Less is More

Well, we finally know our living situation for the next year. It’s not perfect, and it’s not what we planned, but it works. We got our renewal notice for our lease and the jacks wanted $1400 a month. Not including utilities. This pisses me off because that’s the price that they are charging new tenants for units that have been renovated with new kitchens, hardwood, and granite. Ours hasn’t been renovated. Apparently that means zip to them because when we asked if they’d lower the price for that reason they wouldn’t budge. So they offered us a cheaper unit in the apartment high rises at the complex (we live in a townhouse right now) that was smaller, but more affordable. We toured it, and it is smaller than what we have now, but workable. It’s classified as a 1 bedroom plus den, but the den has a door on it, so it works as a bedroom for Bean. It’s only 900 square feet, 500 less than what we have now, so it means a big downsize…but it’s still the most affordable thing we’ll be able to find in this area for a two bedroom unit. And we don’t have to move to an entirely new complex. In fact, the building we’re moving into is within sight of my front yard right now, so we can move a lot of stuff over without having to get a rental truck.

I’m a little bummed, because I really didn’t want to move again unless it was to our “permanent destination.” We’ve practically been nomads for the last few years–this will be our 5th move since 2011. But, it’s better for us financially, and I’m trying to look at it in a “less is more” kind of perspective. We don’t need a ton of space or things. Recently I’ve found myself feeling that the clutter in our lives is more than just toys scattered all over the place. We will get by fine. Here’s my list of things that ARE good about this move.

Pros:

  •  We’ll be more financially stable with a lot more wiggle room…especially once the house sells.
  • Only 900 square feet means a lot less that I have to clean.
  • No more stairs and no more baby gates!
  • We’re on the 4th floor facing west and have a killer view of the city and the mountains.
  • We’re still in the same corner of the complex where we are now, which means we can come play with our neighbors whenever we want.
  • Utility bills will be soooo much lower.
  • This is a good time to downsize. We have a lot of stuff we don’t need and it’ll be good for us to figure out exactly what we need, then sell, donate, or store the rest. Less is more. Less is more. Less is more.

Cons: (because what’s a Pros list without a Cons list to go with it)

  • Losing our yard and outdoor space. We still have a nice balcony, but it’s a little different than just being able to step outside and sit on the grass.
  • Adjusting to the “apartment” lifestyle – ie figuring out how to wrangle Bean and a load of groceries up an elevator from the car.
  • Having to move. Again.
  • The baby’s room doesn’t have a closet or windows. Which I guess is okay since she spends most of the time in her room sleeping.
  • Losing my washer and dryer. Nooooooooooo. (There’s a laundry on each floor, so that’s helpful.)
  • This particular unit is so cheap because it hasn’t been renovated. Not the end of the world, but it would have been a nice perk after putting up with the move.
  • Have to put a lot of stuff into storage. But, my parents have generously offered to pay for a unit for us, so that will be very helpful.

So, yeah…it’s going to be better for us in the long run, especially financially. With the house in Estes being such a total clusterfuck, we’ve been hemorrhaging money and it just hasn’t been a good situation. So, with a monthly rent clocking in at well under $400 what we’re paying right now, we’ll have a lot more ability to put cash into savings each paycheck, and actually be able to spend on things like trips to the zoo for Bean and lunches out every so often.

Now, to pack everything up. …..Again.

Advertisements

Snow Day! Hooray!

…while the majority of North America goes, are you effing serious??

We’ve had a super mild winter here in Colorado. The last two weeks we’ve had temps in the high 60s and even 70s in Denver, and I don’t think we’ve seen snow for quite some time. We had about 8 inches on Christmas Day, but other than that we’ve just had a couple inches here and there. But we had a good snow fall today! Luckily, I found a snow suit for Bean in a box of clothes we inherited from a neighbor and it fits her just right, so we got bundled up and went outside. She’s seen snow so seldom that I don’t think she quite knows what to do with it!

She enjoyed having some playtime out in the snow, digging out the plants in the back yard and uncovering all her toys. Now we are back inside enjoying some cocoa and watching Curious George. And accessorizing with canvas bags.

The Worst

Who is? Yeah that’s right, me. I’m a lousy blogger. Basically it boils down to the feeling that our lives are not exciting enough to bother you with boring details. And also I’m lazy. So there’s that.

So far this year has been a kerfuffle of house-related…stuff. Crap. We planned to put the house in Estes on the market right after the new year so that we would have time to sell it and buy a new place before our lease here is up in April. Well, because the universe is apparently a douche canoe, that didn’t happen, because on January 2 a pipe burst in the house which has been vacant since November. (And I don’t remember if I mentioned that, but our renter moved out with no notice and our property management company completely dicked us over, so we’ve just been eating it on the mortgage in the meantime.) Luckily, the damage was minimal, unluckily, the insurance company is taking their sweet ass time paying us out for the work to be done, so we still haven’t started the work. Which means we haven’t been able to put it on the market, which means even if it does sell immediately there’s a very slim chance we’ll be able to get our financial ducks in a row and find a new place and purchase it before the end of April. And that leaves us in the rock/hard place position of having to determine if we can afford to stay where we are (not likely, since the rent has apparently been going way up) and bothering to move again with the possibility of buying later on in the year and breaking our lease so we can move AGAIN. It’s exhausting just thinking about it. We should hopefully know in a couple weeks what our rent situation is going to look like there if we renew which should give us more perspective on finances and whether we will be forced to move again.

Naturally, this all happened — literally — the day I quit at the bank. If I had known we’d be eating it on the mortgage for so long without being able to put the house on the market, I’d have stayed to help with finances. Like I said, universe = douche canoe. I’m having some small successes with the Jamberry gig, and I’m breaking out into vendor events like craft fairs and whatnot, so at least I have some small income coming in there.

I shouldn’t complain so much. We’re all healthy and happy and getting by, but money is one of those stressors you can’t really help but be stressed about. We have at least decided to buy a townhouse or condo instead of single family home, since we know we can get a lot more for our money that way and have a cheap mortgage payment. We really don’t need all the space of a house and since the family is not expanding any time soon (ie ever) we don’t have to anticipate needing a larger place for more tiny humans. Plus less square footage is less that I have to clean.

The one golden point of the year so far is that the weather has been fan-bloody-tastic which means Bean and I have been able to spend a lot of time outside, and as a result my SAD is exceptionally manageable this year. Hallelujah. I was keeping up with my new year’s resolution of dropping the baby weight and getting fit, and enjoying doing so, and then my little fitness bracelet charger went missing and the replacements still haven’t arrived. It’s stupid to say I was motivated by that dumb thing but I really was. So, as soon as the chargers get here I will jump back on that wagon with fervor since I really was enjoying myself going to the gym most nights.

Anyway. Enough of my yapping. Have some pictures.

And before I leave you, an exchange I had with Bean this morning in the grocery store. She was sitting in the cart rifling through my purse and found a dollar bill.

Me: Oh, you found a dollar bill. What are you going to buy with that?

Bean: Cookie.

Good girl.