Movin on Up!

Dear Dave, My wife and I bought a house last year when we were making $50,000 a year. Now, we make $120,000 a year, and we'd like to move up in house. The problem is that we still have $23,000 in other debts. What's your rule for determining when you're ready to move up? Dustin Dear Dustin, Congratulations on raising the income! You guys have really been kicking it. If it were me, I'd wait until I had the first three Baby Steps in place - start out with a $1,000 emergency fund, pay off all debt except the house and then fully fund your emergency fund with enough money to cover three to six months of expenses. After that, save up to make a 20 percent down payment on the house you want. I'll tell you something, Dustin. If you move into a home with an emergency fund in place and no payments, that home will really be a blessing to you. But until then you're just begging Murphy to move into your spare bedroom! You're not quite in driver's seat yet, but you can be soon. And it will feel really good! - Dave
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