Just When You Think it’s Safe

I knew when I started this that I would be sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly.

We have been really good with money every since moving.  Not to the point where we really have extra, but to the point where we could buy what we needed for life and the house and still be able to make it to the next payday without freaking out about money or getting hit with overdraft fees.  Somehow this week we really messed up.  We overspent by probably about $150 this weekend and until I get paid next (in a few days) we are kinda screwed.  This isn’t the first time this has happened and probably wont be the last but I’m currently freaking out and have to figure out how to fix today so we wont get overdrafted.  After today we should be ok, unless we get ovrdrafted and then we wont be ok.  ugh I hate this.  I think the most annoying part is that the $150 we blew was supposed to be used to do the perc test.  Now we have to wait until next thursday before we can do it.  I think what I may do is go ahead and apply for the perc test and schedule them to come out sometime after next Wed.  This is definitely the one major problem with building the house ourselves.  The good news is we only have $250 left to pay for renting the excavator.  Money is so stressful.  We also may have to go back to the drawing board with the architect too.  Our architect may have fallen through and if that’s the case we are looking at an addition $2000-$4000 we have not budgeted for.  Ugh, so frustrating.

I’m also still trying to get 100 followers!  Don’t forget to follow the blog!

If you would like to help with the build check out our GoFundMe

Update: We have fixed our current money situation and should be better by tomorrow (whew!!).  My aunt is spotting me $30 until tomorrow (i already have $50 being transferred to my account) and even though they are a big giant terrible bank Chase is pretty great.  I called and told them the situation and they took off the overdraft fee.  Sometimes if you are nice and calm and polite, yet still firm they give you what you want!   I may have also found some designs for our home that will cost us about $400 (yay!!) and everything is starting to look up.  I hate days when I wake up to a freak out.  However, fixing problems gives me a total high.  I am loving life right now.

Time to get back to work

I love my job.  It’s work, and it forces me to be motivated, but when I am working I love it.  For those of you who don’t know I am a Mary Kay consultant.  I have been for over 9 years.  I was a director for a period of time until my son had major surgery and I stepped down to take care of him for 4 months while he recovered and we adjusted to his new lifestyle.

After my son’s surgery I had a hard time bouncing back.  It’s almost as if I felt defeated.  Like I wasn’t good enough to remain a director while going through such a tough time, and that’s ok.  It’s ok and perfectly valid for me to have felt that way, but it’s time for me to go back to work.  We are having trouble putting aside much of anything for the build because C’s job pays all our bills and enough money for gas and food with a little left over and that’s it.  If i go back to work as much as I was for the several years before i became a director then we can put aside a lot more.  It’s not even full time work and I can still be basically a stay at home mom and run a farm, especially since I am getting really good at time management.

So what would that look like?  I just hired someone to watch the kids two days a week for 3 hours each time (that’s 6 hours a week).  That time will be spent networking, meeting new clients, and catching up with existing clients.  I would then spend 1 hour a day the other 3 weekdays contacting clients and doing paperwork stuff, then i would hold 3 selling appointments a week totaling 3 hours each (1 hour for driving and 2 hours for the appointments).  That’s a grand total of 18 hours a week working.  When i am working like this I typically bring in $800-$1000 a month.  i know my numbers, i know my stats, and now i just need to get working.  I need to see 30-60 clients a month which is totally doable when i am holding that many selling appointments.  it’s not about people buying stuff either.  Some people i see will buy $300, some will buy nothing, that’s not a big deal.  The individual numbers don’t mean much, it’s the relationships i am building and the number of people i am servicing every month that matters.  LETS DO THIS!!  LETS BUILD A HOUSE!!

More digging

The new excavator arrived yesterday.  They hauled the old one away to fix and now we have a new one that works like a charm.  C went out to the property on his way home from work and spent 2 hours digging.  it looks amazing.  Although we still have about 2 more hours of digging left, the house needs to go back about 5 more feet.  The doesn’t sound like much, but if you think about it the walls are at least 12 feet deep at that point.  Standing next to the back walls right now (which are about where the living rooms will be) is pretty crazy.  The walls are about 3 feet taller than i am!!

digging 3 digging 4 digging digging2

I am so excited about how the whole thing is coming together.  I still can’t believe it’s really happening.  We will be meeting with our architect soon to finish up the plans so we can take them for approval.  We will also be flattening out the excavated area and digging for the grey water filtration, the cistern, and the pipes this weekend.  we will also be planting the last of the garden this weekend, and i will be attempting to build a chicken coup!  On my to do list for next week is getting the health department out to approve for a septic system, moving the hens to the coup, tending the garden, and working on promoting our farm so we can get some donors.  Whew!  busy busy!!  Stay tuned for updates

Fundraising

I set up a GoFundMe account yesterday.  This should be the only time we need one, but this will prevent us from having to stall the project for 5 -6 months.  I realize that it’s a long shot in getting anyone to help us with our project, but I figure even if nobody donates anything it should at least help us get the word out on what we are doing.  The account is http://www.gofundme.com/0tohomestead.    Please check it out, if you can’t donate (or don’t want to, and that’s ok too!) at least share with your friends!!  Thanks!!

dirt pile

The race has officially begun!

