I had a little moment a couple of nights ago. Well, it was kind of like a huge freak-out moment. You see, I’m 8 months out of college and have a sub-$10/hr job. Definitely not something I expected or planned for a year ago when I was ready to face the world, and definitely below what I know I’m qualified for. And if you’ve never been through that, it’s hard. And through it, I’m learning that there is a lot when it comes to your financial life that you have absolutely no control over.
Case in point: Ten months ago when we were going through our plans with the move, I was going to get a job within a month or two and we would have enough saved up by summer to get into a home of our own, after which we would be rocking our student loans and saving up for the rest of our lives! Home prices out here are considerably cheaper than where we’re from, so things were looking great. Except for the little thing about not getting a job for 6 months, then that job’s salary being less than half of what I was looking for. (And I’m not complaining here. I’m grateful I have a job. But that doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed. And Mrs. Wealth Gospel started her first year of teaching, so with our salaries combined, we’re doing well enough, but for some reason my mind has been stuck thinking that we should have what two solid salaries would do for us, rather than one.
I’ve been unrealistic.
A couple of nights ago, that become real. A week and a half ago, I wrote about how we’re going to save for a house, and get all established and such. But then I started thinking, what if finding a better job takes even longer? What if Mrs. Wealth Gospel gets pregnant and is out of work for a little while? What if we get stuck in a mortgage and I end up finding a job somewhere else?
As the questions came, so did the disappointment. What it really boils down to is that even though we’re ready for that big of a change emotionally, we aren’t financially. And unfortunately, that happens to so many of us when we graduate from college or when we make another big change in our lives. We get a little taste of the freedom and we want it all. When I did my financial planning internship, I saw it happen all the time. Emotionally, we’re ready for the whole shebang: a house, a dog, and a car that isn’t running on its last leg. And that’s completely normal. And it’s exciting! But when your financial ability doesn’t match your excitement, you start racking up the debt and monthly payments so fast that before you realize it, you have nothing left over and you’re living paycheck to paycheck…happy financial freedom! Right?
So I’m feeling pretty fortunate that I had that realization. Rather than thinking about things emotionally, we’re being a little more logical now. Instead of locking ourselves into a mortgage on a house that we might soon outgrow, we’re looking for a rental. And as much as I hate the idea of renting, with the cards we’ve been dealt, that’s just what we’re going to have to do.
The good news is we probably won’t be waiting 6 months before we move out 🙂 We’re actually going to go take a look at a house in a few minutes, so hopefully we find what we’re looking for 🙂