Money Advice from a Debt-Free Homeschool Family of 16

There are many financial advice books in the world which offer solid advice. Who among us doesn’t want to do more with their money? I was attracted to the title of this one: A Catholic Guide to Spending Less and Living More, but it was the subtitle that really got my attention: Advice from a Debt-Free Family of 16!

Sam and Rob Fatzinger have been married for over 30 years, have 14 children and seven grandchildren. They have eight children who have moved out and their youngest is four years old. Rob is the breadwinner who earns a modest income, while Sam is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. They are the first to acknowledge that if you want to live debt-free, it “requires self-discipline and commitment. . . You must really want to save money. You must really want to pay down debt. You must really want to do the will of God!” They also note that the husband and wife need to be on the same page when it comes to money matters. As with so many things in marriage, communication is key.

In Part One, they discuss six big ideas for financial freedom with the goal being to save money while enhancing your quality of life. These include: taking stock and dreaming big, being a good steward, being an intentional spender, practicing contentment, being generous, and choosing to trust God. Part Two covers essential skills for money management such as different ways of budgeting, strategies for eliminating debt, how to save for what you want, and tips for raising independent kids.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have never been debt-free in my adult life, but it is a goal I am working toward. I appreciated the Fatzingers down-to-earth practical suggestions. Even if you only use some of them, you will be taking steps toward financial freedom. The Fatzingers are not on a mission to suck all joy out of your family’s life. In fact, they want you to enjoy your family and even have a hobby or two. A Catholic Guide to Spending Less and Living More is a great read for any couple who wants to do more with the resources God has given them. The Fatzingers also offer additional financial resources on their website,

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Author: Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, editor of "Today's Catholic Homeschooling", is the mother of two biological sons and one adopted daughter. She is in her fifteenth year of homeschooling. She has a B.A. in History and Fine Art and a Master's Degree in Applied Theology. She is the author of "The Crash Course Guide to Catholic Homeschooling" and "The Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary". She blogs at