I’m taking part in Brenda from A Cosy Little House’s new series on Thrifty Living 2012. In this series, there will be five women sharing the individual struggles they face economically with their families in a particular region.
Welcome to the second post of Thrifty Living 2012, today we are sharing the rest of our stories on how we got here, next week the thrifty team will be addressing our consumption of gasoline in our various regions. What it costs. How we try to cut back on it. What strategies we've implemented.
Living on the West Coast of BC, Canada is expensive, and many luxuries are out of reach, the largest of those being a house. The Vancouver area is rated high as one of the most unaffordable places to live, and owning a house in this area is beyond most of us since average housing prices in Vancouver are around a million dollars. We had longed to move to the Okanagan and purchase a house that we could afford, and live our life for us, not for the mortgage.
My family lives up in the North Okanagan and we have always wanted to call the area our home. With both of my parents rapidly aging, and going through illness we decided to put our condo on the market last spring. Unfortunately so did many others, the market in White Rock was flooded with condo sales, and prices were dropping. There were days during the seven months time it took to sell, that I wondered if it would ever happen. But it did, and we are up here, and about to move into our first “real” home.
This felt like just another road block to us in our long term yearning to move. Two years ago my husband was unexpectedly laid off, and told that he would be back at work in a few months. We had no warning, and had just purchased a new vehicle and had monthly payments.
Just before this all happened I had moved from a garden center job of 15 years, to a retail position indoors, and taken a pay cut of 1/3 less wages. The few months stretched into more, we lost our benefits through his work, and my hours were reduced, we struggled through it like so many are doing today still.
We had two big benefits though, one was, we are children of depression era parents, and we were brought up in one income households. Money was tight when we were both children, and we learned never to spend what we didn’t have, and keep our expectations realistic. So our credit card bills are always paid off at the end of the month, only buy what you can afford.
Our second saving grace is some advice we were given when young. Pay yourself first. It is some of the most important pieces of financial advice anyone can ever receive. There are many ways to set up a saving account that will siphon off a bit of extra for your own personal rainy days, and if you learn this lesson well, you will always have a nest egg for those unexpected events that are bound to happen. By saving small amounts each month, you learn to work with slightly less each month. Soon the benefits of saving will outweigh the pinch of having less money, and when the compound interest starts to add up, it will be a extra incentive to save more.
Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams