Question: Dear Luise: Here I am in my thirties and I think I have made a huge mistake. It looked like a wise plan at first to have this place and these furnishings, but now I’m thinking otherwise. I don’t make a high income, and the cost of covering the mortgage, utilities, and general upkeep, by myself, is more than I am bringing in. I need some personal coaching on this. Friends think I would be foolish to give up what I have and start over, and that I would lose more than I would gain. I once shared this place with a guy, but he left. My memories get in my way, too. Do you have any thoughts that I could munch on? I’d really like a broader perspective. Thanks for being there. April
Answer: Dear April: What you are describing is a situation where you were all set up one way, and then things changed and the set up doesn’t work any longer. Huge mistakes can also be huge opportunities to learn, even when it is no fun at all. By questioning the whole thing, both the validity of staying and the possibility of radically down-sizing, you are expressing wisdom. Change, it is often said, is the one thing we can totally depend on, and you are facing the fix your ex-partner left you in, head-on. Good for you!
Your friends probably don’t want to see you take a financial dive and lose what looks like a good thing. They obviously care about you. The problem is, your lifestyle is obsolete. It fit when there were two incomes. Now, your home is an albatross around your neck. When your two incomes were combined, and the relationship looked solid, it was probably a smart move to set yourselves up the way you did. Unfortunately, it just isn’t working out with one income, and from what you say, perhaps the smaller of the two. The only way out of this is to bring in a roommate, (a solution that could bring you additional problems), or to lower your standard of living. Your income needs to cover your out go, with some left over. If you decide to sell, you stand to lose a lot in the process, that’s true, but at the same time, you stand to gain a lot. You can leave the memories that haunt you behind and create a new, stress-free financial climate for yourself. Do you want to take a deep breath and start over? It offers a clean slate. And who knows what’s around the next corner? I’d be willing to bet that life will be an adventure again, when you get back into balance. Blessings, Luise