Someone once gave me this advice regarding getting a home loan:
“Bite off more than you can chew, then chew as hard as you can!”
I think that is a good strategy for getting ahead, affording the house you want and exactly what this society would encourage us to do. We have a growing family and we are fast running out of room in our 2 bed house. Ideally we’d love to buy a 3+ bedroom house to fit the kids (let alone all their stuff!), but living in Sydney, with the highest housing prices in Australia, affording to do this is proving to be a serious challenge! What to do?
Honestly – I don’t know what to do! All our options for buying cost more than we can currently afford, so that means we either need to move out of Sydney, earn more money, give away less money or squish into our 2 bedder. The last option is looking like the most likely at this stage as moving out of Sydney creates other problems (like jobs!), earning more money isn’t that easy and would most likely involve sacrificing time with my family (which I’m not prepared to do for money!), and giving away less money is not an option I could take with a clear conscience as being less generous so that we can afford a luxury that most of the worlds population would only dream of is not in anyway living a life less greedy! So, time to get cosy in our 2 bedder (unless something miraculous happens)!
So while I do agree with the advice I was given, it also grinds against me because I know that “chewing as hard as you can” to get a house, those new clothes or that new TV isn’t going to bring lasting satisfaction and, more importantly, has no eternal value. So I’d be more inclined to flip this advice around and use it as a strategy for your giving – Bite off more than you can chew, then chew as hard as you can! If you are going to “chew hard” at something, you want it to be something worthwhile, something that’s going to last into eternity. And if anything is going to curb your spending it should be your giving – GIVE UNTIL IT HURTS YOUR HIP POCKET, then afford what you can after that. Of course some people are already giving to the max. and that’s awesome, keep being generous!
If you are thinking “I’d really like to sponsor a child (or support some great charity), but I REALLY CAN’T AFFORD IT”, then perhaps you need to have a closer look at your finances and make some changes to invest in eternal things rather than things of this world. Or perhaps, like us, you are going pretty hard on your giving, and it means you can’t afford something you want (or need!)… sometimes it’s ok to pull back on the giving for a time, but I encourage you to seriously assess what you are investing in and if it’s worthwhile sacrificing the difference you are making to people that are far worse off than you will ever be!