Author Topic: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.  (Read 4198 times)

Tel

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Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« on: April 15, 2014, 08:03:42 AM »
So here is my current situation:

  • I currently live in a house share, and pay $150/week plus utilities for a room.
  • I work 5 days a week, and live 12km from work.
  • To catch the bus & train I have to leave home 45 minutes before I start.
  • Public transport costs are $3.65/day/each way, $36.5/week.
  • I average about 7 and a half hours a week commuting.
  • I don't cook enough, I end up buying lunch more than I'm proud of.
  • My girlfriend lives 1.2km away, and she works very close to me, her commute times and public transport costs are the same.

Here's what is going to happen (as of less than two weeks)
  • We are moving in together into our own place (she currently lives with her mother).
  • This new house is a 4 minute walk away from work for me, and a 15 minute walk away for her.
  • The house rent will cost $550 a week. That's $275/week for each of us. $125 more a week than I am paying now (for myself only).
  • Our public transport costs will be $0 a week. (savings of $73 combined/week)
  • We plan to do our bulk cooking on the weekend, we've done it twice this past month and I've found it enjoyable and saves a bucket load of money. A typical lunch (say burger and side, no drink) from my local lunch areas at works averages $16-$18 take away! I've calculated that I can get home cooked meals averaging around $4 each. No ALDI/Costco or similar stores where I am.
  • We won't have a TV when we move in. I've very keen to not buy one for as long as possible. We never had and never will get cable. I've been avoiding my TV for the past week and haven't missed it one bit. I normally can't wait to watch my shows as they come out, but something in my brain has shifted and I've got over 6 episodes of various things stacked up and I'm not even interested.
  • We will need to buy a refrigerator, washing machine, couch, office desk and spare bed. We pretty much have everything else. I've ran the numbers and I think getting a new fridge and washing machine from a manufacturer with a 5 year parts, labor and motor warranty works out the safest, and only an extra 20-30% more than what is on Gumtree (Australia's craiglist) which would have no warranty.
  • I plan to sell my car when we move. I barely drive it now, I will NEVER drive it when we move. We will share my girlfriends car which she got for $1200 2 years ago, at 12000km. 2000 model 1.5L auto hatchback. I have zero desire to impress anyone with what I drive. She has third party insurance only. We may consider trading it in sometime and getting a ~8-10 year old wagon of some sort. Maybe a Toyota Carolla Wagon or Nissan X-Trail
  • Our new house is quite small, One bedroom, one small 'bedroom' which we plan to use for a study, one bathroom, european laundry outside, no car space. I'm looking forward to the chance to be very restricted in what we can own. My girlfriend has way too much stuff, it's going to be interesting when we get there and we don't have enough space to store everything. I told her we're not filling up a spare room with boxes.
  • My girlfriend has a few very very expensive medical items, so we will have to insure them. I think we may just get contents insurance, but I'm set against not insuring the things that we wouldn't bother replacing, and/or are low risk of theft. Currently my laptop and my tools are insured, but nothing else I own.
  • There is a farmers market every Sunday 600 metres away from the new house. I believe this would help lower our groceries bill/cost per meal, as well as being mostly organic and healthier. There are also lemon and orange trees in the backyard
  • There is plenty of space in this new house to have a worm compost bin and general compost bins. I've vermicomposted before and found it incredibly easy.
  • The maintenance is relatively low maintenance. No lawn, just plants, trees. The landlords seem happy for the fallen tree leaves to provide most of the mulch for the garden beds.

I didn't format this as a 'case study' as I was more after discussion just about moving in. I am certain beyond a doubt that the substantially higher rent I will be paying will be more than made up for with zero commute cost, one less car to maintain, register and insure, and simply having an extra day of free time per person per week. Is there anything else I should do. Has anyone else done anything similar in the past?

Kind Regards
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 08:54:09 AM by Tel »

seattlecyclone

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 08:21:31 AM »
Congrats on moving in a good direction! My wife and I jettisoned a car when we moved in together and we haven't looked back. The only reason we would ever want to have two cars is if we were both going to different places at the same time, neither of which are easily accessible by public transit. That situation has almost never happened in five years of living together.

