Budgeting · Frugal Living · Uncategorized

Hustlin’ Toward a House

saving

For many years, a big part of the reason Hubs and I were in no hurry to leave our old apartment was because our utilities were paid.  No power bill or water bill to worry about.  We considered this very important because I hate to be hot.  Hate. To. Be. Hot.  And we feared our power bill would be exorbitant because of my air conditioning addiction.  Honestly, we had no idea how much utility bills were and just figured we’d be better off to not find out.

Utility bills became a source of worry and panic for us when we realized we were going to have to move, since we knew there were no other places with paid utilities.  Lord knows we’d looked.  But, we had no choice, so we put on our big girl and big boy pants and I put a power bill in our names.  {Water is paid to the landlord.}

And did we fall into abject poverty when the first bill arrived?  No, no we did not.  We moved in January, in the middle of winter, and our power bill was only around $80.  I thought it had to be a fluke and braced myself for the next one, which was again… $80.  As was the next.  Ah, but it wasn’t air conditioning season yet.  In the month of April we used our air conditioning quite a bit, and I was worried about the bill again.  $77!

So while we are not into peak A/C season yet, obviously, the bills are not as bad as I had feared they might be.  In fact, including paying both electricity and water, our living expenses are still down compared to the old place.  I realize that bill is going to go significantly higher as the summer gets upon us, but I was expecting the bills to be twice as much as they are now, and go up from there.

The point to all this rambling about power bills is to say that we see now that we can handle separate rent and utilities without having to panhandle.  Knowing this removes the biggest barrier we had against trying to buy our own place.  So… *drum roll*

We’re saving to buy a condo!!

I’ve officially created the separate savings account in our Capital One account and money has actually gone in it.  This is a huge step for us!  Until now we’ve thought owning our own place would just never happen for us, and we’d kind of accepted it.  But now we see that it IS possible, we just have to work hard to save hard and stock pile the money for a down payment.  That’s going to be a HUGE job to do, but I have faith we can do it.  Right now we’re thinking probably 4 years or so before we have enough, but we’re working on it!

In order to fund the account, I realized I need to find a way to bring in some extra money here and there.  I have an anxiety disorder and frequently find myself mostly housebound, so I needed to find something I could do from home.  After a little looking and searching, I located my perfect side hustle, Upwork.com  It’s a free lance writing site where I can take on jobs and tasks as I have time, and as they are available, and make a little cash to squirrel away.  I’m also going to go back to using Textbroker.com, a free lance writing site I used some last year.

The small jobs and tasks I do for Upwork and TextBroker aren’t going to buy us a house, but every little bit here and there I can bring in extra is going to go right into the fund to help it grow.  It may not be big chunks of cash at a time, but a few dollars here and there will help us get closer to our goal.

And of course other frugal living principles will be big helpers too.  Especially cooking at home.  This has always been, and continues to be, the most difficult aspect of frugal living for us.  We had really been having a hard time since we moved because our new kitchen is very small and just didn’t feel quite right to cook in.  Obviously that was a really lame excuse, and we had to find a way to get around it.  The solution cost exactly $157, and will save us untold hundreds in no time.

island

This simple wooden top kitchen cart has made all the difference.  We had a hutch-top microwave cart there and the space felt very enclosed, in addition to having almost no counter space.  This little cart solved both problems.  It makes the whole area much more open and feel less claustrophobic, while giving us about 50% more kitchen counter space.  Now both Hubs and I can work in there together, chopping our veggies and preparing our meals.  It’s really made cooking in there infinitely nicer.

So that’s where we are now.  I’m working the side jobs to bring in some cash for our condo down payment fund, while also making sure we eat at home much more often.  Both will get us a lot closer to keys to our own place!

keys

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