Tuesday, February 14, 2023

"House or Money, Which Do You Prefer?"

     If you were to choose, would you rather have a house but has little money, or would you prefer to have plenty of money but has no house?

  • Living from one place to another

    When I was 6 years old, my parents were able to build a small house for our family, thanks to my father's income from working abroad. But, when he returned here in the Philippines to pursue his teaching career, we moved out of our tiny house in the province to a rental house in the city. Though my father was a public-school teacher, I know that he could not afford to build a house for us because we could not even afford to pay our monthly rent, which made us transfer from one house to another until I was in college. 

    Based on this experience, I have then dreamt of having my own house someday. However, when I got married, my husband and I started living together by renting a house. We rented out a house for almost 3 years since we can't afford to buy or build a house of our own yet! Luckily, after 2 years, we were able to purchase a small lot and started building our dream house.

  •      Building the foundation
      Since we do not have savings and we rely solely on our monthly salary, the only way in which we could start building our dream house was by taking out salary loans. At first, I thought that 250,000 pesos is more enough to build a tiny house (Well, I only want to have a small space where we could eat and sleep), but my husband insisted that we build a larger house which could live in for years. I ended up agreeing with him, so the inital amount we've loaned out was spent only on the house's foundation. After that, we had to stop the construction because we had to prepare for the coming of our second child. The spread of the coronavirus also confined us in the house, so we had no choice but to continued living in a rental house.
  • From the ground to the top
        After a year, we've decided to take out more loans to finish the construction of our house. Our second loan was spent for the flooring, the third is for the walls, and the fourth one was for the slab-- we've actually borrowed from different banks and institutions to fund our dream house. Once our house was built, we borrowed for the fifth time to buy furniture and to paint the interior.  YES! Finally, we were able to live in our new, own home. But, do you know what's painful? My husband and I both ended up having 5,000 pesos monthly net pay-- when combined, we only have 10,000 pesos monthly income. 
  • With a house, but has no money
        Finally, we have our own house... BUT, we now have to live with a 10,000 pesos monthly budget-- to pay bills, buy food, pay our nanny, and to buy milk, diaper, and different essentials for our three children!

        If you have already read my article on "Have I Only Kept My Pay Slip Virgin!", you will see that prior to marriage, I already have difficulty managing my finances, so it is not a surprise that I did not care whether or not we reach our limit. And now we're actually doomed!
                Read: Mammy Jean: "Have I Only Kept My Pay Slip Virgin!"

  • If I could go back...
        God knows how grateful I am to have built a house I can call my own. But recently, I realized that we have actually rushed things and now we have to suffer the consequences. So, if you are currently renting or living with your relatives and you wanted to build or buy your own house, you can consider the following realizations I had:
    1. We should have compared and listed the prices of materials, and considered which fits our budget.
    2. We should have stuck on building a smaller house first (since we initially wanted to stop renting), and then plan for expansion once we have enough savings.
    3. We should have avoided buying new furniture and used our old ones instead.
    4. We should have stopped taking out loans and halted the construction when our deductions took more than half of our gross income.
    5. We should have had a budget to know how much more can we spend.
        Since we cannot go back in time to do these things, all we can do now is to find an extra income to cover our monthly expenses. We might not have money now, but as long as my husband and I support and understand each other, we could overcome any obstacle.

        I will soon share the side hustles we've done to recover from this great financial burden. For now, let me tell you this-- whatever your choice is, whether you want to have more money or to have your own house, make sure that you are ready to face the consequences of your actions.

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