I think it's interesting that you have to buy a refrigerator and washing machine for your rental unit. In America all major appliances are generally furnished by the landlord.

Tel

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2014, 08:36:40 AM »
Here in Australia, in my City at least, most houses aren't furnished. Apartments sometimes are, but definitely not always. The dishwasher is pretty much the only appliance that is typically included that isn't bolted to the building.

Oh I forgot to mention, my new house is also a 5 minute walk to the train line, and a 2 minute walk to a bus straight into the CBD. It's also 100 metres from a major bicycling path, and 90 second drive from the freeway entrance. And since it's near the CBD, if you did have to drive on the freeway you would be heading in the opposite direction of the peak/rush hour.

I think even with one car, it will spend 99% of it's time sitting on the street parking. If we had rent-by-the-hour car rentals here we would probably just do that. Although the fixed costs for her car are extremely low, although On road vehicle registration costs are quite high in Australia. Probably around $650 or so for compulsory insurance and registration, plus third party property at $200/year, plus maintenance etc. Depreciation is probably next to nothing though.

Another note, the new house has a dishwasher and gas cooking. I have electric hotplates and no dishwasher where I am now and I hate it. Also electricity is much more expensive here than gas.

 It also has reverse cycle air conditioning in the master bedroom and living room. Max and min temperatures for my climate are probably -2 degrees to +48 degrees centigrade depending on season. In winter we just use an electric blanket (70w Max per person, usually leave it on lowest setting) and have no room heating when we sleep. The house is insulated, clay terracotta tile roof unfortunately but at least the walls are white. Gets limited sun in winter but has good shading in summer. I'm hoping we won't need the heating at all, and plan to toughen up and only use the aircon if it gets unbearable. I hate it how most people I know (including my dropkick housemates) will turn the HVAC on as soon as it gets 1 degree out of their comfort zone. I also hate it how most people believe "Well if I'm using the air conditioner, I may as well turn it up all the way so I am super comfortable".
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 08:45:04 AM by Tel »

JohnGalt

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2014, 08:40:20 AM »
Are you sure it's actually going to save you money? Going from $150/wk to to $550/wk rent and $150 utilities to $275 is a lot to make up. 

I'm not saying you shouldn't do it.. the time savings and having your own place, plus that it's two people vs just you that it's covering now are all benefits that offset that cost.
I guess I would just challenge you to see if there are less expensive options in the same area.  $550/wk in rent is quite a lot.  I don't know where you're at (though I might guess somewhere like Sydney) but I've been looking at places in highly urban areas (Sydney - though that was a few months ago when I was considering a job offer there, Seattle, San Francisco) lately and could definitely do it cheaper than $550/wk and be quite comfortable. 

Tel

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2014, 08:47:05 AM »
Are you sure it's actually going to save you money? Going from $150/wk to to $550/wk rent and $150 utilities to $275 is a lot to make up. 

I'm not saying you shouldn't do it.. the time savings and having your own place, plus that it's two people vs just you that it's covering now are all benefits that offset that cost.
I guess I would just challenge you to see if there are less expensive options in the same area.  $550/wk in rent is quite a lot.  I don't know where you're at (though I might guess somewhere like Sydney) but I've been looking at places in highly urban areas (Sydney - though that was a few months ago when I was considering a job offer there, Seattle, San Francisco) lately and could definitely do it cheaper than $550/wk and be quite comfortable.

Hi John,

I pay $150/week plus utilities ($15/week) for a room for myself at the moment.

The rent will be $550/week for the house. So $275 each. Plus utilities.
So that would be $150 to $275. An extra $125 a week for myself. Utilities should stay relatively the same per person.

There were less expensive options in the same area, $450 seemed the lowest. But the drop in lifestyle, as in how you feel in your home; having a backyard, not having people living above you, higher quality of construction in the house, insulation, higher ceilings, ceiling fans, having a reasonable sized and cupboarded kitchen that I would find more enjoyable to cook in, gas appliances and dishwasher more than made up the $50/week each difference.


  • It will cost $550/week plus utilities ($275 each) up from $150 for me.


