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We are Joe and Angela, and we are the founders of Mini Riches.
We have been blessed with 4 handsome sons and 1 beautiful daughter, our Mini Riches. Some might say we are a larger family than usual, but providing for this family on a single income ain’t no joke! Do you have time to be unorganized? We certainly don’t have time for that! On top of managing our family affairs and figuring out this thing called life, our busy schedule demands us to find ways to make money work. We’ve learned how to budget our finances and make driven lifestyle choices. This helps us to find those little pockets of money here and there, also known as our Mini Riches. Life wasn’t busy enough, so we figured throwing a blog into the mix would just be icing on our big cake!
Welcome to our fantastic journey of family life, budget management, and overall self-improvement!
I graduated in 2004 from a small high school situated in the heart of farm county in Midwest Ohio. I was a bit of an artsy kid, so I was awarded a scholarship to attend a four-year private art college. Despite taking a job working the graveyard shift at UPS to help pay tuition, my college loan debt grew and grew. What a total drag—I felt like I was going nowhere fast.
After attending art college for just two years, my student loan debt hit $30,000 and rising.
At the ripe age of 19—and to avoid doubling my student loan debt—I withdrew from college, sought out a military recruiter, and enlisted in the U.S. Navy Seabees in 2006—I always wanted to serve. Instead of taking the fast cash $6,000 enlistment bonus option, I chose a student loan repayment option. With the help of the military’s student loan repayment program, I was able to pay off my student loans within 3 years!
Angela and I tied the knot soon after my enlistment. Within a couple of years, I shipped out on a 7-month deployment to Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. I left Angela behind along with our 1-year-old son. Not long after returning home from Afghanistan, I left on an 11-month deployment to Japan. This time leaving behind a 9 month pregnant Angela and our now 2-year-old son. Angela brought our 2nd son into the world 2 weeks after I left for nearly a year.
I didn’t return home to hold him for the first time until he was over 10 months old.
At the end of my 5-year enlistment, I decided the demands and sacrifices of military life wasn’t something I wanted for my family—I turned down my re-enlistment in 2011.
Being the sole financial provider for our family made leaving a steady military paycheck a scary thought. Though the pay wasn’t much, we managed to budget the money to cover our mortgage and bills each month—we never came up short. Three days after leaving the military, I began using the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill to go to college. For the next 3 and a half years, I worked full-time in the field as a carpenter and attended classes as a full-time student. Angela and I still had to take care of our home, and during this time, we added 2 more sons to our growing family.
I graduated in 2015 with highest honors completing my Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology. Not long after we sold our house in Mississippi, moved back up here to Ohio, and added our beautiful daughter to the mix. I now work full time in the commercial construction industry as a project manager and estimator for a general contractor.
ALL ABOUT ANGELA
I grew up in the same cow and corn country as my husband with a love for Jesus, loyalty to Ohio State Football, and dedication to hard work. Most importantly, I grew up making family a priority. I attended The Ohio State University for 2 years before a boy proposed to me. I had the crazy idea to say yes, and follow him down to Mississippi.
I left everything and everyone I knew behind to start a life with a boy I barely knew.
When I got married and moved away to Mississippi to be with my husband, I took on the role I felt I was always meant to do—wife and mother. No one knew my family back in Ohio. I was free to be Angela. I was young at the age of 20 when we welcomed our first bundle of joy into this crazy, beautiful world. We had no idea what we were doing, but we knew we were doing it together. Joe left on his first deployment 11 months later.
I love Jesus & the Holy Family. Praying to them has helped me in so many ways and continues to do so. As far back as I can remember, my extended family has always been a big part of my life. Sunday brunch at grandma’s after church are memories I’ll forever cherish. Celebrating and living this life has always included the whole family. Our 1-year-old son and I temporarily moved back to Ohio and lived with my parents while Joe served our country in Afghanistan.
My husband left me 9 months pregnant for an 11-month deployment to Japan.
We welcomed Peanut #2 into our lives 2 weeks later. I weathered this deployment out at our newly purchased home in Mississippi with our toddler, newborn, and new home.
I enjoy being active outside, dancing around our house to get in the mood to do chores, singing—loudly singing, gardening, bowling, crafting, listening to my children laugh, watching them play together outside, learning something new, and discovering something incredible. I only like to be alone if I’m sleeping or cleaning. I’ve taken up the joy of baking pie! I love pets—let me rephrase that, I love other people’s pets. That way, I can play with them without all the responsibility. I save the responsibility and the headaches that come with our children.
Being a part of a big family and sharing each other’s struggles, successes, and everyday life is essential to me. Joe and I have since brought our family total to 7. We’d never make it through this life without our love for God and the support we have for each other. I don’t know it all, and neither does anyone else. What I do know is that I want to learn more, and I want to share it with others.