So, it’s been a while….

I guess you could say we got off track on the debt free plan. Life hit us, HARD. The good thing is we haven’t accumulated any new debt. The bad thing is we really haven’t made much headway, on our past debt, in the last 6.5 months. It sucks. It makes me pretty darn upset. I mean yeah, things come up that change your plans and you just gotta go with it. We will get stuff paid off eventually. BUT, I STILL WANT TO BE DEBT FREE BY 2020.

So, what can we do? Do we just settle and push back our debt free date? There has to be something else we can do. There has to be.

So we happen on this one day and my almost 8 year old son absolutely falls in LOVE with the idea….

16 year old builds tiny home to guarantee mortgage-free future

Our house is our biggest expense. So it makes sense that downsizing it might actually put us back on track. So we’ve been reading, researching, watching videos, trying to decide if we can actually make this happen for us. We have kids (3 +1 on the way) so it seems that it would tricky to find space for everyone. I don’t know. Maybe it is out of the question but, we need to do SOMETHING. We are not happy sitting here owing money on our house and on that stupid, stupid credit card. Whatever we do it is going to have to be drastic. I just don’t know how drastic at this point.

I guess it is time for more reading, more planning, and more ideas. We WILL be debt free by 2020, the question is how?

The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less. -Socrates

 

It’s that time again!

Time to pay the bills, AGAIN?

It was tight this month but our credit card (that we haven’t used since 2009) is FINALLY under $15k!! Big milestone, huuuge milestone. When we started this journey it was double that.

Next month we plan to pay it down another $2k. If we keep at this pace we’ll have no trouble getting it paid off by Christmas. Talk about an awesome gift. I just can’t wait!

Paying bills & having fun too?

Today is bill paying day. It wasn’t always this way but, bill paying day is a good day. These days we actually have a little bit of extra money to work with and that makes it a little bit fun. We still have $16,522.81 to pay on our credit card but are really making some headway with paying that down. We are still on track to knock that out this year!!
 
We did something a little bit crazy today: We bought the fencing and designed the layout for our orchard. We plan to have 20-24 trees in all. I am most excited about the almond tree. I’m kind of a nut so it stands to reason, lol. :P
 
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My almond tree. It even has a flower already. Exciting huh?

Anyways, this weekend is going to be full of extremely hard work. We have 7 trees to plant (pomegranate, almond, apple – grafted 5 in 1, nectarine – 2 different kinds, cherry – grafted 3 in 1 and bing) plus some raspberries and blueberries.  Hopefully the kids cooperate and Greg and I can get a lot done. Wish us luck!

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

 

The Plan

So I’m sure you are wondering how we plan to get out of debt and still continue to live a normal life. Well first off let me warn you, we are NOT normal. I have never wanted to be normal. Being different was my thing (ask anyone who knew my 11-year old, multicolor headband crocheting, self). Being different was cool. Umm yeah, we are very very insanely “cool”. ;)

STEP #1 – REDUCE SPENDING
In this step we will eliminate wasteful spending and become better stewards of the money we have. We started this step back in 2009 when we nearly lost our home. Our funds were extremely tight as it was and then my husband got an unexpected reduction in pay it pushed us over the edge. At this point we decided to stop using credit cards to stay afloat. Anything we could cut, we did. Losing the house just wasn’t an option for us neither was adding to our debt.

If all our debt was gone right now we would need roughly $1k/month to live, including food. The lower we can get this number the easier it will be to live without a guaranteed monthly income.

STEP #2 – INCREASE INCOME
I am a stay at home mom to three kids. I am also homeschooling my oldest. So this part will be tricky for me. I can’t realistically pull in a full time income but, I can come up with a few different income streams. My goal is to make a fairly steady $1000/month from home by January 2015. Add that to my husband working towards doubling his salary and we might just have a chance to make this happen.

STEP #3 – ELIMINATE DEBT
In this step we plan to attack our debt head on. We owe just about $16k in credit card debt (accumulated before 2009). We are planning to knock that out in less than a year. Then we will move on to our $20k equity loan. After that we will start paying down the mortgage on our home. We are still undecided as to if we will stay here long enough to pay it off or if we will sell it to buy our forever home. Either way, the goal is to not have a mortgage or any other debt by 2020.

STEP #4 – SAVE, SAVE, SAVE
This step will seem so much simpler when all the debt is gone. We want to save up enough money to cover our basic living expenses for 2-5 years. We would like our income streams to sustain us when my husband is no longer working but we don’t want to be stupidly optimistic that every month will work out perfectly. Having a fairly large savings (that will more than likely be invested in mutual funds) is our backup plan. If however the savings is ever low enough that it alone will not sustain us for two years, someone will have to start looking for a “real” job. That will also be our motivation to not touch the savings.

So that is a rough overview of our plan. There is so much more to it and I will go into more detail as this blog progresses. Be forewarned, I LOVE cooking and am VERY crafty. So there will be no shortage of pictures and posts about those two topics. :D

You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don’t believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can’t possibly foresee now.
Harry S. Truman

Where to begin?

I’ve been thinking about this post for days. Trying to figure out exactly what I want to say and how I want to say it. You know what I’ve figured out? Basically nothing. My thoughts are all over the place. All I know for sure is that I want to be completely debt free by the time I’m 40.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
C. S. Lewis

I’m tired of sending my husband off to work every single day. I know he wants to be home. I know he would thrive at home. Him being at home won’t mean that he doesn’t “work” it just means that he will have a different kind of work. A work that is more suited to him.

You know the only thing that is keeping him tied to the 9 to 5 is DEBT. Big fat UGLY debt. I want it gone. I want to REALLY own our house. It is a near impossible goal. But, I like “impossible” things. When people say it can’t be done I say, “Watch me!”

Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.
John F. Kennedy

So, here is the goal in black and white – Pay off $300k worth of debt in less than 7 years with starting income of just about $52k/year. Now that you understand the goal you may really think we’ve gone crazy, and maybe we have. But, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try, right?

Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.
Bo Jackson