A roof over my head
So in a few minutes, I go to negotiate with apartment people for my lease. After seeing three apartments in three days, I've got a fairly good idea of what the market looks like and damn, if I didn't get an awesome deal with this apartment. After calculating the costs, etc., I've come up with a resistance level -- in other words, it doesn't make sense to move if I don't save at least a certain amount of money. If moving and the rent increase are approximately equal, then there's no reason to move. Right now, the way the new rent is, it's cheaper to move. But if I get them to come down even $30, it'll be cheaper to stay.
Costs associated with moving include the usual phone hook-up and in this area, satellite television hook-up. That's $100 right there. Application fees average around $35 (I've seen as high as $50). There's a new 'administrative' fee two of the apartments I looked at require, so that averages to $100. One apartment complex is waiving the deposit, another is saying half-off on the refundable part of the deposit, and a third is not budging. The average of all that is $112.50. That's a total of $347.50; granted, the last item may change depending on the apartment, but I figure I need to calculate in the potential expense.
And for simplicity's sake, I'm rounding up to $400, because there may be other expenses I'm not considering. Moving isn't a real expense -- I'll either use Move for Free or my boss and a co-worker have offered to help me; gotta figure in pizza and beer for them, if that's the case (g). Pro-rate that over 12 months and it equals approximately $34. So theoretically, I can take an increase of about $34/month and that'll be breaking even between this place and a new one. An increase of more than $40/month, I'll move.
Wish me luck!