We have two very big financial goals over the next year: 1) to pay off our debt and 2) to save up a down payment on a house.
Looking at our goals now, 365 days (or less!) from when I hope they'll be accomplished, it seems like an incredibly daunting and unrealistic task. But both Aaron and I are pretty determined to do it, and we've made some tough (for me) decisions to make it happen. To begin with, we'll be moving out of our adorable apartment at the end of this month and moving in with my mom. This has been the hardest change for me to come to terms with, even though it will undoubtedly be the only way we meet our goals within our timeframe.
I should say first that I think we're incredibly lucky for several reasons: 1) My mom is willing to let us move back in and only pay our share of utilities, food, etc., 2) My mom has enough extra room that we'll have our own bedroom and living room, separate from the rest of the house, 3) My mom is 100% the best person I know and the best roomie I've ever had, so we have no qualms about living under the same roof yet again. I'm so thankful for these things and I'm so glad that we have this option - there isn't a second, throughout this entire process, where I haven't been reminded of how lucky we are and how much this will help us get to where we want to be much faster than we ever could on our own.
On the other hand, I've struggled with it because, of course, it feels like a step back to me. Who wants to spend their first year of married life living with their parents? I have been struggling (and continue to struggle) with my pride, my concern over what people will think, my jealousy towards our peers who have already gotten to where we want to be (even if often through the monetary support of their parents), and my fear that we may not even be where we want to be after a year. Every single friend I've shared this news with has ensured me that I am being silly and that this is really a very good move for us. Deep down, I know that, but I'm still learning how to come to terms with it on my own.
I've decided that one really great way to acclimate to the move is to make our two rooms in my mom's house really ours. We started this weekend, in my childhood bedroom, by painting over the blood red paint on the walls (it was "Surfboard Yellow" before that; clearly, I had a very colorful childhood) and changing the hue to a gorgeous, mature light gray color we decided to call "Charcoal Mist". It was A LOT of work, especially given we were working during one of the hottest weekends of the summer with no air conditioning. But I absolutely love the finished product.
I'm realizing, slowly but surely, that meeting big goals and making up for past mistakes (like debt; debt is a BIG mistake, you guys) means making sacrifices and accepting that you only get big results from big changes. But I'm also realizing that I really will be able to make another happy home here for a short while - a new home, with my new husband - and, if this is the "worst" of the changes I have to make, I've got it pretty good.