The Economics of Moving


Last week, I wrote about my recent apartment hunting.  Now that I have a new place picked out, I have to move.  I arranged an overlap of one week so I have time to move everything in my busy schedule of working during the day and going to classes at night.

So, I started by looking at moving trucks.  I went to the most obvious place first, U-Haul, and was surprised by the cost.  The rental fee, about $20, didn’t seem too bad.  However, the .80 per mile blew me away.  I have mapped out the route from the rental place to my needed stops and found that it is about 20 miles.  With tax and all, that puts the cost somewhere in the $40-$50 ballpark.  No thanks.

So, I decided to look at Enterprise to see about just getting a pickup for the afternoon.  $109!!!!!  No thanks.

I did a little more Google magic and ended up at the website for Budget Truck Rental.  With a fall coupon they have out, offering 25% off and only .50 per mile, I found a winner.  Estimated cost with tax: $29.99 including miles.

Next up, I had to figure out how I was going to get the furniture into the truck and into the new apartment.  Fortunately, I have helped friends move in the past, and would help those friends again in a heartbeat, and they offered to help me.  Cost: one dozen doughnuts and a six pack of beer. (We are moving in the morning-early afternoon time frame)

Next, though, I realized I would need Internet when I move in.  I have blogs to maintain after all.  Fortunately I work somewhere I can get a phone/Internet package discount, so I have set everything up for a good bargain.  TV is not as cheap as I expected.  The TV company got rid of “expanded basic” cable and now makes you get either crappy basic with about 20 channels for $15 per month or “digital starter” for $55 per month.  I hoped expanded basic would be somewhere in the middle, but it is dead.  So, considering that I do like watching my cable shows, I just bit the bullet.

With roommates, the cost of TV and Internet is split 3 ways, but now I am at it alone.  My power/heat bill, though, will go down significantly moving from an old house into an apartment.  Even losing sharing on the energy bill, I am saving (and I turn the lights off when I leave). If you are moving into a new home, make sure to take advantage of energy tax credits.

I guess I should stop rambling and get to the point.  Moving is not cheap and certainly not easy.  When you are considering doing so, remember that the cost is not just an increase (or decrease) in rent.  It is new couches and dishes if you are sharing with other people, and utilities are going to change as well in most cases.  Commute times may shift and insurance costs may change.  There are many pieces to the puzzle.

The most important thing to remember, above money, is your happiness.  If you are miserable where you live, it is probably worth the extra cash to get out to a new place.  If you think you can be happier elsewhere, spend the money.  What is the point of money if not to make us happier?

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