But I Really Want It! Controlling My “Buy It Now” Urge
We’re a double threat today! Thanks to Daisy at Add Vodka, where Joe can be found in this guest posting seat today. Read his: Money Problems? Jump On Board post there. While he’s gone, OG takes up his normal Thursday post here on the site. Enjoy!
Every so often I get this unquenchable urge to buy something. Sometimes it’s just a new shirt or pair of pants, but lately I really want a couple things:
1) I want a new house
2) I want a new(er) car
3) I want some jet skis
This is my personal downfall. Since I can’t actually just go out and buy these things with cash, I have to put a plan in place to make them a reality. You’ll remember from a couple weeks ago my post on goal setting – this would really help with these goals.
But there are some things that are just too big to plan for, right? Take my new house goal for example. The home I purchased in 2005 (right about at the peak of the market) was designed to be our “starter home” and we planned on selling it within a couple years. Oops.
So now the housing market is still bottoming out, do we take the leap of faith and try to “upgrade” with the prices and interest rates at all-time lows? While I have savings, I don’t want to raid my reserves or retirement accounts. Conventional financial planning wisdom suggests that I should start saving $x per month until I’ve reached my goal, but let’s be honest – how long would it take to save a big ‘ol down payment that I wasn’t expecting? Eight years? Won’t the “good deals” be all gone by then?
Since it’s now the middle of July (and I don’t live in the south) I’ve pretty much ruled out the jet skis. On Memorial Day, I wanted them bad – today, eh, not so much. But the car…whew! It’s heating up in here.
My oldest son starts Kindergarten at the end of August. This means we no longer have a daycare expense for him, which, while he’s been in daycare since 12 weeks old, has cost me about $66,000. Since I’ll be saving…er…not spending…all this money each week, should I treat it as “found money” and blow it? Save some? Save all? I mean, I could easily add $500/mo to a house payment (to upgrade, see above) get a newer car with a $250/mo payment and still save $3,000 per year!
I’ve learned a couple things about myself through this process:
1) I always wait on these goals. If it’s an urge, it’ll pass. The house and car? They’re sticking around.
2) I need to remind myself to line up these goals against my long term plans to see how they shake out. Will a bigger house payment affect our retirement strategy?
What would you do? If it wouldn’t hurt your long term goal would you upgrade? Say “Yes, I’d do it,” so I can show my wife.
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