I had a thought the other day about being lucky, and making your own luck in life.
I was talking to a friend the other day, and as many of my friends know how passionate I am about budgeting and finances, the conversation started heading in that direction. He was telling me how he would love a house like mine, and the conversation went into the equity I have in my house.
I Just Bought At A Good Time and Got Lucky.
It’s true! I purchased my house and immediately had about $30,000 equity (not including the down payment). The housing market blew up that year and in a short time, I had close to $80,000 (again, not counting the down payment).
But then my friend told responded in a way that made me think:
It Wasn’t Luck, You Prepared For It
The truth of it is that I wasn’t exactly saving to buy a house. I was 27 at the time and was happy to live in my condo (which is now my investment property). My brother had recently purchased his house a few blocks from my mom’s house that year and thought it would be awesome if we all lived near each other. He told me there was another house for sale in the same neighborhood, but I dismissed it because I was going to wait a few more years until I was closer to 30. My wife wanted to at least check it out though, so we did.
We Fell In Love With It Immediately, But Banks Don’t Run On Love
We imagined a space like this that we can upgrade and make our own, and raise our future children in. But loving a house is one thing, being approved for it was something entirely.
We went to try to get a mortgage on the house, by sitting with a broker. The broker took a look at our numbers and advised us that the only way we would be able to make the purchase was to put down a big down payment. We would have to put down more than $45,000 towards the house.
Luckily, We Could!
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I always saved money. It wasn’t easy in a city that loves material things, and with family and friends that didn’t really understand. I had been saving from my first job at 14 years old. By this time I had learned how to invest to keep growing my money. We had the money in the bank to be able to put down into the house without having to touch our retirement money!
A Bittersweet Moment
As a side note, it hurt seeing my account go form over $45,000, to about $800. It was a great investment, one that I would do again. We love our house and can see us getting old in here, but saving money your whole life to see it disappear from your accounts is not easy. You can see in my net worth that I haven’t even gotten close to recovering from that on the liquid money or investment side of things, but it helped my net worth tremendously.
Be Proud Of Your Discipline
I saw things differently after this conversation with my friend. If I wouldn’t have been disciplined from a young age I would not have been able to buy it.
When you focus, set goals, budget, and plan for the future, you set yourself up for a world of possibilities. Not everyone has the discipline to do it, so don’t credit luck for the things you’ve worked so hard for! After all, we are making our own luck, aren’t we?