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When Is It Time to Settle Down Financially?

We looked recently at when is a good time to enjoy some financial freedom in your life. This is an interesting subject and one which brings out a lot of different points of view.

However, it is also worth thinking about the flip side of the issue; when is it time to settle down financially? First off, we need to consider what this really means. Settling down in a financial sense for most of us probably means getting a mortgage, buying a sensible car and dedicating a lot of the monthly income to kind of dull stuff like bills and toiletries.

The idea of doing this probably makes you recoil in horror at certain points in your life but when will it stop doing this? As we are all different there is no one answer for everyone but it might be interesting to consider a few of the possibilities and get other people’s ideas on it.

When You Get Married

Back in the old days, getting married was the defining moment in your life. This was when you entered into the routine which would last you for the rest of your life. Most people would go straight from their parent’s home to the marital home and start to become all sensible and responsible. These days things aren’t quite so clear cut. There are lots of people who live alone but are financially settled and there are also married couples who travel the world, eat out in restaurants every night and have no intention of ever being lumbered with a mortgage. It is clear that marriage is no longer the abrupt switch from one way of living to another which it used to be but it is still an important watershed for most of us. It seems fair to say that it remains one of the moments which have most chance of altering our financial outlook.

When You Have a Child

This is another traditionally vital period of change in anyone’s financial life. When you are alone or with a partner it doesn’t always seem to matter if you live in a cramped or unsuitable house. Running out of money at the end of the month and needing to survive on emergency rations isn’t that big a deal either. However, with a baby to care for it becomes clear that being more financially responsible is a must. With the birth rate dropping in recent decades this issue is becoming less relevant than ever. In 2012 the US birth rate fell to a historic low of 63 births per 1000 women of child bearing age, a trend which is repeated in many other parts of the world. In fact, many couples are now waiting until they are financially settled before having children, rather than using the birth as an impulse to settle down. This seems to be a very modern way of looking things and it makes sense to a lot of people these days.

Never

Finally, we can’t forget about those people who decide to never settle down financially, can we? Just as there are 16 or 18 years olds who open a savings account with their first wages, so there are 40 and 50 year olds who have never saved a dime in their lives and couldn’t care less. All of us financially sensible people probably secretly envy these people at some point. Wouldn’t it be fun to live life on a day by day basis and just see what the next day holds? For a while it might be but can you really imagine yourself living your whole life without ever feeling that you have settled down?

Quick thanks to Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, Digital Spikes, My Own Advisor, Think Rich Be Free, Femme Frugality, Fearless Men, Marotta on Money, Freedom Thirty Five Blog for mentioning Money Rebound recently! As usual if I’ve missed anyone out then please let me know and I’ll add you in.

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4 Responses to When Is It Time to Settle Down Financially?

  1. For sure!!
    As for your thoughts on waiting to get financially “secure” before having a kid (or even getting married). I wonder if the true driver of that impulse is needing to beat the Joneses (Materialism). Or, are we just better financially educated/aware?
    Todd @ Fearless Dollar recently posted…Here’s How I’m Never Going to Pay for an iPhone AgainMy Profile

  2. dojo says:

    Ideally we should settle down financially as soon as possible, but most of us had our ‘childhood’ when it comes to money. I have started being more responsible 4 years ago, when losing my job and being in debt showed me that life is not rainbows and unicorns :D

    We are now married and expecting, but fortunately we have changed our ways already, so it won’t come as a ‘shock’
    dojo recently posted…Emergency fund: why is it important and how to grow it fasterMy Profile

    • Robert says:

      Being in a difficult financial situation can certainly be a motivator for becoming more responsible. Congratulations on the baby.

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