How This Frugal Family of 4 Paid Off $96k in Debt & Built a Custom Tiny House

After finishing school, Jocelyn and Jarvis had $96,000 of debt from student loans, credit cards, and buying a small rural property. This is the story of how they paid it off in just 20 months, and then built themselves a debt-free custom tiny house for their family of 4.

After ignoring their finances for a long time, the couple finally faced reality one night when they sat down and added up all of their debts, and compared it to the revenue they had coming in.

When they realized how much they owed, they decided to make some drastic changes so they could pay it off and stop worrying about money.

To start, they moved to a smaller apartment, changed jobs, shopped second-hand, froze a credit card in a block of ice, switched to using cash only, and made a budget that allowed them to chip away at their debt.

They had a white board with a list of all their debts, which they updated every time a payment was made so they’d continue to be motivated. After 20 months, they were completely debt-free. After that, they continued with their minimalist, frugal habits and were able to save up enough money to build themselves a custom tiny house on wheels.

They’ve been living in the tiny house for over two years now, with their two children, and plan to continue living in it for as long as they can. They are currently saving money to buy a small acreage where they will build a larger off grid home and keep the tiny house as an income property.

We’re very inspired by this young family’s dedication to improve their lives by paying off their debt, by their awareness of their energy consumption, by their efforts to buy less and live a low waste lifestyle.

They’re trying to make positive change in every aspect of their lives, and that’s not always an easy thing to do.

Thank you, Jocelyn and Jarvis, for sharing your story with us! And for the beautiful day we spent at your place!

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat of Exploring Alternatives.

Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives

Construction Photo Credits:
Jocelyn and Jarvis

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24 Replies to “How This Frugal Family of 4 Paid Off $96k in Debt & Built a Custom Tiny House”

  1. 82dockmaster

    after the struggle, now, the way they look each other…. they are so in love because of their experience. i like how positive they've become and strive more to fulfill their plans. Good job and I wish more blessing to come to your family.

  2. วิโรจน์ พลเจริญ

    สายลมงามโบกโบยสบัดยอดใจบินงามรัก งามภูเรือดอกไม้เรือนงามแม่เกษรใจ
    ม่านเมฆฟ้าภูตะวันฉายงามแสงสีเสียงรัก หลากผ่างามทองผ่าภูมิยืนยงรักงดงามจิตใจ เสียงปี่งามสรั่วรักปริบานใจสวยงามทุกท้องทุ่ง สรรสร้างสุขอบอุ่นสายชลงามไออุ่นรัก ทิวหมอกงามปกคลุมรักสุขราบรื่นวารินชีวาใจ งามเพลิดนภาใจภูเสาวดลรักพันเถาวัลย์รัดรักใจ ท้องฟ้าสว่างศรีสไหวฉลวยสวยงามรัก เด็กน้อยผู้มีเสน่ปลุกปั่นรักสง่างามงดงามใจ ความละมุ่นหวานใสงามขาวผุดผ่องฟรุ้งฟริ้งรักอ่อนโยนใจ สิ่งภูทางมั่นบานสพรั้งรักอนาคตดีงามใจ
    ฟ้าสวรรค์สรรสร้างรักสุขหอมหวานยวนรัก กลิ่นหอมงามบานสพัดไกลบารมีรักงามนะเอ๋ย งามเด่นงามสวยงามตากระงามรักสุขสรรปีใหม่นะครับทุกๆครอบครัว รอยยิ้มงามสุขเปรมปรีรักอิ่มหน่ำสำราญใจ การงานโดดเด่นงามแสงสีเสียงรักมั่งมีศรีสุข เงินทองไหลมาเทมาภูสรรบารมีใจมั่นคงอนาคต ดีงามรักนะครับทุกๆท่าน5555

  3. shiftyjake

    Maybe I missed the part where they talked about this but… how much did they make when they were paying off their debt? I feel like this is an important detail to include if you're going to focus on that enough to include it in your title. Paying off 96K on 25K a year is a different story than paying it off on 200K a year.

  4. Michelle Stone

    It's absolutely fantastic what ya'll have done, congrats!! There are very few young people who would be willing to be as frugal with their money as ya'll are. Most people are unwilling to give up a luxury lifestyle. Folks are always competing with the Jones's. Ya'll are amazing. Best of luck for a wondrous and awesome future.

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