Are You a Slave to Your House?

Are You a Slave to Your House?

Keep an eye out for these five signs that the house you own is really owning you.

Your house can be one of the greatest blessings in your life, or one of your greatest curses. If the place you live controls you and your decisions, you might be a slave to your house.

A crucial part of achieving financial freedom is escaping things that are holding you back. And for far too many people, unhealthy attachment to a house stands in the way of God’s best for their lives.

When your house is taking up resources that you should be devoting to other things, you've become a slave to your home. tweet this!

In Western society, our homes are often our biggest expenses. Paying for them and maintaining them takes up a lot of our time and resources. And when your house is taking up resources that you should be devoting to other things, you’ve become a slave to your home.

So, how do you know if you’re a house slave? Here are some warning signs that might tip you off.

1) You’re always cleaning.

Every home has to be cleaned. And the more people who live there and visit, the more often it will have to be cleaned. But for some people, good housekeeping can turn into a compulsion.

If you’re still religiously cleaning every day (or every week) long after the activity in your house has died down, you need to ask yourself how much good you’re really doing with all that work.

How much is it contributing to society? Could you do other things with your time that would be more productive, more profitable, or more helpful to others?

If you feel restricted in your life because of the time you dedicate to cleaning your house, you may be a slave.

2) You limit your house’s use.

The homes that we own exist to serve us — to shelter our families and to allow us to show hospitality to guests. But if you’re very particular about the way your house looks, you may find yourself limiting the way that you and others use your house.

Is your house serving you? Or are you serving your house? tweet this!

Maybe you don’t allow people to eat in the dining room because the furniture is too nice. Or perhaps don’t let your kids play in the living room because they may mess up the carpet. If this sounds familiar, ask yourself: Is your house serving you? Or are you serving your house?

3) You’re house poor.

Housing is usually the biggest expense in a family’s budget. And unfortunately, too many of us treat houses as status symbols. As a result it’s tempting to over-extend yourself to get the biggest, best house that you possibly can.

Most financial experts say that you’re house payment shouldn’t exceed more than 25-30% of your total income. If you spending more than that on housing, it’s going to hold you back in other areas.

Overspending on your house means you can’t replace your vehicles as often as you need to. You may not be able to save for emergencies or invest for education or retirement the way you should. And you may be leaning on credit cards and other consumer credit just to make ends meet every month. This puts you in a dangerous financial situation.

4) You have a long mortgage.

The 30-year mortgage may be as traditional as Christmas, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

Carrying such a long mortgage on your home keeps you in debt for most of your adult life. And 30-year mortgages usually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of the loan.

In the long run, a 30-year mortgage will to cost you much more than a 15-year mortgage. tweet this!

A much better option is a 15-year mortgage. This gets you out of debt faster and saves you tens of thousands of dollars in interest, while only modestly increasing your monthly payment.

If you’ve opted for a 30-year mortgage, you’re likely stretching to get the very most house you can for a low monthly payment. But it’s going to cost you much more in the long run.

5) You’re limiting your life options.

Buying a house is long-term purchase. So the decisions that we make about home purchases often have ramifications that stretch far down the road. And an unwise home purchase can limit your flexibility and options in life.

You might be tempted to buy a nice home while you and your spouse have two jobs and no kids. But maintaining that nice home may force you to keep two jobs after you start having children, eliminating the flexibility for one parent to stay home. That home may be in a school district you don’t like. Or it might your commute to work unbearable.

If your house has you locked into life circumstances you don’t like, it’s time to ask yourself seriously whether you have become a slave to your house.

Getting out of this situation can be tricky. The solutions are out there, but sometimes they’re more difficult than we’d like. But the joy of financial freedom will make the sacrifices worthwhile.

Finding Freedom Together

If walking in freedom is going to force you to make sacrifices in other areas of your life, take heart: Financial freedom is a journey you take one step at a time. And like any journey, you’ll go farther and faster if you’re walking with friends.

Let’s make the journey better together. Join me and a community of people walking this road alongside you in our Facebook group, FINANCIAL FREEDOM. Every day, I share insightful articles, encouraging photos and personal stories to help you stay focused and engaged on your journey to freedom.

When you join, you can interact with me and ask me questions. You’ll also learn a lot from other people’s experiences and share your own stories.

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