And you know what's worse than dashed hopes? When you're the one who's dashed your own hopes. Because you've done the grownup thing. The smart thing. The thing that sucks.
As I said on Facebook this weekend, being a grownup sucks.
I haven't talked a lot on here about mine and Mr. Daddy's financial issues. At first it was because I was a little embarrassed, but then I got massive writer's block and I didn't write much of anything as you all know. But now, now I'm past caring what others think and have come to a place of self-acceptance (mostly).
So, short story long....about two years ago, Mr. Daddy and I seriously downsized in an effort to get ourselves out of a financial hole we had created for ourselves (with the help of an asshat, some Half-Asses, and one severely troubled individual who didn't mean to give me the shaft, but did anyway.).
I mean seriously downsized. When I write my book about the whole ordeal, I'm going to call it "Living My Life Backward: How I Went From Tree-Lined Suburbia to a Double Wide Trailer in My Daddy's Backyard." Seriously.
In the spring of 2008, we moved into a double wide -- a VERY NICE double wide -- about 50 yards down the hill from my dad's house. My dad likes to joke that the crest of the hill he lives on is called Poverty Ridge and I joked to Mr. Daddy that if Daddy lived on Poverty Ridge, then we were at Rock Bottom. And at first it felt that way.
But, downsizing allowed us breathing room with our bills. It allowed us to live without feeling like our noses were to the grindstone every minute of every day. It allowed us to take some small, camping vacations. It gave us the money to allow our kids to do some activities. And next month, I'm going to pay my car off.
For the last month or so, Mr. Daddy and I have been working on plan called a debt snowball. This is where you take any extra money that you have and apply it to your lowest balance revolving debt. Once you've paid it off, you then take that extra money you have, plus what you used to pay on the debt you just paid off and apply it to your next lowest balance. And so on. We've also begun taking a class at our church taught by Dave Ramsey. You might have heard of him -- he's written a couple of best-selling books and has a radio and television show. Anyway, we've been planning to use my car payment money to pay off our debts and we have figured that by the spring of 2011 we can be completely debt free, including the car that Mr. Daddy just bought last summer.
But last weekend, everything changed. We found a house. And it was a really, really good deal. The house was on five acres and was structurally a great house. But, it was a foreclosure and it needed a LOT of work. But Mr. Daddy can lay tile and laminate flooring, and we're both good painters so we weren't really intimidated by the work that needed doing. All we could see was HOUSE. Bigger house. Bigger rooms. A basement.
And we were bewitched by the idea of having people over, our new friends that we've made in this community. We wanted a house that we're not (just a little bit) ashamed of. Our house is so small and even we wonder sometimes how we ended up in this situation. Even though we've come a long way about how we feel about the whole thing, we're still a little nervous to let people know we live in a double wide.
We started picking out paint colors, carpet colors, flooring samples. We talked about what we'd fix up first. Bubba and Punkin picked out their rooms.
But then the grown-ups showed up. Our inner grown ups. And they began to talk and unfortunately, they were making sense. I tried to block them out, but it wasn't working. What we began to realize is that yes, we could buy this house. We could buy it, but our situation wouldn't change. We would just be treading water, nose perilously close to the grindstone once again. We wouldn't be able to pay off any bills. And finally, the lure of being debt free won out over the need for a house.
We have a house. It's not my dream house, but it is a home -- warm in the winter, cool in the summer. What I began to realize is that this house is a means to an end. And that end IS my dream house. Once we're debt free our options will so much greater. And though I was severely disappointed to have pass on that house, I have hope that when the time comes the victory we will have won will be so much sweeter.
5 years ago