Monday, December 12, 2011

Dreaming Smart

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From the time I was a little girl, I've always wanted to buy a beautiful, historic home in Center City Philadelphia.  It's been more of a pipe dream than anything else; those gazillion-dollar houses are well outside Donnie's and my price range.  However, over the past few years, we've been seriously discussing the possibility of saving for one of the smaller, cheaper, new-construction homes available near Philly's historic districts.  Those houses are still quite expensive, but we both feel that by working hard and budgeting carefully, we may be able to afford one in the not-so-distant future.

It's an amazing dream, to be sure.  But over the past few weeks, I've come to the realization that it's not the right goal for my family - at least not right now.  Our hard-earned dollars can be put to much better use taking Trey on vacations, buying him educational toys and games, and saving for his future.  And so I've resigned myself, not begrudgingly but joyfully, to the idea of buying a home in a cheaper location.  There are plenty of clean, safe, convenient neighborhoods in Philadelphia, where housing costs less than a third of what it would in Center City.

I don't need a fancy house in a trendy neighborhood.  I don't need to live in the "right" zip code.  I don't need original hardwood floors, antique crown molding, or leaded stained glass.  What I need is to provide my son with a safe, secure, stimulating childhood, in a house I can easily afford.  I need to live below my means, so that I can give Trey the advantages and experiences that will help him grow into a happy, successful adult. 

If that means giving up on a long-cherished (shallow, superficial) dream, so be it.  Donnie, Trey, and I will have a wonderful life no matter where we live.  But it will be an easier, more comfortable life if we choose not to channel all our savings into a beautiful, pricey home we don't need.  And so, although it hurts just a little bit, I am actually delighted to cast this particular ambition aside.

It's good to dream big.  But it's better to dream smart.  So, that's what I choose to do.  And I'm really, truly, honestly not disappointed at all.  

Talk to me about your childhood dreams.  Are you still chasing them?  Have you given them up?  Or have they already come true?

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I'm just coming across your blog and really finding it useful and fun. I don't have kids yet but I like your tips on how to make SAHM or part time SAHM work well. Anyway, I just wanted to say on this that I lived in West Philadelphia for 5 years, and I totally know what you mean by those awesome houses. Like the ones on Spruce St in center city, away from the hustle and bustle but still bursting with character? Yeah... I don't know where you guys are now, but when I live in West Philly I lived in a succession of slightly more run down but still charming Victorians, that might be more in your price range. Philly is probably my favorite city ever, and I would be really psyched to raise a family there too, someday.

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