Author Topic: What should I do about my rent?  (Read 3525 times)

tylerk

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What should I do about my rent?
« on: September 02, 2014, 04:57:44 PM »
Hi all,

I'm trying to figure out what to do about my largest monthly expense, my rent. My take home pay is about $5500 monthly (so not including taxes, child support, 401k, health insurance, etc.) and the rent is $1750. I don't have any debt, and the rest of my fixed expenses (utilities, etc.) are pretty minimal.

The pros of living here are:
  • Close to where my kids live (they live with their mother most of the time)
  • I like the city a lot
  • Not much need for a car

I can't help but think that spending this much on rent is a waste, but getting a cheaper place isn't much of an option. This is a fairly high cost of living area, and in addition, I'd really prefer to keep a separate bedroom for the kids so they have their own space when they're here. Spending significantly less on a 2 bedroom would involve a pretty drastic relocation, which likely eliminates the pros I've just listed.

Any other creative ideas I'm not thinking of? Is it even worth trying to change it, or should I just accept it?

Malaysia41

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Re: What should I do about my rent?
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2014, 05:01:06 PM »
Can you airBNB that spare bedroom?

tylerk

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Re: What should I do about my rent?
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2014, 05:06:04 PM »
Can you airBNB that spare bedroom?

Interesting idea! I'd probably have to run it by a lawyer... I think it would *technically* violate the terms of my lease, and I definitely wouldn't want to run the risk of getting evicted.

mozar

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Re: What should I do about my rent?
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2014, 07:25:05 PM »
Do you have a car? Can you get rid of it and rent a car sometimes? I would be inclined to keep the place, but it's hard to  decide without more info, like what the cost of similar rentals are in the area, could you get a 1 bedroom with a Murphy bed? Are you able to meet your financial goals?

DoubleDown

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Re: What should I do about my rent?
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2014, 12:08:28 PM »
$1750 does not sound like too much for a 2-BR in a high cost of living area. Assuming you've already priced other options (take a look what's available on craigslist or other online rental resources) and your rent is on par with the going rate, I'd accept it as the cost of doing business. You are making an excellent salary living where you are, with lots to spare after paying the rent. Maintaining space for your kids and nearby to them should be a priority. So, short of finding a lower price on a completely comparable apartment, I'd say carry on and enjoy!

Also, as a divorced dad with kids who got tons of (bona fide expert) parenting advice, I would absolutely stay away from suggestions to downsize or to turn it into AirBnB lodging or anything else. On the contrary, you should turn that spare bedroom into a dedicated space for them, decorated appropriately for ages with their own, personal things. It should not be a storage room with a bed, or an office, or anything else but a bedroom for them. They should feel like that is their bedroom, not just a "place where they stay when they're with dad." The fact that they're with their mother most of the time makes this even more imperative.

frugaliknowit

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Re: What should I do about my rent?
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2014, 01:39:44 PM »
It's a bit steep for someone that really wants to grow wealth.  I am estimating your rent is around 25% of gross, better than most folks, but for someone with 2 kids and paying child support, it would be preferable to have you at a lower ratio.

You don't say whether you own a car or not.  It would really help if you did not and somehow managed with alternatives like transit, cabs, car sharing, etc.  I agree that the bedroom should be "there's" and not multipurposed for bonding purposes.

acemanhattan

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Re: What should I do about my rent?
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 01:53:52 PM »

Also, as a divorced dad with kids who got tons of (bona fide expert) parenting advice, I would absolutely stay away from suggestions to downsize or to turn it into AirBnB lodging or anything else. On the contrary, you should turn that spare bedroom into a dedicated space for them, decorated appropriately for ages with their own, personal things. It should not be a storage room with a bed, or an office, or anything else but a bedroom for them. They should feel like that is their bedroom, not just a "place where they stay when they're with dad." The fact that they're with their mother most of the time makes this even more imperative.

I see where you're coming from, but how about this work-around: Kids get a devoted bedroom as you say, but dads room is decorated/maintained in a manner that allows it to be the AirBnB room; when kids are there dad sleeps in the AirBnB room, and when they aren't there (and the AirBnB room is rented), dad moves into the kids room. 

Wolf_Stache

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Re: What should I do about my rent?
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 01:57:04 PM »
$1750 does not sound like too much for a 2-BR in a high cost of living area. Assuming you've already priced other options (take a look what's available on craigslist or other online rental resources) and your rent is on par with the going rate, I'd accept it as the cost of doing business. You are making an excellent salary living where you are, with lots to spare after paying the rent. Maintaining space for your kids and nearby to them should be a priority. So, short of finding a lower price on a completely comparable apartment, I'd say carry on and enjoy!

Also, as a divorced dad with kids who got tons of (bona fide expert) parenting advice, I would absolutely stay away from suggestions to downsize or to turn it into AirBnB lodging or anything else. On the contrary, you should turn that spare bedroom into a dedicated space for them, decorated appropriately for ages with their own, personal things. It should not be a storage room with a bed, or an office, or anything else but a bedroom for them. They should feel like that is their bedroom, not just a "place where they stay when they're with dad." The fact that they're with their mother most of the time makes this even more imperative.

I have to agree with DoubleDown. You can downsize once your kid(s) are older. Right now, they need to know you have a space just for them.

My parents got divorced when I was 12, and we lived with my mom most of the time. My dad had a room for us, but it was also their guest room. And it made it feel like he didn't really want us there, or we were just temporary. I still have a very very rocky relationship with my dad to this day.

I totally +1 everything DoubleDown said. It is important for your kids to have *their* space and to know they are always welcome.