When the right choice isn’t obvious


What do you do when the right choice isn't obvious?

Earlier this month, I said that my husband Jake and I had reached the last straw with regard to our current place. Accordingly, we looked at a bunch of rentals. We anticipated that this was going to be a challenging process because Jake and I value different things in homes. Pretty much all I care about is a short commute to work and a decent kitchen.

Jake, on the other hand, wanted a freestanding house with a garage, as big and as new as possible. He also wanted to be in a particular neighborhood that I felt was too far from my work. However, eventually we found what seemed like the perfect compromise. We filled out the rental application, got approved, and put down the earnest money.

Then Jake said, “I'm not sure I want to move right now, and I'm not sure about this place specifically.”

What changed? I was frustrated. Though we could easily afford the new place and it was still only 7.5 miles from my work, I had agreed to go above my preferred budget and increase my commute to give him what he wanted. Now he was saying we should stay in our current, crappy place?

The backstory

Two and a half years ago, Jake was miserable at the place he was working. His firm's rules stifled his ability to do a good job on the cases he was assigned. He was prevented from seeking out his own clients, so he didn't have any autonomy.

The job was also having an effect on his health. He wasn't sleeping. He'd been to the hospital for stress-related conditions. Heart problems also run in his family, and he was afraid of the long-term effects of being tired and angry all the time. So Jake left to start his own firm.

While there are things he absolutely loves about running his own business, it turns out it's not any less stressful. It's just a different kind of stress. When you work for yourself, your income can be quite irregular. When you change careers, the grass isn't always greener.

This summer, he ended up taking some time off when his grandfather died, and the week he got back we had to put our cat down. His income runs about two to three months behind the work he does, so by September/October, he was really hitting the financial ropes. Then he got an email from a recruiter asking if he'd ever considered getting bought out by a larger firm. It wasn't something he had considered, but he agreed to set up a few meetings.

The breakthrough and the concerns

The week after we put down the earnest money on our potential new rental, Jake got a job offer. It would triple his income and give him all the autonomy he was lacking at his previous firm job. However, it would also be an hour's commute for him if we rented the place we'd found.

While he doesn't mind commuting as much as I do, he thinks that's too far. And I understand not wanting to commute. It's why we live where we do now (3 miles from my work, 15 feet from his spare bedroom/office).

Then we also started having concerns about the place we were planning to rent. When we first looked at the house, Jake noticed a hole in the roof. It was a pretty small hole and looked to him like an easy patch job. When I dropped off the earnest money, I mentioned to the property manager that it would be easiest to have it fixed before our move-in date (December 1). She said she'd contact the owner, put in a work order, and update me on the progress.

We never heard from her again, and Phoenix recently had a record-breaking rainstorm. (And yes, our current condo has been dripping for days.) While 2.42 inches over 3 days may not sound like a lot to the rest of you, that's the second wettest November storm on record here! Since water damage is one of our primary complaints about our current place, we're a bit nervous. If there's still a hole in the roof of our potential new rental…

In addition, we didn't feel comfortable giving notice to our current landlord until we had seen the new lease. The property manager finally got back to us yesterday, after nearly two weeks of complete radio silence, and wants us to sign the lease tomorrow. We're feeling rushed and unheard. Is this the service we can expect to receive if we go ahead with the rental?

Should we keep our options open?

Another one of the (many) reasons we wanted to move was because our current condo is in foreclosure and scheduled to be auctioned off via Trustee's Sale on New Year's Eve. However, after calming down a bit, we're not feeling especially pressured by that. First, our landlord tells us she intends to redeem the property.

Even if the property isn't redeemed by our landlord, under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA), we'd have 90 days after the auction before we'd be required to vacate. In addition, new owners will often pay tenants to move out before their required time. This is often called “cash for keys.” We have a friend whose rental was foreclosed on, and he was able to live in the house for several months rent-free before the new owner offered him $3,000 to vacate!

Jake's current job offer isn't the only one on the table, either. While he doesn't have the details yet, one other firm has indicated they will definitely be making an offer. Two other firms are also in the running, for a total of four potential jobs.

I've been steadfastly against buying a home while our income is so uncertain. However, if Jake takes a firm job, then our debt-to-income ratio will be radically improved and we may be able to afford a house. We'd still have to be conservative, of course, but overall it's quite a different trajectory for our lives than we could have anticipated only three weeks ago. Who could have predicted this uncertainty?

