So far, the biggest challenge of the buying land and building a house has sat squarely between my shoulders.
I began saving for a house when I was 20. Yes, I have done things in that 6 years which have brought down the bank balance a few notches (who hasn't) but I have always made the decision to put away money each pay day for the house that I didn't even know would become a reality. I am not afraid to admit it- I have worked damn hard and made enough small sacrifices along the way so that I could save enough.
I expected to pay deposits on both the land and the build but you know what I didn't expect? The total and complete mindfuck (sorry mum, can't think of an appropriate synonym to adequately describe this) which comes from seeing such a huge amount of money come out of your bank account- and so little left over.
Like every like-minded saver, I get a buzz out of seeing my bank balance go up. I don't care if its by $20, $200 or $2000 (haha I wish...), if that number is increasing then it gives me a level of security which allows me to have a good nights sleep. When that hot little number starts to go down, the anxiety begins to rear its ugly head- so losing a total of $40,000 from my bank account has been a little bit terrifying.
What if there are unexpected bills? What if my car all of a sudden dies? How the hell do I afford all of the Christmas presents?
Being prepared for the mental challenge of losing so much money from your account is important- and rarely recognised- regardless of whether you're buying your first home at 26 or 46.
Here are some of the steps I have put some things in place to help ease my mind and adjust to seeing far less in the account:
Keeping a running total (i.e. spreadsheet) of all the money I have contributed or have saved towards the project- this number is waayyyyy bigger than what is sitting in my account so is a nice reminder of what I've actually managed to save.
Having the 'house' savings account with another bank. The account I have set up for saving for a house is with a different institution than the bank I use for my everyday account- keeping it seperate means that I don't have to see such a small number every time I look at my banking app.
Have an emergency account. I put $100 each payday into it so if there are any unexpected expenses which arise, I can pay for out of this account rather than having to stress about finding the money elsewhere.
Still doing what 26 year olds do- going out for drinks and buying Eggs Benedict. I have a social life which isn't dictated by the fact that I feel broke- I just enjoy the nights out and the brunches in moderation.