Back in January, I wrote a post about some goals for 2012 [if you missed it...]. In June (halfway through the year), I would like to visit each goal and see how I'm doing. So stay tuned for that! For now, I want to share about our financial life! We've got some big stuff going on.
At the end of last year, we applied for a program through the Portland Housing Center (PHC) that will allow us to open up a matched savings account. It's an incredible opportunity to essentially earn free money to go towards the down payment and closing costs on a house! There are some guidelines based on income, your assets, and what you can afford to save. You have to be able to save $100/month for at least six months (and up to three years). Also, they will match up to $300/month (with a $6,000 cap on what they will give you). That means at the end of the program, you will have $8,000! And all you have to save is $2,000. It's pretty awesome. Check it our here if you're interested. They have other helpful programs as well! Anyway, all that to say... we applied, met with a homebuying specialist, and had to be put on a waiting list. We found out in January that we were approved for the program but we had to continue to be on the waiting list until funding came through for the program. So we waited.
While we waited, we began talking about the next year and our personal/financial goals and how we were going to achieve them. Obviously, we wanted to buy a home and maximize our savings through this program. But we didn't have a ton of wiggle room in our monthly budget. Somewhere along the line, the idea of living with Danny's parents for a time came up (crazy, right?). We talked about it, prayed about it. We weren't too sure at first but as we discussed it more, it seemed super logical. Now, if you're not super close to us, you need to know that we lived with them three years ago for four months shortly after we got married. We had to do that because we were flat broke. I think we had $500 to our name with only $1200/month income from Danny's job at Blockbuster since I had lost my job and couldn't find work for a couple months. It was humiliating. Fast forward to now... it was scary to think about asking them to allow us to live in their house again. We wanted them to know that our situation is very different and much more positive now! So we made up a proposal (as I called it) before talking with them. We made a mock budget of what it would like for us to live with them (how much we'd save towards our down payment and our personal savings along with what we would give them for rent). We scheduled a time to talk over dinner. It happened and they were SUPER excited for this possibility. They were proud of us and how far we've come in three years. They loved to hear about our goals. Of course, my MIL was even more thrilled about getting to have a grandkid in the house for a while. THEN! A week later, we heard from PHC that they had received their funding! We were moved from the waiting list into the program! Super exciting.
So! Timeline of events is as follows:
April - Take Financial Fitness class through PHC. Attend an orientation for IDA Program. Continue saving for when we open the savings account.
May - Open savings account! Deposit $300 (get matched $900)! Collect boxes for sorting home belongings into "keep but put into storage", "keep to use at Mom and Dad's", and "moving sale". Celebrate four years of marriage! ;)
June - Deposit at least $100, more if our budget allows (get matched $300). Continue sorting and packing.
July - Deposit at least $100, more if our budget allows (get matched $300). Continue sorting and packing. Celebrate my 24th birthday! ;)
August - Deposit at least $100, more if our budget allows (get matched $300). Get a storage unit and fill it up with belongings that we want to keep but won't need while at Mom and Dad's. Begin preparations for a moving sale in our apartment. Move all of our needed belongings to Mom and Dad's. Have an awesome sale (make lots of money for new stuff in our house!). Clean the apartment. and the first BEST part of it all... tell these guys, "See ya, suckers!" BOOM! the second BEST part is beginning the "trying to conceive" conversation. Oh yes. ;)
September through April 2013 - Deposit $300 monthly (get matched $900 monthly). I think we are going to hit our $2000 (their $6000 match) in February? We will continue to save the $300/month after that for furniture and misc. home things! Save at least $400/month into our own personal savings. Continue paying down my student loan. We want to pay it off so badly but we feel like a larger savings will be wiser as we move into our own home. Celebrate Danny's 27th birthday and Amelia's 2nd birthday! Depending on our tax return for next spring, we might throw a large sum of that towards my loan. Hopefully get pregnant! :) Should be interesting living with the parental units but hey, we'll make it happen.
April 2013 - Buy a HOUSE!! A house. Our first home. OURS. Not an apartment. Our very own love nest.
Needless to say, we are super excited. We feel very blessed that God has provided ways for all of this to happen so fluidly! And I don't share all of this to be showy or like, "look at us"! I just want people to know that anything is possible when you just trust God and His perfect plan. Danny and I have never had very much money (compared to society's standards). We've always had to be very intentional about every penny we earn. But we have always had ENOUGH! We might not be able to buy a giant house that will fit our dream family of six. It will be small house. But it will be ours. God will be in it, around it, covering it. And it will be blessed.
P.S. We need your boxes. :) This mama is in declutter-sort-and-sell mode! Let's do this.