We have to make a decision about whether or not to sign the lease by tomorrow! Would you kiss the $500 in earnest money goodbye, or sign the lease and run the risk that we'll spend much more than that in commuting costs if Jake takes a job an hour away?

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FI Pilgrim
FI Pilgrim
6 years ago

I would definitely wait if it were me. There’s got to be a way to stall your landlord so that you don’t have to sign a new lease so quickly!

Knowing where I was commuting to would be my number 1 priority. Commute time wears on your finances as well as on your time spent together, I don’t ever want an hour-long commute again!

Sally JPA
Sally JPA
6 years ago
Reply to  FI Pilgrim

Yes, for me and my husband, a short commute is an absolute priority. It sounds like the same is true for Jake. I wouldn’t make a housing decision without firm knowledge about that.

Mrs. PoP
Mrs. PoP
6 years ago

If you made your reservations clear about the roof, I’d ask for proof that that’s been taken care of. Since it took a couple weeks just to get a lease agreement sent to you, that could buy more time for you to figure things out.

I wouldn’t stress too much about walking away from the $500 deposit if the place isn’t right for you. It’s a sunk cost that’s already been paid. Moving costs aren’t yet sunk, and can add up, too – so it’s not something I’d want to repeat more often than I had to.

Beth
Beth
6 years ago

IMHO, I would wait. I know $500 seems like a lot of money right now, but in the long run it will seem like nothing. It’s far easier to walk away now than it would be to break your lease if the new place doesn’t meet your needs.

Now that I have a good landlord, I realize just how awful the previous one was! If you have concerns now, either sit down and have a talk with your new landlord and inspect the house or just walk away. $500 isn’t worth getting yourself into a potentially bad situation.

robert
robert
6 years ago

Also if they did not fix the roof (Drive by to take a look) that’s your out. “You did not address my concerns about keeping up the building when I mentioned a critical problem.”

It’s also easier and cheaper to give you the 500 back then pay their attorney to go to court.

Brian@ Debt Discipline
[email protected] Debt Discipline
6 years ago

I think I’d like to know weather the fix the roof in the new place and if there was any new damage with the recent rain. I don’t think you want to get yourself back into a place with similar issues to your current one. I think walking away from an hour commute and a leaky roof is worth the $500.

Kristin
Kristin
6 years ago

You haven’t signed a lease. Have your husband research the feasibility of getting your earnest money back, in small claims court if need be, due to the problems with the roof.

Dee
Dee
6 years ago
Reply to  Kristin

My thoughts, exactly. If you can’t get the $$ back, chalk it up to a $500 lesson in not putting money down unless you are completely committed and move forward with what will make you happy.

It sounds like you already know what you want to do.

Jen from Boston
Jen from Boston
6 years ago

Not getting good vibes about the new place… I don’t blame Jake for reconsidering. How long does it take to put a lease together? Any place I’ve rented they had the lease right there for me to sign!! And that includes regular “mom & pop” landlords who weren’t using a management company.

Also, a lot of things are up in the air for you guys right now, and that makes it difficult to know what to do.

P.S. I think it’s cute they call the deposit money earnest money where you live. I’ve never heard that term before.

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago

@Jen from Boston, earnest money (here at least) is just a portion of the deposit that you put down to hold the place. When the lease gets signed, you pay the balance of the deposit. For example, we found the place in early November but were angling for a December 1 lease, so we put $500 down so they wouldn’t rent it to anyone else during those three weeks before the signing. It says right on the contract I signed that the earnest money is nonrefundable for any reason, and I had to give them a certified check, so the… Read more »

csdx
csdx
6 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

I suppose that’s a common practice in your area then? I’ve only rented around the Boston area, and I’ve not encountered having to put down earnest money before signing a lease out here.

Carla
Carla
6 years ago
Reply to  csdx

That’s a new term for me as well – even having lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of my life…

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  csdx

Yeah, that’s kind of wild! I didn’t even explain the term because everyplace here uses that system, I had no idea it was regional.

Beth
Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

If things are already settled, why post the article “as is”? It seems silly to ask readers a question that is already answered.

Editor elves, why didn’t you have Honey amend her story to tell us what the final result was, and how she arrived at the decision? I guess it wouldn’t have gotten as many comments, right? If you don’t have respect for your readers, how do you expect us to respect you?

