Now that I am in my mid-forties, I look back on my 20s and 30s and wonder how I managed to have enough money to eat much less prepare for retirement or own a home. My husband and I had planned on a large family; however, we were not able to have children. Therefore, we spent most of our 20s and early 30s paying for fertility treatments. This created a substantial amount of debt on credit cards. By the time we gave up and adopted our precious daughter, we were in a lot of debt and still living in the same small house we had purchased in 1990 with the intent of selling it a few years later to buy a bigger home.
When we were 35, the home we had wanted to purchase went on the market and we were faced with a decision. If we sold our home to buy the home of our dreams, we would have a larger mortgage payment and would be starting a new 30-year mortgage. Furthermore, we were still had substantial credit card debt. We really wanted to purchase this house but we also did not want to be paying a mortgage when were 65. Therefore, we made one of the toughest financial decisions and decided to stay in our small starter home.
Looking back to that time 10 years ago, it seemed like we were giving up our dream; however, it was the best financial decision we had ever made. We took a second mortgage on our home to consolidate our credit card debt. If we had continued paying the minimum payments on our credit cards, we would not pay off the balances until we were 58 years old. By consolidating our credit card debt and medical bills into a 15-year mortgage, they will be paid in full when we are 50 years old.
The best part of our decision to keep our small home is that our 30-year mortgage will also be paid off the year we turn 50. Therefore, our home will be free and clear of all liens for our 50th birthday. We also made the decision not to incur any more credit card debt or purchase vehicles with loans. Therefore, in five more years we will be debt-free, have a free and clear home and two vehicles that are lien free.
Our house may seem inadequate to some people; however, we will be blessed to have a home with no liens because of the financial moves we made in our 30s.
*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a personal finance story that you'd like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.