This is a guest post from my VA Clarisse, who talks about how she turned her financial life around all the way to home ownership!
I was only 19 and my husband 18 when we got married. At the age of 21, my daughter was born without even thinking having a baby could be difficult financially. Yes, we were both immature during those times. Thankfully, our parents didn’t give up; they didn’t get tired of guiding us always. We are currently living in my parents’ house, Filipino families are widely known for having extended family living in one house or mostly young adults living in their parents’ house. When my father died 7 years ago at the age of 49 because of colon cancer, I told myself that I would not leave my mother.
My husband is working in Manila and in the meanwhile, I am living here in our province with my mom, daughter, younger sister and 2 niece. Last 2012, we went to Manila with my daughter, supposedly to live there for good but after 2 months, my mom got sick and she underwent a gall bladder removal, so we went back home quickly and decided to stay here in our province. Honestly, it’s hard for us to live in a big city, where you will get stuck for how many hours in the middle of traffic plus living there is really expensive.
I can say that we are really living paycheck to paycheck, yes, I made a budget but shamefully I didn’t follow it. I loved buying unnecessary things and treating my whole family every weekend to a restaurant, going to an expensive salon and massage spa. I’m really a big fan of massage spas. 🙂
Last October, my husband got promoted as a senior software engineer and when he went home to spend Christmas with us, I didn’t know that he was planning to look for a house. He always used to tell me that if we owned a house, car and some investments in the future, he wanted to resign from his work because it’s hard for him to live this far away from us. One day before his flight, he called his manager, asking for his permission to extend his vacation by a week, surprisingly, his manager agreed. I noticed he was browsing for houses, and he told me that we are going to meet with a realtor.
We arrived at the place, my husband asked how I liked the place and I said I love it. I told him before that I wanted a small house, we even emailed each other pictures of a small dream house. We immediately gave a reservation fee because it was the only unit left and the next units that they are going to build will be 5% more expensive compared to our unit. The house turn-over will happen in 6 months but I’m planning to move in there by next January. We need to put a grid on the window, replace the door locks, put a door screen, we also need to build a solid fence around the house and after that we will be ready to move to our new humble house!
Honestly, I am a bit afraid because we will have a big financial responsibility but my husband told me that we can do it, we just need to trust ourselves and put a big effort. Right now, I downloaded an budget planning application on my phone and I’m happy that I’m improving.
For us, this is a good year to start a new goal, we need to watch our expenses carefully, cut back on splurging like going to a salon and I think going to a massage spa once a month would be fine. I also told my daughter about it because we want her to be aware and gladly she understands it. I also reviewed my grocery list and deleted some items that we don’t really needed like chocolate, junk food and soda. Before, when I got my salary, I immediately went to the mall, but now, we will pay our debt first, save, pay the bills and do the groceries.
I’m such a newbie for purchasing a house, if you have any advice to share please let me know I would love to read it!