Friday, August 15, 2008

The Have-To's vs. The Want-to's

I want to move out of my parent's house. But before I can do that there are a few things that have to happen. Like paying off my debts and possibly getting a raise. It's frustrating for me because I think I'm ready to head out into the real world and take care of myself, regardless of what my parents have to say about my financial life. One of my mom's favorite sayings is "you have to do the have-to's before the want-to's" and I think this is a case where this saying can be applied to life as well as my money.

I want to move out. But, I have to get my debt under control and prove to myself that I can manage my money so that I can pay rent and eat in the same month. I actually did sit down the other day and fill out a budgeting sheet to see how it would all work out if I were to move out on my own tomorrow. With what I'm getting paid (which works out to about $18,000 a year) I could live in one of the apartments near my office, but there are a number of things that I would have to go without. Like cable, or turning up the heat in the winter. I would also have to limit my grocery spending to less than $100 a month, which is do-able. But as much as I would like to trim down I don't really want to go on the 'starve yourself' diet.

Plus I have two dogs. They are going to have to go out and go potty at some point, I would have to drive home during lunch to walk them and might even have to hire someone to take them out again in the afternoons. I wouldn't be able to go from work to a babysitting job without letting them out which means that I would have to cut back on my babysitting hours and/or leave work earlier before a job to take care of them. Not to mention the fact that I would feel guilty for leaving them alone for so long during the day. And they have to eat too - which can get to be pretty expensive.

And the list just goes on and on and on. The money never stops coming out of my pocket. There is no way that I could move out tomorrow and live comfortably. It's something that I know I could do, but not something that I want to.

In January my friend and future roomie's lease runs up on her apartment. If I can just stick it out with Mom and Dad for a few more months I have the chance to pay down (and ultimately pay off) my credit card bills and the money that I owe parents. I can move out debt free and have the ability to do what I want to with my money (like saving it ... or spending it on fun things) instead of what I have to do with my money (like paying credit card bills). Not to mention that when you rent a house with an $800 a month rent and a roommate you only have to pay around $400 a month. And that sure beats paying upwards of $600 for a one bedroom apartment.

So as much as my parents and I argue about rent or chores (yes ... I have chores) I have to say that it's the best option for me at this point in my life. Besides, if I change my mind the apartment complexes will still be there and I'm sure that I could find a place somewhere.

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