I had some very ambitious goals while my husband was deployed. I wanted to be able to travel to port calls (I did 3, including Bahrain), visit family/friends (travel between Seattle and Back East 4 times), max out my husbands TSP at $1433 a month and still be able to save the $60,o00 required to buy our next two houses. While I was blessed to get an amazing job offer in my career (and the hours with it) the week after he left, it would not be enough.
While we make great money being a Dual Income No Kids family, I knew we would need to cut down on some areas in order to make all our goals happen. My income was amazing but it was quickly spent with all my good ideas. When a buddy’s roommate suddenly left him right before a military deployment, an awesome opportunity arose. The opportunity was the ability to downside from our 4 bedroom 2 bath house with a $1250 + mortgage plus utilities to a 3 bedroom 2 bath for $650 a month. My roommate traveled, and he was able to have someone to pay half the expenses while still watching the house. A win/win for all.
As with any fantastic opportunity there were some downsides:
- It was Cramped- There would be 3,000 sqft of furniture in a 1200 sqft space. That meant that in reality all the space I used was 2 bathrooms, a bedroom and the kitchen. Every where else was full of storage items.
- Moving 2 times in 10 months– Since this opportunity was only available while my husband was deployed I would have to move after they left and move again when they got home! Therefore there was a lot of moving involved during an already crazy time.
- Renting out Our Home– Since we were going to be renting one place we would have to rent out our home.
- Living Without Most of Our Stuff – What made a huge portion of this plan work was the fact that we were going to leave all of our stuff in boxes. This way we only had to move it once and our friend didn’t have to box as much of his stuff up.
While there were some definite downsides/extra work on our part after the deal (there is no such thing as a free lunch). It was awesome. The upsides were way more up than downsides.
- Reach out Financial Goal- We were able to do everything we wanted financially.
- Less House Work- A smaller house mean a lot less work, so it allowed me to focus on my current goals including creating freezer meals for one and doing more cooking even as a single person.
- Houses Rented Out Meant Easier to Qualify- An added bonus was we were able to qualify much easier because all the houses were on our tax returns. While unexpectedly needed, it turned into a being a huge asset in getting qualified.
Downsizing during deployments, and other times, while not always easy or popular can be a great asset. Over the years we have downsized in different ways to reduce our expenses allowing us to achieve that next “goal”.
What have you done to give you that monetary “push” into the next goal?4
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