The Apartment Flip: Reframe
During a meeting with a client (who is allowing me to share her story) the other night, she said I don’t want to live in this apartment anymore. I work hard and make good money. I want to live somewhere nicer, with more sunlight and space. Ultimately, I would like to own a home.
And I want my cat to have a better life- she added. I want her to see trees and flowers, not pavement, through the windows. Being a cat person, I totally get this.
Yet, the apartment is affordable, and she lives in a city with a high cost of living. Although the apartment has no view and no outside access such as a patio or a balcony, the rent is significantly lower than she will likely find again.
I told her from our Zoom meetings her apartment appeared cozy and comfortable. Yes, it is she said, but it’s not where I want to live anymore. I understand that I replied. Then, I asked her what if, instead of looking at the apartment as a negative in your life, you flip it? Make the apartment a means to meet some of your financial goals. Make the apartment a positive instead of a negative. With the understanding, it is not forever, it is for now.
We continued to talk about how her apartment could be a short-term asset in her life and the ideas flowed. She could:
- 💵Save more money for a down payment on a home.
- 💵Spend time researching real estate in her area.
- 💵Build up her emergency fund.
- 💵Not feel the immediate pressure of increased rent.
- 💵Have time to weigh the pros and cons of continuing to rent vs. purchasing a home.
When my client reframed how she saw her current living situation, as an opportunity instead of a detriment, her mindset began to shift. It allowed her to reset. There was acceptance that this situation is for now and it is in her control.
She will have time to reset her financial situation, so it supports either a move to a more expensive spacious light-filled apartment or the purchase of a home. The decision to move and where to move is no longer an impulse or emotional choice but a well thought out securely made choice.
Many times, the want is so strong it wins and you then make financial decisions that are not in your best interest. When you take the time to slow down and examine why you want something, you are taking charge of your financial situation and your life.
My client reframed how she thought about her apartment. She created a win/win: working on her monetary goals and feeling more positive about her current abode. I think it’s fair to say she might even be feeling some gratitude towards her apartment now.
Then comes the exciting part- you get to redefine your life. During the process of reframing and resetting you learn a lot about yourself. You set intentions and you meet them. You work towards your goals. Yes, you may have struggles, but you realize you are strong and capable in money matters, and you will get through the struggles.
A positive money mindset raises your energy level. Things start to shift. When you are feeling strong and motivated about money matters you make responsible choices. You start to feel lighter and your relationship with money improves. These good money habits and money thoughts continue to build on each other. Then you realize you are walking on the path to financial wellness and ultimately financial freedom. And it feels good!
Do you have something in your financial life that is blocking you? Are you thinking of something negatively that you could flip and make a financial positive in your life? Remember: Reframe, Reset, and then Redefine. It is your life, and you get to choose how you live it.
Susan Howell, The MoneyMaestra