Buying Vs. Renting When You’re Single

A major internal conflict I have been facing lately has been what to do beyond my current rental lease. Earlier in the year I was scouring the market searching for my perfect starter home. I have been reading up a lot lately and seeing comparison charts of the difference between buying vs. renting over a 30 year time frame and holy cow what a difference!

Based on this chart, over a period of 30-years there was an additional expenditure of almost $300,000 based on me buying a home worth around $100,000 and me renting a place for a price similar to what that mortgage would be. Mind blown! The first house I put an offer in went off without a hitch but I came into some issues with it that made it no longer a feasible option so I decided to pump the brakes a bit and evaluate my situation.

I understand the concept that paying rent is just throwing away money and buying a house is building equity and putting in to something that you will see a return on but is it worth it as a single (not married) female?

The breakdown:

Renting:
  • Less commitment; I can move whenever I want.
  • Apartments have pools!
  •  If something breaks I call the office; (I don’t even know how to unclog a toilet)

Buying:

  • I actually own something
  • I can get a return on this investment
  •  I have a yard (I can grow my own veggies, yay!)
  • I can decorate and customize to my liking (I work in home remodeling so major plus)
  •  I don’t have crazy neighbors upstairs with a kid that likes to bowl in the living room
  • I will learn new skills for maintaining my home
  • More room (sq ft.) to set up piano, crafting station, workout equipment
As you can see there is obviously a major upside to buying but as a single female I still have some major reservations on buying a property that I don’t know if I will be able to maintain.
What are your thoughts? What would you choose?

No Spend Challenge Take One

No Spend Challenge

Image Source : 401(k) 2012

Thanks to the inspiration of The Budget Mama I have decided to take an oath to not spend outside of a strict budget for the whole month of March. The way a no spend challenge works is you don’t spend any money on anything that is a non-essential. You still pay your bills, still buy groceries, you just go a month without all of the luxuries and extras. My weekly budget will consist of an allotted $40 for gas and $20 fun money. In future challenges I will probably try to cut out the fun money but I don’t want to go crazy without my occassional McDonald’s tea and I don’t want to set myself up for failure so I’m allowing myself that much for now.

At the start of the week I will go and withdraw $60 cash and divide it into two appropriately labeled envelopes. One for gas and one for fun. Then throughout the week I will be able to see what I have spent and what I have left. Any money that I have left at the end of the week will be deposited into the next weeks fun money as a reward for staying within budget.

Some of the changes I will be implementing to hopefully help me not completely fail at this will be:

  • Sending any promotional emails straight to my spam folder without looking at them (especially Ulta, damn you great sales!)
  • Avoid the mall at lunch. I tend to do the most shopping when I’m at lunch so i’ll either use that time to workout or read instead. Good thing I have lots of books waiting for me!
  • Avoid browsing any online stores including Groupon.
  • Use freebies. A big expenditure of mine tends to be makeup and skin products but I have a ton of freebies I’ve never used. It’s about that time.
  • Automatic draft to savings. I will be having the bank automatically draw the additional savings out of my account for the two paychecks I’ll receive this month and just allow enough extra available for keep my balance where it needs to be maintained.
  • Lots of time at home! I actually have a pretty full schedule this month filled with free activities so it shouldn’t be too hard. Plenty of mountain biking, working out and school to fill my time.
  • Leave my debit card at home. No better way to not spend anything

My main goal with this challenge is of course to save money but beyond that I would like to see a positive change in my spending habits.

Anyone care to join? 🙂