Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More on Saving for a Home: A Reader's Story

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!


Anonymous said...

That's a very inspiring story!
I bought a unit (I'm not sure what you call them in the US, but it's basically one of eight freestanding houses on the same block of land - a townhouse maybe?) that is bigger than I need. After making the repayments every month I don't have money left over to buy clothes, have holidays etc, but because I bought something bigger, it has increased in value (nearly doubled in two years) a lot more than a one bedroom apartment that would have left me with plenty of money for fun every month. It's kind of like saving in reverse.

Anonymous said...

All these stories are great, and very inspiring. Thanks for sharing and reminding us that anything is achievable; it just takes commitment and hard work!

SandyVoice said...

Thanks for the props! You've been inspiring me, and I'm honored if you feel like I'm paying back a little!