On Being Young and Reckless

Many times over the past several months, I have had various people inquire about mine and Corey’s plans once we get to Austin. You know, in the way that typical friendly people ask these things.

“When are you moving?”
“August”
“And you bought a house, right?”
“Yeah, we’re so excited about it!”
“So, what will you and Corey being doing for work?”

Yeeeah, about that.

Let me be blunt with you for a minute, and share something that I haven’t talked about much on the blog: Corey and I planned the move to Austin and, yes, bought a house, without officially having jobs IN Austin.

Our beautiful house, that we bought without knowing how we’d pay the mortgage.

When I mention this to people who are slightly older than me, I’m met with utter confusion and awe. One person told me, “if I was your mother I would be absolutely freaking out right now.” I’ve even had people flat out tell me that we’re crazy.

But, you see, the thing is – it didn’t really feel that crazy to us. Sure, we didn’t have the guarantee of a specific job yet, but we both knew we’d find something. Even if it meant we both had to work full time at a freaking fast food restaurant, we’d pay the bills. No biggie.

And, recently, when I was trying to explain this to someone, I came to the realization that people who are young and just getting started out in the “real world” have a very different approach to things than people who have a bit more experience. The way we viewed it, it was an adventure – moving to our dream home in our dream city. We’d figure the rest out later! The money would come, somehow or another.

On the other hand, to people who have been out in the “real world” a little longer and have some experience, that’s a gamble that you’d be almost crazy to take. Why risk it when you don’t know what the future will bring? Don’t even commit to a move until you have jobs, you crazy kids!

Even though we had a ton of people telling us how out of our minds we were, we didn’t worry (too much) because we knew something would present itself. We had chosen to take a leap of faith, and we knew that we had to stick to our guns.

And guess what?

It’s all gonna be okay (cue both sets of our parents taking a collective sigh of relief).

This week I found out that I’m being offered a job as a teacher, which will pay our bills and allow Corey to follow his dream of becoming a real estate agent. So, not only do we know how we’re going to pay for the mortgage, we’re excited about the jobs we have that’ll pay those bills!

So, in the end, it was totally worth it for us to take this crazy leap of faith. We have our dream house, the jobs we wanted, and everything is going to work out just fine.

Of course, it could have gone another way – we could have ended up working two jobs each and never seeing each other, barely scraping by. And that would have sucked. But isn’t that what taking a leap of faith is all about? You jump into something with your fingers crossed and no way of knowing what’s coming, and you hope and pray it’ll all work out for the best.

And it’s totally worth all of the stress when it does.

Have your views on financial risks changed as you’ve gotten older, or do you still believe in taking big ol’ leaps of faith?

30 comments

  1. Allie says:

    I know I fall into the younger category, but I actually think this wasn’t totally nuts. At least you’re moving to a big city with a lot of opportunities. It would be a very different story if you were moving to MiddleOfNowheresville and just hoping something would come up! Congrats on the job offer!

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  2. Rachel Lyndsey says:

    Hm… I’m not *that* much older than you but I have been out of school for three years now. I think I was just always really cautious. It probably has a lot to do with what you see growing up. My family had trouble paying bills sometimes and both my aunt and my best friend’s mom lost their houses. So I’ve always been very aware of what CAN happen… and I’m of the mindset to always have that rainy-day fund to bail us out of one or both of us (god forbid) lost our jobs. Sounds like it worked out for you anyways though– congrats on the new job!

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  3. Kelly says:

    Congratulations on your job and your house! It is awesome that you were able to take such a risk/go on such a big adventure together as a couple. I know myself and my worrying ways, and I don’t think I could do it, but it’s amazing that you guys did and it is all paying off big time.

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  4. Jennifer says:

    Well, Thomas was told he was irresponsible and making a bad decision for trying to start his own company …. by an older member of OUR family, you know, casually over Thanksgiving dinner. According to them, there was no hope of it ever working out and he would eventually have to go find a “real” job. I’m super proud of you both for making the decision to take a leap of faith – I know that’s not how we were raised, but doesn’t it feel AMAZING when it all comes together?

