Monday, September 26, 2011

Making a Change to Reach Our Dreams

A few years ago Woody and I talked about giving up all of the comforts of a big house and moving to our paid for 5th wheel.  The idea sounded good at first, but within a few months we had moved from our 2200 sq ft house to a 3300 sq ft house.  We had it all, 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, walk in closets, formal living room and dining room, den screened in porch and a pool.  It was a beautiful neighborhood with paved roads, concrete drive and well kept lawns.  We had kept up with the Jone's.

The strange part is that we weren't really looking for a new house, we just kinda fell into it.  We loved our new house.  We updated the paint, had a beautiful spare bedroom filled with antique furniture.  We bought a baby grand piano for the "Uppity Room", as Woody called it.  Neither one of us could play a note.  Just a few months after we moved in Woody's grandmother got sick. 

Our "Big House" allowed us the opportunity for the entire family to come together and spend the last few weeks of her life with her.  We played, swam in the pool, had family dinners and spent family time on the back porch. No less than 25 people at any one time, with showers, meals and dishes.  I thank God that he allowed us have a place where we could all come together.  During that time Seth moved back in with us,

Three months later when Woody's mom and dad came to help with the final arrangements for Woody's other grandma his dad was put in the hospital and was diagnosed with a terminal illness.  As a result of him no longer being able to work and needing medical care they moved in with us.  Three trips to Atlanta, two of the biggest U-Hauls they make and 2 storage buildings later they were moved in.

Fast forward to almost a year later.  David had moved in for about 2 months during that time and Meghan came and stayed so she could be closer to school, renting a room.  During the past year we saw our bills steadily climb.  The light bill went to $700 a month, with one or two over $900.  The water bill increased to over $250.  The cable bill more than doubled with the addition of cable.  Not to mention the increase in the grocery bill. 

During the late spring Woody and I started our own company, Woody's Range Wear.  A line of bullet jewelry and accessories.  The initial start up cost were not cheap and although within a few months we were no longer going in the red, we still have not recouped our initial cost.

After about the third time of Woody and I having run out of money with 5 or 6 days to payday we sat down and took a long hard look at out bills.  We quickly found out that we were spending over $4000 a month to pay the household bills.  That is a lot of money to spend for a house that we only stay in about 8 - 10 days a month. That amounted to $400 - $500 a day.  Think about the hotel I could have stayed in for that price.  It was then that we knew we had to make a change.

Let's face facts, we are in EMS and I really don't see me climbing into an ambulance at 65 years old.  We had to come up with a plan that would allow us to become debt free, and have a house with no mortgage.  While our plan may seem a little strange to most it is the plan that works for us.  We are getting rid of the 3300 sq ft house and moving into a 30 ft long fifth wheel that is paid for.  We have bought a 12 x 32 storage building that we have converted to Woody's Range Wear office and shop.  All of this is going onto an acre lot that a friend owns.  We will be paying $250 a month for lot rent, lights, water and trash. That is a net savings of $3750.  Allowing for unforeseen expenses we figure a savings of about $3500.  We will be using that money to pay off our vehicle loans and a few other bills.  We will be debt free in about a year or less.  We are going to buy a bigger 5th wheel to live in and we will use the other to take to our land.  We own 78 acres in the country.  Once we become debt free we will be saving to build us a house.  I am quite excited that we will have a home that is paid for before I am 50!!!!!

Along the way we are looking for ways to save money and increase out wallets.  Check back to monitor our progress.

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