We both have stable jobs. We have no consumer debt. We pay all our bills on time. We save for retirement and have an emergency fund. We have two completely paid off cars, live in a two-bedroom townhome in an affluent county, and have a dog. All that’s missing is the 2.5 kids and white picket fence.
And yet, there are some days, like yesterday, that I think “How are we possibly ever going to be able to afford to buy everything?”
What I mean by “everything” is, how are we going to:
- save for a 20% down payment for a $400,000 loan (minimum)
- max out retirement accounts ($17,500 for 401Ks, $5,500 for Roth IRA)
- save to buy a new car
- pay off remaining student loans ($17,500)
- Pay for my graduate school
- Pay for Eric’s school
How do you pay for all these things? How do other people seem to do it so well?
And how do you pay for all that without continuing to live as paupers forever and allowing yourself to actually enjoy the money you work for? If we had stayed in the shack, we probably could have paid off debt faster, but I seriously would have been miserable.
A lot of personal finance blogs seem to have it all together, and it makes me feel crazy sometimes when I have to admit that there just isn’t enough money to accomplish all these things at the same time.
I am admitting to myself that if we want to buy a house within the next few years, we will have to take out a car loan. I am also admitting that we probably won’t be able to come up with a 20% down payment. And maybe we’ll still both have student loan debt before we make either of these big purchases. And it will most likely be several, several years before we max out our retirement accounts.
Are these horrible financial decisions?
Of course, nothing has been decided yet–but looking at the big picture, I know that we simply can’t do everything. Notice I didn’t even add “saving for unborn children’s college” into the mix.
While we continue to pay down our debt and build up our savings, progress is slower than I would like, but it’s what we can afford right now.
And honestly, I feel like as a young married couple, we’re probably doing really well for ourselves, and probably better than the average broke young married couple. But as personal finance bloggers, do we hold ourselves to a higher standard? Are our financial decisions judged more because we should always choose the “no debt” route?
How are you able to accomplish all your financial goals on an average salary?
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