First off, happy new year all!
Next, I have a confession to make:
I'm poor. Like real poor. And it sucks. I know, big surprise right? My tax forms will say that I grossed a little over $30k this year, which isn't much. Then there's the 25% of that off the top that goes straight to the gubmint, just to make sure I don't get anything to save.
Honestly, I've done ok on my meager salary in the past, but that all changed when I got married and my first child was born. Now I'm borderline destitute, because my wife is going to school instead of working, and I'm driving 50 miles to and from work daily.
We're renting an apartment right now for about $500/month, which is pretty reasonable, and I'm making a car payment of less than $300. Our bills are not extravagant, but we're still just barely scraping by.
In the next couple of months, I need to decide what to do about our living arrangements. My apartment lease is up and I have to figure out the best way to achieve my long-term goal of getting my family into a home of our own.
I don't want to keep renting my whole life, but at this point my credit score is too low to keep me from getting a home loan, and honestly I probably couldn't afford the payments on a house for a few years anyway. It's not like houses are super expensive out here anyway, we could get something just right for around $120k. Our problem being lack of down payment and of course horrendous credit (which I'm learning is the ultimate measure of my worth as a person).
I'm new to the whole "family financial planning" thing, so I'm hoping to get some input from those more experienced on the site about the best way to proceed. If I move, I can almost guarantee that my rent will go up, especially if I try to rent a house instead of another apartment.
It looks like my best bet is to find the cheapest place that will hold us all, and rent it until we're both working full time so we can repair our credit and save up for a reasonable down payment, or some land on which I could build a house a few years down the road.
So in short (too late I know) I'm broke, with bad credit, and I'm looking for the best strategy to get my family a home of our own. I appreciate any advice from those with experience.