There has not been a lot of time to stop and reflect on financial or life updates for the blog recently. We have been running around like crazy for about four weeks now preparing for a move, moving, and settling in. Finally, we are starting to have what resembles home and a new routine for our family. Here’s how we are settling into our new home.
I met some truly fantastic people in Atlanta, but living there was not good for my mental health, my marriage, or my relationships with others. My husband and I started looking at homes to rent closer to our original homes again (back to North Carolina). A few weeks into our search, we decided we would probably wait until March to move so that we could be financially prepared. No more going into debt just to improve our immediate circumstances, right?
Well, the universe had different things planned.
Our tiny 450-square foot apartment got bed bugs (again – the second time in two years). Thinking about having to deal with an exterminator coming in, finding a place to go during COVID, and the multitude of other concerns on my plate, I was pretty close to having a mental breakdown. I didn’t even want to be in Atlanta anymore, why were we fighting so hard to stay?
A few things crossed my mind. “Just abandon the lease, there are bed bugs in the apartment.” “We can sleep on an air mattress for a few weeks.” “We have to call the landlord.” “Oh, God, we are in no way financially prepared for this right now.”
Help From Mom
I started talking to my mom about what was going on. She was there throughout the first ordeal with bed bugs. I just needed to vent to someone, but she offered to help pay for us to move out immediately. Who could turn that down? So, we started looking for a new home as if “money weren’t an issue,” as mom said.
Within a couple of days, we found a cute three-bedroom and two-bath house close to where my husband and I grew up. We were approved within a couple of hours of applying and mom helped with all of the deposits, moving truck, and other moving essentials. Just like that, our lives completely changed (and for the better).
The move, in general, has been an immediate improvement in the quality of life for us. We are happier, there is more space, we can see people we love. More importantly, we have so many things to keep us busy.
Shopping and Gifts
We did not bring a single piece of furniture from our apartment in Atlanta. There was no use in risking us bringing bed bugs into our new home. So, instead, we started saving every penny we could to get some small essential things (i.e. a cheaper mattress, living furniture, new towels, etc). We have furnished the house (pretty much) for under $2,000 out of pocket.
Amazon has some great buys as far as mattresses go. We grabbed our 10″ mattress for about $300. My grandmother had a box spring she did not need that we got for free. We also got a side table for the bedroom for free. The living room furniture took some more digging. We spent $300 on a futon and ottoman for the living space and used our old coffee table, TV stand, and television.
A family friend came by with a glass dining table, four chairs, and two barstools. These were a gift. They need to be reupholstered, but that will only cost about $100 to $120 in total. That isn’t too bad for a dining set and stools. Then, last, but not least, my mom bought us a refurbished washer and dryer set ($750 with delivery and installation).
Today, a new desk arrived for my new office space ($65 on Amazon). A new office chair will arrive within a couple of weeks. By February, a beautiful sectional my grandmother purchased as a gift will be here.
Making This Our ‘New Normal’
Overall, as I sit curled up on my futon which will eventually be in my spare room, I can’t help but think about how very blessed we have been. There is no doubt this year has been hard for everyone, but I am feeling hopeful. It is hard to settle into this space when it feels like there is so much to do – so much to straighten up, so much to organize, so much to decorate – but it is already home.
In the mornings, we open the back door and the dog goes into our new backyard. We have a cup of coffee together, then I go into my make-shift office (photo for the laughs).
We are beginning to have what we never did in Atlanta: a routine. Eventually, this little place will fill up with things that depict our character. Memories will flood the hallways and we will make a wonderful life here. For now, there is still a little bit of settling to be done.
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Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.
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