Apartment acquired!

Piano Door Bell. (incrediblethings.com)

Following up on my previous post about the woes of commuting, I’m happy to announce that I found an apartment!  I reserved it on Wednesday and got the official call on Thursday to confirm that my application was approved and it was mine. I’m very excited about it and I’m counting down the days until I have an extra 2.5 hours in my life (I commute roughly 2.5-3 hours a day right now) and no longer have to put the miles on my car.

 

There is going to be a little bit of a wait time before I move since the lease doesn’t start until the end of July.   I have another six full weeks to commute, though it may be only 5 depending on if I end up house-sitting for some friends one week in July.  I have a moving crew scheduled (family and friends) and since I’ll only be moving an hour away and the trailer is loaded with my non-essentials, it should be my easiest move yet!

Great way to display tickets

The apartment itself is a good price, especially considering the high cost of living in the area.  It’s close to work and in a safe place (there are plenty of cops who live in the apartment complex) and I have a lot of space!  I’ve started to mentally decorate the apartment I’ll be moving into since I have an idea of the layout I want.  After not having a place to decorate for a while (or having the extra money to spend on decorating), it’ll be nice to do both!

 

Since I have a nice sized window before moving in, it gives me time to get done with odds and ends to make moving easier.  I went through my things thoroughly when I was packing up to move three months ago and I anticipate doing it again once I get settled.  I have more space at this place than my old one, but some things are going to go to make space for more things.  My list of things to buy and do in the next 50 days is quite sizeable, but some are progress points for my goals I set for the year.

Doctor Who TARDIS Night Light

It’s nice to know my commute is coming to an end!  Equally exciting is knowing I’ll be in a place with plenty to do, friends nearby and a place all to myself again.  Have you moved recently?

Relocating: A week later

It’s hard to believe how much has transpired in the last week and a half. I moved away from the city I was living in for almost three years and left my job to move back home after getting a job offer. My new job is amazing and I’m excited for my future there.  A lot has happened and it’s amazing how less stressed I feel, how much more I can do and simply the fact I feel I can dream again.

 

Travel

This past weekend I took a trip to North Carolina to Wizard World Raleigh and met the wonderful David Tennant. He’s an amazing man and it was an honor to meet him!  I love to travel and having the money, energy and time to do so is amazing!

Displaying photo.JPG (not posting my actual photo, but it happened!)

My stress level

Before moving, my stress level (even before relocation stresses) was insanely high. I felt miserable and cranky pretty often, wanting nothing more than to usher everyone away. Now, my life’s pace has changed and I have hardly any stress. My anxiety is even low for once (I overthink and worry about everything).

 

Happiness

Winnie the Pooh

I can’t think of a time (other than vacations and outings with friends) where I’ve felt so on top of the world. I feel that I’m able to realize my dreams, be my true self and enjoy everyday to the fullest. It’s overwhelming actually! Oh and I have a TON of energy everyday. I never feel drained or feel I need to be alone all evening.

 

Money

For the first time in my life, I actually have money. Really, I feel ok with spending $3 on an iced coffee after work once or twice a week and it’s amazing. Since I’m not paying rent or utilities, I can concentrate on paying off student loans and by the end of next month another one will be gone. I do want to move by August, but until then I’ll be saving money and I’ll be getting closer to being debt free!

 

People

Zelda tissue box I made for a friend

While I miss my friends in my old city a lot, many of my friends are in this area. In fact, one of my closest friends lives down the road from me now! It’s beyond wonderful to stop by to visit friends and family during the week and weekend. Previously I would see some friends only 3 times a year and family every month or two. That’s not easy when you’re someone who needs to see people they care about.

 

Graduate School

Searching for my sole mate sign

For a while now I’ve been thinking about graduate school, but the local university wasn’t one I wanted to attend.  Now, I’m working near a university with a Masters program I really want.  With my Masters in Special Education, the world would really open up for me (for a reasonable cost of $14,000).  I still have my undergraduate loans, but with my new job I can save up and pay for classes out of pocket (with some grant help).  I have a meeting next week to enroll next spring and I can’t wait!

The Cost of Relocating

Snow(We got another snowstorm!)

In a short eight days I’ll be loading up my dads trailer and making the journey back to my hometown.  It doesn’t seem real as I glance at the boxes in my living room and sit contemplating what else I can go ahead and pack up.  I have a running to do list open on my computer and no fewer than three lists going of what needs to be done and the plans I’ve set with friends in the area.  Earlier I met a mentor & friend for coffee and she gave me advice on where my journey is leading me.  For the first time in years I feel excited about the future and everything coming.

shelf

(another day, another empty shelf)

Despite the excitement I feel right now, I’m stressed out to the point of suffering physical symptoms.  Between filling out new hire paperwork, cancelling services and scheduling appointments, I feel a little worse for wear.  I’ve never been someone who handles stress well and I dislike how I respond to stress.  Yes, it is a lot, but I think the financial implication is what bugs me the most.  You see, I’m having to pay out money to get services done that I won’t get reimbursed for until next month.  When you’re in the education field or working with children, you have to fill out extra paperwork to prove you’re a good person.  It amounts to money on your account until you get reimbursed later on.  Total cost for all the paperwork I fill out so far?  $60.  It’s not a lot, but combined with the moving cost, it’s something!  I won’t say the full amount, but let’s just say despite having a nice amount saved up, releasing fees, cleaning companies and the likes has punched my checking account in the face.

