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…
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.