So, Rosemary and I have had to think about our finances a lot lately. A lot of things have come up, not just expenses, but the world's financial situation has had a nasty effect on us lately. My 401k has basically not grown at all last year, despite dumping thousands into it, effectively netting a 40% decline in that account. My personal savings account has lost quite a significant amount as well, due to the huge drops in MSFT stock in the last 12 months.
The world is changing. We are still able to afford everything we need, which is a testament to God's provision, but things have gotten harder. Of course our heating bill grows in the winter, the annual homeowners dues go up every January, and a new assessment was levied against us, due in a few months. I think we can get by, but it leaves us in a strange spot. We can't really afford a new house, nor could we sell our current. But we need to start thinking about that in about a year or so, when we think about a second kid. We have a two bedroom place. We have both kind of decided that we probably won't be able to get into a house within the next two years, because of the housing market. We just couldn't sell our place, or afford a down payment on a new place. We're going to haveto figure out how to be comfortable in our townhouse for a while longer. Especially now that it is made known that no raises will go out to MS employees for at least a year and a half. That is very limiting for our goals.
So, we've decided to look into refinancing, to see if we can eek some extra room out of our monthly house payment. Loans are at pretty low rates right now, and it might net us enough extra per month to be able to jump start our savings enough to get a foothold on a downpayment, or some upgrades to the current place to increase resale value- which is similar to a straight cash downpayment. It would also help with crazy costs like extra assessments, a blown transmission, or emergency purchases for kid(s).
All in all, God is good. He has provided, and as long as we stay debt free and smart with our money, we are in the clear, and will be positioned for financial success in the long run. Truth be told, that's simply amazing for a couple in their early 20's.