I got a text from a friend yesterday:
I love this interaction because not only did it make me feel even better about not owning a place anymore (just keeping it real!), but it got my friend to think about it for a hot second too. I’m 99.9% sure that’s all it was – just an offhanded comment in the frustration of it all, but the fact is he COULD move back to renting any moment his heart desires so.
And that’s the beauty of life: we can change it almost anytime we want!
There are no rules on what we can or cannot do outside of the legal (and moral) systems in place. You’ll have society and friends poo pooing on your idea and your moms might be disappointed too, but at the end of the day there’s only one person you need to report back to and keep honest: yourself. And as much as my keypad is forcing me not to type this out right now… I just… can’t…. resist…
It’s – what – Makes – Peroesfsonl – Financnace – PERSoNAL!!!!!! (*keyboard goes on strike*)
And of course, it doesn’t stop at the renting vs owning debate either.
There’s also no one way to…
- Tell your boyfriend you want to break up
- Tell your boyfriend you made a mistake and you want him back something BAD!
- Work out (people say my 7 min workout “isn’t enough”, but I’m literally wearing my favorite pants in the entire world in the first time in over a decade, so to them I say SUCK IT!)
- Entertain yourself
- Reach financial independence (real estate? stocks? selling pet rocks?)
- And last, but certainly not least, there’s no one way to find happiness either
We all know this deep down, of course, but to fully understand that we can change our lives at *any second* is an incredibly empowering feeling. We all get to this epiphany at our own pace (after all, we all learn differently too (see what I did there?)) but what’s important is that we actually DO.
Remember: nothing’s ever permanent. If you realize you’ve made a mistake with something – or the situation doesn’t make as much sense as it used to – don’t be afraid to change course and get going again! No one will care, and if they do, let ’em!
You’re not running for president – you’re allowed to change your mind :)
Just please stay true to yourself and remember that time is limited. You gotta chase your dreams and you’ll make mistakes as you go.
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Amen! Every time you do something you’re “supposed” to do but don’t want to, you’re living out the projection of what you think someone else would approve of.
Crap, been doing that most of my life I think!
I think it’s great to be reminded that personal finance is personal! It’s not one size fits all but that’s often what people read and think. It’s best just to hear other opinions and then decide what works best for you! Thanks J$.
Yup! Opinions from all sides are *excellent* and severely needed in some cases. Just gotta be good at sorting through them to find what truly works best for us (and then acting on it!).
Just said this to a co-worker. You need to find what works best for you. They call it personal for a reason. A great simple reminder. How’s your buddy make out in his kitchen?
I’m sure I’ll hear as soon as he finds out I blogged about him ;)
It is helpful to remember my future self doesn’t care HOW smart I am today. As long as I’m covering the basics and avoiding any major mistakes along the way, then I’ll be happy.
Thanks for the reminder!
Love this! So many people will push you towards the “norm” just because they are too uncomfortable doing something different.
Crazy “luck” your friend is having. In almost 40 years of home ownership I have never had a “vertical drain stack” fail. I have had the horizontal runs fail but never vertical….Something else going on IMHO. And I agree life and all of it’s many options is a “personal” choice….
I don’t even know what a vertical drain stack is, haha… sounds like something in your body going horribly wrong ;)
That’s what I love about the explosion of personal finance blogs. We all are chasing similar goals but doing it a little different, and all of those paths are working. Love reading the other ideas and techniques and being able to weed through them and apply the ones that I think will work in my current framework of circumstance and beliefs.
Good reminder J.
We just bought a small property somewhere in a nearby village and there’s a LOT of repairing to do, since the house is basically a shack. Right now we cannot even sleep there through the night. I do love the idea that we own the property though, we’ll be able to rent the apartments in the city and move in the village, in about 20 years and downsize a bit, while also living healthier (less pollution, better food etc.). I wouldn’t like to pay rent for tens of years and then leave nothing behind. Of course, it’s the way we view things :)
You know what’s funny? As much as I hate home ownership and the maintenance that goes with it, I DO like the idea of picking up a shack or broken down place and then somehow fixing it up and seeing the final product :) I guess cuz it’s more of a journey and “project” than it is just a place to live… And of course it wouldn’t hurt being incredibly cheaper to purchase, up front at least, than surrounding non-decrepit houses haha…
Good job picking it up and having a long term plan like that! I hope you’re taking lots of pictures so we can all see the before and afters later! :)
He he, glad you like the idea.