I realize how I've phrased it is very misleading. I'll fix it up.

Also note that my car insurance at the moment costs me about $90 a month. That's pretty much the best I can do considering I'm under 25, even though I've been driving for 7 years with no accident history, sigh. I expect to save over $4000 a year by losing my car, with insurance, registration, maintenance, depreciation. That comes to $76 a week. Plus $36 a week less public transport costs. That's $112 a week savings. Almost the same as the extra rent I'm paying.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 09:00:24 AM by Tel »

samburger

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2014, 10:06:32 AM »
  • I average about 7 and a half hours a week commuting.

That's a whole workday! Living close to work is going to make a HUGE difference in your quality of life. I just chopped my 10 hour weekly commute down to 30 minutes (weekly!). The difference is just incredible.

MayDay

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2014, 10:15:56 AM »
It would be worth it to me just to lose the commute!  Which will then give you time to save money in other ways (home cooking, etc). 

The biggest challange that stands out to me is your girlfriend's stuff and navigating living in the same shared (small) space.  I consider those both the same problem because I know for my H and I, we fought a good bit about all his junk.  Can she leave a lot of the stuff in her bedroom at her mom's house, and just move stuff to the new house as she actually needs it and has space for it?  Just to warn you, your definition of "the spare room will not be filled up with boxes!" might be vastly different than her version.  Much easier to hash out exactly what you mean before she packs it all up and drags it over.  I am envisioning a lovely room with no boxes at all when you say that, but she may be envisioning 10 boxes jammed under the bed, the closet stuffed full, but no boxes IN VIEW, lol. 

Anatidae V

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2014, 11:02:04 PM »
She's moving out of home. If she's not paying for any living costs now, chances are that your overall costs will go up. Don't pressure yourselves to suddenly start bulk cooking and taking lunch every day the moment you move in together. You will screw food up. But work on it, and after you've had a few months to settle you should see your spending settle into a nice place, with a location that great.

One thing that stood out to me- don't buy a spare bed. Get a futon that can do couch/bed duty if it's important to you, or a foam camp mattress or similar. That small bedroom you want to use as a study is likely smaller than you think it is.

StarryC

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2014, 11:48:45 PM »
I agree on not buying a bed.  Also wait on a washing machine until you see a good deal if it is a must.  In the mean time, perhaps wash at her mom's or a laundromat? (In the US most apartments aren't "furnished" but in most places a Fridge isn't furniture, in some places it is required by law, like a water heater, and a furnace/ heater for the house as a condition of the house being livable.)

In the US renter's insurance covers both your property damaged by an outside source, and damage you may cause to the landlord's property (fire/ water issues), and injury you might cause to others away from home, or injury to other people in your home (falls, dog bites).  It is worth it to get in the US.  I don't know about Australia though. 

Be understanding about the GF's stuff.  When I've lived with roommates, I've almost always felt that they had an unreasonable amount of stuff (who still has CDs in the cases?!  Who has 5 pairs of flip flops?! Who buys that kitchen tool when a knife would work?!) and I eventually found they felt the same about me (Why do you have so many books?! Who separates indoor/outdoor running shoes?!  Why did you buy 5 cans of tomato sauce just because they were on sale?!)  But I loved and wanted my stuff, while I didn't care about theirs.   Also, what looks like a lot in her bedroom/ your room could not seem like so much when you have bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen.

You won't be saving money.  But it sounds like you will be happier, and your girl friend won't be relying on parents anymore.  Mustachianism isn't about only the lowest expense, so I think you can make a choice to spend more to buy time away from commuting, relationship with your gf, and independence/ freedom from roommates and family. 
« Last Edit: April 16, 2014, 11:15:10 AM by StarryC »

lhamo

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2014, 03:10:06 AM »
Are you familiar with the book YOur Money or Your Life?  Even though it sounds like you've already made your decision, you might want to try calculating how reducing your commute time and the other factors you mentioned figure in when you count your "real hourly wage" -- that is the figure that takes into account both time and work-related expenses to figure out what your REAL hourly take home pay is relative to your salary and the amount of time/money you spend on things connected to your job.  Commuting is a huge drag on my RHW, for example, not because of the monetary cost (I usually use public transit, which costs less than $1/day) but because of the TIME involved (I lose 2-3 hours a day to my commute, depending on when/how I travel). 

