Financial Indecision

I’m feeling a push & pull kind of thing right now. You ever get that feeling? Those moments where financial indecision and questions make you feel a bit cloudy in the head from day to day. Those kinds of things that take up your thinking at max capacity, when you certainly have other tasks, work, and to-do list items to accomplish daily…

 


Financial Indecision

Financial Indecision…

What do I want to save for? What’s the price per ounce? Will this cost up front pay off in the future? Can I afford to pay more than the minimum balance on my student loans? Is this shirt really worth 10 bucks? Can I retire at 40 on the path I am on? Are my savings up to par? Can I make it on that trip with my friends? What would it be like if I tried to keep up with the Jones’?

I can continue this rambling list of questions. I could imagine you may be thinking, “Why do I want to read this when I already have enough questions in my head Alyssa?!”

Quick: say out loud the first financial thought with a push & pull effect on your mind that you had today?

Did it come to you strikingly fast? I could imagine so. If you had to sit & ponder, that’s actually pretty dang awesome.

Decisions revolving around finances can really pluck at the heart and mind strings. I’d like to say that it should strike harmoniously (perhaps in a melody), but oftentimes it’s a furious, abrupt plucking that may even cause the strings to wear out, or sadly break.

My most recent financial indecision milestone is really wearing away at my strings. I present this to you because personal finance can often be challenging to me…even though I choose to blog about it publicly each week. Last weekend I was introduced to a really rather fantastic quote (*a word has been modified to maintain a PG-ish rating on this site):

“Most people think they have their crap* together, when they’re really just standing in it.”

Yup, I’d say that’s me about now. I wanted to let you know that because there is a realness to this blog that allows for a transparency in finances – all of it’s triumphs & pitfalls. You think someone’s got it all figured out, buttoned up, or tied pretty with a bow. Take a step back, each & every one of us has faced challenges, imperfections & the like throughout this marvelous thing called life. I’m just so willing to share with you this financial indecision challenge to emphasize vulnerabilities do exist.

My most recent major financial indecision started just about 3 weeks ago. Our landlord out of the blue told my fiance and I that he would like to get rid of the house/sell it. We have only been living here for a year and 1/2 with the intention to stay for quite a bit of time until we were ready to purchase our own home. We had pondered the idea of starting the home buying process, considering rates have been incredibly low. Pondered is the key word. Heck yes I continue to strengthen my personal finance game plan, but entering into the process of potentially buying a home and real estate is a whole other world. One where your credit score & savings can completely dictate the process of.

Our landlord then offered us to purchase his home. As easy of a transition it would have been, my fiance & I ultimately made the decision that we did not want to buy his property, and would rather search for our own home to buy. We were then notified that the house would be put on the market and showtimes for potential buyers would need to be arranged.

Fast forward only 5 days of our rental house being on the market, only one showing & BOOM. Just like that, our landlord accepted an offer & sold his house in 5 days (do keep in mind that yes, inventory may be shrinking but the Eugene housing market is nowhere near that of Portland, or any other major cities facing outrageous bidding wars – we were a bit blindsided considering houses in our neighborhood have been sitting for sale with no activity for a long time). You got that right….we received our notice and we now have 30 days to get our act together. All of the sudden the logistics of moving & unforeseen expenses are now on our radar for the next 3o days. So referring back to the aforementioned quote, hopefully we can trudge right out of this crap with grace.

Enter in financial indecision: continue renting, or to buy a home? We have enough savings for a down payment, but not to the full 20% we would like to reach as a savings goal in the near future (which I’ve read multiple times that this is taboo to not put a full 20% down). We could start building equity and begin our family, or continue renting to experience the flexibility of not being tied down to a major asset? We could actually begin building into something that is our own, or continue to pay some person’s mortgage that’s not even ours? On a more personal side, throughout my childhood I’ve moved several times cross-country. The last few years I have moved multiple times while attending college. After graduating, I moved to Eugene when I am originally from Portland. I’d say it’s upwards in the double-digit range of moves I’ve experienced in life. The idea of moving so many times is beginning to make me feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist quite yet (just like Sam in the movie Garden State). Renting has it’s wonderful perks, but it never is officially your own place. Needless to say, there are a ridiculous amount of personal, financial, and life changing questions regarding the pros & cons of renting vs. buying.

Financial indecision is on point right now ladies & gentlemen.

And it may always be throughout the rest of life. But the more we grasp it, research, seek advice, and lean on our communities for support… the more we can tackle the moments that bring on financial indecision. Let’s take these indecisive moments and take them head on with certainty. The more empowered you feel with your money, the more likely you are to make decisions with confidence because you have the elements of freedom, flexibility & security.

How often do you face financial indecision? What are ways you work around it? What’s your take on renting vs. buying? Let me know in the comments below!

On another note, I hope you check out the giveaway my friend Gen Y Finance Guy is having! Check it out here: Win the 11 books that will change your money mindset and make you rich. Entering this giveaway could also help with all those moments when financial indecision seems to strike.

