We’ve spent the last month settling into our new home, figuring out where to put this or that or whether a mirror should ever be hung over a toilet (actually, still disagreeing on that one). But for the most part, our new place feels homey and unpacked and familiar. And we finally have a chance to talk about the move that brought us here — more specifically, all the costs we incurred getting here.
So let’s begin, shall we? This was the first move in a long time where we actually moved ourselves, rather than having a company move us. So we cut costs as much as possible, while still getting ourselves and our stuff across the country in one piece.
Because we broke our lease and were moving out of a co-op, we were given very short notice on if and when the move would be happening. Just three weeks before we were supposed to be out of our apartment, we found out the move was likely happening. But we didn’t know it was a sure thing until three days before the girls and I left town. Gotta love NYC. Actually in that situation, you don’t — at all. It was incredibly stressful not knowing for sure if we were moving. We had to plan as if we were, while still being cautious. Because of that, we waited as long as possible to buy moving supplies. And when we finally felt reassured enough to order them, the only place that could get them to us in time was Amazon. So we ordered it all from there! Here’s what we bought and how much we spent:
- Lock for Uhaul – $13
- Moving blankets – $93
- Moving boxes – $148
- Mattress bags – $15
- Bubble wrap – $15
- Stretch wrap – $14
- Cushion foam – $11
So it turns out that moving from east to west is a thousand times more expensive than moving west to east. Okay, not a thousand times, but over double. The price for a moving truck from NYC to Utah is $2,500. Meanwhile, a moving truck from Utah to NYC only costs $900. I know, gross. So in order to save money (because we just can’t help ourselves), Johnny got creative. After doing some research, he found out that renting a moving truck in, say, Maryland is $1,378 cheaper than in NYC. So that’s exactly what he did. Even with renting a car (which we had previous, free credit for), driving down to Maryland, picking up the truck, and coming back, he still saved us $1,350. The grand total for the moving truck with taxes and fees came to $1,242.
Moving Out of Our Place
Fun fact about management companies in NYC: they’re the worst. No, really. There’s no worse business than a property management company in Manhattan. I could write a 10-page manifesto on the subject, but I’ll refrain for now. When we called to schedule our move with our management company, they informed us that we were not allowed to move ourselves out of the building, that we had to have a professional moving company move us. Mind you, this was one week before we were set to leave, so hiring a professional company was next to impossible. And I let them know this as I laughed hysterically at their horribleness. We would have just bucked the system and moved ourselves anyway except that we had a $1,000 move-out deposit on the line, which we’d already paid. So we frantically called around for a moving company who could send over a couple of guys to assist us and provide proof of liability insurance to our management company. We struck out at least three times and then finally found a company who could do what we needed, which cost us $220. And for the record, we still haven’t gotten our $1,000 move-out deposit. Not cool.
Road Tripping Across the Country
Securing the rental truck is half the financial battle when you’re trekking across the country. The other half is staying fed, having a roof over your head, and keeping your gas-guzzling truck full as it carries all of your earthly possessions. I was nervous about Johnny making the move by himself so we flew his brother out to accompany him during the three-day trip. Johnny scored Priceline Negotiator deals on hotels at each planned pit stop (South Bend, IN and Middle-of-Nowhere, NE) and shaved off a third night by adding a couple extra hours to each day’s drive. He also managed to book hotels that offered free breakfasts, so fast food for lunch and dinner kept food costs to a minimum. By far the biggest expense was gas. The 16-footer averaged an abysmal 9MPG. Multiply that by 227 gallons and you’ve got a hefty gas bill.
Hotels – $150
Food – $60
Pork rinds, jerky, and other ungodly “man” snacks – $15
Gas – $650
While Johnny was driving himself and all our stuff across the country, I took the easier route and boarded an airplane — with a two-year-old, a three-month-old, and a very anxious cat in tow. Because I literally didn’t have enough hands to handle all of them on my own, my sister was kind enough to fly out and help. She got a short stint in NYC out of the deal, and we paid for her plane ticket back west with us. We also had to pay a $100 pet fee in order for Persie to sit under the seat in front of us for six hours. As mentioned earlier, we flew Johnny’s brother out to NYC so Johnny wouldn’t have to drive across the country all by his lonesome. Most of the plane tickets were covered by airline miles, but with the pet fee and tickets combined, we spent $250 on flying.
So the move cost us a grand total of $2,971. For what we’re now saving in rent by no longer living in NYC, I’d say it was well worth every penny. For a hot minute we considered using movers, but we realized that would have cost around $7,000. So we decided to pocket that $4,000 and put in some blood, sweat, and tears of our own. We are so glad that’s all over now. The next time we’re thinking of moving, please remind us to never, ever do it again!