It was dirt cheap, only because we’re both working from home (husband does some mandatory gas system checkups we have here, but he just visits the client and then gets back home, I’m a web designer). This allows us to clear some time and make the investment worthwhile, since we can just go there 4-5 days a week to enjoy the outdoors.
Let’s say it costs about 10K (old house and a huge yard+garden). I have some friends who are trying to get some properly near the city (they need to drive to and fro work every weekday) and it costs them over 30K only to get the construction space. Which is 6 times smaller than the space we have in total.
And then at least 100K or more to build something there.
We’ll probably invest about 20K in total to make the house up to city standards, but it’s something we’ll do in 4-5 years time, since there’s clearly no rush.
Yes, we are taking pictures and I’ll probably open a new category on the blog about the ‘shack”s transformation.
It’s exciting and will get even better :)
Yeah it is!!! Sounds like one helluva adventure!
You’ll appreciate this one! We’re still trying to sell our house, and last week we got a call saying yet ANOTHER repair needed to be done. This time, they wanted to replace the whole damn septic system with a custom-designed, engineered one – for $26,000! I think I had a heart attack, stroke, seizure, and messed my pants all at once.
Luckily, we sent out a few other contractors for a second opinion, and they’ll do the work without replacing the whole thing for just $1,800.
I can’t even describe how happy I will be when this is all over. :)
I cannot wait for you either – ACK! I just threw up a little in my mouth!
This is one of the main reasons I read so many different blogs, seeing how other people have decided to live their life – most of them seem to be happy (assuming most people wouldn’t keep writing about their choices if they consistently made them unhappy)
I pull the pieces that appeal and can trial run.
Haha there you go… I do wish bloggers would write more about their failures/suck spots though. It’s not all rainbows up in here no matter how happy you are.
Oh, I have a suck spot coming up for you. I am editing it today and it makes me want to vomit just re-reading. (Which is why I am commenting on other people’s blog rather than editing) =)
I love this. It’s so true. Even when we’re passionate that one way is what’s best for us at the present, this leaves so much room for understanding others and their choices. It’s interesting how those choices evolve over time, and being able to change your mind is a huge part of freedom!
Amen ~ I needed this today!
I’m with Lisa! I so needed to read this post this morning! Thank you! :)
I’m so glad, guys!!
Such a great reminder! Within the last couple years I quit a high paying job that I hated to take a lower paying job that I love instead. So many friends and family members did not understand and voiced opinions. But I knew that they were not living in my shoes, and in the end I needed to do what it took to find happiness and peace in my own life. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made :-)
Hell yeah you do! That’s super hard to do too – good for you for fighting for yourself!! (And your sanity!)
Even the folks running for president are allowed to change their minds, and so we wish! :) Great post. It reminds me of 2010 when I had my epiphany and decided to change my life 180 degrees. I got rid of the huge house, paid off all my debt and decided to pursue financial freedom while enjoying true happiness. You’re right, there are many ways to pursue happiness. We just have to not give a damn about what others think and just respond to ourselves.
Nice! Glad to hear that!
So true. People need to focus on what makes them whole and work from there. I have always hated the idea of owning real property after working for a landlord, but things have changed and I am trying to set myself up to buy a condo or coop. The strength of the condo/coops I’m considering is that the building covers most of what can go wrong. Once I realized my mind had changed about this major topic, I was able to change my approach to finances to get me there. The status quo works against you, if you let it.
I love exploring the options in life. Sometimes we take action and sometimes we stew on it for awhile.
It is true we all have the power to choose, but we let other factors hold us back. Like responsibility, fear, uncertainty. It takes a big change to let go, and accept the new reality. Good advice and there are no rules in money, maybe. Haha.
