Reviewing My Money Story through the Money Tree Lens – Book Post #17
(Find the full Table of Contents for this book, Femme Your Finance, HERE.)
MONEY TREE BRANCHES:
To quickly remind you, the Branches are the financial storage and distribution of funds for your Life Vision and Goals.
Home ownership is a common Goal that newlyweds set for themselves. My husband and I did not yet have a formal Goal to own a home since he was still a student and would likely move after becoming a doctor.
However, his father had a brilliant financial plan for his son – help his son buy a home in the small town with financing out of his own savings. Then, we were to rent out rooms to other students to cover the mortgage. This kept living costs low while his son was in school. (Tip: If you have college-aged kids, you can do similar for them – even with a bank-financed mortgage. You can also use 529 funds toward their ‘housing for school’.)
None of us – my father-in-law, my mother-in-law, my new husband, nor myself – viewed this as a misstep. I was never included in any of the decision-making around the home and was just grateful we’d have a house and that I’d get to live in it.
In retrospect, I understood his parents’ primary focus was on getting their son through his doctorate program. But, I can also see that my role as the ‘new wife’ was more as an outsider. Major financial decisions were made that affected me, greatly, yet I was never invited into the conversation. Nor, did I ever consider asking to be included.
The moment we separated (almost a year before the final divorce), I immediately lost the house for the following reasons:
- There was no mortgage with my name on it (since his father was the bank).
- I was never included in the buying process and was not emotionally-connected to the home.
- Owning a house in this city was not a Goal for me that I had desired, saved for and earned. And, I did not plan to stay after he graduated.
- I didn’t know my legal rights around the ownership of the home, nor how it should have been handled in the divorce proceedings. Plus, I no longer had any extra money to hire legal and real estate expertise to assist me in figuring things out. In retrospect, I’m now certain we had tens of thousands of dollars of equity in the home due to the rapidly appreciating market. However, due to my own ignorance, I only walked away from the marriage with just $2,000 to start over my entire life.
Tomorrow, I’ll use the Money Tree lens to teach you even more of the missteps in my Money Story. So, stay tuned!
Oh, be sure to share your Comments, Questions, Requests, Praise, and thoughtful Criticisms in the box below!