Author Topic: Talk me out of my Apartment?  (Read 3932 times)

cashstasherat23

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Talk me out of my Apartment?
« on: November 25, 2014, 01:14:57 PM »
So in February I started a new job in NYC. For the first few months I lived at home rent-free and commuted to the city, paying about $245 a month in bus fares. This was not ideal for me, as the commute was very long (1.5 hours each way) and I did not have time to go to the gym, and was often late to work because of traffic.

In April I moved to an apartment near the city, and now pay $800 a month for rent, plus another $100 or so in utilities, plus $98/month for a bus pass. I wanted to move partly because of the commute, but also to experience city life and living on my own. While it has been nice to have a 25 minute commute to the city, I am now thinking that it might be better to sacrifice for a year to save money and pay down my student loan debt, instead of paying $1,000 a month to live in an apartment with roommates that I do not particularly like (they drive me crazy!). I do not go out often in the city as I am trying to save money, so am mostly paying now to have a shorter commute.

If I move home, I will probably still be able to live rent-free, but will contribute to bills like internet, heating, and groceries. I will need a bus pass ($245 again), but should be saving around $700 a month. In the time that has passed, my office has also changed our schedule, so we are now open from 9-5 instead of 9-6 previously, which I think will ease a bit of the pain of the commute if I leave the city an hour earlier.  Also to note, my parents are hoping to leave the house within the year and move to NH, so this is a limited time opportunity, but one that I think it would be wise to take advantage of while it still remains.

I think I know what the right thing to do is, but just am conflicted because it feels like a step back to me to go back home, even though I think it is the smarter financial decision! Any thoughts?

SpicyMcHaggus

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2014, 03:33:25 PM »
This is a sh*t sandwich either way.
Someone with more NYC experience should chime in... but I could not stomach a 90 minute commute.
I would pay the rent. I hate traffic. Can you seek alternative arrangements like splitting an apt with someone that would reduce your costs?

lhamo

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2014, 08:53:22 PM »
I would try to find better roommates first.

Ricky

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2014, 04:00:27 AM »
Well first off, we have no idea whether the extra ~$600 is actually significant to you or not. If you're making sub $60k, It probably is significant.

Whatever you do, don't go back go a 1.5hr commute. That's just asking for early burnout. You could probably do much better as far as location for $800/mo with better roommates. I'd keep that goal in mind and find something else ASAP as assuming you can sublet your lease.

Going back sounds good on paper, but in the long run its actually probably the worse financial decision you can make when you factor in burnout, social life, ease of finding better opportunities, etc.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 04:03:09 AM by Ricky »

cashstasherat23

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2014, 08:01:12 AM »
Interesting...not the responses I thought I would get, but very great points! I am making about $45K, so the extra money saved would be significant, but I am not struggling/just getting by paying the rent, just feeling as though that money could be better spent elsewhere.

I'm on a month to month lease, so can get out whenever I want which is nice. I am actually in a prime location, right on the Jersey side of the Lincoln Tunnel, so the commute is usually 25 min door to door, with a 15 minute bus ride and about a .5 mile walk to my office. The roommates do suck though, so I think I may start to look for a little bit cheaper apt, in the $650 range, with people who hopefully suck less.

Thanks everyone for your responses-really helped to have an outside point of view!

Bob W

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2014, 08:09:36 AM »
Just had a similar discussion with daughter who makes much less.   She --"I want to rent a $400 apt in the city closer to work"  Me "move home and drive 30 minutes each way to save $300 per month."  Her "that is too far"  Me "not its not"

For someone single young and in debt my belief is that the debt is your first priority.   So 3 hours of commuting isn't a big deal for you.   You would just be sitting around watching TV anyway.  So you can watch your tab on the transit journey.    If you're not doing anything significant in the 2.25 hours per day then move home and focus on paying the debt.   

Also focus on finding a higher paying job or getting a promotion.  It is my understanding that 45K in NYC sucks as far as ability to live goes. 

Put me down in the commute until your debt free camp. 

cashstasherat23

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2014, 08:18:03 AM »
Thanks for the input Bob! Trust me, I am working on a promotion or a higher paying job! :)

Ricky

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2014, 08:21:10 AM »
Just had a similar discussion with daughter who makes much less.   She --"I want to rent a $400 apt in the city closer to work"  Me "move home and drive 30 minutes each way to save $300 per month."  Her "that is too far"  Me "not its not"

For someone single young and in debt my belief is that the debt is your first priority.   So 3 hours of commuting isn't a big deal for you.   You would just be sitting around watching TV anyway.  So you can watch your tab on the transit journey.    If you're not doing anything significant in the 2.25 hours per day then move home and focus on paying the debt.   

Also focus on finding a higher paying job or getting a promotion.  It is my understanding that 45K in NYC sucks as far as ability to live goes. 

Put me down in the commute until your debt free c

Student loan debt is not credit card debt and its presumably low interest. 30 minutes is incredibly different than his situation. He's already at 30 minutes.

OP would be sacrificing 10 hours/week in commute time by moving back. That's a LONG time. Over the course of a year, that's 22 days worth of time lost by sitting on a bus. The only practical way to be productive on a bus is to read, and not everyone can even do that.

