that reason. I have parents who are collecting and I want them to be able to enjoy the benefits. Since social security may not exist for my generation I also want to make sure I secure my retirement without depending on social security. Eventually one generation is going to have to bite the bullet and deal with major social security reform, I want us to be prepared to handle it. I think that as followers of Jesus Christians we should also be among the strongest voices for things that help others, fiscally and otherwise. Thanks for chiming in.

    2. Steve February 27, 2014 at 8:14 PM

      If your complaint is that religious people are taking advantage of legal tax breaks then your issue should be with those who wrote the tax code, not those following the law. Now if they are stepping over the legality line then you have a valid point.

      I just have an issue with the idea that its governments job to take care of the less fortunate. Government is without question the most costly and inefficient way to get anything done and this comes from someone, me, who has a cousin who a while back was the majority speaker of the US Senate.

      Before my father passed away, he ran a food bank for his church and it was amazing the massive amounts of food they could provide directly to those who really needed it on such a small amount of money. If that same money had been sent to Washington D.C., just a few pennies on the dollar would end up getting to someone that needed help.

      Social Security is a perfect example of inefficient government and a conversation too long for here but the reality is if people were allowed to take that money and invest it themselves, the average person would probably end up with 10 to 15 times as much than what they will ever get from S.S. The problem is too many people are not responsible enough to invest that money and we as a society are not willing to allow them to suffer the consequences from their poor decisions. As a result, almost all of us end up paying decades worth of payroll tax that earns no real return when it could be invested in a 401K or IRA or whatever your retirement investment of choice.

      /Steps off his soap box.

  23. Josh February 27, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Than you both for sharing. Excellent words of wisdom. I find myself falling into the trap often of, “I will donate more when I pay off this debt, or when I reach that milestone.”

    I’m reminded of a great book I read a while back by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Thou Shall Prosper, where he said the act of giving opens up our hand for receiving blessings as well.

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 4:20 PM

      I haven’t ever heard of the book but you can bet I’m going to. I think that giving allows us to have freedom from money controlling our lives. Sure we need money to live but if it is the thing we most desire and hang onto we will be more reluctant to let go of it (give it away) when we find something awesome we want to support. For us getting our finances in order was a way for us to get to say YES to causes and people we love to support.

  24. Grayson @ Debt Roundup February 27, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    This is a great story. Nice work Jon and Krista! I like how you said that god does not provide for you to be irresponsible. That is a great way to put it all together. I wish you two the best of luck on your admirable goals.

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      Thanks Grayson. Best of luck as you work toward your financial goals.

  25. renae February 27, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    Great article! Very inspiring. Your story is a great example to show those who claim that paying off debt and saving for retirement can’t be done on a limited income. I had a conversation with a pastor’s wife several years ago about how the denomination they were a part of did not provide much for retirement. Because of this, she told me they were saving $20/month in an annuity for retirement. I know $20/month is better than nothing, but I was shocked that they thought it was enough.

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      That’s not a lot but I have to say some pastors don’t even want to think about it. Like avoiding it makes the problem nonexistent (we all do that in some areas of life). So $20 isn’t much but it at leasts acknowledges the need.

  26. Done by Forty February 27, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    What a great example you two provide. You really don’t need a huge salary to reach some huge financial goals. Well done!

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      Thank you! We’re hoping to get that message across. Especially to younger generations entering the helping professions.

  27. Shannon February 27, 2014 at 5:31 PM

    I hope I can give away in retirement as well! So I did some quick math here: 2.5 years of salary is $110,000? Minus 15% to retirement ($16,500), minus 12% tithing ($13,200), minus $24,000 to grad school, minus $20,000 to the loans, minus $7,900 for the car. That leaves $28,400 to live on for roughly 30 months, so $1183/month on average? Wowee!

  28. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 27, 2014 at 6:05 PM

    I’m so impressed that so many people have taken time to do the math! Yes we’re making it work on not a lot. We’ve made big choices (like our less than ideal home) and small choices (switching phone companies) to make our essential expenses very very minimal. We actually only NEED about $800 a month to pay all of our bills, eat and get to and from work. We try and use any extra funds that come in from random gifts or babysitting money here and there to go to work on our goals too (most often student loan debt is where those funds end up). It’s a combination of lots of small things and well established priorities.

  29. Carmen February 27, 2014 at 7:29 PM

    I just wanted to commend you and to let you know that it can be done long term. I am so impressed that you are starting so young! My husband is on staff with a Christian not-for-profit, and he currently brings home $55,000 a year. I have worked part-time occasionally over the years, but I have primarily been a stay-at-home parent to our 5 children. My husband and I have been married 16 years, and we also spent the first year of our marriage renting a double-wide trailer with wall to wall pink carpet:) We now own our home (paid it off last year). It is not large by American standards, but it is very nice 1500 square foot ranch, that is perfect for our family. We also own our one vehicle. We are also able to give away 20% of our income – it is a joy. So keep up the good work – you are not alone.

    1. J. Money February 28, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      That’s so awesome!! Way to go!!

  30. Ben @ The Wealth Gospel February 27, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    Loved this post! My beliefs about money run in the same vein. Nice to get to know you guys!

  31. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 28, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    Thanks Ben, if you want to connect further we’d love to!

  32. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life February 28, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Glad to hear your perspective. I’ve been drafting a post for a while about “my problem with faith”- and while I have many, I wanted to specifically write about money. Then again, I’m afraid to ruffle feathers… but the main premise was something I see you writing about here- putting responsibility outside of yourself- in God or Jesus- rather than holding yourself accountable.

    1. Jon@2-copper-coins.com February 28, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      That’s awesome Stefanie. It is a topic that ruffles feathers, and I think our strong belief that guilt should never be a part of the giving process is helpful. Ultimately it is a little counter cultural to give away quite a bit of money and therefore feathers will always be ruffled when it’s brought up.

  33. Jacob February 28, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Great post, Jon. You guys obviously exemplify the giving “cheerfully and sacrificially” part that so many of us miss. And your goals are inspiring (i.e. giving away half your income!).

    And thanks for the inside look at what is really a huge problem in the church today; stewardship. That’s one of my huge goals is to help in the financial ministries at my church (FPU, etc.), and to help those who don’t have much make the most of it.

    Incredible work on the limited income you do have, and what an impact you are making for the Gospel.

  34. Petrish @ Debt Free Martini March 2, 2014 at 3:48 AM

    This post was awesome. It proves the point that you don’t have to make six figures to get out of debt. You just have to budget and live within your means. Having God in your life also helps too. Thank you for sharing.

  35. Marissa@Financetriggers March 2, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    Very inspiring post. I had also read that in the bible. If you are just willing to give what you had without hesitation for the benefit of everyone even how small it is, God will definitely sees it and bless you for doing good things.

  36. @freepursue March 6, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Inspiring. Actions certainly speak louder than words. Thank you for leading by example and showing that taking personal responsibility for your future is key to success. have reduced my expenses SIGNIFICANTLY over the last year and will strive for even more after reading your story. All the best to you both on your path to success.

    1. J. Money March 7, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      Awesome to hear! Keep on working hard at it!