Raiding the savings

Donna Willan Latest, Money cents

Raiding the savings

Seven years of dreaming and finally we are going to do it; we are building a new deck! Yes, it is expensive. Yes, it is unnecessary. Yes, it is an indulgence. No, we don’t have the cash in hand. Yet, I am thrilled that the builders start on Monday!

What’s going on? I thought I was always financially astute; I thought I never accrued debt. I thought in these tough times I would never have a new deck! It seems I can be reckless! OK, it’s not a completely crazy thing I’ve done, but still it’s a little silly…

So here is the thinking (that’s been slowly brewing over seven years) that led me to this:

  1. Since we moved into our lovely home seven years ago, we have lamented that the outside space doesn’t work and we need a new deck.
  2. I will never suddenly stumble across enough spare cash and be able to say, “Oh, OK. Now we can pay cash and get our new deck.”
  3. I have spent many years paying extra into our bond.

So, we got quotes and took R15 000 out of the bond to pay for it. What does it mean to use the extra money in one’s bond? Have I been saving (via my bond) to build the new deck so in some ways I do have cash in hand? Or am I using expensive debt to pay for it?

Technically I am using my savings in my bond, but I still have an additional R125 000 in my available balance in the bond, so it’s not terrible. BUT that additional money was never intended to be spent. It’s meant for emergencies and to work towards paying off the bond in seven years. Then I reminded myself that this is an investment into the value of the house.

It’s always a nice way to talk oneself into something, isn’t it?

Finally, I just decided to give up the seven-year debate and splash out. It’s not a huge new deck; it’s not an astronomical amount (or is it?); and it will bring me and my children much joy – so we will have a new deck!

Is it crazy? Completely irrational? Is it just fine? Probably a bit of all three. When I’m sitting there watching the Durban skies change colour, sipping my ice cold beer or a cuppa steaming coffee, I think my new deck will make me happy – and I can’t put a price on that. (Although I can’t deny my slight anxiety as I write this – the doubt has not evaporated yet!)

So, that is the story of how I talked myself into a new deck.


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