I'm currently involved in a search for new office space.  Unfortunately due to needing to consider other people's needs, I can't choose the options closest to me, but I'm probably going to be able to cut my commute in half, at least, and make it a bike-able distance.  I'm anticipating that my quality of life is going to go up tremendously.

Oh, but one warning:  If you have any workaholic tendencies, be very mindful of not spending too much time at the office.  When DH and I first started working after grad school, we lived within a 5 minute walk from the office, and we spent a lot of time going early/staying late - more than we would have if we had to commute.  Part of that was also that we were used to working pretty much all the time we weren't sleeping, eating, or working out (a dissertation will do that to you), so hadn't gotten used to shutting work off yet.  Also very tempting just to pop in to check on something, which can turn into tons of overtime. 

Dr. A

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2014, 10:59:12 AM »
Be understanding about the GF's stuff.

This. But applied to everything. Battle-picking is by far the most important skill to have when you first move in with a partner. She's going to do a lot of things that annoy the crap out of you. If you try to change them all "you're gonna have a bad time". Figure out what you can live with, what you can't and be open and honest about it. And remember that you're going to annoy the crap out of her a lot too.

I agree that the house costs a lot, but as long as you guys have a mustachian savings rate, it wouldn't bother me that much. A lot of the changes you're describing seem like real happiness-improvements, just keep testing that hypothesis and practice constant optimization.

The first three years I lived with my wife were in an expensive, teeny-tiny apartment in NYC, within walking distance from both our offices, and pretty much anything I could ever want to do. It was awesome.

stripey

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2014, 02:21:36 AM »
For the capital city I am in,  for central suburbs/cbd the rent sounds about correct. Personally if I worked in the CBD I would probably live close in too (I have selected where I live because it's very close to public transport options). For me, being able to ditch the commute and have only one car between two- for me and what I value it would be a good choice despite the pricey rent.

In terms of moving in- particularly with a partner still currently living at home- I would suggest just going 'gently, gently' on the frugal measures. Make it a chance to gradually 'grow' together.

P.S. I am not a fan of electric blankets. A few hot water bottles, flannel sheets and snuggling with partner make a far nicer warmth and cost less in my opinion! (I have lived in some pretty cold parts of Australia too)

limeandpepper

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2014, 03:30:55 AM »
I wouldn't count on reduced expenses in other areas being able to make up for that big increase in rent... BUT... replacing the 45-minute bus/train ride with a 4-minute walk would be so fantastic!

P.S. I am not a fan of electric blankets. A few hot water bottles, flannel sheets and snuggling with partner make a far nicer warmth and cost less in my opinion! (I have lived in some pretty cold parts of Australia too)

Agree with this. Electric blankets or heaters aren't really necessary. Warm clothing, warm blankets and a warm partner will be totally sufficient. :D

Tel

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Re: Moving in with my partner very close to our workplaces.
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2014, 06:17:34 PM »
Hey guys,

Long time since I've posted, but I've been without internet for a while and busy moving in. I have to leave for work in about 5 minutes but I'll see what I can get down.

We've moved into the new place, a bit of stress moving in and getting furniture (yay Gumtree) but we're starting to settle in. We just need to procure some outdoor furniture and an office desk and we are pretty much set.

We ended up getting the fridge and washing machine new, I did the back of the envelope calculations on new vs second hand, and good quality new came out best.

It takes me about 6 minutes to walk to work, it's great I can come home for lunch, and wake up over an hour later than I used to. I am finding that I'm tending to stay behind at work longer now, one of you warned me about this, I'll need to work on this.

This change of residence also coincided with a move to full time work. I was 3 days a week previously, but now I'm 5 days a week and also got a per hour rate increase. I am earning well below average wage but I am still stuffing away so much money without even trying. I don't understand how people who earn twice as much as I do or even more don't have anything!

Will follow up with more later.