Just paying the bills isn’t enough

I’m working so I won’t have to try so hard
Tables, they turn sometimes
~The Strokes, “Someday”

My co-worker just wants “to make enough money to cover the bills.”

In my mind, that’s the attitude that will get you where my mother is right now. Working and working and working with no light at the end of the tunnel. My co-worker also said that she doesn’t want to buy an old house, because of all the hard work she hears another co-worker and I doing to update our own houses. (Which is hilarious, given how much work my bosses have done to their far newer homes. Don’t like work? Stick with apartments.)

Buying this house and updating it is, to me, integral to my ultimate financial goals. Rather than locking me into a mortgage, it frees me up a bit financially. I have a second bedroom to rent out, should things go south, and once the major updates are complete, the value of this home will increase in case I do need to sell. My “rent” will not go up (aside from property taxes and insurance), and honestly, I’m paying only a touch more than I would for a decent apartment. The only reason my rent was cheaper than my mortgage before was simply due to the shitty nature of the places I was renting. My last apartment didn’t even have hot water in the kitchen, and only barely had it in the bath.

I also honestly enjoy tinkering about with the house. I have a FUCKING AWESOME backyard that will be even more awesome when I have the funds to xeriscape it properly (I’m lazy and don’t plant anything that can’t survive on its own). Part of the appeal of an older home is getting to learn how to do minor electrical work, how to patch drywall, how to nail in baseboards without a nail gun, and other nifty things. My own labor is far cheaper than someone else’s. The exception is painting. I hate painting.

But the house is Step One in my ultimate takeover of the world (or at least my part of the neighborhood). In a couple more years I anticipate beginning to save up the down payment to buy either one of the neighboring units and thus hopefully have a second income independent of my day job (in addition to controlling the occupants of said units). This takes more than “just paying the bills.” It takes foresight, and planning, and hard fucking work. Retirement funds also take foresight, planning, and either more hard work, or a willingness to go without.

I’m working so I don’t have to try so hard. Tables, they turn sometimes. Don’t I fucking know it.


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