Jun 28 2011

$36,000 in rent

Shane and I have been married 4 years and a month. In that time, we’ve paid a little more than $36,000 in rent. I think the tally is somewhere around $36,310 if I did the math right.

I consider it money well-spent.

Sure, it is a lot of money. And sure, it could have been money toward equity on a house.

But here’s the thing: We couldn’t have afforded a house for most of those years. We couldn’t afford the mortgage plus property taxes in Pittsburgh for what we were seeking. We couldn’t afford the higher utilities and the repairs and upkeep a house would require. Having our own house would have been a bad move.

We needed a place to live. We needed the flexibility to pick up and move at short notice if we wanted that (and we did. Hi, Indiana!). Renting gave us that freedom.

Whether you have a house with a mortgage or are a renter, you still need a place to live and need to pay for that. Renting isn’t throwing money away. It’s paying for your home, one month at a time.

Renting for four years has put us in the financial position to be able to buy a house now. With a lower monthly payment than a mortgage might cost us (plus the other expenses), we had room in the budget to set aside money for other things.

One bonus now — we are eligible for an income tax reduction on our Indiana taxes for being a renter. I don’t know what that will do for our overall state tax situation, but it does help.

Our house hunt continues tomorrow evening. Not sure if the houses we’ll see tomorrow will pan out, but if not it’s just more time for us to build our savings.



3 Responses to “$36,000 in rent”

  1. $36k? That is nothing. I just calculated what my husband have spent in just 3.5 years in NYC: $122,600. Sad part? That is still not a downpayment on a home here…

  2. Home ownership, as we have seen with the mortgage crisis, has been (no pun intended!!) over sold to the American public. Way too many people hear “own for less than you can rent” and believe it. They forget about just the things you cite: upkeep and taxes. While property taxes in the places I have lived have been “nothing,” they are often a huge burden. And, upkeep doesn’t come on a schedule. Too many folks have done what I stupidly did–bought more house than they should have with less savings than they should have had. This is a recipe for disaster. It negates the thinking that people who own there homes take care of them–YES, if you do actually fully OWN your home, likely you CAN take care of it! The scam of adjustable rate mortgages [which I did at least have sense enough to skip], so-called “sweat equity” plans, 100% mortgages…..people “If it sounds too good to be true,” TRUST ME, “IT IS!”

    Another Great post!

  3. We have spent $28608.00 here in IL and hopefully we will have it paid off in 7 yrs!!!

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

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I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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