Make Room for Comfort in Your Budget

In my last post, I briefly mentioned I’m moving in a few weeks.

It’s unexpected – we had originally planned to renew our place for at least a year – but at the end of the day, it was the best decision for us.

Ryan and I could have remained in our tiny apartment for another year, an apartment with incredibly inefficient heat, a creepy old bathtub, temperamental wiring and no storage room. We could’ve saved a bit more money for 12 more months.

But in a moment of panic (our landlord debated selling our place for a bit and made the mistake of telling us about his deliberations), Ryan and I researched other places in the area.

And we walked smack-dab into the realization that there are a lot of great options right in our neighborhood. We toured a few of them and loved one in particular.

But the penny pincher in me panicked. We just planned out our 2016 savings goals, and a nicer apartment, paired with the cost of a move, would put us behind only six weeks into the year.

After several long conversations about the definition of “living within our means,” pros-cons lists, and complicated spreadsheets, Ryan and I decided to move.

We found a place that will cost us $100 more a month. $100 more for 150 extra square feet, a fully-functional kitchen, a beautiful bathtub, a dog park, working heat, and in-building storage.

That extra $3 a day? WORTH IT.

You can budget, budget, budget all you want, but at the end of the day, you have to be comfortable. 

When Ryan and I have our quarterly finance meetings* to go over our budget, I always walk the line between pushing ourselves to live on less and being realistic about our comfort levels. When we realize we’re spending more than anticipated on golf, for example, we consider how happy we are together during our weekend games, and we make room in the budget for it. (No craft beer that weekend.)

Ryan and I are sad to leave our quirky and charming (albeit terribly cramped and inefficient) apartment, and we know our 2016 savings is going to be a little lower than originally expected. But at the end of the day, you only have one life to live, and you owe it to yourself to be comfortable through it.


*This is not a joke. Good marriages function like a business. Finances are part of that.

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