Since putting in the offer on our house my thoughts have been rather consumed with the house most specifically decorating our house. It was so much fun to decorate to my hearts content in my head. I looked at furniture, magazines, and catalogues. I discussed color themes, DIY projects and drafted a rather lengthy to buy list. So much fun, right?
However, now that we are in our house I find myself feeling much differently on the subject. As much as I would love to decorate our house to my hearts content signing papers has brought about a new reality if you will. As exciting as buying a house is, it is also a really big scary step. We are now responsible for a mortgage and we just tripled our debt. Not that this is a bad thing. I think buying a house and building equity is a good financial step but it carries a certain weight that is different than renting. Now, even more than before, we have a deep desire to pay off law school loans. We also have a deep desire to pay off our house earlier rather than later. Because really, what would be better than owning our house? Owning it free and clear with no mortgage. That is a beautiful picture of financial freedom.
I suppose all of this is to share what I think is a really interesting challenge for our generation. Never before has a generation had so many obstacles to face on the debt front. Not only are credit cards handed out, but we, on average, finish undergrad with $30,000 of debt. Yet, we live in a society that thrives on consumerism, design and a need for instant gratification.
As much as I'd love to throw a few thousand dollars into decorating my house I think I'd love more to pay a few thousand off my student loans. This leads me to challenge myself in a really hard area. How much can I make do with what I have and how much can I sacrifice to get to that financial freedom we aspire to?
This isn't to say we won't put any money into our house in the near future or that I won't try to add some nesting touch where I can but I want to see how far we can stretch that dollar. After all shouldn't the fact that we bought a house be enough for now? I think it should. Besides the end result will be that much more satisfying if we know we scrimped and saved for it rather than simply charged it.