Bills shmills : Home

Bills Shmills!  Be sure to read my introduction to this series.

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Housing 

Mortgage/Rent is a big expense.  Finance professionals will tell you that you will spend 30-45% of your income on housing.  That’s a big chunk of change, especially if you live in a two income house.  What happens if your spouse loses her job?  All of a sudden your income/mortgage ratio just jumped up to 60%. This makes survival very difficult and losing a job extremely scary.

Unfortunately the booming housing market and a culture of “bigger is better” duped many of us into buying bigger newer houses that we didn’t really need in the first place.  Instead of enhancing our lives and being a home for us and our loved ones, for many the house has become a prison, preventing the changing of jobs or schedules because of the burden of the house payment.  Many families need two full time incomes to survive, providing less time to spend with children, friends and contributing to their community.  This also contributes to individual and family stress.  Granted many people love their jobs and are embraced and fulfilled at work, but in my experience many more people just put up with work, and sadly as a culture we are working longer hours in jobs that are unfulfilling.

If you are in a position that you are underwater on your home and stuck, I’m sorry for you.  The best thing you can do is enjoy the house you have and be thankful to have a nice roof over your head.  Once you get back up to owning 20% of your home you will not have to have mortgage insurance which will be a nice relief and free up money for you to spend on YOU! Be sure to see if you are eligible for refinancing which might get you a lower percentage rate. Whenever possible pay extra money toward principal to reduce the time for payback and the total interest paid. A hundred dollars every month could take years off of your loan.

Now, for those of you who are in the market to rent or buy a new apartment or home, I encourage you to think about what you need first and what you want second.  Many families have found that living in a smaller house makes them closer.  Also, living in a smaller place helps you streamline your belongings and makes it more likely that you will have only things that you love in your place. Your mantra can be “bigger is not necessarily better!”.

Opt for location over space. You will never regret the time you save not having to commute that you instead spend with your loved ones. Eliminating unnecessary stuff will help you find the space you need. Make your city an extension of your home by by utilizing public parks as your big back yard and local restaurants for large gatherings.

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Continue your journey. Follow the link to the category that most interests you next! Here’s to your quality of life and your freedom! Happy Reading.

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About withColleen

I am a simplicity advocate with a love of the natural world, song literature, dance and everything practical and simple, with an occasional flair for the fabulous. I thoughtfully write about life, family, music, solutions for happier more peaceful, equitable world. Sometimes I write from a perspective of practicality, sometimes instead about the big picture. I hope to add to the already shifting perspective on how to live and love well in the world. My joy is my family and music. I sing and dance daily. I enjoy making music with my closest friends and share these projects with audiences. I believe we can change culture with our words and actions; we can awaken our neighbors to their reverent, kind nature. For lasting change we must work small and work locally.

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