Money Down

I feel a little guilty about buying a house.

I feel a little scared.

I feel excited.

I feel like “who am I” to be a homeowner?

I feel like this is the right decision.

I’m feeling a lot of things. Underneath those feelings are questions; Do I deserve it? Did I earn it?

Part of our down payment is coming from money my grandmother left me when she passed away. My inheritance came from her teacher’s pension. My grandmother was a teacher for years. When her husband (my maternal grandfather) died, she went back to school and earned her masters in counseling and social work.

My intention for my grandmother’s money was to put it towards my own graduate degree.

I will write a post some other time about what thoughts are swirling around in my head in regards to going back to school. That is a future thing that I don’t have brain space to think about right now. Also, I’m not sure what higher education I would want to pursue or even what professional ladders I want to climb.

Like I said, grad school is its own train of thought and deserves its own blog post.

The other part of the down payment on our home is coming from my life savings.

I think that is what is making me cringe a little.

I am twenty-six years old, and I have a life savings. Once we buy this house, I will have a house but no more life savings. I won’t have this thing that I’ve been collecting my whole life. I won’t have a cushion to fall back on.

I have always been frugal. I am generally hesitant to spend money (unless it’s at resale or second-hand shops, that’s my kryptonite.)

I am worried that you, whoever you are, reading this post, will hate me.

Maybe “hate” is a strong word. I am afraid you will think I am selfish, or stupid, or spoiled.

And I am afraid of that because I wonder those things. Am I being selfish? Is this a stupid financial decision? Am I spoiled?

My parents helped me open a bank account when I was six years old, and I have dedicated as many resources as possible towards growing my little nest egg for the past twenty years.

I know you can’t go back and encourage your past self to put half of your babysitting money into the bank to save for later, but that’s basically what I was doing since eighth grade.

When I started babysitting in middle school, I was living at home and all of my needs were paid for by my parents. I was pretty lucky. I would allow myself ¼ of my earnings as spending money and the rest I would walk over to the nearest bank branch and proudly hand my cash over to the teller.

I kept a checkbook (very badly) and watched eagerly as my savings grew. Not much, but it did grow.

In high school, I got summer jobs and did the same thing. Through high school, all of my living expenses were paid for by my parents. I didn’t have to pay rent or buy groceries. If I went out to get food afterschool with friends, I paid for that with my own money, but otherwise, there weren’t many things I needed to buy for myself. I did buy my own clothes, but I almost never bought clothes new.

High school is when I started shopping for all my own clothes at resale shops and I have never looked back. You can get so much stuff for so little money.

Not into second hand? Weird, but ok.

If you ever see me wearing something and think “that’s cute! I wonder where it’s from.” I can almost guarantee it was purchased from a thrift store or was given to me after a friend got tired of wearing it.

I am very lucky. I got a scholarship for most of my college tuition, and my parents helped cover my cost of living while I was in school. For two years in college I worked at a local bakery, woke up at 5am regularly, and was basically narcoleptic. My weekly earnings covered any restaurant outings or lunch grabbed between classes, coffee, clothes, etc.

The summer before I graduated from college is when my grandmother passed away, the money that she left me and my mom allowed me to leave school with my loans paid off.

That is not how most people graduate college, and that is not how [REDACTED] graduated from college.

In fact, he still has student loans from his time in undergrad and is actively taking out more loans to go to law school.

For years, [REDACTED] has encouraged me to invest my savings instead of letting it just sit and collect the fraction of interest that it does every year.

For years, I have looked into investing and been too scared to make the leap. Put my money in a weird electronic world of numbers that fluctuate based on so many things I can’t really keep track of or understand? No way. Put my money in some walls, a floor, and a roof (whose value also fluctuates based on some things I can’t really keep track of or understand). Heck yes.

I am a nester, what can I say? The joy in making a house a home has been hard to find recently. Our apartment hasn’t clicked into that feeling of “ours.” I’m not sure it ever would have.

I still can’t believe we’re buying a house.

It feels wild and unbelievable and also comforting. It feels safe but also really risky. It’s an odd mix of emotions.

Clearly, the journey through law school is full of mixed emotions and unpredictable occurrences.

Buying a house was not in the five year plan five months ago.

Keep your eyes peeled, folks.

Pictures to come.

This blog is leveling up.

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