After apartment shopping for a while now, I’ve come to terms with the reality that $1700/month is not going to get us a “nice” one bedroom. It WILL get us a one bedroom that has crappy reviews and doesn’t make one feel calm after returning home from a long day of work. And a long commute with a lot of traffic.
The thing is, I CAN afford higher rent. My boyfriend’s maximum is $850 so it’s up to me if I want to split 50/50 or chip in more for a place that will make me happy. My bf has lived in a shed sans running water and a kitchen for the entirety of his adult life to date, so he doesn’t exactly have high standards. The fact he’s willing to pay up to $850 actually surprises me, it turns out he does have some standards. However, he’s made it clear that he will not pay for cable and he won’t offer a penny over $850, with a preference towards $800.
If I get this new job, my salary will increase. A lot of it will be in the form of a bonus so it will be variable (which makes me nervous!) Nonetheless, assuming this goes through, my base will increase by $15k, or about $750 after tax per month. With the bonus, I potentially could see a maximum of $1500 per month after tax. Even though I won’t be making as much as I had hoped, I’ll be doing very well for myself. The job will be extremely challenging and I’ll have to work my ass off day in and day out to prove that I’m worth it, but really it’s crazy to think about where I’m at now in terms of compensation. I’ve approached that sweet spot in my life where I can make good money and, as long as I choose not to squander it, I can focus on a few years of solid savings before popping out a kid or two.
The job isn’t a sure thing (my negotiation skills may have gotten my offer rescinded, we’ll see.) I’ll know by tomorrow. I think I might have a heart attack with all the stress that goes into changing jobs AND moving. Oy gavult. I need a vacation. If only there were time for it in between jobs!
Anyway, the focus right now – other than securing this new job that I’m super excited about – is figuring out where to live, and how much I should pay for it. The sky is the limit. If I’m going to be taking home $7k after tax, why not spend $1500 on rent? That really is reasonable. For $2350 we could get a decent one bedroom. I’d be paying a lot more for rent, but I also make a lot more, so that’s fair, I guess. I just have always been so frugal when it comes to living expenses so I could focus on saving, what’s another few years of living on the cheaper side. Maybe I could do $1000, bringing us to $1850 / month (which really seems to be the minimum for a place I can live in here.) I just wanted to have it be 50/50 – at least for the first year we live together. I’ll pay extra for cable because I need my house hunters and SVU marathons while he could care less. I’m just torn over how much I should spend above and beyond matching his $850. Then again, I probably should focus on securing this job first, and then figuring it out later.