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  Beth

Even in the best case posting scenario, the decision would have already been made. I wrote the article the way I did because 1) I couldn’t write about the decision I’d made, since when my article was due I hadn’t made it yet, and 2) to me, the decision-making process was the most interesting part. Had I written an article about what I decided, everyone’s comments would be colored with that in mind. This way, I got to see everyone’s actual PROCESS was, what they considered, and what was most important to them (and you got to see everyone’s thought… Read more »

Keri
Keri
6 years ago

I would not walk away from the $500 and have never even heard of a situation like that. I’ve put a deposit down before on a place I then changed my mind about, and got my money back. Why can’t you get it back? If you really cannot get it back, I would sign the shortest lease possible and move. $500 is a lot of money, plus you know you have to vacate the place you’re in anyway, so I would pretend that’s done and not negotiable – forget all this “cash for keys” stuff. The bottom line is that… Read more »

Karen
Karen
6 years ago
Reply to  Keri

I disagree. As mentioned in another comment, there are costs associated with moving, in addition to the hassle. I would use the roof issue and lack of timely communication as an opportunity to get back the earnest money and wait to see what transpires with Jake’s job opportunities.

Done by Forty
Done by Forty
6 years ago

I’d view that $500 as a sunk cost, and re-evaluate the decisions as if you were never going to get that money back either way. If you had no money into that place, would you still pick it today? If not, you have your answer. Personally, I’d get the job situation settled first and home situation settled afterwards. As you noted, the commute is a very important factor (and one that actually correlates with happiness, according to the book “The Myths of Happiness”). If I were in your shoes, I’d nail down a job offer and then find a place… Read more »

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  Done by Forty

I subscribed to your blog!

Emmy
Emmy
6 years ago
Reply to  Done by Forty

I think you nailed it. The job is what’s going to determine future costs, both in direct commuting expenses and opportunity cost of time. Personally, I wouldn’t be that into buying a home right away even household income is increasing, since it can be really stressful to buy a house at the same time as a new job. Wait for the job sitch to settle a bit, then figure out a place to live.

Beth
Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  Emmy

Not sure if it works the same way in the U.S., but Canadian banks and mortgage brokers look at how long you’ve been in your current job when considering your application. I think you need proof that you’ve earned a certain amount of income for a certain amount of time, or something like that.

IMHO, let Jake get established in his new job and pay down the debt. Then you’ll be in a better position to buy.

Cherie
Cherie
6 years ago

Don’t sign and throw good money after bad
They won’t treat you better AFTER you’ve committed and you have too many variables to waste time on another bad move

Anna
Anna
6 years ago
Reply to  Cherie

I agree. It’s taken them this long to get back to you, and now they want the lease signed ASAP. For Honey – is there any indication that the hole in the roof has been fixed yet? Did it get written on the contract you signed that the roof needed to be fixed or the deal was null and void? If not, it should have been. If the landlord-to-be had an issue with it being in the agreement, then the answer is very clear…don’t sign on the dotted line! Since your husband is a lawyer he definitely should have thought… Read more »

Marcy
Marcy
6 years ago

I wouldn’t want an hour long commute. I had a 40 min. drive for five years and that got old! I think I’d make the job decision first, then decide where you want to live. It sounds like Jake has some good job options. Congrats!

Shari
Shari
6 years ago

I would not move. Moving costs more than $500 anyway, and you may end up needing to move again very soon with your situation so uncertain. Also, the lack of communication and the leaky roof are big concerns. I’ve had bad landlords before, and if they’re not willing to fix it before you move in they definitely won’t feel the urgency once you’re locked into a lease.

Financial Samurai
Financial Samurai
6 years ago

Probably best to wait until a job decision is made

The main inquiry I have is on any tips you can provide to get TRIPLE the income! Seems like Jake will get more income from more than one firm.

Id love to triple my income and I’m sure others would too.

Stealth Wealth movement?

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago

Tripling his current income brings him to market rate for his experience and education. Mostly it’s the economy of size. By working for a larger firm, he can take advantage of equipment and personnel that are a lot more expensive as a small business owner. He’s described it as deciding to be a “corporate sellout.”

