Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Move, was it worth it?

So I moved. As stated, I moved within my block to a 31% smaller place for 26% less rent. Initially, I calculated some redecorating costs (including painting the place white and putting in some roof windows since this attic living place was kind of dark) and was hoping to break-even somewhere around 6 months. As these things tend to go, I also ended up putting in a laminate floor and creating a fancy OSB designer-style kitchen (which could partly be used from my old place since I already had done that there). 

As you can imagine, flooring doesn’t come cheap and with everything added up I spent somewhere around 1.600 euro’s for everything (including lighting and other miscellaneous stuff). With me saving 125 euro a month on rent, this means I need to stay here for at least thirteen months to break even. I really don’t have a clue whether I’ll stay that long (I did live in the former space for sixteen months and I do like my new place, but you never know how life moves you). So was it all worth it?
That is a question I’ve been asking myself mostly the last two weeks or so. I guess with a life consisting of work – home-improvement while eating (or the other way around) – sleep – repeat, these questions start to put up. Right now I feel a tad bit ill, I think the lack of sleep and living a bit irregular took it’s toll. But, stepping inside my new place does make me feel damn good, it’s really cozy and I still feel like I’ve got a lot of extra useable space. Anyway, some pro’s and cons to find out if it really was worth it? Scientific proof is needed here! 

  • I spent 1.600 euro’s redoing the place. 1.600 euro is a LOT of money which currently isn’t working for me in the stock market
  • I have to walk three flights of stairs to get to my place which is a problem mostly when having to take my drumset with me. In my next life I’ll surely become a beatboxer or something.
  • It gets HOT in there when it’s hot outside
  • Did I mention I spent 1.600 euro on the place?
  • My car insurance went sky-rocketing-high overnight. It went something like this:
    Struggler: (receives new insurance policy which is +20 euro (on a 38 euro monthly premium!) *WTF?! This is NOT cool!*
    (mails insurance company)
    Mister Salesperson: “Yes Mr. Struggler, we are well aware of the fact you moved in the same street, in the same block. The thing is, we can’t quite pay all our costs so our cheap insurance policy kind of made us loose money so now, while we have the right to do so since you moved, we make you pay our New Customer monthly premium as from now. Oh, by the way, since you made the formal move per the first of June, we also will do so with retroactivity”.
    Struggler: “Uhm, OK. You guys know that, from a client side perspective, this is pretty ridiculous?”
    Mister Salesperson: “Well, yes we do. From my personal perspective I can imagine your reaction! Yet this is how it is.”
    Struggler: “Uhm, OK. So what are my options? Is there a way to make things cheaper again?” (since I’m moving to save money, not blow it on other monthly ridiculous premiums).
    Mister Salesperson: “Well, I can give you a personal 5 euro discount if you go down in insurance conditions!”
    Struggler: “Uhm, OK. So I go down in conditions making me less insured and with a discount you guys are still over 10 euro’s more expensive than other companies?”
    Mister Salesperson: “Well, you ARE free to go since your insurance is daily terminable?”
    Do I need to explain my conclusion here? Anyway. I took on another insurance and now I’m back on 38 euro’s a month. I did notice this premium adjustment was more or less an issue with other insurance companies too, since I couldn’t insure myself with the same conditions for the same amount of money anywhere, but OK, then no longer All Risk for my 18 year old kart Cuore. That’s a better “it is how it is”.

  • I’m down to only 600 euro’s in fixed charges monthly including taxes, insurance, everything. That was no option in my former place. Also, with rent being 350 a month, I’m getting a lot closer to 200-300 a month in living arrangements (which always seemed like a goal since following/reading Early Retirement Extreme). I’m very content with this. Subconscious I think I sometimes felt a bit bothered with spending a lot of weekend time with my significant other where I still was paying 465 a month for a place of my own. With this being further reduced this makes this better! Ok, living together could improve this a lot on the personal scale, yet financial this is a true optimum for me now.
  • While I’m down 31% on square meters, I actually gained space. Huh? Yeah. My bed is on a loft inside my attic place. So I sort of have an attic in my attic or a loft in my loft, however you would call it. Since the space underneath it is over 2m50 high I can easily stand under there, so my wardrobe is under there and besides that is my studio. I actually have more free flooring meters than I had in my previous place. Truth, it does feel a lot smaller with less windows and a lot of slant ceiling, but in the end my usable space does feel bigger. I like it!
  • I have to walk three flights of stairs. Conditional wise, that’s a pro. Definitely with parts of a drumset around your neck.
  • I have to sit really still or go outside when it’s hot. Since both are good, I guess they count as a pro, too.
  • The place is really cozy and much more usable. I’m not paying for outside space I never use, I have a nice view from my windows and I have a nice place to sit outside on the roof to muse about life.
  • Did I mention my savings rate goes up another 5% yearly just by moving? No? Well, it does!
  • I sold a closet which held books and bottles, and my bed. Since I’m sleeping on the attic in the attic on the mattress on the slatted bed base I lost one more big inventory item. Fun story on inventory, the moment all my stuff was moved from my former to my current place it seemed like a bomb did go off there. Everything was spread everywhere. I spent the last two weeks more or less creating space for my stuff by building some shelves on some convenient places. In the end, I guess there are some items I could reduce. These being stuff I hardly look at/use (including my lego…), clothing (I still have items I kind of didn’t wear the past year, why not get rid of them, too?) and studio equipment. The latter one which I most recently bought and am planning on using a bit more often since I now have some free space to have people around and record things. If not, I really should drop that hobby and find other things to do.
In the long term, I’m quite happy. In the short run, I simply have to accept that I spent some money but I do get to keep more money in the end of every month whilst doing so. The first is a one-time event, the latter is forever ongoing as long as I live here. So I guess, I’m quite happy overall (on the housing subject. Work and how I feel personal is a different story!).
Also, I guess the flooring (which is the most expensive thing I did) could still be worth something. It’s re-usable if I ever moved out and might still sell for a couple of euro’s on a second hand market or maybe the person after me would want buy it from me. It’s a major improvement since the paint on the flooring underneath is really deteriorated and needs serious painting. Also, it’s a noisy floor (cracking from itself by walking on it and lots of cracks between the shelves through which I could hear my neighbour below and he could hear me). The flooring was pretty draughty, also. All of that is improved now.
Anyway. Adding all these things up I must say I’m pretty happy with the place as it is now. I’m paying less for more space (at least it feels like that to me). The hussle with my drumset might also be a thing that won’t last very long since the neighbour on the ground floor is planning on making some sort of shelve construction with me to put some stuff on the ground floor near the entrance. A nice summer job when it’s to hot to stay in the attic!

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