Awesome, J. I think the most important thing to remember is, like you said, nothing is every permanent. Try new things. Change your lifestyle. Do something different. Very, very few of the decisions we make are ever permanent. If things don’t work out, the option always exists to just go right back to the way that we were doing things before. No harm, no foul. :)
Breaking the mold is what I call it! I would argue that chasing your dreams and making your dreams a reality are two different concepts. We all chase our dreams but are we doing anything to make them come through? Talk is easy but actions can be harder.
Great post dude, but that 7 minute workout is really 8 1/2 minutes so that’s probably why it works. ;)
haha… you’ve solved it!
So much good advice in this post! I think so many people feel “stuck” with some things in their life (their house, car, boyfriend, job), but have to decide for themselves to make changes and then have the courage to actually take the necessary steps toward change.
You’ve heard the old excuse “I can’t help it. That’s just the way I am.” My most freeing moment was when I realized that God gave me FREE WILL and I CAN CHOOSE how I want to respond to situations. I may not be able to change the situation, but situations will change when my responses aren’t stuck in a negative rut. Free will, the ability to choose, is a wonderful gift!
Though I can’t help but to tell you that ;)
It’s really important to consider the “why” behind your choices. Yes, I’m unhappy in my career right now, and I always have the choice to leave. The reason I stay is because of the good pay and flexibility that will enable us to achieve our dreams – just gotta stick it out for a few more years.
We’ve recognized there are no rules to life or money – which is why we’ve chosen our own unique path. As impatient as I may be to get to semi-retirement, our path is the best decision for us.
Thanks for the reminder to think positive and be creative with the design of your life.
The overthinker’s dilemma! It seems the “what ifs” in life are always part of the reason we feel there are rules and can’t change course once we’ve ventured down a path. Perhaps it’s also a bit of the sunk cost mentality. You’re right though, we don’t need to stay stuck. We just often do.
I do think a lot of people forget the fact that personal finance isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept. Yes, I took out loans to pay for school, but the outcome was an approximately 50% raise in less than one year after I graduated. It was a calculated risk. I could afford my payments on my old job’s pay. The debt isn’t forever, but the career advancement has more than made it worth it.
Everything can change at any point, sometimes there’s a little “bad” with the “good,” but you just have to keep pushing, making adjustments as you go along until you get to where you want to be.
I think a lot of people forget this – “The debt isn’t forever, but the career advancement has more than made it worth it.”
Best blog post ever.
Everything and everyone from Pre-K to retirement is telling you what to do and how to do it. And it’s mostly stuff like, “Get in line and do exactly what everyone else is doing.”
Nope. Not for me.
I took a year off in college to play in a band full time. I learned a TON about running a business. We pressed two CDs, sold t-shirts, cups, stickers. At one point we played 5 nights a week. It was a ton of work and some great real world experience that is still valuable to me today. (There Are No Rules!)
I quit my “real job” after 6 years of misery. I finally realized that staying was irresponsible and quitting was the responsible thing to do. Good luck getting that kind of advice almost anywhere(unless it’s from someone trying to sell you some “quit your job and live your dream” BS). (There Are No Rules!)
My wife quit her “real job” two years ago. Again, everyone thought she was crazy… WHAT ABOUT THE BENEFITS? THE BENEFITS! (There Are No Rules!)
We sold 75% of our possessions, bought a TRAVEL TRAILER, and went on an epic 5-month road trip. (There Are No Rules!)
We had a home birth. (There Are No Rules!)
I workout for free at the park when I take my 2-year-old daughter out to play. (There Are No Rules)
I could go on and on.
Like the post says, “you have limited time.” Why are we all following all these supposed rules? Aren’t we all *individuals* with free will?
And hell yes to changing your mind. There are so many examples in my life where I thought one thing and was too chicken to admit that I was either wrong or just that things had changed and I no longer felt that way anymore. I wish I had changed my mind on lots of things sooner but I was scared of what other people would think. F- that! People don’t think about you as much as you think they do. I’m not the same as I was just 4 years ago, so why would I still hold onto the opinions and decisions of someone who isn’t as wise and experienced as I am today? And in another 4 years I’ll change my mind AGAIN. And that’s a good thing!
