Sunday, June 22, 2008

She Will Move Soon

Thanks to all readers who responded to my post about the gift card. All I would add is that if you did take advantage of the offer and don't get a followup on whether the lead was valid, let me know. You know where to find me. :-)

On June 10, my wife expressed a desire to talk. She said that a couple weeks prior, she had put down a waiting list deposit with the apartment complex she had been eyeing. Earlier that day, the office called her to let her know that a unit was coming up for move-in in August, and they needed an answer before the end of business on Wednesday. She said she wanted to say "yes" to the opening because she was tired of living in limbo.

We talked about the cost. The biggest issue I had was that the rent was about $25 more than what we currently pay for a mortgage. I said I was puzzled by her decision to move because of all the possessions in the house, most were things she wanted and bought. The room decor and paint were all her preferences, too. Of the two of us, I was the one who needed less space and could live on less.

She restated that she didn't want to have to deal with the upkeep up the house. She said she also wanted to move over that way so that she could be closer to both her old best friend and the preschool mom friends. Her old best friend just moved over to a newer subdivision on the far southeast side of town. Moving to that location would allow her to get the kids enrolled in the neighboring township's school system, and would ensure that her kids and her preschool moms friends' kids would be in the same school.

I said that I had recalculated the numbers for child support using the state's calculator website. With my current pay, her pay, me covering the kids health insurance, and her having a lion's share of the overnight stays, it came out to $275/week. The only number missing from that value was child care expenses. If I bumped up the number about $50/week and combined that with her own income, the rent would be right around 1/3 of her net pay.

She said she knew she was going to have to sacrifice on her own, but she said she refused to live in a bad apartment complex, and there weren't that many rentals over in the township. I asked whether she thought it was impossible for her to build a network of friends over here in the local township, and she said it had taken her three years to build the preschool mom friends' network, and she didn't want to have to start over.

During the conversation, she brought up the idea of cashing in the 401(k), something I have opposed consistently because of the penalties involved. She said we should use the money to pay off non-mortgage debt so that we have a clean slate. I said that we needed to talk to a financial counselor to figure out whether there is a better way to meet our goals.

She called the next day to tell them she was taking the apartment. In a way I feel relieved because the holding pattern we have been in is finally about to break, but I am also anxious on whether she can truly make both ends meet, not because she doesn't make enough, but rather because I don't fully believe she can discipline herself to do it.
blog comments powered by Disqus