2016 has been a year of change for Team Rustic Walks. It was our first full year of living together, which gave us a surprising insight into what was working for us and what wasn’t. Things like spending willy-nilly, letting our health decline, and filling our home with excess stuff. We saw these problems, and we made a pledge to fix them. By the end of 2016, we wanted to give ourselves space physically and mentally to figure out what’s truly important.
If you’ve ever bought a house, then you are probably familiar with the idea of buyer’s remorse. It’s when that voice in the back of your head questions whether lending six figures of debt for this house is really worth it. Many of us assume that buyer’s remorse is a normal part of the home-buying process. If you are purchasing something as significant as your home, then it’s natural to feel doubts or regret. It’s not like you are signing your life away to a mortgage lender and committing to decades of debt. No big deal. Those feelings don’t matter once you sign the dotted line and walk into your brand new home. It’s impossible to go through such a life-altering experience without just a little bit of anxiety.
My problem is that I feel buyer’s remorse for almost every purchase I make.
Emergency funds are a necessity. There’s no negotiation on this one. The personal finance community knows this, and I hope everyone knows this. Having even just $1,000 on hand can save you from years of debt. I’ve had an emergency fund without any idea of when I should use it. That cash cushion was always meant for some vague future where I’d be out of a job, injured, or otherwise thrown for a loop. It’s never been money that I intend to spend. There’s no guarantee that I will ever use it, but I still want to have it just in case. The thought of needing to spend it genuinely stresses me out.
Until I had to.