Part One: Introduction
If you know me personally, you know that my last two years have been full of changes. Lots and lots of them, seemingly all at once. I met and began dating the man I knew early on I was going to marry, I left my career as a flight attendant for something more stable, me and future hubby moved in together, got engaged, got a puppy, got married, and bought a house. In that order.
Was reading that as exhausting as it was for me to write it? Try living it out! It’s been a wild ride but in light of the new year and decade, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude for where life has led me.
At time of writing, my husband (hereby referred to as Carson) and I have been married just over two months and have been living in our new house just over one. We currently have no student loan or credit card debt and still have security in an emergency fund. Those of you who don’t know me personally may be scratching your head, thinking to yourselves:
How did they afford to do all of this at once? Are they still cashing in on the Bank of Mom and Dad? Do they have some vast inheritance that procures enough cash for this? Is Lauren really a highly successful author that conceals her identity and writes under a penname? While I wish I could say ‘yes’ to the last one, the answer is none of the above. Other than a monetary wedding gift from our parents (less than a third of the average cost of a wedding), Carson and I did all of this completely by ourselves.
I know that anybody reading this already has a social media feed full of others boasting of their success, from their “perfect” marriage to their “perfect” home to their “perfect” kids (please note and emphasize the quotation marks around “perfect”.). I’m not trying to add to that list. My goal in sharing our story is to provide practical ways to make our reality yours as well. As I begin this series, I am aiming to humble myself and give you a transparent look at how Carson and I both made our dreams a reality by a little sacrifice and a lot of hard work.
I would really like to emphasize the transparency piece here;
neither me or Carson come from wealthy families, so we have no inheritance or trust in our names. We were however fortunate enough to enter into marriage with both of us completely free of debt (minus my car payment that I have about a year left to pay). The other important point to emphasize is the sacrifices that Carson and I made to get to this point. Other than rigorously saving money by limiting our spending, we also both did small things in addition to our real jobs to earn a little extra cash, such as charging electric scooters and selling clothes on Poshmark.
Ultimately however, our ability to get married and purchase a home in the same month came down to two very large sacrifices:
1.) We decided to elope in lieu of having a traditional wedding.
2.) We are listing a portion of our home on Airbnb to help offset the cost of our mortgage.
The next articles in this series will detail the reasons behind these decisions as well as what we had to do to make them happen. All in all, the journey has been stressful, but also incredibly fun and rewarding, especially getting to do it alongside someone I love! I will be sharing how and why we chose to elope as well as what costs were affiliated with that. Then I will get into how we found the perfect Airbnb-able home and turned a shabby basement into a trendy rental in just a few short weeks. Buckle up and enjoy!
Oh, and Happy Slacking!