Finances

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Life has been interesting on the home-buying front, well, on the money front in general. I spent 45 minutes this morning on the phone trying to get us pre-qualified to buy a house here. I was not too thrilled at what I found out.

When we moved, we decided to keep the house that we had, and turn it into rental property. We had some concerns about it selling for the amount that we needed, so we decided to rent it instead. We were told that it wouldn’t hurt our chances of buying a home here.

Unfortunately, it does somewhat. The very fact that our credit reports already show a mortgage is a hindrance in pulling out another one. Some of these things, we probably should have known already, but since we’re still fairly young, a lot of these things we’re just now learning.

I just called our property manager to discuss details about selling the property. Not that we’ve decided 100% to sell, but there are some details that we wanted to know. Kind of a “getting all the details so we can go in fully informed” kinda thing. If we can or cannot do something, that’s fine – we just want to know so we know which way to turn next.

We’ve also learned from experience that credit card debt is a very, very bad thing. (Duh, right?) We got involved in a network marketing thing a year after we were married. That killed us. We were so naive – we believed our “supervisor” when he told us that if we paid all that money for advertising, we’d sell enough product to pay it back. Whatever. Not a fun lesson to learn. . .but at least we learned it! To this day, though, every time I make a credit card payment I remind myself how good it will feel to have that all completely paid off. I still can’t believe we were that ignorant. . .

So now, we sit. We’re still living as frugally as possible. In some ways, we’re just now getting back onto our feet after Stephen was unemployed for 3 months. I told Stephen just the other day that it’s hard to justify buying so much “stuff” after not spending money for so long. . .until I remember all the things we did without for so long. We still need to be careful. There’s not a lot of extra money. Thankfully, though, there’s enough money to cover bills this time instead of wondering where the money will come from to pay them. And yes, there’s even enough money now for the occasional bucket of ice cream when I buy groceries, instead of coming home with $20 worth of groceries while longing for the money just to buy produce. It really was that bad. We didn’t eat very healthy at times, but we had food and we didn’t go hungry. Just the same, it is a real blessing to be able to go to the store and buy the stuff I need for well-rounded meals. I am thankful.

Another thing that has been an incredible blessing is the house we’re living in. We’ve been able to live here completely rent-free, at least so far. Each time Stephen has asked what to pay for rent, he is told that they’ll get back to him. . .and they never do. They had given us a (very reasonable!) $ amount, but then immediately told us that “oh – we won’t be charging you that much though.” I told our pastor’s wife today that there’s no way I could express how thankful I am to our landlord. We moved here with no money, and the past few rent-free months have really enabled us to get back on our feet much faster. Our plans have been to use this time to get as much debt paid down as possible, however long that may be.

So we shall see. We’re still adjusting to Stephen’s paycheck. He just now became eligible for health insurance, so we’ve got a few more weeks before we see what his checks will look like on a regular basis. I couldn’t stop giggling with excitement when the enrollment information came in the mail. We haven’t had health insurance in four years, so I am THRILLED that we have it now. It may be less money that he brings home, but it is so worth it. Another blessing about it is that even though we don’t have the insurance cards yet, the insurance became effective June 1st. I am so thankful.

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