We recently purchased a house – a big, beautiful home in an awesome neighborhood with an incredible lot. We by no means maxed out our budget, but this was at the very high end of what we wanted to spend. We’ve been here roughly two weeks now, and I can honestly say that this was a great decision for our family.
When we first moved to Charlotte, our goal was to downsize and simplify our lives. All the talk nowadays seems to be on downsizing and living simply. Trust me, I can get on board with that and understand why people want less bills, less stuff and less to take care of. In just our two weekends here, we’ve been swamped with errands and chores. But honestly? I like that! I still relax, but I kind of enjoy the fast-paced lifestyle of working FT, freelancing on the side, being a mom and wife, taking care of the house and more. I’m never bored, and that is a huge blessing!
Our downsizing plan sort of went out the window once we got here and saw the gorgeous, two-story brick homes on shaded, treed lots. I don’t think of it as “keeping up with the Joneses” as I personally couldn’t care less what other people do with their money and their lives, but I like to think of it as – If they can have that, why can’t we? I know I’ve quoted Afford Anything’s mantra time and time again, but Paula Pant is so right: You can afford anything, just not everything. To us, we wanted the big house.
5 Reasons Why We Upsized Our House Instead of Downsizing
This is our forever home
I know things can change, but we plan on being in this house for the long-term. Our first house in AZ was a starter home. We only intended on living there for 3-5 years. With this new house, we have all the features we want plus room to grow if (huge if) we decided to have another baby.
We budget hardcore in other areas of our life
John and I spend maybe $100 per week on food for our family of four. The only thing I really purchase that’s “for fun” is Bath and Body Works holiday candles each fall and winter, and maybe a Starbucks coffee every now and then (though, since making my own cream I’ve been singing a different tune). We purchase things we need for the house, for our girls and for our survival. We try to avoid impulse purchases at all costs and most importantly, we budget our money multiple times throughout the month. Anytime a check comes in, we pay bills, save, and leave a little leftover for food and necessities.
Traveling is not a priority
Of course I swoon at people who travel often, but right now, for me, traveling is the last thing on my mind. The biggest reason is because my girls are 3 and 2, and anyone with kids that age knows just how hard it is to go to the grocery store, let alone travel. (Plus, it’s no secret I’m a little bit obsessed with Charlotte. For those that attended FinCon this past weekend, I’m sure you can see why!) I know as they get older it’ll get easier, but guess what? We will be making more money by then. John and I are hustlers. Which leads me to my next point….
People are motivated by money
Maybe not all people, but a lot of people. John and I are in that camp. If we have higher bills (which we do have a relatively high mortgage and daycare payments for the time being), we are extremely motivated to take on side jobs. Had we purchased a house that made it super easy for us to pay all our bills, save and have plenty left over each month, I can almost guarantee John and I wouldn’t be hustling as much. We both want to move up in our careers and grow our side businesses even more, which will lead to bigger and better opportunities than if we were simply content with where we were at. Money is a motivator. Paying bills is a motivator. Getting out of debt is a motivator. Find something that motivates you and make your choices around that.
This house is A-W-E-S-O-M-E
Totally not trying to brag, but this house is absolutely amazing. Our neighbors are super friendly, we’re in a cul de sac, we have a gorgeous screened-in patio, our cul de sac hosts events and parties throughout the year, we’re surrounded by trees, etc. If you read my post on shopping around for a mortgage, you’ll know that this was a home I fell in love with about five months ago. We were working for ourselves at the time and weren’t planning on getting pre-qualified until we had two years of tax returns. Sudden change of events and we both had full-time jobs and this house was still available. Things happen for a reason 🙂
So, I guess to conclude, I know that some people won’t agree at all with our decision and may think we’re nuts. That’s OK- we are all different and we all have different priorities. I encourage you to figure out what it is you want out of life. Do you want to travel? Do you want to work less? Do you want to start your own business? Do you want to grow with the current company you work for? Do you want to be completely debt-free? Do you want to own a big house in your favorite neighborhood? Do you want to have more downtime in your life? I could go on, but I guess the point of this post is to motivate others to go after what they want! Have confidence in yourself and live a life you’re proud of, one with no regrets.
What does YOUR dream life look like? How are you going to make that happen?