Saturday, August 16, 2014

Journey to a House #1

I have never owned my own home. I have only lived in apartments, except for when I lived in my parents house. It is not for lack of wanting, but for lack of ability. Up until now, we have only been able to dream. It seemed an impossibility to us, to be able to buy our own home. Due to the changes we have made this year, we see that we are finally in a place to be able to work toward purchasing our own home.

Our goal is to buy our home in three years, before our youngest starts Kindergarten. I will put it out there that I would love for us to move into our own home as early as two years from this October, instead of the three years. We shall see if we can make it happen. I will be happy with the three year plan as well.

The goal is to put up weekly blog posts with how we are making this dream possible. We will outline our plan, the things that we accomplished, what went well and what didn't. I will be sharing the sources for websites, books, and tools that will be helping us along this journey.

First I will outline what it is we are working toward.
     Continue to pay off debt (in our case student loans).
     Increase our credit score by 100 points.
     Make sure to have a history of complete on-time payments.
     Save up for our down payment of at least 10%.
     Find the right mortgage company.
     We will be buying land and placing a manufactured home on it, with a budget of $160,000. In the future, we will build our dream home on the property. We would probably be able to spend more, but we want to keep it under what we can afford.

Next week will be the first post on what we will be doing to increase our credit score. There is a lot of information out there, I will weed through it and find out what it is we need to do.

Monday, August 4, 2014

How much is it worth to you?

We have a goal. A goal to buy a house within three years. This is a BIG goal for us. One that we are willing to sacrifice to achieve. If you were able to time travel two years ago, you would think we were insane. We were in no position to even dream of home ownership. We did dream, but it was so out of reach that we might as well have been trying to find a leprechaun at the end of the rainbow.

I have shared with you some things that we have done to change our lives around. We are by no means perfect, in fact I can admit we still have a long way to go. But we have learned so much, that we can finally see our dreams as possibilities.

When you have a goal, you have to take a look at how much it is worth to you. When we set out to start a family, we put our dream of having a farm on hold. We put all we had into having babies. With fertility treatments, it was very difficult. But in the end we have two beautiful girls. Would I have done things differently? Yes. There are some things, but I would never change the outcome.

So how much is a farm worth to us. I have been watching my "money saving" vlogs and reading blogs. All to give me motivation and ideas on how to make this dream happen.

While we have cut out a lot of eating out, my grocery budget is higher than we need it to be. On average I spend about $125 a week for a family of 4. This is breakfast, lunch and dinner for all but one meal (our treat meal). I really want to get it down to $80 a week. It can be done, but it is a challenge.

The main thing is, how much is it worth to us to cut our food budget. Are we willing to eat peanut butter sandwiches several times a week? Ramen? Heaven forbid, eating left overs. The answer is yes. I am willing to do anything, if it means we can buy tiny farm.

There are some things that I have already started doing. One is, making as much as I can from scratch. Shopping sales. Getting generic brands. Buying in bulk. Freezing left overs instead of letting them go bad. Joining a wholesale club and becoming members of a food co-op. All of these things have helped us. But I am looking to step it up a notch.

I am on the search for new ways to save and make extra money. I will do this. I will succeed in finding a way to provide for my family (without a full time job). I take this as a great challenge and if you know anything about me, you know I love a challenge.