James had a decent job.
He was married to Amy. Amy, who was studying, had a part time receptionist role.
James and Amy wanted to buy their first house together.
All their friends had big houses and threw fabulous parties where everyone had fun.
They wanted a big house too. They wanted fabulous parties. They wanted all their friends to know how happy and successful they were.
James and Amy went to the bank. The bank congratulated them on being ready to purchase their first home. And an extra congratulations on how much money they had been approved to borrow.
It was a lot of money. More than James and Amy could afford. But if the bank was saying they could have it, then it must be ok? Besides, imagine how big the house would be.
James and Amy accepted a mortgage, signed the documents and brought the big house.
Each month they made the repayments, but there was hardly enough money left over. The bills built up. They paid for all the expenses on their parties, on credit card. And the bills built up. Soon it was hard to buy groceries in cash. They went on credit cards too. And the bills built up.
Amy lost her part time job.
James and Amy fought. There were no more parties. There wasn’t even enough money to do the things they used to enjoy together, like going to the movies. James and Amy felt anxious whenever their friends asked them to go out. They knew they could no longer afford it.
James worked harder, and longer hours than ever before. But with the bills and the mortgage, he could no longer keep up. Amy and James fought bitterly over money. Their lives were consumed with a financial burden to big for them to bear.
Amy left James. Their marriage was over.
The house was sold for 10 of thousands less than the outstanding debt. Amy and James, even without the home, and without each other, are still owned by the bank. Yes, owned.
All because they wanted the big fabulous house to show off to their friends.
Don’t buy things you can’t afford.