Ok, I’ve been completely MIA from the blog this week, and for that I apologize, but I have a good reason: I’ve been moving. Well, and travelling. On Tuesday my husband and I flew home from Toronto, and stayed at our cottage one last time. Then on Wednesday, he started moving stuff over to our new place. That’s right – we have a new place! We’re still renters – and happy that way.
It actually worked out perfectly. We’d pretty much just decided not to buy the cottage when my brother in law popped up on Skype and asked if we’d ever be interested in renting his income property. His tenants weren’t the best and if we were interested, he’d let us know when they gave notice – which they did, about a week later.
My husband and I mulled it over and eventually decided to go for it. The rental property is a three bedroom house on a big lot next to the same river that the cottage was near. It’s actually just around the corner from the cottage, so moving was pretty easy.
Yes, it’s a lot more space than the 400 square feet we were rocking before, but good rentals are few and far between in this rural area. Two bedrooms (my ideal amount of space) are pretty much unheard of. One bedroom apartments don’t really exist. I really wanted a two bedroom place because working at home has proven to be a challenge in a one bedroom.
When it came down to it, our choices were either:
- seize the three bedroom in the great location, or
- move closer to the city, tack on a 40 minute commute for my husband, and find a two bedroom without a yard for my dog Molly to romp around in.
After factoring in the cost of gas for the two bedroom close to the city – the three bedroom close to home is actually cheaper.
How Much Rent Am I Paying?
Naturally, this rental is more expensive than our previous permanent house sitting situation. Our cottage was costing us $100 per month plus utilities (which could be a lot in winter) and averaged out to about 8% of our net income every month. This new place will be costing us 28% of our net income, including utilities and internet. It’s a lot more, but we’ll be getting a lot more for that extra expense. We’re also looking into a few ways to reduce that rent, which I’ll talk about a little later.
How Does This Change My Finances?
There’s no way around it, this extra chunk of cash going towards rent is definitely going to put a dent in my financial plans for 2014. That said, because I’m not paying off debt anymore, I actually have a lot of extra cash available to put towards rent. This new rate of rent is still well within what’s normal to spend on housing (a good rule of thumb is to spend no more than 35% of your net income on housing) and I can still afford to save for retirement, travel, and build up my emergency fund. I just won’t be able to put $1,500 into savings every month or anything crazy like that.
So, that’s the scoop on my new living situation. We’re 100% moved in right now, and about 65% unpacked. I’ve been going through a lot of stuff that has been in storage for over two years – since I moved out of the city – and that’s been like a trip down memory lane.
How Does This Change My Minimalism?
Short Answer: It doesn’t. While three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen, a dining room, an office, a family room and a sun room sounds like a lot of space, I have absolutely no desire to fill the space “just because”. I’m going to evaluate each room once we’ve had a chance to live in it for awhile, and if there’s furniture that needs to be bought, then I will, but only if it serves a utilitarian purpose.
I’ll definitely be needing to buy at least some furniture – I’ve spent almost three years living in furnished spaces, so I’ll need a few big things like a couch, and a TV stand, but I’m going to save up for those things, and Kijiji and Ikea will definitely be my first stop for budget friendly shopping. I plan on staying as far away as possible from in-store financing. Financing a furniture purchase from a retail store is debt, plain and simple, and I never want to go into debt again.
So that’s where I’ve been for the past week, I’m hoping to be fully unpacked by the end of this week, which means I’ll be able to get back to blogging. I’ve missed you guys!
What was the biggest space you’ve ever rented? I want to know!