The other day I was talking to a friend of mine. He and his fiance were moving into their new apartment prior to their wedding (this is the same friend whose wedding I was in – read all about how much it cost me). As our conversation unfolded, the topic of moving came up. I remarked how much I hate moving and was surprised to hear his positive response. I have met very few people in my life that enjoy moving and so I was utterly shocked to hear that someone might enjoy moving.
Sure, moving might be a sign of change and exciting things to come in the future, but it is full of busyness. Unless you can afford to pay someone to move for you, moving consists of full days, back-breaking grunt work, and lots of stress. Why would anyone want to move?
As it turns out, my wife and I have been contemplating moving for some time. We like where we are living, but we don’t plan to be here long term. A couple personal issues have come up in the past year and life isn’t as great as it once was. The idea of moving to a new place, getting a fresh start seems quite appealing in many ways. In fact, my wife and I had a serious conversation just a few days ago when we listed the pro’s and con’s of getting up and moving sooner rather than later.
In the midst of our conversation, I realized that moving costs a lot. Not just money-wise (although it does cost this too), but in other ways as well. I thought I would share some of my reflections on moving to a new place.
The Social Cost of Moving
One of the most significant costs of moving, in my eyes, is the social aspect of starting over. Whether you realize it or not, when you get settled in one place, you establish a group of friends that you can rely on. Whether it’s asking for a ride to the airport, or people to celebrate Holidays with. Your social circle is only made possible by time spent in one place. Getting up and moving to a new state or city wipes the slate clean and you are forced to build up your circle of friends from scratch. This is never an easy task.
Moving also can disrupt your career track. Many people work their way up the corporate ladder and being uprooted doesn’t help this. Moving, unless you are a full-time blogger, requires you to apply for jobs and hope that you get lucky. While it is possible to land a great job (or even one for which you lack the experience), in this economy it can be a long process. My wife applied for jobs for a good 6 months before she got her recent job.
While some of the financial costs of moving are incorporated in the career section above, moving can be quite expensive. When you add up the transportation, increase in food (from eating out a lot), Hotel (when you are looking for a new home), and the down-payment on your new home (whether you are renting or buying), it can be quite expensive. This does not even include the “necessary” costs to furnish your new place or to store old furniture. Not everyone can furnish an apartment for $600, like we did when we first started out. The increase in costs can put an even larger strain on a family that is already pushed to the limit.
Why We are Delaying the Move
As we talked through our discussion about moving, my wife and I decided that we will be postponing our next move (if not forever). We realize there is the possibility that we will stay in the same area for the rest of our lives, but we don’t think it will really happen. There were a few major factors that are keeping us in the area. First, (and perhaps foremost), my wife just started Graduate school. I will be finishing in December, but she will still have 2 years after this summer course. There is a chance for her to transfer if we did move, but she is enjoying her program and it makes little sense to move now. Plus, if we did move, it would probably delay her graduation even longer and we would rather be done with school sooner rather than later.
Another reason is that we are just not ready to move emotionally. It takes a lot to be able to get up and move to a new place without knowing anyone. We did it once already and don’t look forward to doing it again. Last, but not least, employment. For the most part, we are both happy with our jobs and we have some financial security with both of us working. (After all, we just created a fun budget – talk about a sign of some security). It will take a great job offer for us to get up and move. It is highly unlikely that both of us will have a new job if and when we do move, so we would have to be able to live off of one income for a while until the other can find suitable employment.
Overall, moving far away takes a lot of commitment and energy. While we do anticipate that we will have to make this change in the coming years, we just aren’t ready for that kind of change.
Have you had to make a significant move? Have you decided that you will be staying put? What informed your decision?