TL;DR: it doesn’t make a lot of financial sense for me to keep my apartment. The plan was for my sister to live there with me while she goes to college, but I’ll be paying a lot of money in rent (even though it’s split) when I won’t be able to use the apartment for a few weeks out of the year. If I end the lease now, I’ll lose about $4k and then my sister will have to find another place to stay. If I wait until the lease ends in October, I’ll lose about 9k, but my sister will have more time to find a new place. I’m not sure what to do.
I (22M) currently have a 2 bedroom apartment that costs about 2k/month in rent, after utilities and fees. I work as a traveling engineer and make about 80k/year and travel up to 80% of the time. My sister (19F) is starting college this fall, and my parents pay her half of the rent.
The reason we tried to work this out is because she’s going to college in the same city that my company’s home office is in. They require me to return there on occasion, but only for up to a week at a time. I didn’t know until after taking the job, that the travel would be way more involved than what I was told.
In addition, if you live a certain distance away from the office, the company pays me $80/night and reimburses mileage, so this apartment feels like an incredible waste of money for me now. The lodging reimbursement wasn’t something that was disclosed to me until I was a couple of weeks into the job.
My parents don’t want me to end the lease just yet, because otherwise, they have to find a new place for my sister to live. They live 6 hours away from where I’m at, which makes things even harder.
If I end the lease right now, I will come out of pocket two months rent, or about $3600. If I stay in the lease until October, I stand to lose at least 14k, if not more. Even if my parents pay half of that, it’s still a lot more than if I end it earlier.
I don’t want to screw my sister over. I told her my POV and she’s not listening to the financial side of my argument. My mom understands where I’m coming from, though she wants me to talk to my dad about it before we make a decision. It’s not easy to get ahold of him, since he’s so busy.
I’m not trying to be selfish. What would you do in this situation?
If you sister doesn’t start college until the fall, why can’t she find a new place to live between now and then? Where does she live now?
cancel the lease
your sister has 6+ months to find a new shared living accommodation. the school probably has some kind of online forum/bulletin board for students to match up to share spaces.
I don’t recommend entangling yourself in family finances. Help her find a studio apartment. Help your parents sign as guarantor. Do not tether yourself. Family/friends and finances do not mix well. She may need flexibility to quit college, move elsewhere, or stay in the apartment without having to worry about the impact on you. You may need to change jobs, or your finances could change and if she defaults on the rent, you will be responsible at the worst moment. Disentangle as much as possible. It protects you AND her.
Your sister is an adult, and not wanting to live with other people apart from you does not sound like a good enough reason for you to lose thousands of dollars. I understand it can be uncomfortable moving in with new roommates and people you don’t know, but a lot of people have to do it, and these are life skills we all learn along the way
Time for little sister to grow up. Alot of university/colleges have on campus housing : dorms and/or apartments.
She can easily find a single with them. I lived in a single dorm and then a single apartment that partnered with the college. Mom and dad would be paying the same amount monthly as they are now.
Many people responding to this post are saying it would be unkind to end the lease and “leave your sister out to dry”. They missed the fact that the sister is not in need of the apartment until the fall. It is in no way unkind to end your lease now. Your sister isn’t even paying for her half of the rent either. She will need to find a place that she can afford on her own, or be comfortable with a roommate like most college students have to do. You’re fine in ending the lease OP, just help her search for a place of her own if that would make help you feel better about the situation.
You need to let your family know “we” are not making a decision. You are.
She is your sister, and an adult. You are not responsible for her finances. Do what you need to do. Also, have a very clear conversation with your family about what you are going to do.
Edit: whatever you do, you could offer up half of what you will initially save.
Just ask your parents to pay the full rent and give your sister the apartment.
So I was in this situation. Your sister should pay rent starting now, or you should cancel the lease. If you’re traveling for work most of the time, and you can do fine without a permanent residence, I would totally not have a place. Save a shit load of money.
For me it was a cousin, and we were both attending college. I ended up moving in with other classmates at the end of our lease because it made more sense anyways. I got out there a few months before he did and was paying the full rent on my own, and it sucked.