WE WILL BE LAND OWNERS SOON!!  The owner accepted our offer!  No counter offer, no having to figure out new numbers, he accepted our offer right off the bat!

For those of you who are planning on becoming self sufficient yet have limited immediate resources or bad credit or both here is my advice to you:

1) find an area where you would like to live and land is fairly inexpensive.  We chose an area that was about 20 minutes out from our ideal area (where a 5 acre lot goes for $60-$100,000), and ended up spending $43,000 for almost 11 acres of land.

2) find a piece of land that is the closest to what you want and ask about owner financing.  Many times the owner will be willing to do a 5 year financing plan because banks tend to not want to give loans to people just buying land, especially not if you are planning on building your own home.  So you must be creative on how you can buy the land without having the money up front and without having to go through a bank.

3) Don’t insult the owner.  Don’t get me wrong, you want to make sure your offer is within your budget, and allows for some wiggle room if they don’t accept your offer and you must come back with a second offer.  ie: don’t give them your top numbers first, but don’t low ball them either.  Here is what we did, we knew the seller wanted a large down payment which we couldn’t offer, so we offered a down payment that was within our budget but offered a high monthly payment with a high interest rate.  we figured out what a 10 year loan would be with 7% interest, which ended up being $50 below what we wanted our monthly payment to be.  We aren’t too concerned about this because we will be paying off the loan in less than 5 years.  Once a property is built on the land a bank is far more likely to give a loan.  Also once the property is built the funds we were using to pay the rent on where we will be staying and what we are budgeting towards building the house will be able to go towards paying off the land as well.

Now that our offer has been accepted we have a race to complete before papers are signed.  We need to research what permits we need in order to build.  We need to go out and start measuring and blocking off where we plan on building.  We also need to start putting money aside and fundraising for the build (we have a lot of money to drop very quickly in order to excavate and put in the foundation).  Above all we need to find a place to live and start packing.  We aren’t going to stay in our current rental property.  It’s too expensive and too far away.  We are looking for something small and no more than $350 a month, and much closer tot he property.  This will easily fit into our budget and we wont have to dread the drive to work on the house.

As of right now we have to finish Feb with $3000 as a down payment.  right now we have $700.  Our major goal is to finish january with $1500, Which means we need $800 to finish this month.  That’s totally doable, hopefully, it does make me feel a bit ill to think about, but we can do it!

Also I am looking into doing a fundraising project to raise money to build the house.  Any thoughts on which fundraisers are best would be much appreciated!

Christmas

Christmas is such a stressful time of year for me.  Not just because you somehow have to scrounge together enough money to have a decent christmas (which for us means a tree, and two gifts for each child, one from us and one from santa), but also because it is the slow season at C’s work so we have to do everything on a shoe string budget.  We also have to wrap up everything we need done before the end of the year.  This year I have had to deal with a lot of government stuff.  I hate government stuff.  Not to mention that the government shuts down for about 2 weeks right before the new year so everything has to be completed before, well, basically today.  The two offices we need will be open next monday and tues, and the 29th.  So yay, lets complete everything in 3 short days with one car.

You know that things are bad when you have a list called “Things that are causing me stress which is why I am not sleeping”, and only 2 things out of 7 have been crossed off that list.  I am really concerned that we wont be able to pay our rent let alone save anything this month.  The good news is that unemployment came through for C so that will hopefully make some sort of a difference.  I have heartburn.

I seem to always have this breakdown around this time every month.  it’s that freak out period where I have no clue how any of this is going to come together, but I have faith that it will.  I have learned that in situations like these faith is about all you can have because I really spend most of my time holding my breath waiting for things to happen.  For people to come through, for the usual disappointment of C’s paycheck, for just things in general. I can’t predict the future.  I don’t know if C will get a bonus this year, or how much it will be.  If we will get an unemployment check and how much it will be.  If C will get paid enough to pay bills.  I can sit and worry (which I do about 3-5 hours out of the day), or i can have faith that God has a plan and things will work out if I keep plugging along.  So i’ll keep plugging along.

Our first fundraiser

We have begun our first fundraising event.  It’s through social media and it’s called: Buy a gift and help build a house.  It going really well so far.  We have raised $83.  Our goal is to raise $500 and we have 7 days left.  The way it works is people order things from either my business or C’s business and 100% of the profits go towards the down payment on the land.  Asking people for help is one of the hardest things.  I hate doing it, but I know if I don’t ask, if i don’t share our goal with other people, it wont generate the excitement it needs to get it finished.  So here we are, in our first fundraiser of many.  Wish me luck and let me know if you want to help!