Interesting title for a blog that focuses on personal finances, isn't it? I recently (within the last couple months) found the following advice on one of the blogs that I follow. "Live as if money didn't matter. When you do what you love money will follow." It's an interesting concept, it has a certain go-with-the -flow, it-will-all-work-out mentality to it.
So I thought about it a bit and eventually had to conclude that my currently passion costs money and has very little (read absolutely no) potential to bring in an income. The passion of which I speak is raising children through foster care/adoption. Let's just say that I'm not going to quite my day job any time soon.
At the same time I think that doing what you love is part of a rich life and the pursuit of all things financial can only enrich your life to a limited point. I think that the important lesson should be not to utterly dismiss the ideas of sound financial management and more that the pursuit of wealth should never eclipse the pursuit of what you love.
How does this affect me? When I bought my house originally the plan was to rent out rooms, and I may have a colleague stay with me for three months this spring. I don't need a renter to pay my mortgage, the idea was to be able to double up payments every month in order to pay down my mortgage faster. The funny thing is that I wanted to pay down my mortgage faster so that I could afford to bring children into my home. I was faced with the question: Am I willing to put off having kids in my life for 2-5 years in order to pay off my mortgage faster?
I waffled on the issue for over a month. Instant gratification vs. a rock-solid financial plan with plenty of cushions. The joy and challenges of having kids around vs. 2-5 years of an empty house which is much too big for one person. I want to have my cake and eat it too. So I have come too somewhat of a compromise with myself.
I have constructed a financial plan that will allow me, in 5 years, to pay off all except for $20,000 worth of my mortgage. This does not include renting out my rooms at any time in the next 5 years. I am looking at ways to fill the $20,000 gap over the next 5 years, and I'm sure that I will be able to whittle it down somewhat.
I have sent an inquiry to the local Children's Aid Society about becoming a respite foster parent. I am hoping to provide respite a couple of weekends a month, which will not drain me financially, will allow me to pursue my education, but will also (hopefully) allow me to make a difference in the lives of kids. (Oh yeah and I get to spend time with kids which usually makes my happy.)