Reader Advice: Saving vs Education?

Normally I try to keep this a bit more of a cultural blog, but hey… it’s a personal blog too, right?

Jorge and I have been thinking a ton about finances lately. Now that we’re done paying for the wedding, Christmas, and basic furniture (mostly), we can finally start saving up some serious cash. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a year. We even set up an Excel sheet for our budget! We’re so proud.

One thing I’ve been dying to get involved in for as long as I can remember is real estate. My parents have always loved houses, and I think they passed that love down to me (and my sister). 7 months ago I was almost more excited for apartment hunting than I was for my wedding. For the last 4 months I’ve been obsessive about House Hunters International (showing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays). I even find myself looking at houses for sale, even when I don’t have the money to buy one… I just love learning what houses look like in different cities, and what you can get for your money in different areas.

That being said, I have never, ever had even the least attraction toward being a real estate agent. Can’t say why not. What I would love to get into someday is real estate investment… which I know nothing about (except what I’ve learned from House Hunters International, of course).

Where is all this going?

Jorge recently read the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, and one of the points that stood out the most to him was that if you ever have the opportunity to take a course in finances or whatever field you want to work in, TAKE IT. And who can say no to this guy…

Interestingly, Jorge and I were just talking about this last night. He said, “If you really want to get involved in real estate investment, you should take a class! You’d save tons of money in the future by doing more things yourself. If we hear about a real estate course, you’re taking it.” I said sure! ( I suspect he’s tired of me obsessing over houses without making some money from it.)

Little did I know last night that I would get an e-mail from my university just this morning, offering… guess what? A 3-month course and diploma in basic real estate. The timing was uncanny. It was a message from God.

Problem? The money we were so excited about saving up in January and February would go straight to paying for this course. Most of the savings would be gone before I could even get my hands on them. So… no big saving until March. *sigh*

Also, I have no short term plans to get involved in real estate! This would be something a few years into my future.

AND, we’re getting our Mexican marriage license next month (February 14! Valentine’s Day!), which involves paying a few hundred dollars to immigration.

Jorge and I have a lot of talking and number-crunching to do tonight. I’d love to take advantage of this opportunity, but I’m not sure if it’s something that should wait.

So… should I take a great opportunity to improve my knowledge in my desired future field now, or slow down and start saving up some money this month so I can actually have money to invest with?

Any advice, warnings, scolding, etc… I’d love to get some comments from you!

 

Too Young to Invest?

An acquaintance of mine is selling plots of land a few hours from Cancun, about 15 miles inland from the Mayan ruins of Tulum.

It’s cheap (about $12,000 USD total), the monthly payments are pretty easy, and the properties are big at 2.5 acres.

Negatives: It’s out in the middle of nowhere. I doubt there are any utilities out there at the moment, although who knows in a few years.

The city of Tulum is working on getting approval to build an international airport in the next few years, which could make this an amazing investment.

I dunno. This would be a much easier decision if we had more money.

What would we do with it? Hmmm, nothing right now. In a few years, either build on it or sell.

Anyway, just an idea to toy around with. It would be really cool, but is investing a priority at 24 years old?