I recently returned from a family surf trip to a beautiful Island off the north coast of Sumatra. Besides a lot of fun waves I also managed to read a few good books. One that made a real impact on me was Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler & Jamie Wheal. It talks about flow, defined as an “optimal state of consciousness where we feel out best and perform our best,” flow refers to those “in the zone” moments where focus gets so intense and everything else disappears. It actually references surfing and how surfing is a reliable trigger of this state and I couldn’t agree more. I love that I am able to go on holidays and spend a whole week or two getting into this “zone”, switching off from the world and really being in the moment.
Holidays are important! They’re recognised for a multitude of health benefits including improved mood, boosting creativity, reducing stress, relaxation, quality time with family and loved ones and the ability to separate from work and build perspective. All things that are even more important in this day and age where we are seemingly switched on 24/7.
What is your passion? What is it that drives you to go to work everyday? What activity do you look forward to on the weekend or the trip you book each year? Is it camping with a group you’ve been catching up with for the last 10 years? Fishing with a few mates, a beach trip with the family, a cruise to some exotic destination or hiking through the Alps?
Whatever it is, it’s important. I really can’t stress that enough. It’s important to go on holidays. Even a “staycation” at home where you sleep in a little, go out for breakfast and do some touristy things in your own town. Place a value on these experiences and include it in your budget when looking at affordability. If you want to spend $5,000 each year on your annual leave include $420/month in your budget for it.
It’s exciting to own a home but don’t lose sight of a life outside of your new home and it’s associated repayment. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, it just means you will need to set a realistic top end purchase price and not be swayed. This way you can have your cake and eat it to.
Utilise a budget tool and practice your life as a home owner. If the repayment is likely to be more than your current rent, put away the additional amount into a savings account and live off what is left. See if it still allows for the lifestyle you desire while still being able to save and pay the bills. If not, what sacrifices have to be made and are you comfortable making them. Just make sure the sacrifice is manageable long term and that it isn’t the holiday!!
I can’t decide these answers for you as we are all unique and what I value you might not. But at the very least have a think about it. If travel and holidays or simply time off with a few nights out for dinner are of value to you, put a value on it and include it in your budget. This way, as a broker I can give you a realistic figure so that you end up with a home that you can afford and enough in the budget to plan your next experience!
If you would like help with a budget or just want to chat about great holiday destinations! Please get in touch and I will be more than happy to help :).