The House That Owns You
House hunting is one of those all-consuming phases, like having a baby or being freshly in love or quitting sugar. It is as if you are living in a big house-hunting-colored bubble. Anything that is not house hunting seems pale and uninteresting; everything you see or hear seems to have something to do with house hunting. Your friend who owns the perfect house complains that her marriage is going sour and you think, "What? How could anything be wrong when you have that house?!” It’s a kind of mania. So when you finally find the perfect place, it’s easy to convince yourself that even though it’s $100,000 (only!) over your budget, it doesn’t matter. What else would you ever want to spend money on besides this shining castle, this building that will make all your dreams come true? Well, when the dust clears, you will be back in the real world, with the rest of your life that is not house hunting. It may be that you want to see another part of the world that is not this perfect house. It may be that now you can’t go anywhere except directly home to pay the mortgage. Spending money in a way that lets you think about money less, not more—that's the kind of gauzy perfect life we like.