How To Look At Your Money Life

A couple of years ago, we began looking at our life a little differently.

The economy was heading downward, with little end in sight. Businesses were changing, with many of them going out of business, or simply putting little value on the traditional “employee” model.

And we started looking at where our money was going, and what we wanted to do with it in the coming years.

Yep, we had a great life. Large house, great school system, lots of things to do in the area, and the occasional vacation. But when we really started analyzing our life, we discovered we weren’t quite where we wanted to be.

What Does The Future Look Like?

I often mention here on this blog that you should plan goals, think about where you want to be in the future, and then take the necessary steps to achieve it.

When we did that for ourselves, we discovered that even though we had the American Dream, our vision of the American Dream had slightly changed.

Sure, we had a great house. But did we really need that much space?

And we went on the occasional vacation, but were two weeks here and there really enough?

The answer was no on both accounts.

So we started looking at what it truly means to own a home.

Part of the American Dream was to own a home, have it go up and value, and use that appreciation to finance different phases of your life. But is that even possible anymore? In the short term, we found ourselves saying no.

Owning a home today means paying a mortgage, knowing full well the value might just come down. We’ve owned for almost 10 years, and as we are leaving, we’re walking away with a small profit. That profit has dropped considerably over the past 4, yet we’re happy to walk away with some.

Is owning a home truly where its at? Or are there other opportunities?

We started digging a bit deeper.

Where Is The Money Going Today?

Have you ever sat down and calculated where your money goes each month. And then really sat and thought about it? While we “write the checks” and knew exactly what we were paying, we never really thought about it.

Then we started putting it down on paper.

  • Mortgage
  • Cars
  • Water
  • Heat
  • Insurance
  • Home Maintenance

Then we started look at how we could have a similar lifestyle right in our existing neighborhood – yet cut our expenses down considerably.

With the condo we are now renting, we have:

  • Rent
  • Cars
  • Water
  • Heat
  • Insurance

But the savings is huge. Rent is a third of our mortgage. Water, heat and insurance have all been reduced. Zero maintenance – we just call the property manager if we have a problem. And yes, the cars stay the same. But we are within walking distance of the rail system, so we can take that here and there too.

When we added it all up, we’ll be saving well over $100,000 over the next 6 years. And with a daughter who is a junior in high school, looking at colleges, we figure we’ve just financed her college education with our savings alone.

How Can You Convert It For Tomorrow?

So now it’s on to a bright and shiny future.

We’re still exhausted from the move – and have one more truckload to go.

But we have our plans in place. Big plans.

Plans for travel – we want to see the world extensively.

Plans for educating our daughter – we want her to see the world and get a great education.

Plans for new photography ventures – there are so many ways to make photography your career.

Plans for new websites and new products – coming soon!

Have you ever looked at your money life, and made plans to change it?

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