Hey there! I’m Caroline; a penny pinching,
cheapskate frugalista, hippie, mom to my three beautiful sons, and the wife to an amazing husband.
We’re a normal family; we laugh, we love, and we drive each other crazy.
Except we’re not really that normal.
My husband and I met in our freshman year at college.
We got engaged when I was 18.
We found out that we were pregnant shortly after that.
I had my oldest son at 19.
We lived off of my husband’s one income while he went to school.
I dropped out of college to be a full-time mom.
He dropped out of school when the part-time work wasn’t paying the bills.
We survived on his $10/hour income for years.
We fought a lot over money… and it almost ended our marriage more times than I can count.
He was a compulsive spender and almost spent us into debt.
Our marriage hung in the balance of us figuring out how to make everything work.
It took years and years to get on the same page with our money and priorities.
Finally, something clicked.
And we stopped living paycheck to paycheck.
We were able to start saving money.
We bought a car.
We bought a house.
While some people have hobbies like playing guitar or shopping, my hobby is finding the best ways to save the most money I possibly can. No, seriously… that’s my hobby.
What’s the real “WHY” here?
I started my blog in August 2015, honestly, because I was bored! Boredom doesn’t do me any favors. I had just had our third son and was feeling very isolated. I desperately needed adult interaction and a blog met that need!
I wanted to share our story in hopes of helping someone who is in the same place I once was.
We’ve lived off of my husband’s one income since we’ve been married, and until recently, he didn’t make a lot of money. I mean, he made $17,000 a year and we lived off of just that income for 4 years! It took a while, but we finally got the motivation that we needed to get serious about our budget and stick to it.
Once we had our budget in place, we were able to buy 2 cars, build up a savings account, and buy a house. If we were able to do all of that on such a low income, we knew that we could do anything that we set our minds, and our budget, to do!
10 Random Fun Facts
Ok, so you’ve heard the hard stuff. Let’s talk about some weird things you don’t know about me!
This was NOT planned!
This whole blogging thing… yeah no. I thought I’d do the stay-at-home mom thing and live a Pinterest-perfect life. Welp… THAT didn’t happen.
And honestly though, I wouldn’t change it for he world!
I’m a boy mom… times 3!
I have 3 sons… and all I’ve ever wanted was a girl! I mean, come on… pink, bows, lace, Mary Janes, dresses, pigtails… what’s not to love about that?! I joke with my husband that we’re going to keep having babies until I have a girl!
But I love my boys! They are so much fun. They’re the sweetest balls of energy and cuddles in the world, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I’m an animal lover.
I grew up with 1 dog, 3 cats, 2 snakes, and probably a million fish. Now we have our rescue animals: 1 dog (Wingnut), and 3 cats (Tink, Ellie, and River). They’re part of our family! I’d adopt all of the animals at the shelter if I could!
I’m really short!
It’s true. I’m 5’1″. Let the short jokes begin!
I’m a crazy Philadelphia sports fan.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, I’m more than a little crazy over the Eagles, the Union, the Phillies, and the Flyers. No shame! I holler at my TV during football games.
I had 1 c-section and 2 planned homebirths.
I’m in love with homebirthing. It’s a weird thing, but oh my word, I love it! For a while, I even wanted to be a doula or a midwife. Baby number 1 (Jackson) was a really awful c-section that left me with some very real PTSD about birth. After 3 and 5 years, babies number 2 (Will) and number 3 (Michael) were born in my living room.
(Fun fact: my husband likes to freak people out by pointing to the spots where both of the boys were born when we have company over.)
I’m more than a little bit of a hippie.
I’m an extrovert.
I’m a talkative extrovert, too! I’m an ENTJ on the Myers-Briggs personality test. I love to be around people and to talk a lot. So obviously a blog is a great way to do that!
I wanted to be a business person when I grew up.
Some kids wanted to be doctors, or the President, or policemen… I wanted to be a business person.
My first entrepreneurial venture was when I was 7 and I opened a lemonade stand when I had a friend over. Soon, every weekend I had my lemonade stand with my “employees” (which included my little brother, his friend, and my friend). I had them holding signs down the street and at the busy intersection (it was the 90s… no one thought twice about seeing a 6-year-old at the corner of a busy street alone). I was born to be an entrepreneur!
I’m an extreme cheapskate!
If I had known about open casting for the TLC show “Extreme Cheapskates,” I would have been on that show in a heartbeat! My friends know that I’m always good for freebies, coupons, and clearance rack finds. My wardrobe is 100% from thrift stores. I even ask friends for their old phones instead of buying new ones. Yup, it’s like that!
I love big families!
I only have one brother, but I’ve always loved big families! My husband is one of 7. I knew from the second that he told me about his 5 sisters and 1 brother, that I needed to marry him (and then when he referenced The Princess Diaries and the “foot popping,” yup… that was it. I needed to marry him). I’d love to have a ton of kids, but we’re very happy with where we are right now with our 3 troublemakers!
I love the use of exclamation marks!!
I get very excited about things and sometimes… I overuse exclamation marks! How else am I supposed to show how excited I am in print?! I’m not yelling at you, I’m just excited!!
Sign up for the newsletter and get free tips straight to your email!
I’d love to hear from you!
info [@] carolinevencil.com
Join the FREE 10 Day Side Hustles That Work Challenge!
Here's my challenge to you:
Can you pay for your grocery bill with your side hustle?
Take the challenge!
(PS - NONE of them have to do with sales!)
Bring in extra income without having to spend a penny. I want to share with you the side hustles that I love that help my family every month.