The true “costs” of cheap rent…

As I sit here writing this post, I do so without the benefit of a hot shower at the end of the day. And “Why is that?”, you might ask. Because the hot water heater in the house share I am renting is no longer working. Ugh.

Housing, rent, or the ability to put a roof over one’s head is generally the most significant, regular, financial obligation one has each month. Generally, if you are in debt, the first question anyone asks is, “How much is your mortgage?” or “How much is your rent?” This is why, if you are someone who has significant debt, one of the first things you may try to do is reduce your mortgage/rent. However, this, like all things, has costs. Costs that must be carefully, and continually, balanced against other interests. In my previous apartment, the cost of cheap rent was occasional pests and a neglectful landlord who believed that the cost of cheap rent was living with these significant discomforts. My current place is much nicer but my absent landlord means the cost of cheap rent is significantly more responsibility than what would normally be expected of tenants. So tomorrow, instead of spending my first weekend off from work, in more than three weeks, on my back, lazing and not doing much, I will instead be trying to find a plumber to address the fact that the house does not have hot water. A the moment, this cost seems significant.

The reality is, I don’t know that I have a choice. Clearer: I don’t have a choice. Maintaining cheap rent is very much key to me getting rid of my student loan debt before I am 40. At one time, I think I thought I wouldn’t have a choice until I was entirely out of debt. However, as I prepare for life after debt, I think this calculation, what I’m willing to “pay/sacrifice” for cheap rent, is something I am going to have to decide sooner than I would like…

Update: The hot water heater began working again. The power to the house occasionally goes out and this seems to be something that is triggered by the HVAC system. I can hear it struggling to turn on and then the power will go out for a moment. When the power comes back on, the HVAC system starts right back up. I think this power outage resulted in our “smart” water heater getting a reset. In the future, if this, unfortunately, happens again, turning the electric breaker off and then back on may be a solution. It feels like I have dedicated far too much time to figuring this out but…cheap rent.

Lunar Do-Over Day 4: February 4th

1. How much did I spend today? – $41.41 – The free ride is officially over now that I am back home. I am making an effort to eat out of my freezer and pantry, so most of the money I spent today was on fresh foods. I also bought a chopper to help make meal prep a bit faster and dry shampoo and conditioner that were on clearance to make a few of my hairstyles last longer.

GroceriesTaiwanese cabbage ($1.29/lb, 7.79lbs) $        (10.35)
HomeChopper $          (9.12)
GroceriesBroccoli crowns, strawberries (2), mandarins (5lbs), turnip greens, and dry shampoo and conditioner $        (21.94)

February Variable (food, gas, misc.) Budget Initial Balance: $463.77
February Variable (food, gas, misc.) Budget Remaining Balance: $379.20

2. What financial information have I learned to help me when I’m debt-free? – See the true costs of cheap rent above.

3. How have I lived abundantly? – I am slowly learning to stop treating my pleasure as “frivolous.” I love fresh flowers (and plants) but while I have been in debt, when I have wanted to buy fresh flowers, I have refrained because I couldn’t justify it. Flowers are not functional and the fact that they literally die within a week of purchase would seem to make them an incredibly self-indulgent purchase. But they make me happy. So happy.

Every time I walk past this Dollar Tree vase and a bouquet of flowers, it makes me so happy. On my way to my bathroom or looking up from work. Happy. Now, before you think I have jumped off the deep end…

Yes…I find my pleasure in the reduced bin. But I find it.

7 thoughts on “The true “costs” of cheap rent…

  1. No hot water is the worst! Your landlord is very lucky to have you to take care of the plumber. But I don’t blame you for considering your other options. 😬.

    Those flowers are beautiful! I would NOT have guessed they were $3.00. Nice work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This issue has been put off for another day now that the hot water is back on… And my landlord is luck to have me, which is why I think the rent is so cheap. I will definitely be sticking around until the end of my lease in June. But I think I will once again at least peak my head around to consider other options…

      Awe, thank you 🙂 Yea, I rummage around the clearance/reduced flower bins. Not only is the $3.00-$5.00 amount something that I feel like I can justify but also I feel a bit less bad because it seems like they would end up in the trash bin if I (or someone…but me) didn’t purchase them.

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  2. I’m so happy- selfishly- to see all these posts! I’m running short on blogs that I can relate to as many that I started years ago have just changed course. I can’t follow the high income blogs all that well, nor the ones that are families as it’s much much easier to double down on expenses when there are others at home. Speaking for myself, that would make me rather weird if I stayed home and spent no entertainment dollars. That being said, the new Moneypit, er.. home purchase, has interestingly cut way down on the budget as now people can actually come over. And as one friend said, “There will be months where the cost of home improvement is actually less than the value of the booze your friends leave behind.” I’m talkin’ to you, expensive of bottle of bourbon that probably cost more than the new thermostat…

    Anyway, I digress. So nice to have a daily dose!

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    • Hey, Paula. Once again, I am super appreciative that you (and other folks) like reading my posts other than when I have big updates.

      “I can’t follow the high income blogs all that well,” – I feel the same, which is upsetting as they are generally well-written. I think some of it arises from the fact that they talk about finances in what feels like a technical way that is not immediately accessible. Like, I could access it if I really put in the time to think about it. However, I think the other part of it is that it feels very removed from my present concerns/considerations.

      “nor the ones that are families as it’s much much easier to double down on expenses when there are others at home.” I somewhat agree here as well. I think a lot of the “free” stuff you can do at home (like board games or movie nights) is a lot more fun with family. I think alone it is either impossible or just feels like a regular night after work lol.

      “has interestingly cut way down on the budget as now people can actually come over. ” This is very true. I sometimes feel guilty when I propose hanging out at a friends’ place as a way to hang out rather than going out because it is cheaper. I do it anyway because the two friends for whom I propose it like hanging out at their place, they don’t have to drive (which is huge given traffic in my city) and I know they both have student loan debt which means it’s often a better option for them as well.

      Thank you for sharing. And please share more about your new house whenever you feel like it. I love hearing about it.

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