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Despite the initial cost, there are so many advantages to my move;

1) More job opportunities, promotions, more money

2) Being close to family instead of 2+ hours away

3) Being close to friends I typically only see 3X a year

4) ‘ll be near the university I want to get my Masters through

5)  I’ll be living in the area I want to settle in permanently

6)  I won’t be paying utilities or rent for at least 2 months, meaning more money to pay off my student loans and having money.  Wait, I have money to buy a book??

Have you ever relocated for a job?  Family?  More opportunities?

In Defense of Moving Home to Save Money

snow

With my new job in another city and two hours away from where I currently live, I’ll be relocating in the next two weeks in order to be closer.  I plan on living with a grandmother during that time who lives 40-60 minutes away (depending on traffic).  It’s by no means an ideal drive, but with a 7 hour workday, I consider it not terrible.  I have a cousin who commutes almost two hours both ways and has done so for the last four years.  I know it won’t be forever, but the length of time I’ll do it could be up to 6 months.  As I played with numbers last night, I realized it would be in my best financial interest to do this for a bit longer than a month because no rent means an extra $1000 or so a month.

a) Pay off more of my student loans

b) Money to put towards savings and retirement

c) Having flex money instead of penny pinching

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For the last three years I’ve lived on my own, but during my 1-2 week breaks from school (we’re year round) I’ll stay with family or friends for a while and it’s fine.  I’m someone who needs their alone time, but my grandmother is the same way which is why we do well together.  I’ve lived with her in the past (my parents, brother and I stayed with her for 6 months while our new house was being built) and will be helping her with bills and groceries.

 Snow (Today’s a good day to stay snowed in!)

I recognize there’s a stigma (at least in the US) of living with family, but I ask why?  In a lot of other countries, it’s not uncommon for adult children to stay with family until their late 20s or 30s.  I was shown and brought up on the principal that family is always there when you need help.  I’m in the same boat as many post-grads who are paying off their student loans and working out the schematics of their careers and future lives.  If I didn’t have student loans, it would be a short stay.  Due to having them, I’ll extend the stay, but start an time table of when to move. By then my student loans will have a huge dent and my savings will be pretty high.  Just because I have money doesn’t mean I’ll spend it.  Plus I’ll be side-hustling with babysitting, tutoring, freelancing and what not.

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That’s enough financial talk for now.  I think a geeky post is due in the near future!  I pose a question to end things off;

Do you think there is still a stigma against adults who stay with family while working and saving money?  Have you stayed with family for a month or more to get on your feet?

Changes are coming–I got a new job!

Picture 134

Without going in-depth, I made the tearful decision to leave my current job and accepted a new one this week.  It’s going to be an emotional next two weeks as I prepare to leave the place I’ve called home for almost three years.  It means a definite change in life, especially because I have four close friends here, two of which I consider to be best friends.  If all my friends lived close by, life would be perfect!

 

Since I start my next job in three weeks, I’ve already started making preparations to move since I’ll be relocating for my new job.  It feels strange to be moving all my stuff back to my hometown (temporarily) after moving out four years ago after college.  I’ve started looking for places reasonably close to my new job, but in the meantime I look forward to having few bills (and more to pay off student loans!)  Since I want to pay those off, I’m opting for cheaper living for the time being.  The advantage is I’ll be working in the area I one day want to settle in and I plan on taking advantage of my schools tuition reimbursement policy to get my masters.  I don’t want any more student loans and luckily there are ways for teachers to get their masters virtually free.

photo(1)

As you can see in the above picture, I’ve been doing a lot of packing over the last two days.  I got boxes from the local ABC store and they were quickly used up.  Luckily my amazing aunt and grandmother are coming tomorrow evening to take a load and bring me more boxes.  I’ll take a second load sometime next weekend and then the following weekend my furniture and other things will be moved out.  Phew!  Hard to believe in 2 weeks I’ll be gone from here…but these things tend to happen fast (in my experience).

 

It’s also been a great way to purge a few things through sales and Goodwill donations.  I have a few things to take to the bookstore and sell still, but there are 81 things (and growing) on their way to goodwill in the near future.  This move might allow me to complete my ‘Get rid of 500 things’ goal I set to complete in the next 3 years!

window

The next few weeks will be bittersweet and will mark the end of one chapter of my life and the beginning of another.  This is an awful lot of changes coming right before my 28th birthday!  Still, I’m excited for the future in a way I haven’t been in a long time.  It’ll be nice to be close to family and close friends again, but it’ll take a while to get over not seeing friends here almost everyday.