Great post. I believe in this so much.
When I was 16, my grandma took me to buy a cedar chest. She hated all the ones I liked. So I went with one she like. And dragged that butt ugly cedar chest around home to home for 15 years. As soon I as got it home, I knew the mistake I had made. We can’t live our lives to please other people. Own your decisions or get stuck with a huge ugly sentimental item that is a pain in the ass to move.
WOAHHHHH Look at all those fantastic examples! My favorite is the band one – most parents would excommunicate their kids if they did that, haha…
You need to literally copy/paste this right into a new blog post for HowDoIMoney…
And link back to me copiously while you’re at it :)
I am such a rule follower that it wasn’t until last year, when a mentor said “you know, we are all just making this up”, that I finally woke up and realized I can actually choose ANY life I want. I remember that phrase a lot whenever I think I have a crazy, impossible idea. Because if we are all just making it up, then I want this….and this…. and this….
Hah – exactly :)
Well said. Trying to follow a bunch of rules that don’t match your values, personality, and priorities is a surefire recipe for failure. Everyone will make mistakes, but learning from them and making the necessary changes is what leads to success.
Ha. We have changed course more times than we have had a plan! Each season of life brings so many surprises that I have had to give up pretending to know where the heck we are going. I think my mom was horrified the first 10 years of my married life. But the other day she said, “If you ever started doing something normal, I think I would be concerned.” Only took me 15 years to wear her down!
Great post! I need to live more by this philosophy but it is tough. I tend to follow the “rules” and care too much what other people think when I try to live outside of the rules. It’s pretty tiring. Ultimately, you have to do what works for you and what makes you happy. And living strictly by rules often sets you up for failure….better to experience it yourself. If it doesn’t work out, then change course but at least you live without regret.
Awesome stuff. Do what works for you and understand the consequences of your decision. Don’t just spit out the rhetoric. Really think about it. Rent vs. own is a lot more complicated than just a yes/no. It’s mostly an “it depends”. Just like eating, fitness, kids, school, work, and everything else!
LOL — I wish more people running for president would change their minds! :-) You’re allowed to evolve, people!
I love when people in the PF world go with different approaches. We’re completely happy owning our home, but totally see the upsides to renting, too. It’s a great reminder that there are lots of right ways to do something!
Preach it, brother! Everyone has to find their own way. Sure, being a landlord is a great way to build wealth, but not everyone wants to be one. Live life your own way.
Good article I’ve thought about selling the house and renting again.
But the thought of moving hurts. Better to pay off the house and grow other assets so much that the house seems like less of a big deal in the scheme of things
not a bad route either, depending on what fits your lifestyle :)
I’d consider owning a lot more if I knew I was going to stay in the same place for a long time or if I found the perfect place or got the perfect deal etc/etc…
I’ll never say never again, to buying or anything in life really. It’s too fluid!
Kind of feels like telling me there are no rules is in and of itself a rule.
Very true, time is limited and everyone makes mistakes from now and then, it’s part of being human. The best thing we can do is learn from them. Also, everyone has their own way of doing things, that’s what makes us unique.
Selling pet rocks is a new one on me ;-)! I did hear though of people selling potatoes with messages on them in marker pen….!!!
Great point about there being no ‘rules’ you necessarily have to follow. It’s our life :-)
That’s hilarious… I’ll take two, please!
This is so true! Which is one of the reasons why I love the blogging world. You can read one article about why owning property is the best, and then another about why it sucks.
In other words, you can ultimately do whatever you want – and find people who support it (is there a parallel to today’s society in there somewhere?).
But ultimately, it keeps you well rounded and well informed. Great post!
You know what’s funny about that? Some years back I thought about duplicating Budgets Are Sexy only saying the exact opposite of things :) So it would be called “Budgets Are Ugly” or something, and then just reverse every last post, haha…
I still think it’s a good idea, but man that would be a lot of work for just a quick laugh.
