Throughout December I indicated that I was really taking some time to really think through a life plan. And in January I kind of laid out my debt pay off plan. So today I thought I would lay out my plan for 2015. I know my decisions will meet with some dissension here, but I have truly weighed everything involved and feel that these are achievable goals for this year and giant steps toward my ultimate goal of being able to take in more foster children. So for 2015, here are my big goals in order:
- I’ve given myself six months to pay all ALL debts other than my student loans. This gives me an estimated date of July 1st having no debt other than my student loans.
- I will find an engineer who understands my vision, who will work with me on creating a home that will suit my needs to take in foster kids. I have met with several now and believe I’ve found the right one. There is no money involved with this goal, just meeting and finding someone with a like mind who can truly understand the needs. From them, I will get a scope of work on doing a home build along with a pretty solid budget. This is needed in order to accomplish #5 in this list.
- I will find and purchase land for the someday home. There is a contingency on this. I will ONLY purchase if it’s land that must have a well and septic put in, and if I can get owner financing. I am working on a barter with a company who could do this work, and my thought is that temporarily we could put some sort of temporary housing on it to cut costs down the road. This is still really an iffy idea but it is in my thoughts these days so wanted to be up front about the possibility.
- I will buy a second used car using money saved via the $300 per month budgeted for the existing car so that we will be a two car, three driver household by the end of the year. There are two reasons driving this goal. One, I lose a lot of work time with kid chauffeuring duties and having a second car would cut back on that significantly. On Wednesdays alone I spend a solid four hours in the car. And two, if I am able to find the ideal land, I will need a truck as we will begin the improvements needed, etc and I will need at least a little truck to haul stuff. So it will be a beater, but that is my reasoning at this point.
- I will create a very realistic budget for a home build. I have a number in my head for this home build. It’s REALLY low for this area, and I mean really low. For one thing, I think with forethought I can barter for or do a good bit of the work myself (ahem, with my wonderful friends help.) And two, if it’s not REALLY low, then this whole housing debacle has been for naught as I will be right back in the place of paying too much for housing and regretting it and it limiting what I can do for the foster kids who come into my care. But I need to KNOW what this number is going to be based on #2 and #3 in order to accomplish #6, and then someday actually start the build.
- After the 6 month date, I will revisit my priorities to balance between paying off the student loan debt and saving for the 10-20% down payment based on the budget for the home build and the equity I will have built up in the land (at least that’s my goal) I will need to get a construction loan to build the house.
Based on my calculations, if everything else stayed the same, and I started paying all existing debt monies to the student loans beginning in July, they would be paid off in April, 2017. That would be perfect as that is the year at least one of the twins will graduate and I will then be in a good position to help him with college.
So, in order to accomplish all of this and still hit the April, 2017 DEBT FREE date…I MUST make more money. So that brings us to the title of this post…2015 is the Year to Build. I would love to say I’m going to Build my House, but that is not this build. This is the year I will Build my business. I have several irons in the fire for increasing immediate income, but nothing long term. As I told my children, right now, I’m selling myself, my knowledge, my skills. It’s time to add to that and find a way to take myself out of the equation. To be honest, I’m not sure what that means yet, but I can only be stretched so far. If I can keep going the way I am, my income is limited. But if I can change up and/or add to my business model, then the sky is the limit? Right?!?
So these days my energies are going to researching my business, options, ideas…evaluating my strengths, my children’s strengths, my priorities and seeing where we might can go from here. I’m working with volunteers at SCORE to make sure my knowledge is sound, my ideas feasible.