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  5. Mandy says:

    My philosophy: If it works, it works! I moved in with Mike after about 6 months of knowing each other, which many thought was seriously crazy. But it worked out!! I’m SO happy for you guys that you found a house that you love and now have a job to pay the bills! Young and reckless? Maybe…but you definitely have learned and grown through the process of buying a house & finding a job, and are now in a fantastic position to start out in the “real world.” Tell the naysayers to suck it :)

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  6. Sarah says:

    I’m a little shocked you got approved for a loan without having jobs. I thought banks were being super strict. I thin it’s great to take chances but you have to be willing to accept that Corey might struggle finding a job, and who knows you could get laid off. I always love how positive you are on your blog but I do think you are a little naive. Assuming you guys are truly on your own (meaning your parents aren’t going to support you if you guys fail), things DONT always work out. People can’t find jobs and can’t pay their bills—even in Austin. A friend of mine just got laid off from AISD a few weeks ago. If your parents are willing to bail you out though, you’re risk and adventure aren’t as big as they seem. I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer because I love your blog and personality, but you guys got lucky this time with your job—but you might want to be prepared in case your next risk doesn’t work out.

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    Amanda Reply:

    I appreciate the concern, but my job will be a contract job so I’m guaranteed to have something for at least a year – and Corey isn’t looking for anything full time. He’s going be selling real estate, and my job is enough to support the both of us. We absolutely know that we were lucky, and this isn’t the kind of risk we plan on taking all the time. It was a one time thing, and we’re grateful that it ended up working out the way it did.

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  7. Brianne says:

    Like Sarah above, I’m totally shocked that you were able to obtain a mortgage (and come up with a downpayment in the first place) if you didn’t have jobs. How did you pay for your wedding with Corey still in school? My husband and I worked and saved like crazy to do both and we’ve been gainfully employed for years and years.

    On a lighter note, I love your blog and I totally want to be as gung ho about decorating my new house. (We moved into our first home last month.) You truly inspire me.

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    Amanda Reply:

    Our parents were wonderfully generous and paid for our wedding, so that wasn’t a concern.

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  8. BirdRoughsIt says:

    I hear you! A lot of older folks (not old folks, just people who are older than my measly mid-20s) were really concerned when I quit my job. And then quit my other job. Hah, funny story! And I’m not sure it’s good that things keep working out so well – now I’m like, “Okay, if you don’t love it, dont’ do it! If you love it, make it work!” I’m not sure how it will all work out long term, but I know it’s working out now, and we’re planning for the future as much as we can.

    Things can always go wrong: you can lose your job or become disabled or not get a job or your house could burn down… but things can go right, too, and I think it’s really brave to be hopeful. There’s a difference between closing your eyes and plugging your ears and saying “This will work I can’t hear you Lalalalala,” and saying, “Okay, I can do this, I believe in us,” and planning to take that leap.

    Congrats on your job, and I’m so glad it lets Corey pursue what he wants to do, too! Thanks for this post. <3

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  9. Lroi says:

    Fabulous post. I’m going to make my husband read this. We got married last month, decided to move to Austin NEXT month, and I don’t have a job yet. He’s freakin’ out about it. I’m fine with it – because, like you said, I’ll get a full time job in a friggin’ fast food place if I need to! We did take a leap of faith, but Austin is where are hearts are – and it just feels right :)

    Congrats on this exciting time in your life!

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  10. Lori says:

    1. I misspelled my name, its actually “Lori”… which is funny because I was just going to also post that I am trying my hardest to get a teaching job in the area. Funny – we are living parallel lives :)

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  11. Lori says:

    I don’t know where my other post went… but I was just explaining that my husband and I just made the big decision to move to Austin on one salary. He’s totally freaking out about the big move, but Austin is where are hearts on. We will be happier there, and totally comfortable with the “leap of faith” that we took. If need be, I have no problem working a “scum job” to pay the bills. I ♥ that about our generation (which seems so similar to the attitude my Grandparents had… but, anyway…).

    Congrats on this exciting time in your life. Our activities and life path right now seems so similar; I love your blog :)

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    Amanda Reply:

    You comment didn’t disappear – I have to approve comments from people the first time they leave one, just to keep out the spammers. :) It’s definitely a risk to do what we did, but we’re lucky it worked out! And I love that you’re looking for a teaching job too! It’s not an easy time for teachers in Austin right now, but if you’re willing to branch out a bit further and commute, you’ll have a better chance!