 

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Financial Indecision

  1. Oh man, that’s tough! Sorry you guys are getting the rental boot. That happened to us once, too, though fortunately the tenant protection rules there dictated that we receive two months of rent in cash for our troubles — that helped! As for rent vs buy, don’t rush into buying. Ownership costs are so much higher than renting, and you don’t build much equity for the first many years. We saved fast when we were renters, and that slowed way down when we bought our first place. Good luck with your decision and move!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very tough! We kept digging into tenant laws/protection but in the state of Oregon I don’t think it’s a requirement at all. Very valid points!! That’s another thing were evaluating, this whole feeling rushed aspect. Thanks for your support! We know it will all work out! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this is a big one for you guys. Especially since it is completely unforeseen and such a quick turnaround time. I would say, don’t rush into anything. If you’re not feeling financially, mentally or emotionally ready to buy, think about another rental. We would like to move in the next couple of years and every time we see a great house in our preferred area, we agonize over whether we should buy it now and move early, or rent it out, etc. So, I know the feeling of the push and pull for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, definitely a big one! Even with the pressure of time, we’re trying to make sure to do whichever is right without rushing. It’s always difficult to determine what is the right time, or not! I wish you all the best luck as well, and in the end you will always end up doing what is best. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  3. Alyssa,

    Your post is great, and it makes clear the need for financial planning input when your situation overwhelms you. Often, someone with a detached, non-emotional perspective on your situation can provide helpful insights. If the person is a trained planner, their knowledge of investments, taxes, insurance, cash flow and debt management may help you see new strategies that can help you sort out what you need to do.

    My perspective is certain to be self-serving, but then I have been doing this for a long time and seen how often people need outside advice to sort it all out (see my post on sorting it all out)

    Over the last 25 years, I learned that you can tell people what they need to do, saving for retirement, executing an estate plan, tax planning, etc., but until they face a really challenging financial issue, they often do not heed such advice. And yet, being faced with challenging problems is something that will happen to each of us throughout our lives. The people who did some planning are always in better shape to address a challenge.

    If you are fortunate, calling upon an advisor may yield a creative moment where they see a better way to use your resources to meet your goals via better use of investment, tax or other strategies.

    For “a better way,” I think in terms of “optimizing,” not “maximizing,” because ultimately there will always compromises.

    Anyway, I wish you luck and am lucking forward to your next post to see what action you choose.

    Keep it up, yours is a great blog

    Steven
    Steven
    http://www.millennials-money.com
    https://millennialsmny.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Steven,

      Yes, advisors would definitely be incredible helpful in a situation like this! When there is so much indecision, an unbiased person/source with more knowledge on the topic(s) would be incredibly helpful! I like how you point out that it is more “optimizing” than “maximizing.” If you try to completely maximize in these situations, you may end up driving yourself crazy. Thanks so much for your support, Steven! I appreciate it!

      Like

  4. P.S. – on rent vs. buy:
    We are adding a rent vs. buy page to our website. Testing this tool, I was initially surprised how buying will always win over renting, if given enough time. With more reflection, I realized that rental increases, with related utility costs, will ultimately outpace the mortgage plus all other home ownership costs in time. Yes, owning a home is expensive, with property taxes, insurance, repairs and maintenance, to which you may add home improvements to really make it costly. And yes, this is a very simplified summary. But, you have the tax advantage of deducting the mortgage interest and property taxes. Thus, at some point, the money you save buy not buying is eaten away by inflation on your rent, so that buying sooner rather than later if you plan to stay in a given area a long time will be financially wise.

    Good luck and keep writing!
    Steven
    http://www.millennials-money.com
    https://millennialsmny.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Millennials-Money and commented:
    Alyssa’s post, reblogged here, is great, and makes clear the need for financial planning input when your situation overwhelms you. Often, someone with a detached, non-emotional perspective on your situation can provide helpful insights. If the person is a trained planner, their knowledge of investments, taxes, insurance, cash flow and debt management may help you see new strategies that can help you sort out what you need to do.

    My perspective is certain to be self-serving, but then I have been doing this for a long time and seen how often people need outside advice to sort it all out (see my post on sorting it all out)

    Over the last 25 years, I learned that you can tell people what they need to do, saving for retirement, executing an estate plan, tax planning, etc., but until they face a really challenging financial issue, they often do not heed such advice. And yet, being faced with challenging problems is something that will happen to each of us throughout our lives. The people who did some planning are always in better shape to address a challenge.

    If you are fortunate, calling upon an advisor may yield a creative moment where they see a better way to use your resources to meet your goals via better use of investment, tax or other strategies.

    For “a better way,” I think in terms of “optimizing,” not “maximizing,” because ultimately there will always compromises.

    What do you think? Let me know
    Steven
    http://www.millennials-money.com
    https://millennialsmny.wordpress.com

    Liked by 2 people

  6. DO NOT try to buy a house when you only have 30 days — and that would include escrow etc. Too much chance you’d settle for something that you’d then be stuck with for quite some time.

    Personally, I’m hit with financial indecision all the time. Despite making plenty of money on paper, our finances are pulled in too many directions. So as much as I know we need to save for the huge dental implant bill next year ($25k), I still feel guilty that we’re not saving enough for retirement. That is the next area of focus after we have the money in the bank. And we’re not paying that much extra on the mortgage.

    Not to mention day-to-day purchases that would interfere with our savings but that are, arguably, smart buys. It’s just that I hate to let go of the money that could go into savings. Man, just writing about this stuff is making me tired.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries!! We are going to continue to rent, maybe even for a few more years. We decided we did not want to rush into such a huge purchase (along with various other factors)! It just came at incredible timing where everything was happening all at once. I hear you on finances pulling into many directions! The are many options when it comes to what is best, and oh goodness that is one rather large bill you have coming up. 😦 The important thing is the recognition, and that you are actively making choices financially that’s important to you personally. Sorry for making you tired, that definitely wasn’t my intention!

      Liked by 1 person

Love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s