A reader named Sandyvoice left this comment on my last post about saving for a home, and I thought it was an inspiring story worth calling out:
It was great to read the Times article this week, and your story over the past couple of years, and to feel like I'm not alone. I'm a musician, and don't make anything like as much money as you, Madame X, but my process was the same, just very streched out. I lived in a 250 sq. ft. studio apartment for 25 years minus 10 days. It was in a great neighborhood, but it was very cheap because I was there so long. There were some very bad times; a couple of years I made only 15% over the poverty level. But as soon as I got into a halfway stable financial situation, so that I was making even $10 more than I needed to spend, I started saving. If I didn't have anything extra at all, I'd eat Kraft mac and cheese for a few days, or try to walk home from a gig, so I could save $1 that week. (This was before discount metrocards.) Eight years ago, at the age of 47, I finally put a binder down on an apartment 3 1/2 times the size of my old one in an emerging neighborhood I love. I admit I got some help from my parents toward the downpayment, but I'm paying them back, and from then on I've paid every penny myself. It's a fixer-upper, and I figure it'll be fixed-up by the time I retire, but it's MINE. Hard work, but worth it.
Thanks Sandyvoice, and congratulations on achieving your goal after so patiently working toward it for all those years!