the money maze and options

money maze

When I go a little quiet over here it’s generally because I’ve lost a little direction and I’m doing a lot of too much thinking.

I’ll let you in on a secret: some mornings I wake up and I’m not even sure that I want to live in Portugal (and then the questions start!). I mean I love Portugal and would live there tomorrow if money was no object*. But money is an object, and a BIG one at that! I’ve lost count of the amount of times M and I have discussed our options.

However we feel extremely grateful that we even have options.

And the options are there because we live frugally and have no consumer debt. And there is the crux of it all.

No debt gives you options.

And that’s pretty much sums up our financial plans for now.

Pay off the mortgage debt and then think about everything else.

What do you think? Is this too simple a financial plan?

*I mean if money was no object I would have an apartment in Soho, NY and a place near the beach in Portugal ;)

(photo credit)


on house prices

Since making the decision to sell five weeks ago (and so far I haven’t changed my mind again, which may be the longest I’ve ever latest!), I’ve started to monitor house prices a little more so than previously.

Here in the UK I’ve been registered with Zoopla for years – Zillow is similar in the US  – and the site gives you a rough idea of how the housing market is moving in your area. Up or down.

Here’s a snapshot of how our house has changed value over the last 12 months (ish).

July 2011:house value july 2011

August 2012:

august 2012 house value

As you can see our house has gone down in value over the last twelve months. However confidence level in our local market is quite high right now – I noticed that a lot of houses seem to be selling – and prices have risen back up in the last 6 months. We bought at £154k so at least we’re still ahead……if you ignore the £1,000’s spent on renovation!!

It feels a little like our house is the third party in our move abroad – so much depends on what we eventually end up doing with it. All we can do for now though is keep working on the renovations and keep saving money.