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  12. Layla says:

    Congrats on the job, yaaaaaay!!! :D

    Like others, I’m surprised you were approved for a mortgage without jobs. Josh and I applied for one last year, just to see what we could get pre-approved for. We were both working full time at jobs we had been at for several years, making more than enough money with hardly any debt at all. And we were turned down because I am in school and WILL have student loan debt once I graduate. Given that we were shot down so fast, I’m kind of like, wow – we really do need to move to Austin – after you guys got a house without jobs!! I don’t know if it was just our dumb luck, or what. In the end, it was a good thing because Josh will eventually have to move for work and then we’d have to worry about selling a house, but honestly, it left a bad taste in our mouths and made us fearful of trying again. So if anything, your story gives me hope!!

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  13. Sarah B. says:

    So happy you got a job! I hope you love it! In your defense, from what I’ve read you guys currently DO have jobs, just not in Austin, right? So you still had two years worth of W2s, employment history, bank statements, and *probably* good credit all working in your favor to get a loan. For a couple who was truly unemployed, it probably wouldn’t be that easy. I think that some of these commenters are thinking that you just DON’T have jobs and have been sitting around. With an FHA loan, you only have to come up with a 3.5% down payment, which is totally doable for a couple who makes enough (more than just scraping by) combined with managing their money well while saving each month. Anyway, congrats!

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  14. Sarah B. says:

    trust me, I definitely don’t think it’s that simple for everyone. I said people who are making more than just scraping by, and have enough left over each month to put some into savings. I realize that some families aren’t making enough to even save a penny. It took several years of putting whatever we had left into savings for us to come up with the $5000 we needed for the down payment of our new house. It’s also pretty awesome that you can negotiate for the seller to pay some of the closing costs, so our total went down by $3000! :) By the way, that really sucks that you got turned down for the future student loan debt… might have been the lender, because I’m in school and they didn’t even ask me how I was paying for it! I’m sure whenever you move, it’ll all work out :)

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  15. shoshanah says:

    I’m just impressed that you were able to get approved for a loan without a permanent job. I know how much documentation they required when we bought a house, and can’t imagine that we would have been approved without it. But I’m glad to hear it worked out for you guys and congrats on the jobs!!

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  16. Cherie says:

    Congrats on the job! I’m glad the risk worked out for you! I think that your success is very much location specific. We live in Central NJ and home prices are very high. I make a teacher’s salary and there is no way that we’d be able to pay our mortgage and all our bills on my salary alone (and especially on a 1st year teacher’s salary!) We also never would’ve been able to come up with enough for a down payment without saving for a while first because it’s probably a much larger amount we had to put down. I’m truly happy things worked out for you guys! Best of luck!

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  17. Bee says:

    I just turned 21 and I think you’re nuts, hah! No, I think you’re awesome. I’m studying abroad in France for six months next year and then I’ve already started to make plans to immediately move to New Orleans – where I want to go to law school – as soon as I get back before I’ve even taken the LSAT! Sometimes you just have to go for what makes you happy. If it doesn’t work out, you can always try again! Congratulations on your job and good luck!

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  18. Katie says:

    Congrats! I’m really glad that things ended up working out in the end…I’m sure that was a nervewracking thought (to not have jobs).

    I think you guys are in a very unique situation in that you both just graduated from college, and you are both looking for your first “real world” jobs post-grad, if you will. You were going to have to live somewhere of course, so at least you both had the flexibility to choose your location first! I think that sometimes, for many people, you do get that first job out of college…you’re single…etc…and things start building up that make it hard for you to pick up and move on a whim. And it isn’t necessarily that you’re afraid to take a risk, per se. For instance, my hubby and I would totally love to pick up and move somewhere new. However, we now have two different jobs to consider…the flexibility goes way down, I think, when you get married/get in a serious relationship and you realize that you can’t be totally selfish anymore/you have two different people to consider when it comes to something big like a move. And it can kind of go in the other way as well – if I were to, say, get offered a job in a new state/location/etc, I would hope that my husband would be able to take that leap of faith and move with me, even if he didn’t have a job lined up/had to leave his job so I could take advantage of an opportunity (assuming it was a more advantageous one than his current job). It’s really a hard thing to think about!

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  19. Sandi says:

    Love this post, but as an “older” person I will add that most conservative and cautious more established people were probably that way when they were younger. I think you bring that spirit you and Corey have with you through life. What’s the worst that can happen? It is the boldness and willingness to risk that is what I call “living.” Going to miss you next year.

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