And.... I'm back.
So much has changed in the past 1.5 weeks, I don't even know where to start!
The biggest news of all - Zak and I are moving to a new, fantastic apartment. I generally dislike everything involved with moving, but this time it's been positive and I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my chest!
Without getting too personal, there was an issue with our roommate and we decided to leave. We both really loved the old apartment; Zak worked so hard on making the space unique over the years. Ultimately it's better for the two of us to be on our own.
The search really sucked at first, you should have seen one of the apartments we looked at! I was interested because on the craigslist ad, they said it was a "fantastic cottage" in Bay View, meaning a building on its own, and there were 2 bedrooms, a full basement, etc. Well, the teeny space would have made a perfect setting for a HORROR MOVIE and was totally creepy! We would not have been able to fit one of us in there, nonetheless both of us plus the cat and dog and all of our stuff. We looked at a few other places, some of them really nice, but the problem is they were very old / historic homes and that makes for not a lot of closet space, small bedrooms, and basements that draw water.
We struck gold when we found our NEW place though... a townhouse style apartment!!! 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, three levels of 100% usable space! The kitchen has some swank stainless steel appliances that I can't wait to use. Closets are a-plenty, there's a full size washer and dryer (giggity).
We will now be living in Milwaukee's trendy Bay View neighborhood, score. The townhouse is located right across the street from gigantic Humboldt Park, one of Milwaukee's first! Can you believe it was opened in 1891? It will be so fun to use the trails, I sense some Project Snow-style running in my near future!
It's a pretty awesome park, people.
(Photo from wikimedia.org)
There's also a Target within walking distance...
Best of all, it's finally just Zak and me. A new beginning!
With the change, we are each paying more than three times what we were for rent. Yikes! The move has forced me to take a cold, hard look at my budget and to revamp some things. We want to buy a house within the next 1.5 years, and will be squirreling away all the cash we can.
I decided to make some immediate changes to my banking options, and thought I'd share some tips with ya.
Let me know if you have any clever ideas for budgeting or finance!
- I switched my account to a "Checking with Interest" option. You should revisit your bank's options every 6 months or so, as the banking industry is very competitive and products are updated regularly.
- With my upgraded account, I get 6.0% interest (APY) on all balances under $1000. This is great because it's rare that I have over $1000 in checking, and have never before received interest on this account!
- Since my savings is at low interest, I used some money to pay off a nagging credit card balance (whose interest was higher than what I earn through my savings account). While the savings account balance is low for now, I will have more money each month from now on to contribute to savings.
- I have some money in a CD and am researching higher rates for it. Anyone have any suggestions? I've heard that ING Direct is pretty good, it's internet-based.
Any tips for moving?
So far we've been very 'green' in re-using boxes (thanks to Heather for grabbing these for us!), packing dishes and other breakables in old newspaper, and by making as few trips back and forth as possible. I've had success with using my suitcases to transport clothing, hanging up the clothing, then taking them back to fill them up again.
Thanks for reading! I will hopefully be back to food, fitness and music-type blogging soon.