The Crazy Adventures of Save and Spend

7 Jun

So we made it through our first day of house hunting. Travis and I went out with our realtor Victoria (she’s great!) to see 14 different houses today. We really liked 2-3 of them. They were a nice size, with great layouts, in our price point. But some of them were so weird and gross…hard to believe anyone can live like that!

For the past 4 hours, Travis and I have been having a very heated debate/discussion/argument about our finances, spending habits, and mortgage amounts. He tends to get very pessimistic and Debbie Downer during times like this when he feels very pressed financially–“I just don’t want to spend so much money buying a house that we can’t enjoy it or put anything in it.” He also wants to put exorbitant (IMO) amounts of money in savings.

Needless to say, I tend to be very optimistic and borderline idealistic during times like this. I see a problem and start brainstorming solutions–“Well, we’ll just stop going out to eat and only limit movies in the theaters to once a month and save half of our ‘blow money’ to fly to Mexico in March with my family” (or else we wouldn’t be able to make it happen). In a lot of ways, it might end up being like my New Year’s Resolutions: very ambitious but hardly ever carried through.

But I am willing to change our lifestyle somewhat to make buying a house possible. And we’re not talking about a $300K 2,500 square foot tri-level mansion. We’re talking about a $170K 1,000 square foot ranch house (but there are some really nice ones out there!) And we wouldn’t have to reduce ourselves to rags and Ramen. We just couldn’t splurge on new camping gear and plane tickets and going to the Frozen Four for $150 a person. Things would be a little tighter, they’d be a little hard.

But we would grow. We would be forced to depend on God for provision. I don’t think that going into buying a house right now is a poor financial decision. We have about $600 wiggle room for “things that make life enjoyable” each month so it’s not like we’re putting all of our pennies into the same piggy bank, hoping we never need that money for anything else.

So I have proposed a trial run: for the month of July, we pretend that we have a mortgage. And are saving for Mexico in March. And are saving for grad school in September (which is SO CLOSE!) We limit our “date money” and we only get half of our “blow money.” Travis thinks it will be absolutely horrible. I think that it will be doable. (which is very weird considering I’m the spender and he’s the saver…) I think that we just need to be more discriminatory about when we go out to eat and to movies, etc. We have to make it count.

We will see how it goes. But a praise: today, I really felt like I was trusting the Lord to provide a house for us instead of freaking out that the house we like will be snatched up. I even prayed throughout the day when I felt myself getting overly excited for the Lord to remind me of His sovereignty and goodness. This morning, I felt reassured by this verse in Ephesians: “And now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

To God be the glory because I am nothing without Him.

One Response to “The Crazy Adventures of Save and Spend”

  1. Leah June 8, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    I think that your solution is very wise. Also congrats on your trust. It truly is in His hands. Your house is out there.

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