Monday, July 28, 2014

Passing the Information Along..

 We are noticing that the people that have asked to talk to us wanting to learn more about how to get out of debt all have similar questions and the information we pass along is also really similar. We have talked to people that make a lot of money and we have talked to people who make close to minimum wage.. still the concerns and questions are the same (even if the amount of income and debt may be a bit different). So we thought wed share some of the information that was passed along to us through Dave Ramseys program and other families who had done this process before us.
Next the written budget is key. There is usually one spouse more focused on getting out of debt. That spouse can write the budget out and ask the other spouse to review it and give input. 
Down the let side of the paper list all expenses starting with necessities (food, gas, mortgage, utilities, taxes) and then moving onto insurances (car, home, liability) and then debt or other payments. Be realistic. If you spend $200 week on groceries don't write $150 unless you have a plan to cut back or you will be discouraged and not on budget. Across the top write the date of the paychecks you have coming (weekly/biweekly). Then fill in the lines next to each expense under the column of the check that will be used to pay it. For example if you are paid weekly across the food expense line you would write $200 under each payday column. For the mortgage expense line you would write your mortgage amount under the column of the payday that the mortgage will be paid from that check etc.. Any amount left at the end after all the priorities are paid is the amount you have to work with...
Then on a separate paper list all your debts from smallest to largest. All debts. Credit cards, student loans, vehicles, equity lines of credit etc.. The only debt that you will not include is the mortgage (you can work on that later).
Determine to stop using credit cards. Cut them up. Close them out. Use the money that you have left at the end of your budget to save for an emergency fund so you can cover whatever comes up without going to the cards. $500 to $1000 in the emergency fund will cover most typical emergencies.
Once you have the emergency fund in place take all you have extra and put it on your smallest debt until its paid off. Then take the payment you were making on the smallest debt plus what you can squeeze out of their budget and apply it all to your next biggest debt. Keep going and by the time you get to your biggest non mortgage debt you will knock it out of the park because all your previous payments plus what you can squeeze out of you budget will go on that big debt and it will be gone before you know it!!
Remember you are living on as  little as possible to get this done.. No eating out. If you need clothes hit your local consignment shop or Salvation Army. Get rid of cable and even (gasp!) internet! You can go to the local library to get internet access and even replace TV time with a good book. Cut every place you can. Christmas can be homemade cards for friends and family and the Salvation army has some great toys (Yes we had a Salvation Army Christmas! and its the one Christmas the big kids ALWAYS  talk about! Great and fun memories!!) Say NO a to anyone who expects you to spend money on non necessities.
The biggest key, besides prayer, to winning with getting out of debt is Boundaries. They are necessary and Biblical. It doesn't matter what your mother, father, brother, sister, second cousin on your fathers side three times removed, nor your friends, and not ever fellow Believers think about your decision. Its ok to say, "We don't all unsolicited opinions."  Goose and I would have accomplished nothing if we listened to others.  Remember Jesus comes with a sword. We cant follow Him and allow others opinions to matter more.
This  information is not our own its what we have gathered from Dave Ramsey (who learned it from others) and from other families who have gone on this journey before us, who have wanted to follow biblical principles with their money We are just thankful to pass it all along to others who may want to take this journey too!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Our Debt Free Off the Grid Green Homestead

We are hoping to close on our land next week!! SO excited to take those the first steps onto our land after we close knowing that the Lord provided it all for us without debt!!
We have really enjoyed the planning phase of the process  but very soon we will be breaking ground and starting to build. We already know that we will need our log home to be handicap accessible. We also want the home we built to be as green and non toxic as possible, positioned for passive solar and to be completely off grid.
Our plan it to use our 6.5 acres to homestead and live as self sufficiently as possible.  We've done what we could at our current home in town  but on our homestead we plan to have chickens and beef critters in addition to growing gardens and nurturing the 12+ apples trees on the property. We plan to plant a raspberry patch and keep bees too. Lots of wonderful plans for our land and we cant wait to get started!!

Bless you all for your prayers as we wait to close on our property and break ground on our debt free homestead!!! God is so good and we are thankful, humbled and Blessed!!

