When Shaunna’s 8-year-old son approached her out of nowhere about wanting to work with fiber animals, she was a bit surprised. Their family lives on a homestead in Indiana with horses, chickens, and dogs but fiber animals had never come up before.
Her son had been doing some reading about how to make hats, scarves, and sweaters and came to the conclusion that fiber animals would be best for this. Initially he wanted sheep, but as they started doing some research, and looking into breeders, they landed on alpacas.
Gaining knowledge, gaining savings
One of the first things Shaunna realized after deciding on alpacas was that they’d be expensive.
Depending on the fiber of the alpaca, one normally sells for about $2,000 to $2,500. And because alpacas do better in groups, Shaunna and her family had a Goal to save for two, which totaled to about $5,000.
Funds for fiber
Shaunna and her husband have been Simple customers for about a year and use their Shared Account for all their transactions and savings. Her best friend Aimée had told her about it, and at first, they were skeptical about joining a digital bank. But after seeing how quick and easy it was to save, they were hooked.
When they decided to start saving for alpacas, they created two Goals; one that took money out of their paychecks every other Friday, and one they contributed $5 to daily. Knowing they had two systems for saving made them more confident they’d be able to save what they needed; and do it faster. Shaunna said they didn’t miss that $5 each day, and it added up overtime.
“Goals make saving so easy for us,” she said. “We don’t even need to think about it. When paychecks hit the account, that money is already out of our sight, because we’ve set up a Funding Schedule.”
Alpacas at last
Once they’d saved $1,500 for their deposit, they were able to pick out their alpacas. They partnered with their breeders in Ohio and Indiana and chose two females; Prime Time and Anna. They come registered with names, and Prime Time was given hers because she was born at exactly 8 p.m., during prime time television. The other was named Anna because the breeder’s grandkids are obsessed with the movie Frozen.
With their alpacas picked out, they continued to save for the rest of their costs and started putting money aside for other things they’d need before and after the alpaca’s arrival, like fencing.
photo by: LinChris Alpacas
Preparing for arrival
After saving for about four months, the alpacas are due to arrive on their farm in June. They still have some work to do to get their place ready, but they’re excited.
Her son is going into a 4-H program through Purdue University, to learn more about alpacas specifically, and is looking forward to working with them so closely.
As for Shaunna, she’s already started thinking about getting a third alpaca.
Shauna would like to thank Brian and Joy Turner at Our Little World Alpacas for their help in guiding her through this process.
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