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Oh, what a feeling…


We are finally on the final stages of getting the house ready to go on the market.  There have certainly been times during these two months that I’ve wondered “why me?” but I’ve held on to the fact that in every bump in my life I’ve been able to look back and find the reason.  This experience has taught me so much, not just about money but about selling a house.  I’ve never sold a house before as my only other house I owned was sold as a spousal buy out in my divorce.  Okay, so those are the obvious lessons.

I’ve also learned more about maintaining a home, fixing a home and the big one, having money!  I know that sounds crazy since I’m pouring everything into the house and living.  But for these past months instead of paying debt extras, etc. I’ve been hoarding money for things to do with the house.  Granted I’m tapped out now, but for these last couple of weeks, when I needed to buy something for the house or pay someone for work…I just paid it.  I didn’t have to budget for it, wonder if I had it, etc.

I’ve been living so close to the wire these past years, especially this past year that I’ve been so focused on paying off debt that I rarely could spend money without really thinking it through, thinking what was coming in the next four weeks, etc. So this has definitely inspired me to consider changing out I manage my money, no just after the debt payoff is done, but even maybe some small changes now.

So I’ve been considering a couple of things:

I’ve been inspired by Ashley’s living on last month’s income, but that would take me a few months of no debt pay offs to get far enough ahead and I’m not sure I am willing to do that.

My emergency fund is steadily growing from my part time job so I could use that as my “cushion” but I think I’m better off leaving it be and going back to forgetting it’s there.

I could take a month or so to pad my primary checking account with a few extra hundred.

I’m not sure if any of these will work, but I do know that these weeks have definitely taught me some very valuable lessons on finances and home maintenance and selling.   I will feel so much better when I (and my dad) can have complete closure on this issue.  And even though I no longer carry the financial burden of the house, I certainly feel the responsibility for putting my dad is this situation. The house goes on the market on Saturday…please pray for a quick sale.



Follow a single mom's journey to be DEBT FREE while managing this crazy life's conflicted choices with regards to kids, pets, homeschooling days and self-employment!
The sorrow and joys of this roller-coaster overwhelm her at times, but she is committed to this course.
Hope plans to dig out of debt using any resource possible including her small business EPOH, her blog and any other resource that comes to mind!

Latest posts by Hope (see all)


  • Reply Den |

    Congrats on getting the house ready – fingers crossed for a quick sale!

    One thing we’ve done over the past few years of debt repayment is to budget some fun money each paycheck. It’s not much ($20 each) but enough to give us that freedom to NOT have to think about every little thing – a bit of breathing room. So maybe for you it’s as simple as putting a line in your budget marked “freedom” or “fun” or “just because”. I would continue to let your emergency fund build without touching it – with four kids that’s important.

    Keep us posted what you decide to do!

  • Reply Walnut |

    I think you’d really benefit from living off of last month’s money. Perhaps if there is any money left after the sale of the house you can use that as your launching point to living off last month’s income?

    • Reply Felicity |

      We live off last month’s money and it has really eliminated financial stress/worry. I agree – if you do get any money out of the sale of the house, launching into living off last month’s money with it would be a great use.

  • Reply Alice |

    Wow, the house is really cute! You have that going for you. I have a friend who just relocated for a job and their house was only on the market for 10 days. They had it priced appropriately for the market and the area – they had really done their due diligence in finding those numbers out.

    I agree with you on the living on last months money. For most folks (who are essentially living paycheck to paycheck) it would be a huge undertaking to make that switch. I get that it’s a good idea and can totally see the benefits of it. However, building that much money up is a daunting task when you also have tons of debt facing you.

  • Reply Ashley |

    That’s a beautiful home, Hope! It has great curb-appeal and you’ve talked about it being a great neighborhood so I’ve got my fingers crossed for a speedy sale!

  • Reply Katie |

    Congrats! I’m always very inspired when the bloggers here make really hard choices and changes. I’m sure moving was one of those, and it will have a dramatic effect on your ability to get out of debt, and your long-term goals. Good for you!

  • Reply Jen From Boston |

    The house is really cute!!!! I hope all goes well in selling it. It will be a reat relief for you and your father to be done with it.

    Because you have children I wouldn’t touch the cushion from your part-time job. You need an emergency fund. Instead, what you could do is slowly save up enough to switch to living off last month’s income. Maybe reduce your debt payment by 25%, and save that 25% for the switch. It will take you longer, but at least you wouldn’t lose too much speed in paying off your debt.

  • Reply Angie |

    The way I see it the one month cushion IS the emergency fund. If you are living on one month buffer and have an emergency fund then you essentially have twice the savings. I’d advocate counting your emergency fund as your one month buffer and start living on last months income. I think this is a great strategy to use when your income is variable due to self-employment.

  • Reply Nancy |

    Hi Hope. I very much hope there’s nothing wrong, but I admit I experience a tight, twisted spike of dread/worry in my stomach when I read your posts. I worry about four kids in extremely tight living quarters, the low-low food budget for so many people. I worry you won’t get any money back from the house sale, or that you and your father will disagree about how to split any profits. I don’t understand how you plan to buy a new home on your variable income.

    Giving up this stable home for your family seems like such a mistake to me. But of course I’m not the one in this situation! I hope this doesn’t come across like an attack, because I don’t mean it that way. I do wish you’d reconsider, but I guess that ship has already sailed, and I’m wishing you the best!

    • Reply Maureen |

      Nancy, how was the house a “stable home” when she owes her father for the home, has to do all the maintenance on the home, and still has other debt (including additional debt to her father)? Owing family can be a significant stresser.

      Hope, I admire your grit, determination, and perseverance. Although there are bound to be trials and errors in the next year or two you can now firmly say that you and you alone are in charge of the path you carve out for you and your children. There is nothing wrong with renting. I see too many clients (I am an attorney) hold onto a housetoo long based on an American idealic dream and then end up in a worse position. Letting go (or in this case letting go after some prodding from your father) and knowing when to let go takes more courage than most people realize. With hard work this will provide a more stable and solid foundation you need.

So, what do you think ?