Having been raised in a medium-class family in the Philippines, my goal has always been to get out of the rat race and be financially free.
When I was single, I planned to pay off the condo in Manila as soon as possible (by the end of my first GCP or overseas assignment) so that when I go home, I won’t have to pay for a very expensive rent in someone else’s condo.
Everything changed when I got married. Aside from the weddings (two – one in Texas and one in the Philippines) and honeymoon expenses, I now have to think about the long term plans for staying in the US. And that means deciding to buy a house or continue to pay rent.
I am currently torn between paying off the condo this year or putting a bigger downpayment for a house here in the US. I am tempted to get a loan for the condo but it’s too much of a hassle to try to apply for a loan while I am here. I have tried to do it last year and even wasted a lot of my limited vacation time in the Philippines going to the bank and submitting all the required documents. The processing costs and interest rates for the loan are too high. I just think it’s not worth it. If I can pay it off and save myself some trouble, I would opt for it.
Aside from the condo, I am also paying for my grandfather’s house in the Philippines that I bought from my mom’s siblings. My parents, brothers, and sister, together with their families are living there for now. Once I and my family move back to the Philippines, we would start renovations on the house. So that’s another monthly expense.
Also, I haven’t been actively investing in the Philippine Stock Market because I am saving the money for the condo. So my stocks are pretty dormant. I try to sell whenever I gain some profit and use the money to buy other profitable stocks.
So, right now I’m still really trying to make wise use of my savings. The plan right now is still to pay off the condo, look for a house here, get a housing loan, and pay it as soon as we can or resell it before we move back to the Phillipines. Also, pay off my grandfather’s house within 5 years.
How to achieve all that, I still don’t know. But it sounds like a good plan. Hopefully with some divine providence and lots of hard work, these plans will materialize. Better work hard now than later. When we have a baby of our own, I’m sure there will be changes to these plans. But let’s save all of those worries for later.