I really like our tiny home. I never ever ever thought I could live in a studio. But we looked at them anyway and that, my friends, it is one of the best financial decisions we have ever made.
We are living below our means. About a third of our paycheck is rent, another third is saved, and the last third is what spend (give or take). We love cooking and once we discovered this, restaurant use went down significantly. However it is vacation and we do have the occasional lazy slip up. But we don't go in the hole for it!
Last January was another story completely.
I was in major debt.
I had taxes, my car and my credit card all to pay off. I was paying for tuition and could not afford the car loan to my dad. I was being irresponsible with my money. I thought because I worked I deserved a car, and school and new clothes, and new things. I didn't realize that the loan from my dad was generous, had a low interest rate, and inturn, I was walking all over him.
In February Matt and I started talking about marriage. But before we even thought about getting married we needed a plan. Matt was not in debt so at least we had that going for us. We figured out that we would need 2,000 a month to survive. That was including rent, laundry, utilities, car insurance, THE WORKS! With all my debt that was going to be hard to come by. I started working on my debt since marriage was my goal. I saved more than I spent. I only bought gas, and only food when necessary.
On April 16th Matt proposed! We wanted to get married right away but we still had the big gloomy cloud of debt hanging over us.
One of our main goals was to get my car paid off. That had a lot to do with my parents saying they would not be there at the wedding if that car wasn't paid off. Sounds extreme, but it has been one of the greatest blessings and I am so thankful. Both of our cars are paid off in full! But I'm getting ahead of myself. I think at that time I had already paid off my credit card debt. I felt extremely guilty for spending that money I had not earned, and did not want to start our marriage with unreasonable bills.
To pay off this debt faster, I needed to make more money, and there it was, God answered my prayer. Twice.
First my old voice teacher was planning on moving and needed to give her voice students homes. (sounds like stray cats or something). So starting in May she gave me her two of her group voice lesson students.
I was so excited for that first lesson. Matt came over to my parents a bit before the lesson so we could hang out. It was about 30 min before the lesson and I drove matt to the lightrail station. I started heading back home, excited to teach two groups of 4.
And there it was, Gods plan.
As I was waiting at a red light, a big black truck rear-ended me. I pulled over with about 20 min before my lesson. My neck hurt from the impact and I was in pure shock. We called the cops and the guy in the truck just kept apologizing. He saw my engagement ring and asked when I was getting married. I turned away from him and looked out all dramatically, "We were waiting to pay off this car and then we were going to set a date." He was silent for a while. I remember feeling bad about making everything so awkward so I made some joke about something. He kept saying this was his first accident. poor guy. I came to the lesson and only had about 15 minutes to teach a lesson that should have been an hour. I was devasted. What a great way to introduce myself to these new girls and parents. How embarrassed was I? I actually started crying when I started to explain what happened. Can you believe it? I cried and one of the new parents gave me a hug. Ugg I feel embarassed just thinking about.
Any who all was not lost. Actually this car accident was one of the reasons we could get married sooner! If only I would have known this when that guy hit me! The insurance paid us off a big amount. My dad found a repair shop that would repair it cheaper. There was 1,000 left over and with that put on my car loan there was only 800 to go on paying it off.
Matt willingly and all prince charming like payed off the rest. And then and there we set a date.
I truely believe if you are trying to do something good, things will turn out. Paying off our debts was difficult but paid off in the end, big time.
As a side note the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Again and again we are reminded to pay off our debts and make it work with what we have. This talk by Ezra Taft Benson specifically talks about debt and I find it inspiring.