Anna
Anna
6 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

In other words, on his own Jake was making only 1/3 of what he’s worth, or would have been making had he stayed in the corporate world and worked for someone else. With the amount of debt you two still have, neither of you can afford not to work your asses off at whatever work you can get, no matter how distasteful either of you think it is! When you’re debt free you have that luxury. If Jake’s already describing himself as a “corporate sellout” he’s just setting himself up to dislike the job, and have a negative attitude (and… Read more »

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  Anna

Jake started his own business knowing that he’d make less the first few years. He’s at the point where he either has to take out a small business loan, furnish an office, and hire full-time staff, or get “bought out” by a firm where those costs have already been absorbed. It’s a good thing.

JoDi
JoDi
6 years ago

Congratulations on the new job opportunities for Jake! Job happiness is very important so it’s nice to know he has a new shot at that! We’ve been business owners and employees at different points in our careers, and you are right that there is stress in both. I prefer employee stress. 🙂 I would definitely walk away from that rental. Try and get the deposit back, but if you can’t, it’s still worth $500 to have your options open right now. What you need right now is flexibility, not a year-long commitment to a location that sounds like it is… Read more »

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  JoDi

Haha, yes, this post was originally going to be published the week of Thanksgiving. Due to holiday publication schedules changing things, it’s all been settled by now! We opted to let the rental go. We are investigating getting our deposit back, but if we can’t, we decided that’s ok. $500 is chump-change in the face of the costs of commuting an hour EACH WAY for a year in terms of gas and car maintenance/repair. Not to mention the sheer misery (and losing all the other things that could be done with that time). Jake’s job prospects are STILL up in… Read more »

Kristin Wong
Kristin Wong
6 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

Glad you decided to stay for now–my vote was wait! Yeah, $500 is nothing to sneeze at, but the cost of an hour long commute for the term of your lease would probably be more.

Michelle
Michelle
6 years ago

I agree about waiting to move. I suspect a carefully worded letter from an attorney would get your earnest money back. I suspect you know one. 😉

SJGal
SJGal
6 years ago

Get the job situation settled first and then decide where to live.

I agree with the others – if the landlord/prop manager are slow to respond before you have signed, they won’t be responsive after you sign and move in.

Also, I would plan on renting for at least a year to see how your husband likes the new job and to save like crazy. It takes time to settle in and the stress of a mortgage would probably add to the stress of a new job. You can be getting to know neighborhoods during that time too.

Good luck!

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  SJGal

I agree he has not liked previous jobs, so who knows about this one! He has indicated he is willing to commute some, just not over an hour. So we’re not going to move super close to wherever he ends up working only to have him quit a year or two later!

Hannah
Hannah
6 years ago

I wouldn’t move into the new place. See if you can get the $500 back, and if not… lesson learned. However, two issues: one, why didn’t Jake bring this up BEFORE you paid the $500? That seems like poor communication. I know this is a personal finance blog, not a relationships blog, so I’ll just say shame on him. Two, you should NOT be considering buying a house right now. First of all, you have a shit ton of debt. Second, you never know if Jake is actually going to like the new job (assuming he takes one). He clearly… Read more »

Erica
Erica
6 years ago
Reply to  Hannah

Yes to all of this. I don’t understand how Honey has been not only reading but also writing for this site and is throwing out the idea of buying a house. Remember that avalanche of debt? Don’t move until you know what the job situation looks like. If Jake takes the higher-paying job, use that opportunity to pay off your debt while you’re living in a cheaper place. And unless it’s awful, I really think he should take the job so you guys have a year or two to buckle down and get out of debt once and for all.… Read more »

Ann
Ann
6 years ago
Reply to  Erica

Agreed as well. I feel like the solution is glaringly obvious.

And if you get “cash for keys,” that could more than cover the earnest money loss.

Katie
Katie
6 years ago
Reply to  Erica

Eh, somewhere like Phoenix, buying might very well be cheaper than renting. If all they have (I don’t know where they are now on debt repyament) is relatively low interest student loans, it might make a lot of sense to buy before finishing student loan repayment. Though I agree it makes sense to make sure the new job is likely to stick first.

Carla
Carla
6 years ago
Reply to  Katie

A mortgage may be cheaper than renting if you’re only considering the cost of the mortgage. Property maintenance, increased energy costs, general upkeep (appliances, etc), homeowners insurance, taxes can and will add up.

Katie
Katie
6 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Yes, you should consider all the costs but in some areas, buying may still be cheaper (and Phoenix has a high chance of being one of those places these days).

