Wednesday, August 1, 2012

For Rent

A month ago my mother-in-law asked me whether we were thinking of buying a house soon.  Quite honestly, that was the farthest thing from my mind.  She's right about it being a buyer's market right now, but even if we weren't considering a move in a few years I don't think I would want to bite off that kind of financial commitment, particularly in this political climate.

At the moment, I'm much more passionate about paying off our household debt and bracing for the allegedly imminent financial collapse of the country and/or the implosion of this inflated currency we're using.  Also, while still being something of a novice navy wife, my experience of the lifestyle so far has left me reluctant to lock my landing gear in place.  If someday we have to pack up and cut all ties, I want to be free to do that, which is why it makes sense for us to buy a brand new car and not a house.

Speaking of the car and paying off debts, if we scrimp and squeeze the blood out of pennies, we can have everything paid off in three years.  It will be right about that time that David will be considering a career change.  If we can be debt free by the time we have to pack up and start a new life, it will be awesome.  At that point we can reassess our budget and start socking away cash for adoptions.

That's personally why we rent, and apparently we're not alone.  I was getting caught up on my belated news, watching episodes of ABC Nightline on Hulu, and they ran a segment about how more Americans are renting whatever they possibly can.  The website Airbnb advertises short term rentals (much like you would rent a hotel room) directly from private owners "in 27,266 cities and 192 countries."  Some people are apparently using the site to sublet rooms they are themselves renting.  This economy is being dubbed the "share economy."  Have you ever thought about letting someone rent that bridesmaid's dress you never wear anymore?  How about the tools in your garage?  Some choose to rent rather than buy those baby toys the children grow out of so quickly, although in the Catholic tradition of large families we usually get our money's worth out of those.  RelayRides allows car owners to offer their cars for rent to other members of their community.  The renters say it's cheaper than owning a car, and the owners say the renting pays for maintenance.  It's an interesting trend, but I'm sure there are all kinds of insurance violations going on.

There are some of my belongings I wouldn't mind pimping out for some extra cash, but I'm still far too possessive of my car.

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