Hi! I'm baaaaack! The past few weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster. My husband got the new job only a few miles from our house and we thought, "Great! This is really going to change things for us for the better." Well, it threw us a big curve ball! Although being closer to our current apartment is awesome for him, it totally screwed up our carpooling commute. His hours are 6:30am - 3:30pm, whereas mine are 8am - 5pm. His job is North and mine is South. There was no way we were going to be able to continue carpooling together.
We spent the last 2 weeks discussing our options - taking the bus (which unfortunately doesn't go the full way, so he'd still have to walk 2+ miles), taking a taxi (not a great option at $26 PER DAY for a 6 mile ride!), riding a bike (we ended up purchasing a bike for $100 but after trying this one time my husband thought he may die). We realized that we really wanted to stay in our current apartment so we decided to try other options to make it work. Over the past 2 weeks we've bummed rides off our co-workers and tried to shift our work schedules, it just wasn't working. We looked into getting a car or a scooter, but they are so expensive and we'd really like to stay a one-car family for as long as we can. So, on the 31st we gave notice to our current property manager and decided we'd move South, closer to my job so that I could walk to work and my husband could take the car.
The weird thing about apartments in this area is that some of them go up in price at the end and beginning of the month, so if we try to arrange it so that we have another apartment lined up (as we always have in the past) we would end up paying more for our rent. It's about $1K more over the course of a year lease. Since we don't want to just throw money away we are taking a risk and playing their game... we're waiting until the middle of the month when historically they've offered the lowest rent for quick move in and we'll hopefully be able to snatch up a good deal. Rent will probably save us about $70 per month and our electricity should be lower since our place will be smaller. We'll also save on our gas since we'll be cutting our commute by about 100 miles per week. We really struggled with this decision but now that we made it, I'm feeling better about things. I'm really optimistic that we'll like this place (at least well enough to stay for a year while we pay off some debt) and maybe even longer, who knows?
I also received some wonderful news last week that my niece got the RA job! That will save us almost $600 per month! I was ecstatic when I found out. That can go directly to our debt.
So, all in all, the past few weeks have been kind of hectic but positive. I think that will continue through April until we're finally packed and settled in our new place. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get on here more often to check in and provide updates.
Here's my Weekly Money Check-Up courtesy of My Pretty Pennies. She changed the second question recently and I like this one much better :) Feel free to join in with your own check up as well!
1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on TAXES! Ugh, we continue to bank what we can to pay towards the $7K we owe in taxes. Unfortunately because we may have to come up with rent for our new place a little earlier than anticipated we may not be able to pay the full amount due by the 18th, so I called the IRS and was granted a 60 day delay to pay in full. I still plan to send what we can by the due date but it's nice to have a little extension if needed. The kind woman on the phone said she'd send a letter to us outlining the details. We'll see how much of a penalty will apply, hopefully it'll be minimal.
2. Today I am thankful for my job. As I look over our finances and the plan for the 2011 and 2012 to pay off our debt, I realize that without this job I'd be in really poor shape. I'm thankful for it today!
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was sent out a couple of handmade cards to family and friends. Years back I had a hobby of scrapbooking and making cards and I love it when I can sit down and finally use them.
4. I will consider this week a success if I see the rent drop on the apartment that we're interested in. I will have peace of mind knowing that we have our new home lined up and ready for us to move in. Playing this waiting game is a bit unnerving to me!
5. The last dream I had was about an old friend from high school telling me that I will have a son named Matthew... strange. We had been trying to conceive in Jan & Feb but put it on hold for the time being. Wonder if that's a sign?