I am at the point where I am wondering what my next living situation step will be. It has been almost one year since I decided to rent my apartment and pay off my credit cards.
Well I am about 2 payments away from paying off those credit cards and finding the desire to want more alone time. Not that I don't have that here....I do. But I don't want to put myself in the same situation...spending more than 60% of my salary on living expenses. I don't want to get into credit card debt again right now, I want to be able save money - so I can start to take vacations, save for retirement, save for my children's education and even spending money on 'fun' life experiences.
So can I live alone and be able to reach the above goals? What is my alternative?
1) Roommate - I had a horrible roommate experience when I was 20. I vowed to myself I would never have a female roommate again. But could I have any kind of roommate - female or male? I don't know. I like to not have to 'entertain' anyone. And I am really nice, so no doubt I'd be making this person food, cleaning up after them and eventually start to resent that they would get mad when I cut that back when I wasn't getting anything in return. I'd also have to think about this person dating - and getting laid or having more friends over than me. I have a hard time with that, I know it seems silly. Maybe I'd have to find someone who works the night shift so we never bump into each other...that might work.
2) Live alone in an apartment - can I afford it? Sure, I make more than the average American household...but my area has made it in the news as being among the most expensive places to live and with the top 5 highest taxes in the country. So, if I do it, I'd have to cut back on spending some money on "fun" stuff, and that means sitting at home alone again. I also don't want to live in the slums (see, this is where the snotty part of me comes out).
If I go with this option - do I rent or buy?
a) I have issues with renting, I think it is like dumping money into the garbage - but since I am not sure where my future is heading...it would give me the flexibility I need.
b) I don't think buying something new would be the best solution right now, I don't want to be locked into anything until I am more sure this is where I want to live for X period of time. What if I do buy something, and then fall in love and have to sell it so quickly? I know, it would be for a good reason, or we'd rent it out and build equity...so it shouldn't matter.
c) Kick out my tenant and live in my apartment. I have issues with this for a few reasons. One is that it was cute - but I have bad insomnia there-the noise level was not condusive for me. Also, I bought it because I needed to prove to myself that I didn't need a man. I used it as a recovery apartment - and it served it's purpose. Also, I am not sure if my tenant will stay there longer or not...he's had some career issues this past year, so while he told me he wanted to resign the lease, I am not sure if that will actually happen.
3) Stick it out and continue to live with family - for a bit longer...but how long can I stretch it? My father a few weeks ago said he didn't want me to leave, that they love having me. That coming from my father is really nice and unexpected. On the positive side it would be helpful since it took a lot longer to pay off the credit cards than I had originally anticipated (I am not surprised since i kept using the card) and I would really benefit from taking a few months and adding a 'substantial' (in relation to my monthly income) into savings and giving myself a cushion...and finally going on a cash spending basis. A big negative of course is a) it sounds horrible to dates that I live with family and b) I'd like to just do my own thing.
When will I be courageous and make this next big decision? Why I am so worried about making the wrong decision - which is silly since I've been very happy with the decisions I've made in the last three years, but being a little worried is normal.