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My biggest financial leap

August 1st, 2015 at 05:08 am

I'm curious to know what your biggest financial leap may have been...

Here's my story:

I was 2/3rds the way through grad school, I didn't like the Executive Director at my current position and I was working full time + part time + part time grad school and was a single parent. It was a ragged schedule and it would take me another 2 1/2 years to complete my degree at my current pace but if I quit my job and went full time school, I could complete it in 6 months. I examined my budget, explored health insurance options for myself (child covered by other parent) and put together a plan. I shared this with the people in my life who I really trusted and valued their opinion. I asked them to review my plan and tell me why I shouldn't do it. No one had any objections and even offered me a loan if I needed it. So while it was scary, it was a very calculated risk.

It was very scary for me because I was a single parent who was responsible for my child and had a mortgage to pay. What if I couldn't find another job? What if there was a major medical problem? What if there was a major repair on the house? What if I finished my education but couldn't find a job in my field? Financial security has always represented choices for me. If I'm financial secure, then I can decided which jobs I will take or quit(like leaving the job where I didn't like the director).

It worked out perfect, better than I ever expected.

What financial leaps have you taken? Did they work out? Did you learn something new?

11 Responses to “My biggest financial leap”

  1. VS_ozgirl Says:

    As somebody who is working fulltime and studying sometimes I do wonder why I run myself ragged and don't just instead study fulltime for a little while. Other people do it. But for the moment I like my job, I like having financial security and my life other than work is not extremely busy. For the most part I can allocate a Saturday to study and be fine. The thought of how long I have to do this for does my head in though. (24 subject degree, in the middle of subject 4, so it would take if I studied each subject back-to-back with no breaks until 2020 to complete!). A long time to live life constantly juggling a balancing act. So I contemplate studying fulltime too occasionally...

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    My biggest financial leap was buying my 1st home, the one I'm still in today after 20 years. I wasn't sure I could afford it, the final sales price was about $25K more than I wanted to spend, but I fell in love with the house, and I'd been looking for a long time (6 mths). Being single, I worried about how I would pay the mortgage if I lost my job, and I did in fact experience several layoffs in the past 20 years. Luckily, becus I am very cautious when it comes to money, I put down 45% in cash when I bought the house, making the remaining mortgage much smaller and easier to handle.

    I was only able to put down 45% because I had been renting my sister's basement apartment for years and had saved for what seemed like forever. I did not have a sense of entitlement that I should have the perfect home with granite kitchen and 3 bedrooms in my early 20s. I was 36 when I bought this house and the price was $209,900. So I put down about $95,000. In hindsight it was a good buy in a very nice town, just minutes from the center of town. I only wish I didn't get quite so much land becus now, 20 years later, it's getting to be too much upkeep and maintenance, but other than that, I have no regrets.

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Probably my biggest financial leap was my moving here to NE. I left a full time job in my field in NM and moved across several states ... all for a relationship. I didn't have a job (even though I'd been sending resumes and applications for 6 months prior to moving) and didn't know what was really going to happen with the relationship. It took me 2 1/2 months once I actually moved here to find my current position.

    Overall, I think it was a good decision.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    My biggest leap, at least fully conscious one, was buying my current home (took ownership exactly 1 year ago). I've done other risky financial things, but this was the biggest-picture one, and the first big leap I made with both eyes open and a full understanding of what was at stake. It had tons of ups and downs, mostly downs at first, and when we finally bought it we were on the tightest budget we'd had in over 8 years. It was a stressful year, kind of like walking a tightrope the whole time, but things have finally come together and I can say without a doubt that yes, it was the right decision for my family and it was worth the sleepless nights.

  5. GoodLiving Says:

    VS, I can totally relate to that and as the only adult in my household, I had to make the money. I also had child support which really helped during that hard time. I did have to really delay my own personal enjoyment in life until my time freed up, I just kept focusing on the idea of sequencing my life. At that time, I was building and that wouldn't always be the case. NOW, I'm still building but more automatically and enjoying life more, having more fun.

