Decision on the rental unit

By Stew

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how we were trying to decide whether or not to move into a different duplex in order to save $200 a month in rent.

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

7 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Decision on the rental unit”

  1. Carly Says:

    Wow. I was one Reader who commented “stay!”. I guess I JUST DON’T GET it, Stew. Tears pricked my eyes when I read about the yellow swing. And your (single) reason for leaving: $200/mo whilst you get rid of items you’ll be buying again later…. Maybe I’m in a bad mood today. It’s just seems so COLD-HEARTED. If something takes that much “agonizing” over, it’s not right.

  2. Linda Says:

    I read your article this morning was pleased with the depth of it.
    As a Titus 2 woman, and having a personal relationship with Jesus I would like to share something. As I awoke early this morning to go to the bathroom, I looked at the clock and it said 333. The Lord spoke to my heart and said read Jeremiah 33:3. It says “Call to me and I will answer you with unsearchable things you do not know”. That scripture came back to me as I read your article. If you call to him, and ask he will give you the answers to increased income without moving to a cheaper place to live. I would bet that you and your family are a breath of fresh air to your neighborhood, and a blessing to it also.
    When we ask our father for bread he does not give us a stone! I can not wait to hear the blessings that will come out of this due to your obedience. Obedience is better than sacrifice. The blessings will come when he knows you will just pay if forward when he gives it to you. Thank you for being a man of God that steps out of the machoness of manhood, and is real. Our boys of this generation really need to see that. I know first hand, as I teach a class on Character to juvenile inmates that are between 13-17 years old that will be charged as adults. My blessing is to see them not as the world sees them but as God sees them, and impart into them who they really are, and whose they are, not what the world says.

  3. Gina Says:

    I think the kid was right – this time. I agree w/Linda … maybe you will “find” the extra $200 some other way and that your obediance will be rewarded. Could you sell some of that stuff (not in use) on Craigslist/eBay to gather extra money?

    I (temporarily) stopped contributing to my 401k (which was $200/month) to add to my debt snowball. Funny thing happened … the company I work for ALSO stopped the company match at the same time so I am not even “leaving money on the table” either.

    Thanks for the update. I’m off to read Titus 2.

  4. Liane Says:

    Glad to hear that you’re staying put. I think the landlord didn’t counter offer with a lower rent ’cause you weren’t meant to move there! God has His ways of showing you confirmation, and it started with a yellow swing….

  5. Diane Says:

    I’m glad that you made a choice for your family with your heart, rather than just your pocketbook! I totally understand the need to save money & pay off debt, but in this case, it seemed you were putting money ahead of your family’s well-being.

    I know that paying down debt will benefit your family in the long term, but quality of life NOW is also an issue. Apparently you’re living within your means now, and paying off debt, though maybe more slowly that you’d like. At this point I think you’ve made the best choice for your family.

  6. Christina Says:

    I was one who commented on your original post and said you should stay where you are. I am glad you will, it sounds like it will really be better for your family. I honestly have this feeling that God has something better for you out there. Just hang in there!

  7. smart meters Says:

    Its a must thing to do i think when the thing comes to rent. Some people need to decide as they just want some things clear while the desicion comes for rental unit.