I love where I live. I love my neighborhood, I love walking around, I love our many birds (including wild parrots), I love that my cats can go out and roam around, I love my neighbors. I'd rather have a house of my own, of course, but that doesn't seem to be in the cards.
Yet I am strongly feeling as if we are being bad stewards of our money. We spend about half our income on rent. It is not terribly hard to find places comparable or smaller that would save us up to $500/month. Especially in our tumultuous financial situation, I wonder if we are not being responsible with how we manage our budget. We took this apartment in stronger times, and since then money's gotten tight and rent's gone up.
You're probably wondering why we don't live in student housing. I really, really wish we could! But our cats prevent it. They did finally open one place that will take pets, but only one per household. So we don't qualify because we have two. Some people have sincerely asked why we don't just get rid of the cats. One sweetie offered to take one for the time being. And we had the horrible conversation about which one we'd give up if we went that way. We actually considered it! And I'll tell you, there is something deep between me and those animals, because just thinking of giving them up made me almost vomit. I cried and cried. I love them so deeply. They give me so much peace. They comfort us when we are sad or sick. They come when I'm scared alone at night. There is seriously nothing like a cat's purr to lower the blood pressure. They've even inspired me to deeper spiritual thought on occasion (see my old post on The Messenger).
No, I don't think I can just give up my kids. Even one. I don't think so. And it makes me sad that Fuller has this policy, because really cats are quieter and cleaner and less destructive than children, and people have all kinds of those in the student housing! Especially in these places with hardwood floors, there's literally nothing the cats could bother. And these are old ladies, who don't do much anyway but sleep. And purr. They are really the sweetest darlings in the world. I'm so sad that they stand in the way but there's really nothing I can do.
So we continue thinking about finding another place, a place that will take cats, and I get mad at Fuller every now and then for their dumb policy.
I'd be so sad to leave this apartment. I finally feel like I'm home again (this little town is "home" for us). And I'd feel materialistic giving this up just for extra money. But it's not so we can be rich - it's so we can buy groceries and gas.
I don't know what the answer is. I'm just throwing it out to the universe and praying something will arise that either makes me feel better or perhaps we'll get offered a year-long house-sitting gig (yeah baby!). Anyway, this is what is on my heart today. As a seminarian, I can't help overthinking and overChristianizing everything. Well, I write this blog to tell you what it's like to be in my shoes. So these are the things you think about when you're trying to do God's work.
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Make it a stewardship/justice issue. John Wesley once said "Earn all you can - Save all you can - Give all you can."
What's your footprint? How much do you need? What could you help by moving and saving that money?
Just some q's...
Thanks, Landon. That is helpful.
We looked at the perfect little house today. But I do mean little. It was "awesome in every way" (J's words) except that it was awesomely tiny. Not that we couldn't squeeze ourselves into it, but we would have to literally sell everything we own (except the books of course) and start over with smaller everything. I just don't have the stamina to do that right now.
Turns out friends of ours have a vacancy in their building, and it's $450 less than we currently pay, and it's walking distance to both Fuller and my potential internship. So here's hoping it's not a turnoff when we go see it. (fingers crossed!)
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