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Just keep walking

By Lisa DeNardo
December 12, 2012

[Editor’s note: This “My View,” which has been shortened from its original, is reprinted with permission from Lisa DeNardo’s blog, “Hullabaloo Homestead.” She posted it on December 4. Sadly, far too many people in the Upper Delaware Valley also find themselves facing this kind of financial hardship. You can read the entire blog posting at our link:]

I have tried my darnedest to remain focused on all of the little things I have to be grateful for. Because no matter how bad things might seem, there is always something to be grateful for. Deep down I know that. And that is the one thing carrying me through right now—my ability to be grateful.

The biggest issue right now, is that we have to move… as in move now, in the next couple of weeks. Where are we going? I don’t exactly know. Somewhere. We have an idea, but dates may or may not coincide. Either way, Christmas is going to be a tumble-by… meaning, as I see people decorating and celebrating, I am packing my family’s life back up into boxes… again… for the second time this year. Not knowing where we will even be.

Life happens. The people who own the house we have been living in want to sell it. They were kind enough to offer us first dibs on the property—this little homestead we have been working so hard on creating over the past eight months. But after crunching numbers, it became very clear that if we did, we would be way back at square one. Upside down. At a place and a mentality that we swore off when we chose to walk away from our foreclosed home this past spring.

Apparently, and rightfully so, no one should EVER pay a rent or mortgage that exceeds 28% of their monthly income. If you do, the result will be life in a financially cramped place. Many people offer themselves a cushion of credit cards, home equity loans, lines of credit, etc. Four years ago, we gave them up, too. We never use credit. Never. As painful as it is to do without, I would much rather be able to have only what we can afford and to limit ourselves to live only within our financial means.

Jason is currently working construction again. Whether here or there, now or then, he makes a maximum of $2,400 a month [when he’s able to find work]. If we apply the 28% rule, that means we can only afford a monthly housing payment of roughly $650 a month!