* Would you go without any permanent residence if you exit this lease? Or just something with a lower rent? Would you need storage? Worth fully pricing out the “alternative” you’re imagining.
* Ultimately, you’re being asked to do a favor, and you’re also asking how to do it – I don’t think you’re obligated to, but a win-win is always nice. Do you think you could propose an uneven split, where she (/ your parents) pay more than half, since you will barely use the place, and you pay some and stay on the lease? This might still be financially viable for her / them, especially compared to finding her own place, plus the intangible benefits of having family around for her as she moves out, so it’s worth proposing.
* Lastly, you should know you’re doing well – paying 1k in rent on that salary should still be allowing you to save quite a bit at an early stage in your career, if your travel costs are being reimbursed. It’s always good to keep your costs down, but sometimes it can be needlessly stressful to think of paying rent as a “loss” if it’s a manageable expense.
Your sister isn’t currently living in your apartment. End the lease and she can find other college students to room with. Her college almost certainly has a Facebook or other platform where students search for roommates.
BTW, it costs about $14k per school year for my daughter’s dorm and meal plan. So it makes absolutely no sense for you to spend $14k to hold onto an apartment to save your sister/parents $14k.
End the lease and let your family figure out your sister’s housing.
I understand that you’re traveling a lot more than you expect, but does pulling out of this lease mean you won’t have to find another place? Or would you be getting an apartment somewhere with lower cost of living? It sounds like you’re not going to find any place, but then where does your stuff go? You need to factor in those costs.
Ultimately it’s still your decision and the money isn’t chump change, but here’s my 2c. I never had the chance to live with my younger brothers (2 years and 4 years younger than me). But if it was between living by myself and saving some money or living with them and spending a little bit more, I might just do the latter. First of all is that now we are all in our mid-30s, and we don’t have nearly as much time with each other as before. I look at some of my friends and the good relationships they have with their siblings, and sometimes I do wish I had better relationship with my brothers. Would I had asked one of them to be a groomsman if I did instead of just asking my friends?
I wouldn’t be suggesting this if you had $50k of debt and only making minimum wage, but it sound like you’re in a good place financially now. Would you pay $1k/mo to have more memories with your sister? On those weekends when you are back, would you like to take your sister out somewhere? Of course, maybe you actually need your space because you’ll be hanging out with friends all the time or hosting parties, and don’t want them anywhere close to your sibling because, yea, older guys can be dangerous for younger girls haha. That’s part of the calculations too.
So yea, not the “financially smart” move. I think everyone else has already commented on that. But just want to give the picture of the side that isn’t captured by numbers.
I used to have a very travel intense job (200-300 flights a year, typically gone Monday through Thursday). From my experience, I loved having a home base- I needed to have a home base. It wasn’t much- just a studio with a stackable washer/dryer and a big closet. The stability was super important to me. I’d suggest somewhere close to your favorite major airport.
as someone who did the job for 7 years, I would definitely recommend thinking carefully and introspectively about your choice to be nomadic to be sure it will really work for you. You can still spend weekends in an awesome city just to see a concert, but think of all the laundrymats, bed bug risk, and extra expensive of not being able to buy anything in bulk
Would I suggest moving in with your sister? Heck no. Maybe you can rent out the second bedroom in her primary residence or sleep on her couch when you visit.
Tbh she will be better off living with other students than alone in an apt 90% of the time
You make 80k a year and are going to renege on your sister and put her out of a place to live so you can save a few thousand dollars? I’d hate to be your family.
You’re making 80k a year and getting paid money for travel by your company? To me family is very important so it’s no brainer to keep the apartment for at least until the lease is up. Help your sister out and make your parents happy. 22 years old, you have a ton of time to make these financial changes later. Plus you’re only holding out on these changes until the lease is up
Sometimes you have to make small sacrifices for family … in the long run of a life span .. 4000$ is nothing … family should always come first … everything else is ephemeral ..
I think you keep the apartment for a year. It would be very unkind to pull the apartment out from under your sister’s feet when she’s about to start college. 1k in rent (assuming that’s your half) is still very cheap!