Can we possibly have it all? Can Shane have a job that fulfills him, pays enough money, and lets us live close to family? I don’t know if we can have all three things at once, but we’re going to try.
Shane and I have been living in Pittsburgh for almost one year. It just isn’t the right city for us. We’re way too homesick. We belong in Bloomington, Ind., and that’s all there is to it.
With a year of being pretty miserable here under our belts, and now with a baby on the way, it’s becoming more clear that we really do want to move back to Bloomington. But, is that the absolute best decision for our family?
Bloomington doesn’t have a huge job market, and it could be quite difficult to find a relevant job there. It’s not a big city (less than 100,000 people) and I don’t know if he’ll be able to find something that fits his skillset, fulfills him, and also pays enough.
It’s almost guaranteed that if we move back, Shane will take a pay cut. The cost of living in Bloomington is supposedly slightly higher than it is here, but I think we can find a cheaper apartment there. And, the city has an Aldi (and CVS and Rite Aid) so we’ll be able to get our groceries and toiletries for a low price.
If we live in Bloomington, we’ll be near his parents and most of his extended family, who live in the city or the nearby towns. My family lives one to two hours from there. It will be amazing to be able to see them more often!
Plus, I really love Bloomington. I lived there for four years, from the time I was a freshman at Indiana University until graduation. The summers are incredible, but even during the school year, the city is a great place to be. The restaurants, festivals, general atmosphere, the people, and even the scenery. I love it all.
With Shane’s current job, we’re expecting to move to a new city within the next few months anyway. When he took his position within his company, it was a year-long program, and then he would be transferred to a new position. None of the possible places (too many to mention) are all that close to home.
Don’t forget that we’re expecting our first baby in December. Our current insurance will pay most of our baby-related expenses, and our out of pocket totals will be about $280, which we should be able to pay with our flexible spending account.
It’s hard to say what our health insurance situation would be if Shane took a new job somewhere. If we needed to, though, I think our emergency fund could cover our expenses, if we found ourselves under or uninsured.
In my mind there are a few possible scenarios:
1. Shane takes a new position with his current company. The new position is also in Pittsburgh. If that happens, we would want to stay in our apartment for another year, renewing our lease for $770/month.
2. Shane takes a new position with his current company, but in a different city. If that happens, we’d break the lease (with 60 days notice), and his company would pay the $770 for us to get out of it.
3. Shane takes a new job with a new company in or near Bloomington. If we break our lease, that $770 comes out of our own pocket. But, if we change to a month-to-month lease, we’d pay $820/month, or an increase of $50 per month.And, if we knew that we’d be staying in Pittsburgh after all, we could change it back to a year-long lease and bump our rent back down, with a possible credit on that extra $50/month paid.
So, what in the world do we do? Do we try to maintain or increase our income, even if that means Shane possibly won’t enjoy his job, with us living a day’s drive or more from family? Do we stick it out for a little while longer in Pittsburgh so that our baby’s birth is paid for? Or do we move home, possibly paying thousands of dollars in moving expenses and more, but have an entire support system of family near us?
Here’s what I think we’re going to try. We’re going to renew our lease on a month-to-month basis. We’ll spend the next month or so trying to find a great job for Shane in Bloomington. It should be in a healthy work environment that values its employees. It should pay at least $35k with some form of health insurance.
Is that really too much to ask? I don’t know. Please keep us in your prayers.
Have you ever faced similar decisions? What did you do?