I’m a big believer of limiting your liabilities. Don’t anchor yourself. The more social, financial, physical, or mental obligations we have, the less agency we have to gravitate to what truly matters.
The past months I have challenged a belief that I have held true for sometime. The option to engage in a mortgage, thus “owning my own property”.
Many see a property as an asset, an investment that will go up in value.
Not drawn to a 25 year mortgage (mortgage = very large liability until age 52). What does that ultimately buy, my own place yes? At the sacrifice of what? Freedom.
We envision freedom as this ability to have our own living accommodation that we can do as we see fit. But if we have to spend our lifetime working to afford it, is it really a freedom?
The exercise I like to do is to think back to my dreams and aspirations as a child. The most fun and fulfilment I can have is being able to move in any direction that I wanted to and when I wanted to; having fun with my friends, riding my bike in any direction, spend a day reading.
Does buying a house to share with myself promote any of those ideals? No it doesn’t. I can convince myself that having my “own place” would make me happier. I could have exuberant dinner parties with friends. I could hang my bike on the wall or put up a bookcase for all the reading I intend to do.
The problem with this is the expectation vs reality. It’s nice to imagine all of those actions and link them with the emotional purchase of “buying” a house.
Taking stock of my life currently, I rarely do any of these things. Despite the fact that currently being mortgage-less gives me greater expendable income, and effectively more time from less pressure to work.
Look beyond the physical (household, goods, possessions) and constantly question. Why? Often you will find that the answer is emotional, and not actually linked to anything material.
I’m going to work on the things I actually want to do in life before putting an enforcing boundary around them.
Yes, physical investments might go up in value. But without an understanding of what you truly want in life, this so called asset will erode your personal growth and values.
I know what I’d rather invest in.