***Disclosure: This post was made possible by SunTrust. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.***
There's no place like home...There's no place like home....
For about 20 years, no matter how many times I clicked my heels together and said these supposedly magical words, nothing happened. I was stuck in a place that I really didn't like, and I longed to go home, to my little hometown in NE Ohio.I was fed up with the high cost of living, the overcrowding, and the general unfriendliness of the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
With rents that are sky-high and barely being able to make ends meet with a growing family, I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I would probably have to raise my children in an area that I absolutely despised. Sure, the NOVA area has it's perks, but it's not somewhere I would choose to raise a family. I longed for quiet, suburban streets, a sense of community, and loads of family-friendly events and activities. I much prefer small town living to the hustle and bustle of the big city, and I wanted to give my kids a childhood reminiscent of my own.
Everything changed after my oldest son started getting bullied for his sexual orientation. He was terrorized daily, and even physically assaulted. Despite numerous visits to the school, nothing was being done to protect him. I watched my child become very depressed, and it scared me. I did not want him to become another sad statistic, so I knew something had to be done. Kyle deserved a fresh start, somewhere that he could finally feel safe.
My husband and I started planning. We decided that the best thing we could do for our son and our family in general was to leave Virginia behind once and for all. We did a lot of research regarding job opportunities, housing costs, and general cost of living here in NE Ohio. We found that moving to my little hometown was not only doable, it would allow us to live a much more comfortable life.
Thanks so smart financial planning and the help of an inheritance, we were able to purchase our home in full. My house is almost 100 years old, and is full of charm and character. It is also in need of some serious updating. But it is located in the only city I would ever want to raise my children in, and it's 100% OURS. It felt SO good when we were able to move into a home of our own.
Of course now, we have to save and plan for home renovations. Instead of calling it our "Rainy Day Fund", which sounds completely negative, we call our savings plan our "Sunny Day Fund." After all, we want to live for the sunny days in our new home. Sure, it may take years before our house is completely and totally renovated to our tastes, but we want to enjoy every moment of the process.
So far, we've been able to do little things, like refinishing our countertops and customizing the kids' rooms with wall decals, etc. We haven't gotten to anything major, like bathroom renovations or newer flooring, but one day we will. They always say, after all, that nothing worth having comes easily. If we are diligent in saving for our home improvements, they WILL start becoming reality, little bits at a time.
Since we are choosing to think about our long term goals in a positive light, saving to make them a reality seems a bit less painful. Rather than think about the tens of thousands of dollars it will cost to update our home, we think about how wonderful it feels to have a home to call our own, and how we are giving our kids the security of a place they can always come back to. We focus on the Sunny Days, and work towards making these days even brighter.
Do you have a Sunny Day Savings Plan?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.