SpicyMcHaggus

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2014, 08:59:02 AM »
Just had a similar discussion with daughter who makes much less.   She --"I want to rent a $400 apt in the city closer to work"  Me "move home and drive 30 minutes each way to save $300 per month."  Her "that is too far"  Me "not its not"

For someone single young and in debt my belief is that the debt is your first priority.   So 3 hours of commuting isn't a big deal for you.   You would just be sitting around watching TV anyway.  So you can watch your tab on the transit journey.    If you're not doing anything significant in the 2.25 hours per day then move home and focus on paying the debt.   

Also focus on finding a higher paying job or getting a promotion.  It is my understanding that 45K in NYC sucks as far as ability to live goes. 

Put me down in the commute until your debt free camp.

Or use that extra 2 hours per day to be more mustachian in other ways- home cooking, reducing other expendatures.
Get a second job;  even at only $10 / hr, that extra 2 hours per day is $400 / month.
Use extra 2 hours to truly excel at your existing job, earn early promotion and raise, and then move on to another better job.
Use the time to seek out better paying job or job closer to parents house.

Icecreamarsenal

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2014, 07:30:57 PM »
How many months are you able to take advantage of a savings of $700/month?
I used to have $150k in student debt.  I no longer do, and it feels gooood. So do it.
I live in jersey city, 1 minute from the holland tunnel.
Try taking the bus, reading about personal finance on the commute, and listening to the bigger pockets podcast.
Write the great American novel.
I know what bus you take, I think, and I've taken it.
I wish I had a chauffeur; now I drive 25 min to work: my hands are busy with the steering wheel, can't read the morning paper...
The best I can do is listen to personal finance audiobooks from the library.

MacGyverIt

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2014, 08:01:53 AM »
I've done the loooong commute with public transportation and it wasn't great but I saved a lot money and stress not driving and I listened to a ton of audiobooks/podcasts during the commute. I chose to do this to save on the commute -- to save $700 a month, no question I would swing this for a year.

If you have a smart phone with data, use the commute to look for a better paying job in the city -- even better --  any job closer to home/in a lower cost area rather than moving yourself to an more expensive location for the current job.

Also, would your parents be willing to rent to their house to you when they relocate?
Will your job entertain once a week telecommuting?

theonethatgotaway

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2014, 06:14:43 AM »
Here's my take (moving back to NYC very soon):

1 1/2 hour commutes in the city are generally those that a. really need the extra money and b. suburban families

We want to move to the subs with out kids, but all the commutes are unrealistic for quality of life reasons. (also a house vs condo are pretty much same price)

You live right there. Living closer to the city gives you a LOT of options since you also have a LOT more free time. Start utilizing those options.

A. get rid of the roommates/ find better ones
B. Find a cheaper place-  since you are in jersey this should be possible
C. THEN, start analyzing your free time (you have an extra 15 hours a week without the commute)
D. Use that free time to your advantage- self improvement, hobbies, socializing (non stop)
E. Start the side hustle to boost your income to cancel out your rent.
F. grow your side hustle
G. get a raise at your current job
F. quit current job for better offer


Hands down, staying in the city will be much better for you in the long run. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders. Just look at the problem laterally and then come up with ideas about how to approach it.

theonethatgotaway

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2014, 06:19:17 AM »
I also want to add that my husbands best friend lives in Hell's Kitchen area and pays a whopping $300 in rent (and he makes 80k+). He shares a place with his coworkers (some pay 1k, one pays 600) and basically lives in a single bed type room.

Point is: You can get all that you are looking for (cheap rent+short commute) without relocating so far away and losing so much time. Look for a while longer before jumping back.

theadvicist

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2014, 06:28:06 AM »
Honestly, since it's for a short amount of time before your parents move, and the potential savings, I would do it.

Yes, a 1.5 commute sounds awful... but, you know it will come to an end when they move, and, it's on a bus. Therefore I would try to see it as 3 hours of free time to read each day! If you got home earlier, what would you do with the time? If it's just watch TV, then reading is (in my opinion) a better use of the time. If it's read a book, well, you're just changing the location.

Important notes on why I came to this conclusion: young, single, no family who are missing you (I mean, your parents will enjoy seeing you, but they get -more- of that by your living with them. I mean you're not missing your kids bedtime or something). You finish work at 5pm, so even with a long commute I don't think you are in 'burnout' territory.

Just my take, and I can see it's quite different from the prevailing opinion.

Sarita

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2014, 09:50:41 PM »
Any chance you could work remotely a couple days a week?  That might tip the equation.

aschmidt2930

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Re: Talk me out of my Apartment?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2014, 10:16:48 PM »
I would pay the rent and avoid the commute.  The savings would be nice, but working full-time with a three hour commute you're likely to get burnt out.  Getting burnt out equals lesser performance and the job, and lower raises and a lower chance of promotion.  It also makes you miserable. 

Granted, I've never lived in NYC, but that rent sounds extremely reasonable for the area.  I pay that in downtown Dallas, a one bedroom though.