Look, we all want nice things. And we assume if we continue on working on ourselves and our careers, we will continue on an upward trajectory that will bring a larger paycheck. And I know what you are thinking. Go ahead and buy that dream house that is on the market today that is above our current budget. But in a year or two when it is in budget, it won’t be on the market. My advice, only buy what you can comfortably afford today.
The reason I say comfortably afford is because you never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball. Let me share my story. About 19 years ago, my husband and I bought a condo. The plan was 5-7 years, and we would upgrade to a house. Honestly, we wanted a house, but it was just out of reach for us. And we made the safe choice. Thank goodness we did.
First curve ball: Nosebleeds. I won’t get into the details here today, another post, but I had multiple sinus issues resulting in several emergency surgeries that spanned over Christmas into the new year, which also meant a new health plan year with new deductibles. One of the procedures landed me in the Neurological ICU. About $500,000 in medical bills in a matter of 20 days. Plus, I was not working and had run out of sick and vacation pay, so I wasn’t bringing in a paycheck.
Second curve ball: Back injury. Next, my husband suffered a debilitating back injury about six months before our wedding. It required multiple surgeries over several years. And thankfully our doctor got him good enough to walk down the aisle. However, he will never work again. Now, we are a one paycheck household.
As bad as things got, and trust me that got pretty bad, we still had a roof over our heads. And we had help, I am not ashamed to say that. But we were never in fear of losing the condo. We could comfortably afford it. It wasn’t breaking the bank. I look back at the house we wanted, and it would have easily been double the mortgage, plus other things like water and gas that we don’t pay separately for. Not to mention higher electric bills as well.
While we did require help, I never felt that I was burdening anyone else with my high mortgage. As much as we wanted the nice house and a backyard for the dogs, and still do, the low mortgage, while earning equity has made this little condo the best decision we ever made.
Yes, we have outgrown it, but we have a clear plan and we will make the move when we can comfortably afford to do so.
Yes, we want a bigger and nicer place. One where we can entertain, have people over for dinner, cook in the kitchen together (our kitchen now is so small) and maybe each have our own space. I want a craft/writing room and husband wants a D&D/comic book room.
But, end of day, we have each other along with Hugo and Petunia. And that is all that matters. If I had to be on the street with anyone, my husband and my dogs would be the ones I would choose. I just want to be with them.
And between family and friends, we would never be homeless. So, ultimately, I’m already a very wealthy woman.