A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article Rich Chicken, Poor Chicken, which was very loosely modeled after a popular book. I’m not a fan of the author since he seems to promote pyramid schemes. (And unfortunately, Dave Ramsey seems to as well.)
I apologize for the Debbie Downer lede. I got a little off-track there. Let’s start over.
Today’s title is inspired by Your Money or Your Life. It’s a book that all my favorite and like-minded bloggers recommend as a definitive personal finance “bible.” (Disclosure: I’ve never read it. From what I’ve heard it covers the basics very, very well. After 10 years of personal finance finance blogging (and 25 years studying personal finance), I’m not sure I’d gain too much from it.)
The bedroom part needs a little explaining. Yesterday Zillow released a study that moving from a home with 2 bedrooms to 3 costs $450 more a month. That’s an average. Bozeman, Montana will differ greatly from New York City. (Zillow has a lot more information at that link.)
The key takeaway for me is that mortgages were 50% more a month for an extra bedroom. For most people, housing is the biggest expense. You can cut lattes here and there, but they are proverbial drops in the bucket. A 50% change in your biggest expense is life changing…
… life changing in either direction. If you have a 3 bedroom home that you don’t need, you could reduce it and put the savings to good use. If you were thinking of super-sizing from your 2 bedroom home, it’s worth thinking twice whether you really need that 3rd bedroom.
What would do with an extra $450? Decisions, decisions. A-ha there’s the light-bulb above my head.
It turns out that $450 a month is $5400 a year. That’s almost exactly what it takes to max out a Roth IRA. Maybe I should have titled this article your money or your retirement?
Normally, I’d walk you through the math of what $450 more a month means. Today, I’m going to live up to my moniker. Everything I’d say is here: Compound Interest is a River.