Along the same lines, here’s an example of how Mike and I are going at our own pace.
As a young married couple, the next big step is to buy a house or at least save for one. But, during our money conversation, Mike and I decided to not save money for a house right now.
Prior to this conversation, we had been saving for a house. That was our big goal. But at the rate we were saving, we wouldn’t be able to buy a house for quite some time, 8 years according to Mint.com.
And besides, we essentially already have a mortgage: my massive student loan debt.
Right around this time I found personal finance guru Dave Ramsey (thanks, Words of Williams!) and started listening to his daily radio show and did a little bit of reading on his website. And I got motivated to pay down my student loans. I couldn’t wait to get my debt snowball rolling.
So as we walked to meet friends for dinner, I suggested this to Mike. That instead of saving for a down payment, we start putting extra money toward my student loans each month. And Mike agreed. He said he’d been thinking something similar.
As we walked through the city we discussed that we could probably stay in an apartment for another few years and that we probably won’t need or want a yard until our kids are 5 or 6 (which, since they’re not born yet is still quite a bit away).
Our money will add up so much more quickly against my student loans (bye-bye compound interest) than it would in a savings account. So not only will we feel like we’re succeeding at this goal as we pay off some of the smaller loans but we’ll also be saving ourselves money in the long run.
When we’re ready to buy a house, we’ll have more money to put aside for a down payment because the monthly payments on the loans will be less (and hopefully we’ll make more money each year) and we’ll be more motivated to do it when we feel like it’s in our reach.
So–here we are–a newlywed couple that’s not saving for a house. Probably a little odd. But we couldn’t be happier with this status. It feels great that we’re going at our own pace.
Another bonus of this decision is that if we’re not saving for a house, we don’t have to decide where said house will be–something that we felt a lot of pressure to figure out.
I’d love to know:
How are you going at your own pace?