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Update on Beauty’s Car Loan


I mentioned a month or so ago that I loaned Beauty the money to purchase her car, well, part of it. I am pleased to tell you that while we had a couple of bumps along the way, she has paid back the loan in its entirety as of this week.

She is 18 years old. Has had a volatile childhood to say the least. Has not had good financial decisions modeled up to this point. But she has CHOSEN to be responsible, seek good counsel and now owns a pretty decent car outright, in her own name that she paid for 100% by herself.

I could not be more proud of her! I want to shout that from the rooftop.


The girls and I during a recent visit to the ‘World’s Longest Slip n Slide’ with my brother when we visited Texas.

What’s Next for this Beauty

She has registered for full time college next month at the local community college and right now she will either stay here or live in the dorms. (I love that our local community college has dorms and I’m hoping she takes that step.) Between the Georgia HOPE grant and her need based Pell Grant money, almost 100% of her tuition, supplies and housing will be covered.

She is pursuing an Associates Degree in Cosmetology, a program she started while in high school. We are not sure how long it will take as she still has to take a “placement” test and get her projects/hours documented from her high school program.

I wanted to write this, not just because I am very proud of her, but also as an example, that fostering older kids…well, it really can make a big difference in their lives. Even when it’s just the last year of their high school career.

About the House


I bought a house. First time that I have ever bought a house really. And I did it ALL ON MY OWN!!! You have no idea how incredibly proud I am of this.

The total loan amount is $98K. My monthly payment will be $662 for now. And it appraised for $130K. I think I did good, really good. Thoughts based on those numbers? We are two weeks in from closing (June 15th) and thus far, no buyers remorse. I really thing this was a good move.

What I Bought

The home is a single story, all brick house built in the early 70s. (I thought it was the 50s, but have been corrected by county records.) It was 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bath with a little over a quarter acre lot. No updates had been done to the home since it was built.

The seller (my landlord of 4 years) paid for a new roof, new blower motor for the A/C and new electrical. It was still a fuse box!

Similar homes, based on the appraisal and Zillow searches, are selling in this area for an average of $115-142K. I got it for $95K and he paid closing costs. (I started at $90K but went up to $95K when he agreed to pay for the improvement listed above.)

What We’ve Done

We have been BUSY! And I have learned a lot about power tools. We tore out the kitchen in its entirety and Gymnast BUILT new kitchen cabinets. Seriously! My 16 year old designed and built new cabinets. No top cabinets at all. And the bottom cabinets are all open shelves. We then used plumbing pipes and reclaimed wood to make some “floating shelves” up top.

Pardon the chaos, we are in “home makeover” mode

We don’t have countertops, saving money for those after I pay off my car. So we’ve just got plywood laid on the cabinets for the time being. It works. On the other side, we made space for a future dishwasher, but we know that’s months away. While I worked extra jobs to save for a sink, we did all our dishwashing in the bathroom sink…that was a ROYAL PAIN. But so worth it.

We lived without a sink for about 3 weeks as I worked extra jobs to save for one. It’s now been put in, temporarily with our plywood countertop. The hole for the dishwasher will remain empty until I can cash flow one with ‘extra job’ money. Something to look forward too.

We put in a fence and back deck with the help of one of the twins’ firefighter friends. Since wood is so expensive, we used hardware cloth (larger opening chicken wire essentially) between fence posts instead of wood.

We had planned to build wood railings, but again with the price of wood, these pre-fabricated ones were cheaper.

Next goal is to put in a back door, but that’s another savings goal. I’ve begun a running list of house projects. But we are trying to DIY as much of it as we can. So far, I’ve been super pleased. And we are learning ALOT!! I really enjoy this type of work.

We have decided the style of our home, the inside at least, will be industrial meets shabby chic rustic farmhouse. I love it. I am loving doing it. My kids are participating in the improvements and making it our own. And I am definitely loving having my very own home. After WAY TOO MANY moves since the kids’ dad and I split, 13 years ago, this is heaven. So grateful!