Honestly, the potential for peace and quiet was a great motivating factor in my decision to by a house. We were sick of our upstairs neighbors' music and their tendency to colonize the backyard with all of their friends for marathon drinking and smoking while playing guitar sessions all day every weekend. Before that we had downstairs neighbors with a child that would alternate between screaming and what sounded like running in place for hours on end. 185K later, I live on a peaceful street with quiet neighbors, and after a long day at work, it is worth every cent of my mortgage to enjoy some silence.
My mother took me to see All Dogs Go to Heaven when I was 6. We had to leave the theater because I was sobbing so loudly. Any message about the afterlife was lost on me. Seriously, my mom tried to calm me down by reminding me that the dog would go to heaven. My response was "So what?! He's still dead!" Thanks Burt Reynolds, now I'm an atheist.
This really resonates with me. I honestly believe that The Office (US version) is almost therapeutic for me, as it reminds me that many workplaces are emotionally dysfunctional but still actually successful, not just mine, and laughing about the idiosyncracies of small offices with low turnover makes it easier to get through my day.
So my husband and I reviewed our spending and came up with a new budget for 2014. If we follow it, we will have our credit cards paid off within 6 months as well as a nice emergency fund established. This of course begs the question - what the heck have we been doing with our money? So my goal for February is to see if we can stick to tracking our spending, and whether the limits we have set are realistic.
After months of thinking about it, I decided that today would be the day that I would wake up at 5:15 and go to the pool before work instead of going after work (or not going after work because I am too tired from work). I did it, and it was really not terrible at all, and now I don't have to argue with myself about going to the pool after work. I am pretty sleepy though.
My one thing is to start writing thank you notes for wedding gifts. My original goal was to get them out before 1 month had passed. My new goal is two months. If I can write 10 tonight, I will consider that a success. Also - this post is A+ because it includes both a reference to Love Actually and a picture of Nick Miller frowning.
@nell Yes, this is something that I think people forget when they rant about the wedding industrial complex and how much weddings cost. Even if you skip the personalized napkins, the chiavari chairs, the photo booth and the chocolate fountain (although, I will never ever complain about the presence of a chocolate fountain anywhere), it will cost a lot of money to feed people a good dinner in a nice place. I got married in October and with a 65 person guest list, the wedding cost about 15K. If you had told me a year ago that my wedding would cost $15,000, I would have gasped in horror. But most of that money went to the venue (which was beautiful and included things like chairs, linens, and wait staff) and the food ($70 a person adds up...). We saved money where we could (did the sound equipment/music ourselves, crowd sourced photos, a friend did the flowers at cost), but in the end, a fancy dinner party for 65 people is never going to be cheap. And everyone had a great time, and nobody went into debt over it, so I am ok with it.
I broke my last lease 4 months early because I ended up buying a house. I let my landlord know as soon as we were under contract, and then kept in regular contact with him about move out dates (we went under contract on the new house 45 days before closing, we closed halfway through the month, paid for the full month, so basically he had two months notice) and kept our apartment in excellent shape so that he could show it potential renters. We live in an area with an extremely low vacancy rate, so he had no problem renting it. He was required by law to try to rent the place, we were required to keep paying rent until he did. So my advice would be to look into what the law in your jurisdiction requires of tenants and landlords when one party seeks to terminate the agreement early. Find out what your responsibilities are, and carry them out, but also find out what his responsibilities are, and make it clear that you expect him to follow through. There are a lot of resources online regarding landlord tenant law, as well as hotlines that you can call. I agree with the posters above who have suggested asking your landlord what he wants to happen, but if he wants you to pay another 6 months rent on an apartment that you aren't living in, especially one that can easily be rented to someone else, that's not reasonable. If he's not willing to be reasonable (i.e. make attempts to rent it to someone else, or allow you to sublet the apartment), find out what the law says. It sounds like your landlord may be new to this process, so he may not know what the correct way to resolve this situation is. But people break leases all the time for all sorts of legitimate reasons, and every jurisdiction has figured out a way to handle it. Find out DC law requires of you and him.
Is that a side eye emoticon? Because if it is, that is awesome.
My first year working as a public defender, my parents sent me $100 every month so that I would have enough money for food (I know, I am very lucky to have amazing parents who did not want me to starve). I did get a raise after that year, so things improved somewhat BUT I also had to dramatically adjust my attitude and expectations. I was spending too much on dresses and going out to dinner because I thought I deserved it. Like hey - I'm a lawyer, I'm in my late 20s, I should have enough money to wear the clothes I want to wear, and go out to eat when I feel like it. I had to learn that just because I felt like I should have it, didn't mean that I actually could have it. It sounds dumb now, but I wanted the life that I see depicted in movies and TV shows and commercials and magazines, and also the life that I saw other people living around me (people who, it turns out, are also struggling with credit card debt and budgeting). I had to stop looking at all of the societal cues about what sort of lifestyle I should have, and start looking at the reality of what kind of money I had in my bank account and how much the things I wanted cost. All I can say is that I wish I had figured it out earlier.