Why did we move? Because we wanted to. I work from home and John works in construction. We didn’t get transferred, we don’t have family out here and, in fact, John had never even been to NC before and I had only been once (and to a different city than we live, no less). Simply put, we’re here because we want to be!
Since we didn’t have a job to come to, we knew we needed to save every penny we could during the move.
We got rid of a lot of our stuff
For two months, whenever I had time, I would go through closets, cabinets and drawers and get rid of what wasn’t a necessity. I cleaned out my closet three separate times and donated roughly 12 full-size bags of clothes and shoes. We got rid of some of my daughters toys, kitchen gadgets, a couch, a dining room table, a grill, miscellaneous pieces of furniture, tools and more. If it wasn’t a necessity or something one of us treasured, it got donated or sold.
*As a side note, I can’t tell you how good it feels to downsize and get rid of clutter! With less stuff comes less stress, less to clean, less to keep up and less to worry about!
We rented a 6 x 12 U-Haul trailer
We packed our entire 3 bedroom + loft house into a 6 x 12 trailer attached to the back of our SUV. That’s how much we downsized!! One thing I refused to part with was our couch that we bought in July 2013. We paid $1800 for it and there was no way I was going to sell it for not even half that. The couch, by the way, is MASSIVE. It easily took up half of the trailer.
We also took a fake fireplace we had purchased the previous Christmas, our girls cribs and mattresses, our mattress (but not the box spring), some of John’s work tools, a few boxes of sentimentals, one box of kitchen items, half a box of bathroom items, clothing and some artwork.
Cost of the U-Haul: $550
We packed ourselves
No one likes to pack and load boxes into a trailer, but if you can physically do it yourself, I highly recommend going that route. I got quotes from movers and it easily would have been $8K to have all of our belongings packed up and moved across the country. Instead, John and I packed everything up ourselves. It took a day and a half and we did it while watching our girls in the 110 degree weather!
We drove one car
Part of why we downsized so much is we didn’t want to rent a full-size U-Haul moving truck. Those cost way more than the trailers plus we would have had to pay for gas for our SUV and the moving truck. Not to mention, we had two babies and two dogs with us, so it just made sense for all of us to be in one vehicle.
Total spent in gas: $650
We stayed in La Quinta’s
La Quinta’s are pet-friendly and don’t charge extra. Our trip was five days, four nights so we stayed at four different La Quinta’s across the country (Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, Memphis and Knoxville). We booked a two-room suite each time to allow for plenty of space for all of us. Prices ranged from $120/night to $160/night.
Total spent on hotels: $550
TOTAL: $1750 plus food to move a family of four across the country!
You really can’t beat that!
Readers: Have you ever moved across the country? What advice would you have for others?
This is a personal finance blog so I plan on being extremely transparent with our finances, goals and how we’re going to achieve financial freedom. After all, if I don’t include “the numbers,” how are people supposed to know how we’re doing this??!
John and I both work for ourselves. It wasn’t always this way, though. After graduating college, I had a few finance-related jobs (mortgage industry, sales and a university) but didn’t really love any of them. They all involved cold-calling, sitting behind a desk for 8+ hours a day and didn’t provide much room for advancement.
After getting pregnant, John and I decided I would stay home to take care of our baby. Being a stay-at-home mom has always been a dream of mine, and I was super thankful I would be able to do it. Before having our daughter, I knew I wanted to try and get into freelance writing. Stay home with my baby and bring in an income? Yes, please!
So I did just that. I got lucky and a close friend of mine got me a small freelance job at her company. From there, my career has grown leaps and bounds and I hope to only grow even more.
John is a painting, drywall repair and handyman extraordinaire. He worked for himself for a while, but after we had our daughter he decided to work for a company. While he learned so much on the job, he knew eventually he was going to work for himself again. Let’s face it – there’s nothing better than setting your own hours and being in control of your income.
We had our second daughter and moved across the country from AZ to NC when they were 2 and 1 (that’s a whole other story, tho!). After being here a month, John decided to start his own company – Brookstone Painting and Residential Services – and I couldn’t be more proud! We’re now both working for ourselves and have our financial future in our own hands.
Breakdown of our income 9/2014
We sold our house in the summer of 2014 and profited a nice $46K. Between moving expenses, buying a new truck for John and getting ourselves afloat for the first month, we spent around $10K (I’ll do a specific moving cost breakdown in another post).
Sarah’s Income 9/2014
- Freelance writing $650
- Freelance editing $800
John’s Income 9/2014
- Job that didn’t work out $360
- First job self-employed $75
Total for 9/2014: $1,885
As you can see, we are not rich by any stretch of the imagination!! Though, John’s income will hopefully be producing 10x’s this amount within a month or so. We are also getting some of our investment accounts squared away, which I’ll go into detail later, as well.
Prior to our move, we were making roughly $4K a month after taxes. Our goal is to be back up to that number in October and go up from there.