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago

Hey, congrats on all the new opportunities! Here some things that made me think: She said she’d contact the owner, put in a work order, and update me on the progress. These remote-control deals are *the worst*. Never, ever, rent from someone who has to “contact the owner.” Rent directly from the owner, whether it’s a private landlord or a big company, and make sure their pockets are deep enough to take care of any emergencies. Broke and absentee landlords are *the worst.* The property manager finally got back to us yesterday, after nearly two weeks of complete radio silence,… Read more »

Beth
Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

Agreed! Anytime there’s been a change in my finances, my parents have advised me to “let the dust settle” before making any changes. It’s helped me avoid lifestyle inflation because I’ve been able to wait out that “I have more money, now I can afford x, y, z” urge. More income is a great opportunity to save more and pay down debt faster. Unless the all-in cost of owning a home is the same or less than rent on a reasonable place, I’d tackle that $80K+ in debt first. IMHO, just because you can take on more debt doesn’t mean… Read more »

Tyler Karaszewski
Tyler Karaszewski
6 years ago

I don’t get how you guys are a DINK family with a lawyer in it it and you seem like such a basket case. I know, I’m being mean, it’s not nice, but come on, the first two-thirds of this article are just sort of whining, and then end is like, it’s not even a really a question. Of course you shouldn’t sign that lease tomorrow, neither of you wants the place.

imelda
imelda
6 years ago

Liked for the honesty; not because I necessarily agree. 🙂

Lauri
Lauri
6 years ago

When in doubt…don’t. Works every time.

Sam
Sam
6 years ago

I wouldn’t sign the lease, you’ve got too many balls in the air right now. Better to wait and see where they fall before making a commitment as to where to live.

I also wouldn’t be buying a home regardless of whether Jake is starting a new job with triple the income. First, you’ve got so much debt that you really need to kill first. Second, you don’t know if the job will work out or not.

Money Saving
Money Saving
6 years ago

I agree with most others here that it’s better to wait. We jumped the gun on one of our older houses and we regretted it ever since.

You’ll save the difference of $500 in gas in two-three months if you’re able to find a great place with a low commute!

Lora
Lora
6 years ago

I would kiss the earnest money goodbye. There are red flags waving about the place you were going to rent, yellow flags waving about your husband’s job situation, and it looks like you can buy yourself a little more time in your current place. Sucks to give up $500, but a year of commuting an hour each way will cost more than that just in gas, let alone wear and tear on your vehicle — and your family life. Good luck!

Stace
Stace
6 years ago

I saw your update, but it seems like no matter what, one of you is going to lose out. If he gets a job an hour away, the commuting costs will be there for one of you (or both of you, if you were to decide to go somewhere in the middle). Honestly I probably would have gone ahead with the lease, especially if you could get a shorter option than a year, since your current place is that bad. I hope everything works out for you, though.

Paularado
Paularado
6 years ago
Reply to  Stace

Stace,

This seems like a no-brainer to me. Does the person in the high stress job who is billing over $200/hour commute (thus losing out on $200+/hour while sitting in the car)? Or does the person making under 50K a year commute?

Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Stace
Stace
6 years ago
Reply to  Paularado

Financial sense? Sure, as long as that time was actually used as billable time. But people don’t always make decisions based solely on what makes financial sense. I’m like Honey, and I would despise commuting long distances, I don’t care what makes financial sense. Especially if my partner was less picky about commute time. And if financial considerations were all that was at stake, he wouldn’t have left his old, very lucrative job anyways 🙂

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
6 years ago
Reply to  Paularado

Brains are required in every important decision–here the person who bills a lot enjoys a bit of commuting as a form of unwinding, and the person who hates commuting has a somewhat delicate health and should avoid stress.

michelle
michelle
6 years ago

$500 will not matter once the other things are settled, at that point you can decide to rent or own,, but I would ‘lose’ the money and see what happens with your current place

Pat
Pat
6 years ago

I would do two things: first I would wait and not move from your current place. Second, I would request the earnest money back based on the time delay,the silence,and the small hole on the roof which you can that hasn’t been fixed.
Anything as uncertain as your present situation deserves time to be thought about and mulled over. Best of luck. Do what ur gut says.

Micro
Micro
6 years ago

My thought process would be to just eat the $500. If the commute is an hour long, it will not take long at all for gas and car use to accumulate over that $500 figure. It would be more cost effective to view you other options once his job situation settles down.

Petra
Petra
6 years ago

I would wait, too. $500 is nothing compared to months of extra traveling which costs time and money (gas).

