When Life Gives You Choices . . .
Sometimes life has a way of throwing all sorts of choices and situations at you at once. When Mr. Dapper and I were considering what to do with my Desert Oasis and our current residence, we could only do what two young adults knew how to: bust out the post-its!
As a fan of research (and self-diagnosed individual with OCD) post-its are a fantastic way to organize my thoughts. In fact, this technique was used more than once on our road to Project: Red.
Earlier in the year, I found out that my tenant in my Desert Oasis was planning to move. Not long before, Mr. Dapper had proposed. And at some point even earlier than that, Mr. Dapper had started planting the seed of wanting to trade in his car. Clearly, there were quite a few things on the table (pun intended since that’s where we used the post-its). So, we pulled out our post-it’s and color-coded them into the top financial categories to consider:
- Townhouse (the Desert Oasis) – Orange
- Home buying – Pink
- Wedding – Yellow
- Car – Green
Once we knew what our big budget items were, we considered the costs. We set very preliminary budgets for the three items we were wanting to save for and placed them near the top of the table.
Next, we divided the table into “Pros” and “Cons”. Under each, we began to pull the coordinating post-it color and write out what we thought were the benefits and disadvantages of moving it that direction first. We made sure to use this time as a sort of “brain dump” jotting down anything we could think of. Clearly, there was a bit of a passion in some areas for one of us than the other as the handwriting indicates, but we still continued to inform the other of what we were putting down and why we thought it would go in that column.
Once we felt complete in our thoughts, we reviewed the post-its.
In looking at the photo, one would think that since the car category had the most “Pros” we are currently sporting a new roadster. The fact is, that’s still on our “let’s eventually save for it” list. In fact, some of what we learned about the idea of a new car, Mr. Dapper has suggested selling his current car and trying to get around the city via public transportation for a while. If it becomes a burden for what he needs to do for work, we both feel comfortable in prepping for a purchase.
The wedding category, as sad as it may look, really ended up being more of an agreement that “we know it’s going to happen, let’s enjoy planning it together than feeling rushed”. So, we are! We have planned for a year and a half of budgeting and planning, and are both super excited for the outcome!
Now, the home situation. This one was a bit of an eye-opening for both of us. Yes, the townhouse had more “Pros” than the new home. Yes, the new home indicated more “Cons” within its own category. But in discussing these options together, we were able to determine that it wasn’t the quantity of post-it notes on one side or the other, it was the quality of what we would have together. We both felt ambitious to build our home together – the way we want it. We considered the financial benefits to continue renting, but that would lead to one more thing to worry about that happened to be hundreds of miles away.
In the end, this little checklist was the start of Project: Red. The reason I am able to write here today about the adventures happening tomorrow.
I’m curious to hear from you – what sort of big life decisions have you had to make? How did you work out which to pursue first?
Make sure to check out my post on different home types.