Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired – Part 2

Let’s start where we left off in Part 1 of our story. In 2013, our home went under contract quickly, and we were left scrambling for a new home. Where we ended up wasn’t my ideal choice at the time, though my husband loved it. It was an older farmhouse which doubled our living space, and it sat on 12 acres. What we didn’t realize was the huge increase in heating costs it would bring. Our summer electric and gas bill amounted to $800 per month!

We did not have the extra funds to sink into new windows and new heat pumps, amongst other things. Yet we did purchase a new travel trailer and owned fairly new vehicles. We went to Disney World every other year. Priorities, right? We were perfectly normal, and I didn’t believe we could do anything differently.

Near the end of 2016 I came across a mention of Dave Ramsey in a totally unrelated YouTube video, and I decided to purchase The Total Money Makeover. The rest is history. My husband had suggested we learn from his teachings a long time ago, but I told him there was nothing we could do differently so it wasn’t worth our time. How foolish!

After reading The Total Money Makeover, we cash flowed a new heat pump in two months time. I was astonished. How did we do that? We then started knocking out the rest of our van debt, our travel trailer debt, a small credit card, and a personal loan. At that point my husband found a new job five hours away which would really help our cause.

Given our large family and menagerie of animals, we purchased a new home in South Carolina and moved before we put our home in Georgia on the market. Totally not Dave approved, but we didn’t want to separate our family for a time and renting wasn’t a good option for us. Once our home in Georgia sold, we made a profit of around $70,000 after fees. We used $30,000 to pay off the remainder of my student loans, and put $40,000 on the principal of our new home. We purchased it for $255,000 in late 2017. At the time of this writing, we owe $141,397.

Our home is about the same size as the one I purchased in 2004. We did cash flow a garage conversion in 2018 to give us a bit of extra space. It sits on six acres of land. One downfall is it’s distance from my husband’s workplace. Nearly 60 miles! But we’ve made this sacrifice for now as we continue to work on our finances. Frugality has become a way of life for us until we dig ourselves farther out of the hole we are in. We would love to be mortgage free!

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Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired – Part 1

Since I just started this new blog, I thought I would share a bit of my background. Growing up, I was not financially literate. At all. While I knew my mother liked to budget and needs always seemed to be met as a child, I was never taught the nuts and bolts of it. My father did spend some time talking about how to use credit cards, but that was about it.

Young and married at 19, I started racking up credit card debt. I thought credit cards were the means to get where you want to be. I became a widow at age 22, and the cards were paid off using money from survivors benefits.

I learned that being in debt wasn’t ideal, but as a single mom to three young children ages 3, 2, and newborn I found myself back there quick, fast, and in a hurry. I remarried at age 24, and finances started looking up.

Then came the market crash of 2008. Our home that we purchased for $150,000? Now worth half of that. We were stuck in a neighborhood where one evening large booms had us scrambling to our window. Low and behold, a SWAT team was standing in our front yard as a meth lab across the street was raided. Yep, this home was purchased by a very under qualified buyer, like the many who caused the recession in the first place.

Our neighborhood was riddled with foreclosures. At this time I was just thankful my husband hadn’t lost his job. Many people we knew had, including both of our parents. This is when I began my Etsy Store making clothing for little girls. Unbelievably, there was still a market for it.

In 2013, we were finally able to get out of our house. We still owed $100,000, and had a contract on it for $120,000. It only appraised for $115,000, so we had to lower the purchase price. We lost so much money on this house, but it could have been much worse. At the time I was desperate to leave our half-vacant neighborhood and felt like our now six children deserved better. It wouldn’t be long before I realized my entitlement mentality was way out of line as we stepped into a house with a $800 utility bill during the summer!

I will be sharing more of our story soon. In the meantime, please take a look at Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover. It gave me hope and a road map to follow in 2016 when I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Read Part 2 of our story here.

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