- 2 weeks ago
I’m in bit of dilemma. My SO and I (both 25, been together 10 yrs) are currently trying to aggressively pay off our debt (credit card- mostly from emergency/medical expenses and his student loan debt, along with living expenses for the first year we moved here when our housing fell through last minute and we had to live in a motel) and build a savings account (it was drained trying to fix our old car and when we bought a new car (Honda civic) after our old, inherited one died).
He works full time, I normally work part-time and go to community college full time, but I am taking a semester off so I can work full time to get more money, decide on a major/career before wasting money on classes, and get my driver’s license (need professional classes).
We live in Southern California, in a very high cost of living area. We moved here 6 years ago from Colorado when he was offered a job here. We live in a tiny bachelor apartment (less than 200 sq ft, with our rescued dog and pet mouse), in not the best area of town.
Over the last few years (we’ve lived in the same exact apartment all 6 years), the homeless and transient population has increased around our apartment area. I increasingly feel less and less safe every time I leave the apartment to walk our dog or wait for the bus. I also have social anxiety.
Some things that have happened (all in daylight hours, between ~8am-5pm, while minding my own business:
-Today while walking our dog: one man (2 ft away) picked up a piece of broken plastic and bottle cap, and thew it at my dog (didn’t hit her) then looked at me and intensely stared at me, another man pretend to shoot at me with his hand
-In the past: yelled at and chased at by prostitutes for standing on their corner (while waiting for the bus or to cross the road, wearing jeans, tennis shoes, and a sweater), yelled at, kicked at, and chased at by random men, screamed at and threatened death (just a couple times), have things throw in my direction at my dog, asked to have sex or asked sexual questions, offered to go with someone to get drugs or asked for drugs, along with more typical cat calling, random men barking at me and my dog, and things of that nature.
Also, there was a homeless man who asked me to call him an ambulance as he broke his shoulder late last year, which I did. Saw him a few months after, and he asked if I had any spare change to get a coke (it was near Christmas). I never carry any money on me, so I went back home, made him a meal, and then bought a soda, some water, and snacks from the gas station, then brought it back for him. A couple months after that, saw him again, he waved and said hi, then went on his way. A couple days later he saw me, called up to me, and asked if I could help him out getting a meal(he said he felt really bad asking me and bothering me again). I would have felt immensely guilty if I didn’t help, so I helped him out again. I want to help him, but can’t afford to keep helping him, and also don’t want to target myself either, so I’ve tried changing walking paths to avoid seeing him, and lied that I was moving.
I hate leaving the apartment now. It didn’t use to be this bad, but over the last year it has gotten worse. I’ve never physically been harmed though.
If we move, we’d have to spend at least $200 more in rent then we currently spend now, as our current place is the cheapest around, with all utilities except water paid for, and parking. We obviously also would have to use savings for the rental deposit and pet deposit. Our current apartment is also falling apart and needs to be renovated badly (it never was renovated when we moved in), but that is a smaller problem.
Our orginal plan was to stay here another 5 years (maybe move into a nicer studio apartment but in the same building for a little more space), so after I finish school and get a good paying job, we can save up a ton of money and pay off any remaining debt quickly. Since we are long term tenants, they can’t increase the rent by more than 3% every year.
We are starting to think though that the financial sacrifice to move into a safer area would be worth it though, but the other part of me thinks it hasn’t been that bad, and wants to stay here so we can save and pay off debt faster.
Thank you for your input!