How will moving affect our budget?

by Erika Torres

Moving into a bigger place is going to put a big dent into our budget.

As a somewhat personal finance blogger, I feel like I need to justify this expense and our decision to move. And while I know that people may have several different opinions, we know this is what’s best for us.

We still plan on paying off our debt, and by April 1st, we will have paid off all our consumer debt. We will still have my student loans left, but this means that in the past two years of our marriage, we will have paid off more than $7,500 in credit card debt and my entire car loan (which was probably $7,000 or more when we first got married). And you know what? I’m kind of proud of ourselves.

Yes, there will still be about $20,000 left in student loans but look how much we’ve been able to pay off already? In our book, slow and steady wins the race.

So how much is this move going to cost us? Our rent alone, without utilities, will now be about 38% of our total budget. Our rent now, including utilities, is currently 26% of our budget. So um yeah…that’s a big jump.

Lucky for us, we don’t really have any other bills except for our cell phones and my student loan payment.

The fact is, rent is expensive in southern California, and while it seems like we’re paying a lot of money, it’s actually a bargain compared to other places that were way smaller and charging way more.

The only reason we pay so little right now is because we live in a shack. Seriously, you all think I’m joking, but I’m telling you–it’s a freakin’ guesthouse in a backyard.

We’ve paid our dues to get out of debt–we downsized, we cut bills, we stopped spending frivolously and eating out without gift cards. We’re by no means done with our “paying off debt” journey but we’ve come a long way baby.

These student loans are now the homestretch. Money will be tight this year, but by next year, I’m expecting a promotion and hopefully Eric will land his firefighter job sooner rather than later. Within the next few years, we’re going to pay off my student loans, and we’re going to save up for a down payment.

We may not be newlyweds anymore, but we’re still on a budget.

Here’s a sneak peak of what’s going on in our love shack right now:

We are so excited to be moving into a bigger home. Words cannot express our joy.

Maybe we’ll actually start feeling like grown-ups rather than like we’re just playing house?


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Stef (City Girl) February 29, 2012 - 5:06 pm

Southern California is a high rent district, and 38% is a major chunk of your budget. But, you’re supposed to spend 1/3 on rent and you’ll be getting so much more for your money. In the long run, I think you’ll be pleased with this decision. And, Eric won’t be in training forever, right? xoxo

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Aloysa @ My Broken Coin February 16, 2012 - 6:28 pm

I can tell you from my own experience. Yes, you will have a lot of expenses and then some more and some more. You will have surprises bad and good. In the end what matter is a new place that you will enjoy. It is all worth it!

Mary February 16, 2012 - 8:38 am

Life is a constant process of setting and reevaluating priorities. You guys have made a TON of progress on your debt and you continue to keep it near the top of the list – I think you’re doing a great job! Enjoy the new place!

cheap consolidation loans February 15, 2012 - 11:45 pm

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SB @ One Cent At A Time February 15, 2012 - 9:21 pm

A moving is always a PITA no matter where we are moving to. All the best..

btw, PITA is pain in…

Teacher Girl February 15, 2012 - 6:13 pm

Yay! Congrats on the new place! And wow!! You two have paid off quite a bit of debt in the past two years. You should be very, very proud.

Hannah February 15, 2012 - 4:50 pm

Congrats, congrats, congrats – April 1 is going to feel so good!

Kris@SimpleIslandLiving February 15, 2012 - 4:01 pm

Congrats on the decision! It’s always a big one, but if it worth it to you, that’s what makes it matter. The only thing i would say is to build up your e-fund to reflect 6 months of rent…that would be on my to-do list pretty quickly. Otherwise there’s no point to money if you’re unhappy where you are in life! And it sounds like you hate that shack.

Emily February 15, 2012 - 3:42 pm

Congrats! I don’t see how the guesthouse you stay in can be considered a “shack”. It’s actually pretty nice! Exaggerate much?

Tackling Our Debt February 15, 2012 - 3:01 pm

Congratulations on your move and congrats on paying off so much debt already. That must feel wonderful.

Kevin @ SpringCoin February 15, 2012 - 3:00 pm

Paying off over $14k in two years is quite an accomplishment. Congrats!

Adrienne February 15, 2012 - 2:31 pm

You’re so right about the slow and steady bit, but it’s so hard to be patient 🙂

Keep up the great work!

Little Lamb February 15, 2012 - 1:40 pm

Only you guys can know the best decision for yourselves. It would be very trying to live in such tight quarters for a long period of time. Being happier with where you are living and having some extra space might actually benefits your lives way more than paying off the debt faster. And who knows maybe that happiness will lead to more money somehow! 🙂

Savvy Scot February 15, 2012 - 1:22 pm

Your doggy looks awesome 🙂

Marissa February 15, 2012 - 10:15 am

Good luck with the move.

P.s your dog is adorable.

Hank February 15, 2012 - 9:17 am

Congrats and good luck on the move. I’m sure it will be great.

CeCe @Frugalista Married February 15, 2012 - 9:01 am

It’s totally worth it to live in a place with more space. The day to day agitation that comes from living in too small quarters takes a toll on you. You have been smart about it and you have thought things out. The quality of life you will enjoy with more space will be worth it. I lived in a studio for 5 years and by the end of it I was about ready to pull my hair out!!!

Jai Catalano February 15, 2012 - 8:15 am

Hey congrats on the move. It’s going to be tough but I have a feeling it will work out great.

Daisy February 15, 2012 - 6:53 am

The budget jump sucks, but the quality of life you get from having more space to breath is wonderful. We recently moved into a bigger place (750 from our 480 sq ft that we lived in before) and it’s blissful! Although our rent is $100 cheaper, actually.

kim February 15, 2012 - 1:23 pm

I agree; we moved to a better place the second I got a full time job and it has made worlds of difference. We gained some outdoor living space which allowed us to also grill, so just being at, and eating at, home became much more enjoyable. Our cuts in every other area of our life didn’t seem as bad.

jobo February 15, 2012 - 6:53 am

Yay! You totally got this all figured out…the jump in rent is big, of course, but you will adjust, I promise. Can’t wait to visit!!

DCSquared February 15, 2012 - 6:41 am

Good luck with the move!!!

Kay Lynn @ Bucksome Boomer February 15, 2012 - 6:02 am

I understand your desire to move, but would have advised to wait until your incomes do increase.

Good luck with the move!

Michelle February 15, 2012 - 5:27 am

I’m so excited for your move! And yes 38% is a lot, but I understand that where you live, housing is much more expensive.

Paul @ The Frugal Toad February 15, 2012 - 5:03 am

Congratulations on the move! Wow, 38% is really high. How will the higher rent effect your plan to pay down your debt?

newlywedsonabudget February 15, 2012 - 8:20 am

We still plan on paying off our debt, but with only student loans left, we may not be as aggressive as we were before.


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