I feel like I am just stuck in a rut right now. A lot of exciting things are going on at the moment, and I know that I should be enjoying them. We finally closed on our house and the title is in our name. The thought of home-ownership was at one point a dream and now it is a reality. Now the projects begin. We have an apartment to pack, wallpaper to tear down, walls to pain, hardwood floors to re-finish, and other projects that will emerge at the blink of an eye. This should be fun; this should be exciting. But something feels off right now as I write this article from my hotel room. After sitting at the same looking desk that I have sat at so many times at every Hampton Inn in “you name it” city, it finally it me. The reason I am feeling off right now is not because of the volume of work that has to be done on my house, but rather, the fact that I will be traveling a lot for work over the next few months is having negative impact on my ability to complete these projects and even worse, my savings account.
With the purchase of our first home, my wife and I are looking to find any monthly expenses that we can cut back on in order to offset the impact of our new mortgage, tax, and insurance payment. There isn’t a one size fits all answer or one expense that will magically offset this impact; however, we are going to do everything we can to collect a series of small victories to lessen the blow. We found one piece of low hanging fruit, our gym membership, and decided to take a look at whether the expense was necessary or a luxury.
It shouldn’t be a secret for too many of you. After nearly a year of marriage and our desire to wait as long as possible to purchase a house, my wife and I are now actively searching for our first home. We have toured over a dozen houses within the last two weeks and we have not found one that we like enough yet to make the plunge. It may be another three years before we find one that checks all of our boxes at this rate. This will be a long process and I’ll have a lot of different topics to write about along this journey. So today, I wanted to write about my recent process for finding the perfect mortgage and finally getting our pre-approval.
Lanny and I have talked extensively about our disdain for owning a car, forking over a monthly payment for a depreciating asset, and dealing with all the random costs and annoyances that come with owning a car. Well, a half a year ago, I caused some self inflicted damage to my car and have a massive dent to show for it. This time, I drew a line in the sand and determined I am not spending my hard earned money for the repair!
Life is short, we all know that. Over time, small tweaks to financial habits can build up into a bureaucratic nightmare. That’s what I think happened to me and it caused an unnecessary burden. At the time of my decision, I’m sure getting that bank bonus was a great idea. I’m sure opening this new cash back credit card that is slightly different than my hotel points credit card appealed to me for some reason. There is nothing wrong with adding layers, cards, rewards programs like Swagbucks, etc. and I don’t want that to be the takeaway here. But for me, it has become too much. I want simplicity and efficiency with my financial habit. In this article, I identified three pain points in my current finances and propose solutions and action items for each.
My fiance and I have been joking around about this (well, mostly me) recently. When you talk about your wedding with your friends and family, there seems to be three questions that always enter the conversation. Where is your honeymoon? When are you having a baby? And when are you going to buy a house? I love the questions and have a great time talking about them. I just think it is funny how they always seem to come up! I’m sure most of you out there that have gotten married know exactly what I am talking about. The first two are easy answers, and unlike DivHut, you won’t be reading about a Baby Diplomat dividend growth investing fund anytime soon. The purpose of this article is to focus on point number three, when are we going to buy a house? I spoiled the suspense with the title of the article, so let’s take a look into why we are in no hurry to purchase a house after our wedding.
We are flying through 2015 folks. With two complete months in the book and nearly a third (I apologize this post has taken me a while to finish), we are marching our way through the calendar year. Soon, it will be time for our quarterly goals assessment to see if we are on pace to hit accomplish our goals for the year. Anyway, as February came to a close, it is time to see if I was able to defeat the Dividend Diplomats’ Savings Challenge for the second consecutive month. Let’s review my savings rate summary.