If you HADN’T paid $500, you wouldn’t dream of moving to this new place given the current situation, would you?

Jill Barry-Kennedy
Jill Barry-Kennedy
6 years ago

Don’t you think it’s dishonest to hold the new owners of the condo over a barrel until they pay you to move? They most likely will have a mortgage to pay. Why do you think it’s ok not to pay rent? Makes you seem very dishonest.

cathy
cathy
6 years ago

You already commented earlier that this post was supposed to have been published around Thanksgiving, and that you guys have eaten the $500 “earnest money.” What I noticed from what you said in this post, and in earlier ones is this: * You’re currently living in a space you despise that likely has tremendous mold damage, and is leading to health concerns, yet you’d hold out for some mythical “cash for keys”??? If you CAN stay where you are, it seems like the best thing for now. If it’s too hazardous, then maybe you two need a short-term housing solution… Read more »

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  cathy

Jake absolutely hates his job. He knows that. But he feels he needs to keep at it until he pays off the debt he accrued obtaining the education he needed to get that job. At that point he’ll probably take a much lower-stress job that doesn’t pay as well, because with no student loan debt, he won’t need to earn that money. I am hoping that this will lead to a buy-in on frugality on his part. The sooner he does that, the sooner he can pay his debt and live his dream. But I can’t make the lightbulb go… Read more »

cathy
cathy
6 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

OK. But you also mentioned that he disliked his previous two jobs. That makes it sound like there’s a possibility that no matter where he works, he will be dissatisfied. If that’s the case, then the LAST thing I would base housing location on is a job–unless it’s yours and you plan to stay in that job for quite some time.
I also think El Nerdo had a point. You and Jake may need to rethink how you manage your finances.

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  cathy

Oh, I am skeptical about him liking any job also. Even if we do move to be a reasonable commute from his job, my commute will take priority (I’ve been at my job 5.5 years and am not planning on going anywhere).

I have wanted to merge finances for some time. But he doesn’t, and it takes two to tango.

Carla
Carla
6 years ago
Reply to  cathy

Jake not wanting to merge finances will probably continue to cause issues with how you both manage. My DH and I don’t have shared checking accounts but our finances are merged.

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  cathy

Carla, how do you merge finances without merging accounts? Jake and I split everything down the middle at the moment, since we make similar amounts. When he’s made more, we did it proportionally by income. Is that what you mean?

Carla
Carla
6 years ago
Reply to  cathy

@Honey – We get together (weekly or so) and track expenses, bills, spending, etc. We know what’s coming and going out in on both sides of the street. We have access to each others accounts. We have shared goals.

We just got married 2 months ago so we haven’t merged our accounts yet except for one emergency savings. I have a few automatic payments, etc on my checking account so we haven’t decided what to do yet.

Anna
Anna
6 years ago
Reply to  Honey Smith

“I am hoping that this will lead to a buy-in on frugality on his part. The sooner he does that, the sooner he can pay his debt and live his dream. But I can’t make the lightbulb go off for him” Sorry I just don’t see his lightbulb going off! He hated job #1 so went to job #2 which he also hated so he started his own business AT A JOB HE HATED (and making only 1/3 of what he would have had he stayed at either job 1 or job 2), and now he’s going to do the… Read more »

Beth
Beth
6 years ago
Reply to  Anna

I’m a little confused — does Jake hate his job or his career? If it’s the latter, I don’t think he’ll be happy in any job.

IMHO, I don’t think suddenly earning a lot more money turns anyone frugal. If they’re already thinking of buying a house, then lifestyle inflation may already be taking root?

Honey Smith
Honey Smith
6 years ago
Reply to  Anna

I think that if he takes this job knowing that he wants to pay off all his debts as fast as possible so that he is free to take a job he loves (even if it pays a lot less) then he’ll be less tempted by the Hedonic Treadmill. Time will tell…

Kay
Kay
6 years ago

I’m being smarmy but honestly my first thought on reading this was, “Wow, sounds like they have relationship issues.” You two seem to be at very different places with very different goals. Jake also sounds generally unhappy–unhappy at his last job, unhappy at his current job, health problems. Maybe he needs counseling or medication?

Of course, I’m just a stranger on the internet, and I don’t know anything at all about your relationship other than what this post says. But that was the very strong impression I got: These two need to work things out pronto.

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