Sometimes it seems like we get so wrapped up in life that we try to cram too many big events into too small a timeframe. This can leave us feeling not only frazzled but possibly as if we’ve made the wrong decisions after we complete these life-altering events. A sort of “buyer’s remorse” can set in afterwards because we didn’t put enough time into considering them ahead of time or we were so busy with other big decisions that we just didn’t pay enough attention to these other purchases or decisions. From having a baby, buying a home, making a career change, or relocating – all of which my wife and I did within a year – trying to pack too much into too small a timeframe could result in financial disaster.
Too many fish in the frying pan
Sometimes there is too much going on in life to dedicate the full attention necessary to a critical financial or life-altering decision. A wedding can take a lot of planning. So can buying a home or preparing to have a baby. And trying to squeeze all these items together into a short time period can leave you missing seemingly insignificant details that could prove critical later on. While you may not be able to plan for every eventuality, sometimes giving yourself an extra few months could pay off big time.
We found this to be the case with having a baby. While there is no guarantee that you can plan exactly when you’ll have a baby, we realized after our first child that it makes more sense to aim for the beginning of the year when it comes to getting pregnant. With our fist child, we were just covering our health insurance deductible and out-of-pocket limit when a new calendar year rolled around and we had to start all over again. With our second, we squeezed everything into one year and one deductible and out-of-pocket amount.
When we bought our first home, we also rushed ourselves when we should have timed things better. Buying in the midst of a Chicagoland winter, when many outside maintenance issues with the home were obscured by snow and therefore undetectable to us, was a poor decision.
Taking time to learn a new area
Jumping the gun on buying a home though could leave you with regrets down the road. We should have taken more time in our own situation as I mentioned with our faux pas in regards to our purchase timing.
However, we also should have researched our area of purchase better. Things like property tax rates, home value history and future outlook, and school ratings were things that we should have considered a bit more carefully and maybe have discussed in depth before rushing to buy. Instead, we bought, and then sold soon thereafter, leaving us with a huge financial loss but a valuable lesson.
Basing decisions on emotions rather than finances
Since we were having a child at the time, it also seemed like it was time to buy a home. However, with all the planning, emotions, costs, and time constraints that come with having a child, buying a home at around the same time wasn’t necessarily the best option for us. Rather than take our time, we rushed to buy so that we could have more space and a yard for our child. But heck, the baby couldn’t even walk yet and we were worrying about extra space and a yard to play in. We had years before such things really needed to be considerations, yet we rushed into a home that provided those options but not many of the other things that were important to us like great school and neighborhood amenities.
Sometimes I just wish we had spread these life-altering and huge financial decisions out a little bit rather than cramming them all together. I think that we would have given ourselves the proper timeframes as well as frames of mind to make more informed and better decisions.
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The author is not a licensed financial or travel professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.