I'm very big on living within, or hopefully below, one's means. My mind can't grasp the concept of buying a huge McMansion, fancy car or material goods to 'impress' others. My joy comes from the simple things in life - a gorgeous organic yellow beet from our CSA share, the kids sharing a story about a pleasant happening in their day, the feel of nice wool socks on a cold morning. I always strive to make the best possible financial decisions. In order to be able to sleep at night I have to know we are able to pay our bills.
We're at a point now where the kids are taking care of their own expenses. We're both working. We have a comfortable home, functional vehicles, good medical coverage. And yes, I confess, I am a Disney junkie.
While I will always be a New Yorker through and through, I would love to own a little place near WDW to escape to now and then. We have the Vacation Club, but what I'd really like is to have a little place of my own, as Carlin said, 'for my stuff'. I'd love to travel without a suitcase, stay in the same place every time...and maybe even catch the fireworks from my balcony while working on a sewing project or touching up some trim with a little can of paint.
Real Estate is, without a doubt, bottoming out in that area. I looked at some places a couple of weeks ago. We thought for sure with prices so low it was time to do it. We checked on financing, discussed how much to put down, even fell in love with a sweet little condo with lots to do in walking distance. And then my spouse brought up a question that I hadn't previously considered.
Would we prefer to have this little getaway or pay off our kids' college loans?
We chose the latter.