J and I agree on all major life issues, but we try not to plan our lives away and simply take each day as it comes (a much easier task for him than me). A few weeks ago, however, we indulged in a little future dreaming. He asked me what my ideal financial time line would look like. We’re pretty open about our finances and discussed emergency funds and saving for retirement and getting his debt paid off and saving for a home and when kids would fit into the picture. (I know—serious talk, right?)
We stayed on the house topic for a while. I confess I’m slightly terrified of buying a house; one because I’m so ignorant of the house-buying process, and two because I’ve heard so many horror stories about young couples who get trapped in a home that they cannot afford. We both agreed that we don’t want to rush into anything and want to be financially prepared for home ownership.
Then he asked me whether I would want to purchase a townhome or a house. Honestly, I had never considered a townhome, but I’ve been thinking more about it. It would be a low-maintenance frugal first home. However, both of us would like to have kids one day and I’m not sure if I’d like to raise kids in a townhouse, so is it wise to buy a place that has an expiration date on it? But then again, perhaps it would be a good transitional home while we save for a real house. Hmm.
could rent it out to others
could be difficult to sell
little yard/garden area
What are your thoughts on owning a townhome vs. a single family home? Is owning a townhome a good investment? I’m not seriously considering it, but am interested in hearing others’ opinions on the topic.
This post may be slightly dramatic recapping my quest towards debt-freedom… but some day I will grow accustomed to having a positive balance in my financial life and slowly I’ll forget the significance of today. So before moving on, I kind of want to be sentimental and inadequately describe the fantastic feeling of freedom I have at this moment.I owe nothing! Not even a tiny balance on a credit card! When I look at my money, it is all mine. My next paycheck won’t have to be divided to debt, but will be 100% mine to spend, save, give!
Why, do you ask, am I so sentimental and weird about debt? I don’t talk about it often, but for years my parents lived a middle-to-high class lifestyle—a facade that was built by thousands of dollars in credit card debt. I was devastated to find out the truth, mostly because of my parents’ shame and guilt on merely wanting to give their kids a great life. Our lives changed dramatically after that and we became almost slaves to lenders, altering our lives out of desperation. Through that experience, something in me sparked and I took on the rest of my college education and vowed to start my adult life differently by paying off my debt as soon as possible.
So three years and $13,800 later, I am finally debt free! Here’s the final recap of my payments:
Thank you to anyone who has encouraged me during this last year! To anyone who is in debt… you CAN do it! It takes a lot of hard work and perseverance, but I promise the end result is worth it. I’m done! I’m done! I’m done!!!!
Yesterday I asked what you would save for as a “debt-free celebration.” I already had in mind what I would choose, but I found the answers to be very interesting! A lot of you chose to take a trip. I love traveling and really like that idea, but I think that I’ll save that for once J is finished with his debt also so we can both enjoy it together (more on that later). The gift I plan to get myself will be just for me. :)
I’ll give you three hints about what I choose my “debt-free item” will be:
1. It sparkles.
2. It shines.
3. It arrives in a pretty teal box.
That’s right: I’d like this debt-free item to be jewelry.
Ann was actually dead on when she commented about jewelry being a keepsake forever. My grandmother was a very classy lady and taught me that nice jewelry tells stories. She would remark on each of her fine pieces, saying “This is the necklace your grandfather gave me on our 10th anniversary. This is the bracelet I bought when I traveled to Rome. This bracelet your mom and aunts gave me for a birthday one year.” When we were little, she told each of her granddaughters that she wanted to buy us a ring when we turned 13 to mark our teen years. It was so exciting to shop for a ring with her and pick out our favorite jewel. I still wear that ring to this day and it always makes me think of her and the legacy that she left our family.
So I think it fitting to have a nice piece of jewelry to remind me of my financial journey. And what is classier than Tiffany’s? (Answer: nothing). Sure you may be paying for the label, but that’s part of the fun, right? ;)
So there it is folks. Now I need to get my head out of the clouds, off the Tiffany’s website, and put my mind towards more productive things… like getting this dang debt paid off asap! Thanks again for all your votes and suggestions yesterday! You guys really are the best.
Last week I posed a question regarding what readers think my saving priorities should be in 2010. Well, I’m still mulling over those brilliant answers and figuring out what will be best for my situation… but Chelsea Bea from Pencil Skirt & Pearls had a great suggestion. She wrote:
I think that once you’re done paying off your debt, you should start a little fund called the “me” fund. Every month I think you should put in $25 – $50 in it. In six months or so, I think you should buy yourself something really nice to reward yourself for paying off all your debt. I’m think a new purse, a classic pair of shoes, a piece of jewelry, something to remind you, for years to come, of how hard you worked at paying off your debt. Obviously, this isn’t the most practical thing to do, but I think that people, if they’re in the right circumstances, should do it more often. Life is short, and I think doing things like this help to rejuvenate the soul.
I love the idea! She’s totally right: life is short and I think that I deserve a little something pretty once I’m debt free. I have an idea of what this purchase will be… but I am curious to see what the rest of you would choose. So please vote below and comment if you have any specifics. :)
Bettertrades founder and stocks expert Freddie provides tips and trading strategies to help beginner and experienced traders excel in the stock market.
I am not a professional financial planner, banker, investor, etc. This blog is just a venue to share my thoughts about how finances affects my life. For advice on investing or finances, contact a professional. Thank you for reading my blog!