So true, and I’ve been doing the 7 minute workout too, but I do it three times, so I guess I’m cheating.
A lot of ‘conventional wisdom’ especially related to investing and working is really not good advice and not really wisdom at all. I totally agree that you don’t need to follow the “rules”.
This is so true! We are currently homeowners and we are getting tired of the constant maintenance our home requires. It seems every time we turn around something else needs to be done. The problem is that the rents in our area are more expensive than our monthly mortgage!
The “personal” in personal finance is what keeps me interested in reading others’ blogs, discussing complicated issues, and sharing my own stories. A one-size-fits-all approach would make the journey dull and unsatisfying.
Agreed :) I love bloggers who actually SHARE OPINIONS on things! Regardless of whether I agree with them or not… Helps you figure out your own journey vs the same ol’ stuff being repeated ad nauseam.
Thanks, J., this is a nice message. Especially the happiness part. :)
I’m ready to change my mind and embark on different journeys. But as for right now I gotta make some money and pay off some bills before I can do that.
Definitely ready to be happy though!
Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do throughout the process! :)
The “personal” part of personal finance is where all the fun is! Do you want to rent? Rent. Own? Own. Big house or little? Whatever. Restaurants, grow your own, groceries? A little of everything? Whatever, whenever and you can always change your mind. I LOVE PERSONAL FINANCE. :-D Congrats on fitting into your favorite pants again!
Thanks friend!! They’re the coziest ever (with approximately 17 holes and patches, haha…)
J Money, we are the master of our own faith.
I think this is very inspiring and something that everyone should remember. I believe that individuality is the best part about personal finance but a lot of people get to a point where it is one way or no way to succeed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
This is a huge debate and even here in New Zealand we see this talked about from time to time. Personally I like the fact that we own our own home, but that is more about the security and stability rather than for any economic reason.
This is something that I need to remind myself of more.
I get really frustrated and fixated in one moment, and then I snap back to reality and realize that there are no rules, and that I can make my own decisions!
Yes indeed! Every day is a chance to redo or change or start anything you want :) It won’t always be easy but we’re lucky to have free will!
Do you still feel great not owning your place versus when you first sold? How does it compare now (even happier you sold) versus then?
I ask b/c I’m contemplating selling my own condo this year to simplify life. I might even just let the place sit empty for 2 years to try and get as much tax free profit as possible due to this rule. I don’t want to deal w/ tenants and responsibility anymore!
Well, I don’t know about the sitting empty part haha, but yes – I can confidently say that I don’t miss an ounce of owning that old place :) I still have some happy memories from first moving in and having our child there and all that goodness, but it was 100% the right move and it feels a ton lighter walking around these days!
The best is when it rains or snows hard and I don’t have to worry about anything breaking since I’m not responsible for anything anymore :) It does feel strange to pay rent sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way right now.
Def. worth considering for simplification reasons. Especially if you love to travel and like moving around a lot… We haven’t done much of that since having kids, but we hope to again sometime soon. It’s great not having “things” you’re attached to out there :) At least psychologically speaking… I think you’re more in tune w/ the financial aspect of things than I am though, so of course you have to weigh that part pretty heavily as well.
Love this post! It is so true… When I took a risk and went from full time to per-diem work I took a giant leap. But I wasn’t really scared because in the back of my head I knew I could simply resume full-time work again. A giant risky leap all wrapped up in a security blanket! mylittlebluekayak.com
Haha… sounds cozy, can I join? :)
Living in a place where we can only afford to rent, I try to remind myself to be thankful for never having to replace a boiler. “Replace a boiler” is short hand for my husband and I about all the terrifying things we know nothing about, being renters. I am vague on exactly what the boiler does, but I have some sense it is an expensive big deal. But it does suck when your landlord won’t let you paint your kitchen cabinets- that’s when I wish I owned my kitchen.
Yes, def. pros and cons on both sides, but one costs a lot more money and time than the other ;)