Do I Own My Home, Or does It Own Me?
|October 8, 2011||Filed under Australia, Baby Steps- The Journey Begins|
As I have mentioned in previous posts, Tyrhone and I are making big changes in our lives. Early next year, we are setting off on an adventure- to travel indefinitely, without an agenda, except to experience whatever comes our way. Now this throws up all kinds of questions- what if we don’t like it? Fail? Have trouble making money? Get homesick? Most of these questions are irrational, and come from a place of insecurity and fear, all easily overcome by having a realistic, positive attitude, and a little faith. But the question of whether or not to sell our home, to free ourselves financially and really make a break, has had me more than a little insecure.
You see, I bought my first place at 24. Back then, I made pretty decent money, but I was also really good at spending it. As an international flight attendant setting off to Singapore, Hong Kong or Tokyo every week, it wasn’t hard to spend a quid! Clothes, shoes and partying ensured there wasn’t much saving going on. In fact, I have never been much of a saver, preferring to enjoy life’s material pleasures, instead of saving for the future. So, that’s why I decided to invest in property- a kind of forced savings plan.
So I am very grateful I bought when I did, as property prices in my hometown went through a substantial price surge, and I benefited from that. Because of this, I have been somewhat apprehensive about selling our current place, as it is programmed into me to ‘hang on’ to property, even when the market takes a dive, as it recently has.
We were discussing this the other day, and Tyrhone made a point that has got me thinking, does my home own me? By that, I mean, does it have a hold over me, direct my decisions, and control my life? If I answer these questions honestly, then the answers are alarmingly clear- yes, yes and yes! If we were to limit our dreams, curtail our travel plans, and go for an extended ‘holiday’ instead of the real whatever-comes-our-way adventure that we really want, all to service a mortgage back home, would that make us happy? Somehow I don’t think so.
Having a mortgage from a young age, and benefiting financially from the investment, has been a blessing, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t live life to the full just to service a loan. Plus, I have gone through a lot of changes in the last couple of years, and my values have changed, too. I don’t need as much ‘stuff’ to make me happy, in fact I realise that it never really did.
These days, I would rather have less, and do something I love, than be ‘trapped’ in an unfulfilling job, just to pay the bills. Sure, material things are great in the short term, but they never brought me any contentment. Now that I am spending far less, I can actually save, and this upcoming adventure has put the brakes on all unnecessary spending. I just cancelled our gym memberships today. We haven’t been in weeks! I am looking at all the bills- health insurance, car insurance and registration, home insurance, internet connection, electricity, it certainly adds up!
So, we have decided to make the leap, and go after our dreams of long term travel. Whilst it certainly wont be the safest, or even the most financially rewarding path, playing it safe, and slogging away at our jobs, to pay a mortgage just isn’t working for us. So here’s to taking a risk, taking ownership of our lives, and following our dreams! Who knows, it might even work!