Tl;dr I found my dream apartment, will theoretically be able to afford it between my stopgap work and some surprise help, and submitted an application. Keep your fingers crossed for me? (I also wanted to say thanks for the encouragement and support on my last post — I didn’t respond to anyone, but I did read everything, and I really appreciate it). Full story below — probably not exciting to everyone but I am excited, so here it is.
I was idly browsing studio apartments on Craigslist and came across a brand-new ad from a local management company offering free August rent on their remaining units. I ended up touring even though the units are currently out of my non-existent budget (some money from my part-time jobs will hopefully start flowing very soon, even if a full-time gig hasn’t popped yet) and fell in love with a place. It’s not fancy (in that we have a ton of massive luxury buildings popping up all over the area that cost ridiculous amounts of money), but it’s basically my dream apartment... Early 20th century building, huge studio with wood floors, high ceilings, big windows with morning light, gas burner stove (tiny) and a 3/4 size refrigerator, full tub, and TONS of closet space. There’s some downsides here and there, but essentially it’s a unicorn, and there were three vacant units with that floor plan.
So my heart is crazy for this apartment and I’m staring down couch surfing for a month plus, and I know these units will be full by the end of this week, because that is how the rental market goes in my area. Once I get my paycheck, I will technically make enough to barely afford it (the part-time retail job I started last week will theoretically make just enough, or just short of, the rent payment, and my other part-time job will hopefully be 1.5x rent). I want this apartment so badly, but I know it’s not a fiscally wise decision, since I don’t yet have a cash flow. I called my mother and asked her to talk me down (my family is culturally very focused on financial stability — buy used cars outright, have the cash on hand for new furniture, never get more house than you can afford, coupon clip for groceries, etc).
She asks me a few questions about my income and then tells me to apply for the apartment. She says she expects I’ll be able to handle it because I’m decent at money-management and I have a lot of free-lance irons in the fire that pay (babysitting, tutoring, etc) but she thinks she can cover about $200 per month if I fall short. This is very unexpected, since she just started a new job and she’s trying to help my youngest brother through college, but it would make the difference between thinking I can make this apartment work financially and knowing I can.
I applied today, and hopefully I will hear back tomorrow or Thursday, since move-in day in my area is always August 15. Keep your fingers crossed for me?