Dave Ramsey talks about the basic 5 that you need to cover in your budget before anything else: food, clothing, shelter, transportation and utilities.
When we initially decided to sell our house and build a tiny house we were VERY excited about the idea that this could potentially allow us to be entirely debt free by the end of the year. We have less than $3,000 remaining on our debt snowball for my student loans and Zac's loans are deferred while he is in school but we were hoping to start tackling those as well and have that $9,000 knocked out by spring.
We were so excited about being debt free that we talked about paying off the student loans with the funds from selling the big house before funding the tiny house project. We needed a little reality check to remind us that our first priority needs to be providing the basic 5 for our family...once those are covered we can take care of the last $12,000 on the debt snowball.
We originally said we were on a six month timeframe for building the tiny house, mostly because we want to pay cash for it and didn't think we could make up the difference in less than that (we were still contemplating paying off the debt snowball first). Well, after being out of our big house for almost two months, we are antsy to have our own home again. It turns out that between our savings and the sale of the house there isn't as much of a gap as we anticipated, so funding the build of the tiny house in four months is realistic if we can stay under our $31,000 budget.
So now that we knew the funds were available, we had to figure out how to actually accomplish the build in four months...
Rather than Zac putting 60-70 hours a month toward the tiny house, he needs to put in at least 100. Our options were either to increase the labor portion of the budget and hire more help to speed it up, or create more time in Zac's schedule for him to have additional days to work on it. If we changed the labor budget too drastically Zac would need to pick up a significant amount of extra shifts, taking away some of his build days and most of our family days. So instead we've opted to create more time in the schedule by postponing his nursing classes until winter. This will allow him to spend his usual homework days working on the tiny house.
This was not an easy decision to make, mostly because it's hard to admit that you can't do it all. We had every intention of speeding up the build while changing nothing about our current schedules but this first week of working on the house has shown us that isn't an option. Re-evaluating priorities is never an easy conversation, but with a baby due in six weeks something had to go. We don't have the extra funds without sacrificing our family days, so we will make the extra time.
We declared June 10th as Day 1 in our four month goal and our target completion date is October 15th, making it a 127 day project.