Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Moving to a non-LA way of life

ISTJ (the aforementioned boyfriend) and I have been having lots of talks about our future over the last six months.  One of the recurring themes has been whether we will stay in Los Angeles or move elsewhere.  The top choices seem to be:

Nashville - His parents will be returning to Nashville in 2014, after completing their 14 year (by that point) mission trip to Venezuela.  They'll be moving into their home that they've rented out all these years after a bit of renovation/updating.  This, of course, makes Nashville a natural choice.

We'd have grandparents living locally, so that would be a great help and make it a lot easier for the grandparents to see the grandkid(s).  Additionally, the cost of living is much more affordable, so it would put less stress on us financially to live a modest lifestyle allowing me to stay home to care for the babes.  We'd definitely get more bang for our buck, real-estately speaking... >We would be within driving distance to many of the game conventions I love in the Southeast, which would make attending more affordable, if we could talk the grandparents into babysitting for a weekend every now and then!

The potential downsides:  heat, humidity, making new friends (although I do know a handful of people there, but not that well), not being near an ocean, having a small-ish airport, not having 24 hour everything at my beck and call.  Although, truth be told, it's fairly rare I need a grocery store at 2 AM, but when I have, I really have.

San Francisco - His job is in tech, so a natural choice.  It's beautiful, cosmopolitan, the weather is aaaaawwwesome!  How can you not love San Francisco filled with all its water and love?  I love this town.

The potential downsides:  It's really expensive to live here, which would make the whole staying-at-home-thing a lot tougher.  Also, no family and only a few friends, so probably no support if we needed it for kid stuffs.

In a distant third...
Atlanta - My mom lives here, so we'd have family support.  He doesn't love the city, but I know TONS of people, so friends would be the easy part.  It's less expensive than LA, but more spread out so more danger of getting pigeon-holed in a weird little suburb somewhere and end up not close to anybody.

The potential downsides:  heat, humidity, traffic, expensive real estate depending on the area we'd want to live in...

And of course, the
Staying in LA option - The weather is pretty awesome, we already have friends (although, they're not too kid-friendly for the most part), we know what we're in for, my rent is crazy reasonable because I'm the on-site manager.  It's only $950/month for a good sized one bedroom in a decent and convenient part of town.  We both have jobs, the beach is nearby, we have the world at the tips of our SPG Amex at LAX.

No decisions have been made, or probably WILL be made for at least a year or two, but just putting all this down as a kind of note to myself.

After having spent the last few days in Dunwoody (suburb of Atlanta) with my mom, it's been so nice to go to Costco and not wait in a HUGE line or sit in traffic while just trying to get in a parking lot.  The less dense population is kind of nice.  I feel like I have room to breathe!

Check out this lack of a line at 4:50 PM on a Tuesday afternoon!

I'll have to update this as more options/thoughts come up as to if or where we'd move, but these are the main options at the moment.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What's the opposite of June gloom?

I just re-read my resolutions for 2012.  So far, I'm doing okay with them, but as always, there is room for improvement.  The savings have been hit by the items below...

June has already shaped up to be quite an awesome month.  Some of it I can't talk about just yet, the other fun stuff that has happened the last month...

First, I finally got a better phone!  An iPhone 4S to be exact.  I love it so far, especially for Siri and the camera.

I also paid off my last student loan.  I'd been toying with the idea of paying it off for a while because I had the money in my savings account, but I felt more secure with having the money in the bank, in case I needed it.  I've been listening to Dave Ramsey lately and a woman, who is in my exact position called in, and he advised her to pay it off and rebuild the savings, so that's my plan.  I have a couple bonuses coming in over the next six months, so I will put those towards my savings account.

I also took a bit of my savings out and invested it in my Vanguard account in a balanced mutual fund.  I figure that it's got to be better than only earning 0.80% in my online savings account, right?  So far, I've lost about $15 over the last few weeks, which isn't too bad given the volatility lately.

I've recently sort of taken up very casual golfing and I'm enjoying it quite a bit.  So far, I've only played maybe a half dozen times, and most of those were at par 3 courses, but I love it.  I have a really old golf set that I got for free off of Craigslist, so I might splurge when I get my first bonus in July and buy a new set.  If nothing else, I really want a newer putter.  I'm going golfing before work tomorrow at 6:30 am, so that's why I thought of mentioning this.

I'm also getting ready to head off to Atlanta for a few days of hanging with my mom and then gaming at the Oasis of Fun!  I missed the Fun last year with my brother coming to LA to stay for a year, but now I'm ready to get my par-tay (and HANABI!) on!!

Life, in general, is going pretty well right now and I'm really happy.  My job is SO busy lately, but not in a terrible way.  Things are going really well with ISTJ as well, so I'm thrilled about that.  It's been almost two years and I'm so happy with how our relationship has progressed.  He's proven to be so awesome in these quiet ways that I just love.  I've realized that integrity is underrated.  I'm not sure if it's just in LA, or just in the 21st century, but it's something I just adore about him.  It's pretty irresistible.  As someone recently remarked, "how can you not love someone who is that secure?"  My point exactly.