Decision on the rental unit
We agonized over the decision for a long time. The new place came with a much smaller yard, no garage, but new carpeting, new appliances and of course, lower rent. Mrs. Stew and I are serious about cutting expenses and we were ready to make the hard choices needed to adjust our lifestyle to the new place. We were going to need to throw out or sell a lot of our stuff – including things that we might have otherwise wished to keep. Items like extra kid’s bicycles, a chest freezer, an extra bed for guests and more.
I was really surprised at the reactions from the GLBL readers. Typically, GLBL readers are a frugal lot and seldom do they speak with one voice – you can read the comments here. I laid out the pros and cons for moving and the GLBL’s said: stay! I also spent some time talking to friends and family about the possibility of our move and they too mostly recommended that we stay in our current duplex rental unit.
Still, that extra $200 a month really sounded nice. It was $200 more toward debt reduction or food or to save for car repairs or to invest . . . so Mrs. Stew and I pulled the trigger. We submitted an application for the rental that was accepted and I delivered half of the deposit as required. That night we began making our plans to notify our neighbors (who we appreciate a great deal) and started to coordinate the actual move. During the whole operation, we kept asking and wondering if moving was the right decision. There were so many reasons to stay . . . yet we desperately want to hold down our expenses. Just before we drifted off to sleep, my wife told me that while she was putting our three year old boy to bed, he asked, “Will I be able to take my big, yellow swing to our new house?” When she answered “no” he sighed and accepted it.
My little boy’s question kept me up most of the night along with my dad’s text from a few days earlier: money isn’t everything.
In the morning, I called up the apartment manager and asked if she would release us from the contract that we had signed the day before. Fortunately, she agreed to do so and did not cash the check that we had given her. We decided to stay and enjoy the living arrangement that God has allowed us to have at this time.
We are still going to casually look for a place with lower rent, but we want to take our time and make sure that it is a good move and not one that we feel will short-change our kids. We also found it very difficult to leave our current neighbors.
The only thing that I cannot figure out is why our landlord did not offer to reduce the rent even a little bit in order to get us to stay . . .
Article by Stew
Photo by Stew