I like to look at houses.
This is no secret. Zillow is my gateway drug (to spending money).
Once I got it into my head that I wanted to move....it's been my mission to find that "perfect house": A good mix of Green Gables, a farmette with modern amenities inside and an ample "man cave" area for my husband. Extra bonus points for usable out buildings.
Now, we are nowhere NEAR ready to buy. We are on Baby Step 2, gazelle intense debt repayment, and buying now would be the ultimate in stupid, impulsive behavior.
However, the hubby happened upon a house this weekend that ticked off each of our "wants" perfectly.
Being the impulsive nit-wit that I am, I said "Let's go look at it!!!". Thank Goodness my husband has more brains and patience than I do. He kindly reminded me where we are in the Baby Steps and that there will always be other houses.
What KILLS me is had we stuck to the plan when we originally started it 3 years ago....we would have been in a perfect position to just say "Yup, that's what we want" and we could slap down an offer, no worries.
But, that didn't happen.....and now, we pay the price for our lack of stick-to-it-tiveness.
This weekend Dave Ramsey also posted an article about how people cannot get ahead BECAUSE they insist on taking on debt. This was met by a number of contrary opinions in the thread with folks talking about how no one can POSSIBLY succeed in life anyway because of a number of outside influences: stagnant wages, "good" jobs going overseas, high cost of healthcare and insurance, prohibitive college costs....the list went on and on.
But, I have to wonder, how many of these folks are carrying 1 or 2 car payments? How many of them have revolving credit card debt....with charges for everything from that new pair of shoes that were "just such a great deal" to fast food stops? How many of these folks are living on a written, zero-based budget every month?
Yes, there are outside forces that make it REALLY difficult to navigate the working and surviving world sometimes. Yes, wages leave a bit to be desired when compared to the rising cost of living in most areas. However, if you HAVE a wage....and you're spending that wage on "wants" instead of "needs and savings".....are you being a good steward of your income? Do you have a right to complain when what you are earning isn't being used effectively?
Yes, college is FREAKIN' expensive.....but what did you choose to study and where did you choose to go? Private college? Out of state? Underwater basket weaving with a minor in Sanskrit? Your choices have a lot to do with the money spent and the return on investment as well.
Let's remember the Yelp gal who wondered why her English degree didn't get her very far in San Francisco.
It's no one's fault but our own that we cannot put an offer in on our dream home this week. No one's. We had it in us to eliminate our revolving debt.....and we bounced off that proverbial wagon with a sickening thud. Hopping back on, we realized how much momentum we lost.
The amount we have going out in minimum payments right now would easily pay for that house. Facts like that make me a bit ill.
Everyday we go off to work....and what are we working for or towards? Fast food stops? A new car every 4 years (this is SO not necessary, folks!).....Shoes? Brand names? Cable? Handbags?
Or do we want to set our sights higher? Time with our family on a beach somewhere....where because you paid cash you don't have the worry of opening credit card bills when you get home. A beautiful house in the country with everything you ever wanted....and no worries each month that you can't make your mortgage....because you prepared....and you saved. A retirement with dignity.....where our kids won't be wringing their hands and wondering how to bury us in a cost-effective manner.
Before you start blaming the government....the big businesses.....the guy next door....for why you can't make your dreams a reality, take a good hard look at what your paycheck does every week.
Are you telling your money where to go.....or is it dictating to you where it goes?
Right now, we are ruled by our payments.....but we are angry enough....and dedicated enough....to change that for good.
I like to look at houses.