Buying a house shouldn’t break my bank

I hate it when people make statements like “I can’t go on X vacation because I bought a house” or “I can’t afford to go visit my family for the holidays because I bought a house”. (I also don’t like it when people make statements like “You should be able to go do Y because you make $Z”, but that’s a different story.)

One of my biggest rules in the idea of buying a townhouse is that it cannot break my bank. This means the following:

  • I should still be able to afford the same level of vacations that I am taking now. (~$3000 per year)
  • I shouldn’t worry about how much money I’m spending on a daily basis – my monthly spending plan should still be functional.
  • The increase in my housing and transportation expenses shouldn’t be too steep each month.
If any of the above three are not possible, then I shouldn’t be buying a place now. It does, however, look like these will all be possible. I realize that my lifestyle will change somewhat with a property purchase, but my monthly savings level is currently $1500-$2000, so there is some room to budge before I start to run into my allotted monthly spending amount. One of the questions that I am working on answering right now is how much I am comfortable increasing my housing and transportation expenses overall.