If you haven't caught on yet, the hubby and I recently made a move. We gave up our relatively nice two bedroom apartment for a much smaller space (we had a two bedroom so the husband had an office and we could have some storage space). We are now living in the basement of the hubby's parents house. We have a smaller bedroom, smaller bathroom, a hallway, and some storage space, to fit all of our belongings. I was freaking out about how all of our stuff would fit but it turned out pretty descent. The only problem we have yet to solve is where to put our coats and jackets and that is a very small issue.
It is a huge change though.
So why the change?
Up until Thursday, I had not worked much since January. I was laid off only a few months after our wedding (I am incredibly thankful the boss held out that long). I did get some unemployment (a subject for another time) but it ran out before we left for Europe. We were told our rent was going to go up but we figured we could talk them down. When we finally went to the leasing office we were told that because of the low rate of vacancies in the area they could not decrease the rate. We searched around a bit and realized that no matter where we moved our rent would end up increasing a couple hundred dollars. We decided we could deal with it even if it meant saving less, so we renewed our contract. During that time I had casually mentioned, half jokingly, that maybe we should move back into one of our parents homes. It was never an idea taken seriously because the thought of doing that about made me sick. But the thought of paying 1500 in rent a month also about made me sick.
So a few days after signing the lease, and after some discussion with the hubby's family, we decided that we should try and get the lease renewal torn up so we could move into the in laws house come the end of our contract. For reasons we don't really know, as we were told different things by different people, our lease was able to be torn up and forgotten about. They also allowed us to stay an extra month without paying extra in rent which was nice as month to month rent can be super expensive. I was also very thankful that they let us stay longer because it saved us from having to move out within two days of returning home from Europe.
Why did we spend all the money on Europe and then decide to move in to the in laws house to save money?
We had decided before getting married that we would have a relatively inexpensive honeymoon so that we could take a huge trip sometime later, preferably before having kids. The ideal destination was always Europe for us as I had never gone. We had casually mentioned during the summer that we needed to get out to Europe before my friend moved. So though we had been talking about taking a cruise this year for our anniversary, we ended up, at the last minute too, deciding that Europe was a better decision. So we planned a Europe trip within a few months. Something I don't recommend. Though I didn't have a real income coming in we still had a decent amount of savings and could afford it. But soon after we bought the tickets, we found out our rent really was going up and by a pretty large amount.
We knew that if we could afford a trip to Europe we could afford a couple hundred increase in our rent. The problem was more about how we were going to continue to save. I would no longer have any income coming in so we would spend the next handful of months or more making up for the savings we spent on Europe. Our savings would be small each month. This meant that the house that we knew we wanted to buy, would be farther off than we had hoped and would continue to be farther off if rent continued to increase and I continued to not find work.
Moving into the parent's home would decrease our rent by almost a thousand, automatically allowing us to make up for our Europe trip within two months, if not sooner. It would allow us to save up for a house a lot faster and stop dumping money into a place that would give us no return. And it would eliminate any stress that may come with me not finding a job. And if I happened to get a job, we would be able to save up even more money.
So we decided to make the move. It was a super stressful decision and after we went back on our renewed lease I cried myself to sleep for about a week. But I knew it was the right decision. And I knew it would keep me from feeling obligated to renew the unemployment. Something I had decided I would not under any condition do as I barely wanted to get it in the first place (especially because we were obviously better off than many people).
I was blessed to get a job right after the move. It is not the best paying job and not one I would have imagined myself doing, but it is fun and gets me out of the house. It will also help us build up our savings.
Savings is incredibly important to us. Not only do you never know when the main breadwinner may lose his/her job, or when you might need to pay for a broken down car or emergency hospital visits, but it is incredibly important to have a down payment when purchasing a home. Housing is incredibly expensive where we live and we will need a substantial down payment. We want to get a starter home within the next year or two, before housing prices have a chance to increase again. And we feel much better about saving our money for a future home rather than dumping it into an apartment.
Others may disagree with our decision. But it is right for us. And it will help us get ahead financially. Something that is becoming substantially harder these days. And we are not the only ones who have made the same decision or will be making the same decision.
This post was hard to write without sounding a bit snooty and needy. No matter how you look at it, Europe, unemployment, two bedroom apartment, and living in the in laws house should not be used in the same post. Sometimes I feel guilty about it. Guilty that we made the trip. Guilty that I took unemployment. Guilty that we had a two bedroom apartment instead of squeezing into a one bedroom.
But I do know a one bedroom would not have been much cheaper. That we had saved up specifically for the trip and did the one thing we had always planned to do before starting a family. That we will be able to move up in the world a lot faster having made this decision. And that I will finally be forced to learn some much needed and valuable lessons about patience and living with others.