    PS, I think I discovered your blog recently after reading about the challenges with your mother. I went back and read all your entries (grin). I think you and I are similar in our frugality and appreciation of security(and choice/options) as strong independent women. Thank you for your response!

    Laura, I've never moved for a relationship, but that may change in the future. I'm in a recently new relationship (almost 7 months) that is amazing and while I'm allowing room and time for our relationship to mature, it's better than anything I've ever been in. I hope that's the same for you!

    Ceejay, I've appreciated your openness about your finances and life. I don't exactly remember when I started reading about you but it was before your family had your daughters. I've been silently cheering for you selling your condo and settling in to your house. I've always had dreams about co-housing(like you and your friends).

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    I had to think long and hard about this one. For the most part we don't take financial leaps. We tend to live extremely below our means and to keep our options open. For example, we moved solely so we could enjoy housing that is 70% cheaper. That may have been a big personal leap, but was the opposite of a "financial leap". My spouse lost his job when I was first pregnant but we had never spent any of his income and so that whole thing was a *shrug* financially. Was more circumstance than choice.

    That said, I think having kids was our biggest financial leap. We didn't feel any financial pinch *when* we had kids. But I do recognize what a huge financial commitment it is for the long haul. Though it is kind of interesting in that I don't know that we ever would have been so motivated to be so fiscally efficient if we hadn't of had kids. So financially, who knows if we even come out behind in the end? Who knows.

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    P.S. I will say that my spouse never would have had the guts to stay home and raise kids AND pursue his true passions (film making), if things hadn't of worked out the way they did. He was more "pushed". But he is using this awkward time where the kids need him, and I need his domestic support, but the kids are more independent and at school a lot and there are no jobs anyway, to put his all into his passions. Whether it works or not, I know he will never look back with regrets. At least he tried, and that is what is important. After several years we also have decided he could realistically pursue his passions on nights and weekends. So he will keep working on that, even if he does go back to work.

  8. Dido Says:

    My biggest financial leap was leaving my career of 20 years because it was going nowhere (I used to be a professor, but never got tenure, and got stuck in the adjunct/sabbatical replacement track, which meant I was under-earning and constantly applying for new jobs). Leaving a field that I spent a decade in college and grad school preparing for and then 20 years in took faith, and indeed, I needed that faith to sustain me during the transition. I left teaching in May of 2009 and it took until November 2014 to get the job to which I aspired. In the intervening 5.5 years, I had 8 temporary jobs--an even more discouraging record than in my teaching career. But ultimately, I got the job that I wanted and my salary took a commendsurate jump. It's not where it would be if I had gotten tenure and stayed in the same field--but it's increasing at a faster rate and by the time I end my career in 12-15 years, I'll end up ahead of where I would have been income-wise if I had stayed. (On the other hand, my retirement *assets* would be a lot larger if I had been able to stay in one career).

  9. VS_ozgirl Says:

    GoodLiving thank you for your glowing compliments about my blog! Luckily I don't feel like I have many challenges with my mother at the moment thank goodness. She taught me about frugality growing up. And we probably do have quite a bit in common too Smile

  10. CB in the City Says:

    My biggest leap is probably my retirement. I don't have the recommended nest egg, but I have enough to get by. I have good frugal skills that will serve me well, and I accept and appreciate a simple life. My job was killing me -- and it was probably in jeopardy, anyway -- so I'm very glad I took the leap and retired.

  11. PatientSaver Says:

    I have to agree with Monkey Mama that aside from what I said above, I don't generally take many financial leaps at all. I try to anticipate spending needs and plan/save for them so that it's not as much of a risk/gamble/leap. I think that's what good financial planning is all about. Not living like the grasshopper, devil may care, but industriously planning for life's inevitable hitches, like the ant. Smile

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