What’s in store & check your math!

January 22, 2012 at 9:00 am (goals, house, Saving Money) ()

I love fidding around in excel. Since ex-mr. maven decided to move to the central plains, I’ve been running scenarios in my budget spreadsheets of how long it will take me to pay off my debt. I felt girded to slay the lion, I felt ok. I had a longer slog ahead, but I was prepared and armed with my facts and figures. Then I’ve been discussing possibly moving to a house with a girlfriend and cohabitating to split rent and utilities (unlike the scenario with mr. maven living with me). I reran the figures, taking into account the additional money I’d save.

Lo and behold I realized I had made a fatal flaw in my initial calculations!!!! Excel works great to extend a series of numbers and formulas. What is NOT very good at is extending dates. I had extended my months from Jan ’12 to Feb ’12 down through the years, but somehow, it messed up and I “misplaced” an entire year! I realized that because I F’d up the date column, when I thought i’d be ok to pay off all debt by end of 2013, it was more like end of 2013/early 2014!!!!!!!! Crap!

so basically, unless I make an extra $300/month, or pay less rent/utilities by $300/month, I’m looking at 3 years to pay off debt. If I get a cheaper place, then I can shave a year off and make it back to my original, end of 2013 projected date payout.

I’m such a dork. Oh well, good to know these things now!

So yesterday my girlfriend, S, and i went to look at a few places together. It’s a bit of a rude awakening. We are both in our 40s, both working adult professionals (she works in a scientific field, so makes more than me!), and both single. We’re both also done with cheap/sub-par places (no more dingy mother in law basement apartents). It’s amazing how poor the choices are for places in my price range. I am ok up to splitting a $1350/month house. Any more and it’s almost not worth it.  That means that either the house will be a dump in the best/most central areas of Seattle, or be on the fringes, or in a bad neighborhood. Basically, it’s a radical shift in amenities and neighborhood quality of life. She wants a place she can walk around in the evening (ie, it needs sidewalks and should be a lower-crime area). We both want to be close to a good/inexpensive gym. I don’t want a hideous commute. She’s considering leaving Seattle in a year, so it has to be a place I can find a replacement roommate to live in if she moves out later on. It needs to be 2 bedrooms with copious extra storage (ie garage, extra bedroom, etc). We both have a household of stuff in furniture, and we both like room for projects (and I have a ton of art in storage from having done art shows). In a way it’s fun, but in a bigger way, it’s depressing. Plus there’s that really fine line of finding a place that you want, with enough time to give notice to both our existing landlords, when the landlord we would be applying with wants a renter sooner than we would be available to move in (like in a week, or Feb. 1 for example). It will be really hard a good place, with the pressure of beating another person to the punch, while having enough time to give 1 month’s notice. Ugh.

I’ve never lived in an apartment – maybe i should just find a cheap place and do that. Ugh, but I want a yard. Anyway, the house hunt is on. And remember…double check your math, people!

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