Is it that we don’t want other people to think we’re “too tight”? …or maybe “too flashy”?
Is it that we don’t have our stuff in order and talking about it means that we’d need to address what we’re refusing to look at?
We’re often worried that, by talking openly about our financial position, we’ll either be seen as someone who is lacking money
(that is, we’ve somehow failed to create an abundance of wealth)
…or that people will think we have more than we should
(that is, we don’t believe we are worthy of what we have).
And let’s be honest, there is a whole lot of baggage that usually sits behind both of those ideas.
But, when it comes to working out a budget for a new home project, we need to be willing to look at the numbers and take the time to create a budget that not only helps guide the decisions throughout the project, but also allows you to meet your personal objectives – not just those of the house.
The truth is, the amount of money you spend on your home is not only going to impact what you can build, but it’s also going to impact the kind of lifestyle that you live in that home
(unless you’ve got an endless pot of money that doesn’t require you to ever make compromises).
So, if your only focus is to build the perfect home and your only gauge on what you can spend is your bank balance, then you’re probably not thinking big picture enough.
So many of the budgets I see are based on what is “reasonable” to pay for a particular item, rather than what we should spend. We start off by getting some quotes, shopping around, seeing what other people spend on similar items, then we find somewhere within that range that seems to be “fair and reasonable”.
While I do understand the merits to this way of thinking, there is a step before that many people are missing, which is…
“What’s the type of lifestyle I would like to live?”
And based on that…
“How much can I afford to spend on our home in order in order to achieve that lifestyle?”
Because, I don’t care how wonderful your home is, if you spend so much money building it that you need to work for 10 years longer than you wanted to…
Or it means that you don’t have the option to explore a career change when you’re ready for one…
Or if you need to put something else important (insert dream holiday, beach house, sabbatical, family) on hold in order to fund it…
Then you might find yourself in a situation where your life is in service to your home, rather than your home being of service to you in providing your dream lifestyle.
So, if you’re at that point where you’re starting to think about creating your new home and wondering how to get all your finances in order, then I’d like you to consider this :
Most people go full steam ahead into creating their dream home with a budget based purely on what funds they have available and then try to fit in their dream lifestyle around the financial commitments they’ve made to their home. Hint : there’s often not much left over.
My recommendation is to flip that equation…
Go full steam ahead towards creating your dream lifestyle and then create the most amazing house you can with what’s leftover.
I think it’s easy to oversimplify the stuff that needs to get done and underestimate the time that it will take to do it – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
If you think your biggest decision is whether to go for timber floorboards or tiles in your new home, then you might be surprised to see how many more decisions you need to make to specify your timber flooring.