Is getting deeper into debt ever justifiable?
I think there are some arguments to be made that it is. But it's rare.
There are some obvious cases, such as medical costs, where money is not the most important item on the agenda. And certainly, you can make a case for student loans, although these are increasingly coming under fire. (To be fair, the criticism is generally aimed at students who emerge from graduate school so deeply in debt that their loan payments suck up most of their pay.)
Still, are there other cases?
This is the thought that bounced around my cranium this past weekend. Because we're moving to Arizona.
Not immediately, so don't get up on those soapboxes just yet. But the idea of just saying, "What the hell!" and taking off... It was alluring. Well, for everything except the actual, horrible process of packing up whatever you don't sell and lugging it across the country.
The reason we're considering Arizona is that Tim's skin was nearly flare-up free during the two times he lived there. Rash free, even.
Let me put this in perspective. Whenever we'd meet a new doctor, Tim would mention his eczema. The doctor would glance over and say, "Yeah, I see it's flared up pretty badly right now." Tim would give a small smirk and break the news that this was a good day for his skin. Put another way, every single doctor and pharmacist has told us that Tim's case is the worst (or, very occasionally, one of the worst) they had ever seen.
Meanwhile, as summer creeps on and the humidity rises, Tim's skin is getting worse. And I watch my husband be nearly constantly uncomfortable.
So, as much as I love the Seattle area, I realized we have to get the heck out of Washington. The sooner the better.
Unfortunately, there are a few very compelling reasons why we can't move just yet:
- We owe $6707 on our Citi card (yes, I know I need to update my ticker) and $385 on another that was 0 percent.
- Tim's rediscovered student loan (link) is still at $4100 -- about $600 of which will fall off once the loan is rehabbed.
- We owe parents a total of $5,000.
- We'd need a reasonable down payment for a car. Bus is not an option down there.
- We'd need first/last/deposit for a new place
- We'd need money to cover the move.
Certainly, it's not the best list in the whole wide world. Especially considering that we can only throw about $300-400 a month against it.
But it wasn't this that set my mind on overdrive. It was this fun, circle of facts:
- Tim's skin is so much better in AZ, he can work with almost no trouble
- With a full-time paycheck (and the cheaper rent), we could get out of debt quickly
- But we can't afford to move down there until we're further out of debt
- And we won't be out of debt for awhile, because his skin acts up so much
- And that won't change until we move down to AZ.
Talk about maddening!
Don't worry, I'm not going to rationalize a move at this point in time. Even if we could borrow/save up the money for a new place, we'd never be able to get financing for a reliable car. (Since we wouldn't know any mechanics, I'd probably just want to get a brand new one and keep it until it's absolutely dead.)
So we'd need around $1500-2000 for the apartment -- first & last month's rent, deposit and pet deposit -- plus a few thousand for a car downpayment, plus however much it would cost to move. Even being (extremely) conservative, that would be $5,000 we'd need just to get down there. And the cheaper rent would be negated by the car payment.
Still, there's part of me that keeps roving around the apartment, trying to figure out what we could get sell. Wondering if there's a point at which we could rationalize it, so that my husband can be comfortable in his own skin.
Not very smart from a personal finance perspective. It scares me a little, frankly, the idea of going further into debt. But there are times when money is a secondary concern.