Where it got off track
Leaving California my weight loss was on the right track. We were living a healthier lifestyle. The gym was like our second home. Processed foods were pretty much a thing of the past and we were eating fresh. Not to mention the fact that we had already paid off about 14,000 of our debt. Our dream of home ownership just hindered on credit rating.
When I took the promotion to York, PA we sold what we could and packed everything we could fit into the Camry. We ended up living in a motel for a couple months due to our credit situation which had just started to come up from the low 400’s to the low 500’s. We didn’t have any evictions but we didn’t have a solid rental history due to our previous living situation.
Living out of the hotel we were no longer eating healthy and we began taking out our allotted cash advances on our personal banks line of credit. Not being able to cook and the exorbitant fees of living in a motel is where things started to get off track.
We allowed it to continue
We signed a lease and got moved into our new apartment just in time for a visit with the in-laws. During this time we were still living check to check, taking out things like our bed on payment plans, and maxing out our personal line of credit. Our in-laws are generous and while they didn’t know our financial state they helped us fill our apartment with furniture and appliances.
With my new work schedule I spent most of my time at work and still ate on the run or things that could be made quickly. Burger and fries or spaghetti with garlic bread every other night for dinner and ordering out twice a week. Weight loss was no longer a concern.
I had a significant pay increase and great benefits and we were further from buying a house than we were when I was making less and paying more to eat healthier. The idea of buying a house wasn’t even on the table at this point.
When the finances started to change
We had a lot of bad spending habits but we were naturally starting to catch everything up by default. By month four in our new apartment we were no longer utilizing our personal line. We paid off our bed to avoid paying interest. I started to listen to talk radio and catching the Dave Ramsey again. Freshly motivated, I started buckling down on our budget and paying attention to our remaining debts.
Once we were ahead of the game and my student loans were rehabilitated, our score credit naturally started to increase. Home buying is getting closer by the moment and the only thing missing is the down payment.
When weight loss became a priority again
I noticed my shirts getting tighter and some of my smaller shirts didn’t fit anymore. These things happened over a length of time so I had blinders on. Either that or I just chose to ignore it. It wasn’t until the day that I was wearing the biggest shirt that I own,sat down at my desk, and popped a button that I realized that there is a serious problem.
I went and weighed, only to see the scale say over 450lbs. I am 6’5 and have always been big but this is the biggest I have ever been. The following week I immediately went back to a healthier way of eating. Not dieting, I am talking lifestyle changes. Working towards permanent weight loss.
Where things stand today
Our budget is coming along nicely. I have lowered my contributions to investment accounts to 3% from 8% of my income. There is no use fully contributing when you are paying interest on debts as they just cancel each other out. I will be pushing this up to 15% once we get to that stage.
I am down 27 lbs, feeling a lot better, and my clothes are starting to fit again. Portion control and paying attention to what we put in our bodies has been a big part of this journey. I have been eating plenty of lean proteins and staying away from drinking my calories.
My credit is now in the low 600’s and our down payment is on hold until we are fully out of debt. The next goal is for our emergency fund to be high enough to sustain us for three months. We have decided that we will be buying a multi-unit as our first house. This will not be a huge adjustment process for us as we are in apartments now.