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Good question.

I do have a wife and a son. My goal is to raise him to be a responsible member of society, to contribute to it instead of detract from it. Lord knows I'm not perfect and have made plenty of mistakes, but my son has a clean slate and I'm hoping I can use the mistakes I've made to teach him to avoid them.

I'd also like to own a house again, but to keep it this time. I think I found the house I want to own. It's near Ann Arbor, not in it, but close enough where I could still bike to work if I had to (not that I'd want to in the winter, it's on a dirt road, but I could.) It's still in the Ann Arbor school district (which is one of the best in the state) and is a bit off the beaten path (on two acres of land!) It would be at the high end of what I could possibly afford, but is a steal given where it is!

I just have to figure out how to get from where I am to a place where I can buy that house. We've been digging out of debt for years, and are most of the way out but, unfortunately, still have over $10,000 to pay off. Some months it's really tight, so saving for a down payment is very difficult. It would probably cost about the same to live in that house as it is to live in the apartment we live in now (and over time it will be cheaper to live in the house given that rent keeps going up, up up!) but I'm just in no position to get a mortgage yet.

That's stressing me. Having a small kid in an apartment is one thing, but my son's well into the "I'm going to play outside!" age and it would be nice to have a yard for him to play in, a dog for him to chase around, enough room to invite friends over (our apartment is cramped to say the least!), etc. If we got this house he'd be in a different school but the same district and would still be close enough to his friends that we could go see them (or have them over) regularly. Plus he's never had a problem making friends.

So, my immediate goal is to get my finances in order to get that house. My intermediate goal is to ensure that we keep our finances in order and long-term... just do no harm really. I'm pretty much set for life work-wise (provided I don't do something idiotic to get myself fired!) and while I won't be filthy rich I don't see abject poverty in my future either. Sometimes I dream about opening a store and selling cool stuff like Case pocket knives, automatic watches... stuff guys like. Maybe that could happen some day. Maybe I'll just do it online. Or maybe I'll never do it. I'm 34 so I hope to have plenty of time to work this all out.
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