When dh and i married 20 years ago we were full of all the trappings society gives us: credit card debt, new car debt, student loan debt and materialistic wants. The wants came natural to me, dh aquired then from a lifetime of going without, being the oldest of a large poor family. There are so many things we should have talked about, worked out, and planned back then but OH we were in loooooove. It's all Ok as long as we have each other LOL. Oh to be young and silly.
Well we're still a little silly but much wiser now. the other day dh looked at me and exclaimed how he wished we would have figured this out when we first got together...we'd been so much further ahead in life, doing what we love and not worrying about losing a house or a car if the income drops. back then it was unfathomable that after working for a company for years your income would actually go DOWN or STAGNATE.......after all every year brough new raises for the both of us.
Well things change. Looking back these are the things i would tell my younger newly married self:
1. PLAN to stay home. Don't just have a baby and then tearfully decide you can't leave him in daycare without figuring out the details first.
2. Don't buy a house just because everyone says so. No its not a good investment, no its not always building equity, and no its not a cheap loan ...i don't care how much the bank says you're worth it's a ball and chain debt. It is not the American Dream like in Its A Wonderful Life.
3. Don't feel that you have to have your kids doing every class and sport their friends are doing...that doesn't make you a good mom and they really won't care about it years later. Save the money and take more family trips that you always said you couldn't afford.
4. Figure out where you want to live and stay there at least 20 years.....with NO mortgage! Do what I'm doing now....buy a $20,000 foreclosure dump and make it into something pretty. You can do alot of fixing every month when you aren't paying for a car or a mortgage or a HELOC.
5. Plan on a home based business...or two! I feel the new wave of the future is in enterprneurship. If businesses cut back on hiring, work for yourself.
6. Life doesn't always turn out like you plan....so roll with the punches. But PLAN.
So I tell these things to my teen and almost 20 yr old sons....and it falls on deaf ears. ((sigh)) Why do we seem to know everything at age 20 and at age 40 realize we knew nothing at all?