I talk to people all the time about money. I try to get them to get their finances in order, pay down debt, have an emergency fund, and save for their futures. And I hear excuses. Sometimes I don’t hear excuses because I simply hear nothing. We talk about this in the office- why can’t people get their financial lives in order? It’s so important- more important than ever, especially for those who are not going to receive traditional pensions upon retirement. Then I realized I was just as bad.
Over the summer I started looking into mortgage rates. Rates are at historic lows and I thought it would be a great time to turn my 30 year loan into a 15 year loan. I ran the numbers ten different ways to see what would work the best. I found out that at minimum, my husband and I would save over $100,000 over the course of our loan. And then I walked away from the process.
See, I was busy. My daughter started school, work was busy, home life was busy. I had all the excuses that I have heard from clients at the office. And they didn’t feel like excuses, I genuinely was busy. I just put the entire process on hold. One day my husband asks me, “How’s the refinance process going?” I stumbled. I picked up my phone and called the agent I am working with and started the process over.
I thought about walking away and doing nothing. After all, doing nothing is a decision as much as taking action. And then I thought what a ridiculous mistake that would be. Because I was overwhelmed with life I was going to spend an extra $100,000 on my house? That’s real money!
I understand where clients are coming from when they don’t take action. I understand, but I urge them still to think about the consequences. Not saving now, not paying down debt, or not taking advantage of an opportunity can be a decision that swings your future economic situation by quite a bit.