We are going to get a new manufactured home. My husband and I spent a few days looking at homes offered at local businesses. Our landlord told us what can fit on our lot (16×60) and we know what we can afford ($30K is as high as we can go.)
We need a down payment. We need to have extra for sales tax, property tax, insurance and moving the old home out.
We would like the two credit cards (total balance of three thousand) to be paid off as much as possible before the next tax refund comes in. Twenty dollars per card this week. Forty dollars per card next week. You may think we’re throwing nickels and dimes at the debt, but paying every week has reduced it greatly. Along with weekly payments, we threw a huge hunk of cash at the credit cards when the tax refund check came in.
I could get a part-time job. But I’ve been out of the work force thirteen years. I could work hotels or retail, but that means I’d work nights, weekends and school holidays. Something about leaving my daughter alone all weekend (my husband is a truck driver and sometimes doesn’t come home until Saturday afternoons and leaves Sunday mornings) makes me uncomfortable. So I’m staying put.
We’re trying to save money where we can.
On the bottom of every grocery list is another list called “Bills.” I write down what bills, prescriptions and extras are due that week. Sometimes items are crossed off if it’s a small check, but that’s life.
In our living room is a laundry basket filled with items for Goodwill. When it’s full, it’s donated and I get a receipt for taxes.
We live on a budget. It doesn’t sound fun–sometimes it’s not when you have to cross off something you’ve looked forward to–but it’s necessary. We budget for dinners out. We leave lights off during the daytime. (And celebrate when the electric bill goes down.) We save every receipt for medicines and donations, and keep track of mileage for my volunteer work.
Most of all we need to remember this: it takes time and patience to make good things happen.