Thursday, October 1, 2015

Parenting and Property

At some point every day I catch myself wishing that we owned a house. This issue has been a constant consideration ever since my husband and I finally decided to leave the academic life and pursue professional careers in the private sector 5 years ago. We saw this as our chance to settle down start a family AND perhaps one day own our own home.

Unfortunately the AND in that last statement turned into an OR. Since we both have an aversion to going into debt which is a given these days for owning property. We'd just gotten out of years of graduate school and for the first time in our lives were completely debt free and unwilling to get back into it so soon. And so we decided to start a family first as age (we were both approaching 30) was starting to become a factor.

A handsome little man and a curly haired little girl completed our family and providing for their happiness and wellbeing has seriously hampered our ability to set aside large sums of money towards owning property.

And yet, this extra time has provide us opportunity to refine our taste and expectations from home ownership as well as allowed us to put together a realistic plan to someday own our eventual family home knowing full well that we will be able to afford the repayments necessary. And all this with one simple little trick.

My husband and I have researched the area we would like to live in to get an understanding of the prices to expect in the area. We also know what kind of house we would like to build in the area so the total expense was easy to estimate.

We then worked out how much a mortgage would cost us each month and the amount of money we needed for a downpayment. From then onwards, every single month we "paid" that mortgage repayment into a savings account to make sure that we could easily manage the amount without running into too much financial stress. It wasn't wasn't easy at first. We regularly overstretched our budget and it took a while for us to reach that level of financial maturity and earnings to comfortably save and live the lifestyle we wanted. But at least we did it all with self imposed restrictions and didn't have the banks hounding us for cash. And whenever emergency struck (like when the car died) we didn't have to stress about not making our repayments.

Every month that savings account grows for our deposit (target at 20% of the cost of the house and land to avoid having to pay mortgage insurance) and we get disciplined about how much money we can actually spend.

Here's the bonus, all that time we're actually living in the neighborhood of our choice because renting is significantly lower than paying off a mortgage in the area. We are both no more than 10-20 mins from work and a short drive to the city and great restaurants.

In that way I'm glad that choosing parenthood before property has given us the chance to be more mature about our finances rather than rushing headlong into property ownership when we were obviously not ready for it. And for our family at least that has been the right way forward.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Incapacitated Mum: Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

I've just gotten over the most pain filled week of my life so far. By day 4 I was wishing that I was in Labour because it would have hurt less. And on top of all that I wasn't even struck down with a respectful debilitating ailment like Chicken Pox or Measles or Plague... no I had what all the medical sites classed as "mild", "non serious" and "common childhood illness" Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. With descriptions like that, how bad could it be right? WRONG! Pull up a blanket kiddies... it's horror story time.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Crafty Mum: T Shirt Rug

Have a heap of old shirts you don't want to add to the landfill? Upcycle them? There are heaps of ideas. Here's one:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Discerning Mum: Kmart Endless Days of Play and Giveaway

What an amazing morning I've had. Yesterday I was fortunate enough to receive an invite to Kmart's new toy launch and media event. Luckily it was today (Thursday) because it is the one day I have free to do stuff like this. And the best part is that I get to share some of the booty with you guys!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The 1337 Grandma: Home Made baby sleeping bags

This blog has been neglected for a couple of weeks. The cause of this absence is that the 1337 Grandma came all the way from Singapore to stay for a month to spend time with her grandson (and as a side note bonus... with hubby and myself).

I'm very grateful for the times when mum comes to stay. She's obviously got her own stuff going on as well as another grandson who she's the weekday carer of but her coming over means that hubby and I have another pair of hands around the house to help catch the things that slip through the cracks (like making dinner, and finding time to have a shower and making sure that the sink doesn't get full before doing the dishes.. etc)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Cooking Mum: Meatloaf Cupcakes

Food should be fun. Both to look at and to eat. Most days I don't have a lot of time to make fun foods but I managed to get half a day to myself recently and decided to try an idea that I've been toying with for a while after seeing a similar idea on Food Network's Sugar High with Duff Goldman.

Meatloaf cupcakes!!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Opinionated Mum: Meta Reviewing

First, let me apologize for my long absence. Our little family has been playing host to The Little Man's Auntie J who came to visit over Easter. So we turned tourists and went sightseeing around Southern Victoria and had a fantastic time out in the sunshine, eating chocolate, watching penguins, tasting wine and shopping. 

In addition to that, I've been getting my writing fix from this site I found a couple of weeks ago.