Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tales From the Condo Improvement Front

Boyfriend and I had finally gotten the condo into livable, walking around without tripping over stuff condition when he decided the time to buy the hardwood flooring was NOW. Well this can't be blamed entirely on him. Our friends at Home Depot told us it would take 2 weeks for the floor to come in from special order. But when we showed up, alas, they had the wood in stock. Note that the picture on the Home Depot web site does not do it justice - at $3.89 per square foot, it is THE MOST EXPENSIVE wood in the store but it's pretty God damn beautiful and we are only covering a small room with it (less than 200 square feet).

Lest we get too settled, Crackhead Contractor is working on both the floor AND the tile backsplash at the same time. Furniture is everywhere. Dust is everywhere. Our cat has developed a nervous eating disorder (read: she won't STOP EATING).

It's looking pretty good so far as you can see. Hopefully by the time I arrive tonight at least one of these projects will be complete.

And meanwhile, my Very Expensive Storage Facility down the street, money is just being thrown down the drain. Nah. I can't think of it that way, right? It's like an elegant pied-à-terre I can visit once a month when I need to be alone. That's much better.

In reality though, I feel awful not being able to contribute to the Condo Improvement Projects, since we pretty much consider the place "ours" already. Just he's the one footing the bill. It sucks.

Boyfriend's Work Bonus also secured for our enjoyment a new 42' LCD TV from Best Buy, just in time for football season. Sweet! See what I mean though? What do I contribute to our lifestyle except for 1/3 of the grocery budget? I feel slightly like Kato Kaelin. Sigh.

At least I cooked dinner last night but my modern feminism prevents me from seeing that as a proper contribution. I can't lose focus on my goals, right? I just don't want to be a mooch either.


Jim ~ mydebtblog.com said...

Sounds to me he's really pouring money into the place. I understand painting rooms, but wood floor and tile work? Seems really expensive to me right after buying the place. Wait until those initial bills for electric and gas come. If you're going to live over there, I wouldn't keep renting your place. The cost to break your current lease and pay off the back utilities is less than what it will cost to get to the end of it. I think you'll be better off than trying to stay independent. My wife and I have been living together since the last year of college. Granted we got engaged just before graduating and I bought our house a month before we were married. I guess it's hard for me to relate anymore. The TV also sounds really nice, we got one back in May. If he's going to use HDMI cables for anything I recommend monoprice.com for dirt cheap high end cables that don't cost $100 at big name stores.

paisley penguin said...

Wow, sounds like things are really moving along and he wants to put his (or you both) stamp on that place. We did hard wood flooring throughout and I am glad it's comleted.

If you feel strongly about spending money on your apartment then maybe you should move in and contribute and still pay your debt down. After all, if you do get married doesn't your debt become our debt? If it's gone then it's gone. :)

Sallie's Niece said...

Since it's a condo the heat is included in the monthly maintenance fee thankfully. And the work hasn't been so expensive since admitedly we got a cut rate deal on labor. He got a big bonus from work and basically spent it all. I'm definitely working on losing the excess baggage of my apartment but I want an emergency fund first. I think he got cables already - not sure. Can't wait to have cable again!

Sallie's Niece said...

See I don't know about the my debt becoming "our" debt kinda thing, even if/when we get married. We talked about it and both think we want to split things up so that I pay my debts, he pays his and we both contribute to joint expenses based on income. Who knows how that will work out. Yikes!

I hear ya on breaking the lease - I want to do it - but first I need some savings and then I need to tackle the parental objections. Stay tuned!

Daizy said...

Would your landlord object to you getting a roommate for your apartment? Then you could just not be there most (or all) of the time.

I hope the cat doesn't get as stressed out as mine did when I brought her to my new house. Kitty pee in every corner. The vet said she was stressed and gave her a $400 kitty IV. If I ever move out of this RV I will have to park it in the backyard so that the cat can continue living in it. It is her castle.

Sallie's Niece said...

Yes the landlord probably would object to a roommate idea - I know because there's a "overnight visitors will be charged" clause in my lease - not enforced really but it gives him a good out. That and he's notoriously greedy. Wouldn't even let me have a cat without charging me. Sigh. I'll be free of the place soon.

As for the cat, she's not like freaking out and hiding really. She's curious about the construction but just acting nervous and emptying her food bowl every time it's filled. We keep moving her litter box and I think that has annoyed her a little. No accidents though thankfully!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I've never heard of an 'overnight visitors will be charged' clause. I didn't even know that existed! Can't you sublet your current apartment, in an open arrangement with your landlord? I know he's strict, but if you point out that it's easier for you both if he allows you to sublet it, because you will ultimately still be responsible for the flat, and if you have to break the lease he will be left with an empty apartment and will have to go through the hassle of getting new tenants. Make it seem like it's a better choice for him too.

As for you feeling that you don't contribute enough financially, this sounds like a very serious relationship. You need to have a very open warts and all conversation about both of your money situations, so that you can sort something out that suits you both, especially if you are going to be living together.

Sallie's Niece said...

Yes subletting is a possibility I may talk to the landlord about. But first I want a little bit of financial security and enough courage to approach my parents and tell them what's what, you know?

My understanding that the "overnight visitor" clause is common in college towns and my city has many schools.

Don't worry - Boyfriend and I are very open about finances and goals. We're planning for a potential "our" future which is kinda crazy if you knew me before him but wow...here I am.

Anonymous said...

hah! i love hearing how much you guys are planning. these weren't open conversations in a former relationship i had, and i found that, wanting to "contribute equally" meant that i was living well beyond my means. now i'm in a relationship that's open on these things and where it's an "each according to his means" style set-up, and everything's very smooth.

Sallie's Niece said...

Yeah open communication is pretty good. My last relationship the "future" was taboo. Translation: he wasn't that into me. Oh man, that's the stuff for a whole other blog though!

I don't want to get SO giddy and optimistic though as you all know how that can turn out. A couple of my friends have jumped the gun and moved in with a boyfriend only to regret it so caution still needed to a certain degree.