In the last two months, three things happened:
- I finally got the elusive permanent academic contract
- We saw a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom cottage house in a quaint country village that we both love and want to buy and can afford
- We spent a couple of days in London, ate delicious Japanese food, and decided its probably better in the long run that we move to (east) London.
I am gutted by this decision but no matter what part of me wins, my country side or my city side, I know the other part will be sad. I grew up in a relatively small town. I love nature. We just took the dog for a walk before I sat down to write this post and I walked around staring at the farmland which doubles as a Roman Ruin and a dog park and I noticed a bird of prey overhead, hunting for shrews in the bushes. It was one of the best moments of my week.
But alas, my partner commutes every day into the city and I do not and commuting is taxing and draining. At most, I have to commute twice or three times a week. Often, less than that and way less than 5 times a week. This is reason enough to move, I think.
The house in the small village is one where I might want to live forever, yet, the flat in London is an investment and we don’t know if we will be here forever. It will be easier to sell it, easier to rent it; it will be less isolating, it will be more crowded. And while it will be more expensive to buy in the short run, it will probably be easier to capitalise on in the long run. I can fancy myself saying 20 years from now, “oh yes you mean our flat in London?”
But because the flats in London are so expensive, I have to figure out how to grow my paltry downpayment money fast. In particular, I have to grow it by a lot in 6 months, almost double what we have so that we can have 5% down on a London flat by May 2018. While we have some savings, we don’t have London-flat purchasing savings. That’s right, I have to save about 38% of our take home income, and we still have student loan payments and about 2500 pounds in credit card debt that also needs to go over that time as well.
But I am 40 soon, in a couple of weeks and so starting in my 40th year, I’m going to have to do the following things all at the same time despite that my income isn’t going up much.
- Buy an apartment hopefully by May with at least 5% down
- Save more for retirement (switch to employer matched plan only)
- Keep paying off my student loans and credit card debt every month
So this is my year of 40 buy a house and take care of me plan:
- I will spend no more than 25 pounds a week on groceries (family of 2) -> I’m going to accomplish this by canning more (my next post will be about my new pressure canner) and forcing my husband to take a lunch every day (maybe a jar lunch?)
- Go on a 6 months buy nothing and no credit card spend hiatus
- Keep the following exceptions -> I will not fire the cleaner – This is for me. This is important. This makes my relationship have less friction.
- I will get a haircut and some low-maintenance balayage – This is for me. This is important. I do this 2* a year. It is time.
- I will spend on health personal exercise partner/trainer. This is for me. This is my mental health costs.
The other stuff, either the extra money we make or anything else will need to be saved.