In His Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Getting Rid of the Mortage and Adopting: Our To Do List

This week we had the soil test done on our lot and we were very thankful to learn that it passed!! There was a bit of concern that it would be too wet to pass (meaning we wouldn't be able to build) but we trusted in His will and waited to have the tests done..
It was a beautiful day in our family when we found out it would pass!! God is so good!!!
Now that we know we can build on the lot we are taking on the next item on our "To Do" list. I love a good to do list  and with all we have going on this list will help keep us focused..
As with anything when we step out in faith and move forward we trust in His will and desire first to follow His plans for our lives..
Step 1: Update our home study to adopt 2 more little ones internationally. (In progress!!)
Step 2: Finish our current home and get it ready to go on the market. (In progress!!)
Step 3:  Buy land debt free (Closing soon!!)
Step 4: Build an handicap accessible, off the grid and debt free log home  on the land.
Step 5: Sign up with our placement agency and start working on our dossier while cash flowing initial adoption expenses.
Step 6: Move into our finished log home and sell our current home to remove our final debt (the mortgage). Using the proceeds from the sale to cover the rest of our adoption expenses.
Lots to do and honestly we couldn't do any of it on our own.. We are operating on His strength alone and trusting in His good plans.
We hope to have the first three completed by the end of May and the final three completed within the next six months.  We are doing all we can to plan well and to be good stewards. Doing our best then giving the rest to the Lord.. 
Bless you all for your continued prayers!!
In His Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian

Friday, April 18, 2014

$11,000 in 6 Weeks!! Praising God For His Provision!!!

When we first signed the purchase and sale on our lot for $11,000 we thought it would take at least 16 weeks to have the funds.. but after just 6 weeks we have $11,000!! Only with God is this possible for us..
We are still waiting for the snow to go up here so we can get the soil test done but we hope to close on our land the first week of May. We are very excited to sign those papers and use the funds the Lord has provided to purchase the land the Lord has provided.
We've owned many houses and even built a log home for ourselves but each time it has been with the bank's money. Ramsey says the grass feels different under your feet when you own your property and not the bank.. Can't wait to find out if that's true!!

We started Ramseys plan in 2008. He says it takes most people 5-7 years to get through the steps. Even with stopping to build the addition and to adopt we are still looking good to be debt free and own our home within 7 years. It hasn't been an easy road but its definitely been worth it.
Bless you all for your continued prayers as we work on our version of Baby Step 6!!
In His Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Building Debt Free: Step 1-Pay Cash for Land Step 2- Start Another International Adoption ;)

We have said from the beginning that we would adopt at least 4 children. With our first two little ones home we thought we would build our home debt free while being open to domestic adoption. If we weren't placed with a child when our house was finished we would start another international adoption..
The Lord had other plans.. ;)
We started feeling pulled back to the country and the orphanage that we brought Genie and GiGi home from. We were hearing that they weren't finding homes for their special needs children and it was heartbreaking.
We had inquired about several children on Adopt Us Kids and only one case worker responded wanting to see our home study. It was becoming clear that the path for us would lead back to Haiti for two more special needs children from the orphanage where Genie and GiGi had lived.
That left the question "When?"  We surly cant do an international adoption at the same time as building our home. Wrong again. ;) God made it very clear that that is exactly what He wanted us to do.
So we have started filling out forms and getting ready to update our home study. Looking at the budget with the OT the Lord is providing we will be able to cash flow the initial fees for our adoptions while building our home.
Our plan is to sell our current home and use the proceeds to pay for the rest of the adoption expenses. Praying the new house will be livable when this house sells. 
There is a lot that would need to fall into place but we are stepping out in faith and trust that if we are in His will He will provide.
As soon as the snow goes we will be able to get our perk test done and then we can close on our land!! While we wait we are  working to get this house ready to go on the market. Refinishing floors, installing cabinets, finishing up some trim and completing the stone work are some of our weekend projects.. We hope to have this house ready to list by the time we are ready to start building our new home..
Lots on our plates right now but we wouldn't have it any other way.. God didn't call us to a routine, mundane existence.. He has called us to an abundant life and its a beautiful and amazing journey.
Bless you all for covering our family in prayer as we step out in faith not only with building our home debt free but also with bringing home two more precious children without debt.. 

With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
In His Light and Love~ Goose and Gillian 

The Baby Steps

The Baby Steps