We did it. We live in the Burbs now… No longer city-dwellers, no longer punk rock, no longer cool.
Last month, after years of living in the tiny attic in the sky, we reached our breaking point of the mold and the leaky ceilings and decided it was time to leave. But moving means money and that is money we can’t plop onto our debt and that isn’t a good use of our debt money, right? But we had to move guys, we needed to GTFO.
How is it possible to move on a dime? We had no idea until we went through it. As you know there is so much cost associated with moving from paying for movers, first/last and security deposit, sprucing up the new place. We set out to do this as cheaply as possible and now that we are on the other side of this disaster we’d like to walk you through some of our success and two of our giant failures.
Here in Boston there are two big move times: September when all the kiddies come in for college and June when most leases are up. What we did was moved out at a time when the city isn’t so busy with moves, December. What this means is lower truck rental prices and a bigger need to fill open apartments, therefore a better deal for us! Also by leaving at such a weird time we were able to negotiate with our former landlord to give us ½ months rent back, which we used to help with some of the moving expenses.
Something else we did to save money was pit cable companies against each other. Did you know that cable companies want your business? It’s true! Dylan called our current provider to let them know that we would be moving and decided to see what sort of deals we could get to stick with them. Turns out that cable and internet prices aren’t set in stone – so after some light-hearting ‘jabbing’ and threats of moving onto a different terrible company we were able to get our price lowered for the next year – a significant savings when we look at what we had previously been paying for internet. We went from paying $75/month to $63.
One thing that depresses us more than anything is throwing out food. Whether it’s a cucumber that got a little too turnt, or that left over vegan chili that got shoved to the back of the fridge; throwing away food is sad, irresponsible and flat out stupid. When it’s time to move, packing up the fridge seems like a silly thing to do so we set out to eat all that shit. Finish the bread, have a sandwich for breakfast! Use those pickles, have em as a movie snack! The days leading up to and after a move can quickly turn into all delivery all the time and if you’re not careful you can end up spending loads of $$$ in keeping food in your body.
Now it’s time for one of our failures. In our excitement (and honestly sheer desperation) to move out we took our search for a new place off of Craigslist. Not necessarily a bad thing, Craigslist is full of creeps, but this means going through a real Realtor. The place we found in the Burbs was just too good to give up but getting it also entailed getting the Realtor associated with it. Although our Realtor was a super nice lady (oh hey Gloria!) writing that check for her fee stung quite a bit. Stung to the tune of several debt payments… Looking back on our experience was it worth it to get this place but have to do it through a Realtor, maybe or maybe not - there's some disagreement in our household about that one.
Now, we know that not everyone will be able to do this but hear us out. We convinced our new landlord to let us slowly move in. Since this was a space that he was trying to fill in December there were no current tenants in the apartment. So over the course of a couple days we took about 15 carloads of our stuff over. Small to semi large things like clothes, rugs, pots & pans, odds & ends, Rizzoli & Isles. By taking all of that lightweight stuff ourselves we ensured that the movers would only have to focus on the larger items and we could keep them down to their minimum. We also put on our helpless children hats and asked Keri's parents for help with moving some carloads, which of course entails getting a free lunch because Keri's parents are rad.
Groupon like a gangster. After our super failed Honeymoon on a Groupon we’ve always been apprehensive about using that site. Sometimes though you just have to throw caution to the wind and go for it (connect four). So we did and ended up booking a couple of really nice movers for really cheap. Groupon is a site that gets a lot of shit, but when it comes to life things like moving or carpet cleaning, just use it. It’s cheap and easy.
Luckily for us we ended up moving right before the grossly commercialized holiday of Christmas and were finally able to be open and honest with our families about what we needed. Usually our approach is to say "We don't need anything" or "Just your company is enough" but let's be for real here: we need some stuff. We asked our loving families for gift cards to Trader Joe's, Target, Home Depot, towels and other new apartment stuff. It's not gross to tell someone something that you need if they ask. It's a whole other story if you run into your Nana and say "Hey, your grandkids could use some money - pull out the checkbook!". It's okay to ask when asked.
Now it's time for our next failure. Calm. Down. With. The. Decorating. I don't know if you guys have priced out paint recently but it is mad expensive. Even though we went from a tiny apartment to a larger apartment - we had enough stuff to make our new place feel 'homey'. But that didn't stop us from comparing ourselves to the ridiculous standards set by Apartment Therapy. Looking at that site always makes us feel like a pile of garbage. Your apartment doesn't have to be perfect at the get go, you can collect things over time. We couldn't see that though and felt like we had to make up for the all years we lived in a trash heap. Our advice is to build as you go, otherwise you'll end up at a TJ Maxx buying a $100 rug that you only kind of like.
Now that we're at the finish the move ended up costing us more than we wanted but we agree it could have been much worse. I'm sure the next time we do this we'll be even more frugal, or maybe at that point we'll be debt free. LOL, JK we're never going to be debt free, no one will, we're all fucked.