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Thursday, July 5, 2018

We all start somewhere.

Hi everyone! I have blogged off and on for years, but this blog has a very specific purpose. I want to talk about the ups and downs of our own financial journey and document, in real time, our pursuit of our own financial independence. We've come a long way already and moving forward I want to focus on our goals of real estate investing and also share ways to simplify every day life.

As a bit of history about us, I'm 32 and I married my husband (we'll call him Mr. Blueberry) back in 2011. We were living in Colorado, which is where I grew up, and in 2012 we purchased our first home. At the time we used an FHA loan and while it was a rather modest home, it was still right at the top of what we could afford at the time. While living in that home, we had our first child, a daughter, in 2013. By the time we had our second child, a son in 2015, Mr. Blueberry's commissioned job as a real estate agent wasn't supporting us well anymore and we knew we'd have to sell our house and make some changes.

2015 was one of our most difficult years so far, but also our biggest growth year. Mr. Blueberry decided to coordinate a Dave Ramsey course for our church and we took the class at the same time as everyone else. We sold our house in July of that year and because of the way the market had turned up in Colorado, we were able to make around a $50,000 profit off of the sale. We used that money to pay off the small amount of debt that we had and we saved the rest. Since Mr. Blueberry's job wasn't paying well anymore and I was staying home with our kids, we knew we'd run out of money quickly if we didn't DO something.

My wonderful parents offered to let us stay with them while we figured out what to do. It was a squeeze to have all 6 of us, one being a 5 month old baby, in their 3 bedroom, 1500sqft home. It was uncomfortable, but actually just what we needed at that time to realize a different future for ourselves.

We stayed for 6 months while we saved money and continued looking for another home. The cost of living had increased so drastically in Colorado that we felt totally stuck. It seemed impossible to make enough money to continue to live there while also staying out of debt. Despite having grown up in Colorado and imagining raising my own family there, we knew we had to go.

We searched out places that had a lower cost of living and would still offer things important to us like good schools, recreation, decent weather, etc. We landed right in the heart of Texas and that is where we are today.

We came here with no job (or even job prospects), two little ones, a rental house that we had never seen in person, and as the song goes, we were pretty much living on a prayer. I'm happy to report that the prayers worked because it didn't take long for Mr. Blueberry to find a great job and for us to settle in and find our own little community here. We are in our 3rd year here, in our 2nd rental house, and we also have another little one - a 6 month old baby girl.

We recently started to get a bit too comfortable with Mr. Blueberry's new salary and we slowly started falling back into some of our old ways. For the first time in our lives we've financed a car so we now have the first debt that we've had since 2015. A week after we bought the car, things started getting shaky at Mr. Blueberry's job. I still stay home with my kids so while I am not currently making an income, I've decided to make it my job to save us as much money as I can. I've already been able to cut our grocery bill in half and I'm excited to share in a future post how I did it without sacrificing eating healthy.

We are also looking forward to making our first real estate investment soon by purchasing a househack. If you are unfamiliar with the term, a househack is a home that you purchase and rent out part of the space to someone else to help cover your mortgage. Our goal is to buy a duplex and live on one side of it while renting out the other side. We also have a goal of purchasing more real estate for investments in the future.

OK, that was a very long-winded explanation of where we're at, but now that we're all caught up, I hope that you will join us on our journey! I hope to offer some tips and tricks and to learn a lot from you as well. Please feel free to comment or email me anytime.

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