Financial & Emotional Costs of Moving with the Happy Hour Ladies


Financial & Emotional Costs of Moving with the Happy Hour Ladies

Today is the last Friday of the month and my regular listeners know that on the last Friday of the month, I host a happy hour, where I gather great friends with me to drink cheap drinks and talk about money topics. Today we’re talking about moving and the financial and emotional implications that come with that decision. As many of you heard, I recently sold my home to move and downsize into something more affordable in my budget, well my Happy Hour friends have also handled some big moves or have them in the near future and we’re sharing all about it.

What are we drinking?

Melanie from Dear Debt — Merlot

Tonya from Budget and the Beach — Pinot Grigio

Liz, Mrs. Frugalwoods, from — Called in sick!

Shannon — Boda Box Rosé

Podcast Notes

  • Melanie moved to Los Angeles two years ago. She is thinking of downsizing from a one-bedroom.
  • What is the farthest move you ever made?
    • Melanie: LA to NYC; NYC to Portland. Melanie moved to NYC with two suitcases. It was the first time she moved from Oregon.
    • Shannon: Florida to NYC. A multi-state move is one of the most stressful things you can do to yourself. Will was two at the time.
    • Tonya: Detroit to Seattle in April 1995. She made the drive with a friend and videotaped the entire trip. It is the most memorable move she’s made.
  • The ladies discuss futons and whether they are ever a good idea.
  • Shannon recently moved two miles from her home.
  • Are your moves financially or emotionally motivated?
    • Melanie: The move to NYC was for school, the move to Portland was for financial reasons (to cut her rent) and emotional reasons (she wanted to be with her partner), and the move to LA was emotional (Portland made her miserable).
    • Shannon: The house she just sold was an emotional purchase. This recent move was financially driven and she is much happier. Her monthly bills have been cut in half.
  • Where emotions and money meet is where finances become a disaster.
  • Moves cost money – even if you try to do it on the cheap. Even apartment hopping is a few grand.
  • Tonya is about to move from LA to Boise. Everything there is about half the cost of LA. She is currently paying $1,450 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in a very good location. The move is more emotionally driven. She feels like she is in a rut and hasn’t been taking chances, and she hates the traffic in LA. She wants to stretch her adventure muscle. Tonya plans to do a packing pod, where it is dropped off in the front yard to load and then is driven to the new place for unpacking. It costs roughly $1,300 for the pod.
  • Tonya will need to drive two days with her 18 year-old cat to get to her new location. When Shannon’s ex-husband moved their 16 year-old cat from Florida to NYC, they talked to the vet about anti-anxiety pills.
  • Tonya will be taking a trip to Boise in August to find a place to rent.
  • Shannon doesn’t advise buying a house in a new area, if you have only visited a couple of times. Only buy if you are really familiar with the area. It is costly to get into and out of a house. Take your time to figure it out.
  • Tonya has live in LA for 10 years. What is the worst that will happen when she moves? If she hates it, she can always move back to LA.
  • Tonya has been wanting to move from California for several years. She evaluated a few different areas by using cost of living calculators online. She looked at Austin and many areas in Colorado. Some amenities she was looking for included big small town, less traffic, lots of accessible outdoor recreation, and an affordable cost of living.
  • Boise kept popping up on her radar and she started researching it. Forbes listed it as the fastest growing city in America. Tech is becoming huge for the city and Boise State is right in the heart of the city. Boise is a very bike-able city and is very hot in the summer. Tonya is hoping to find a place for $750 to $900 a month.
  • If Melanie moves from a one-bedroom to a studio, she would save about $200 a month/$2,400 a year. She wants to save at least $5,000 a year in order to make a move worth it. She works from home and she would have to move two cats.
  • When Melanie moved from Portland to LA, costs included renting a car to drive from Portland to LA, the hotel stay to break up the 15-hour drive, food on the road, security deposit, first/last month rent, and new furniture to replace what they sold. She estimates the cost to be at least $4,000 to $5,000. She did not hire movers.
  • Stuff creep happens when you move into a new place, because things don’t work the same as in the old place. There is usually an extra $1,000 in expenses that you don’t expect.
  • The first time Melanie hired a house cleaner was when she was moving out of her apartment in Portland.
  • Moving requires a lot of time packing and cleaning.
  • Most people do not plan for all of the expenses and then end up with credit card debt. Plan ahead. If you want to move to a more expensive place, practice paying the extra money to yourself each month. Create an auto draft to simulate the extra cost. Don’t move broke!
  • If you need to get rid of something, in many areas you can advertise it on Craigslist or Offer Up for free and put it on the curb.
  • Forgotten costs: broker’s fee (in NYC), pet deposit, security deposit, first and last month rent.
  • Shannon has done moving estimates for clients that come in at $8,000 to $10,000.
  • Think through your move decisions with the emotional and financial costs. Is it worth it?
  • If you are moving for a company, check out their relocation package. Some include movers, flights, help with selling a home, tax preparation fees, bonuses, etc.
  • If you are considering a move outside of your city or if you are feeling unsettled, don’t get a pet.
  • Moves are high on the list of top stressors in life.
  • Think about the short-term and long-term when you are thinking of moving. Run all the numbers and weigh all of the options. Try to keep emotions to a minimum when making this decision.

TAKEAWAY: My biggest takeaway is to not let our moving stories sway you from the next chapter in your life. Just make sure that you’re fully informed and as financially prepared as possible before that next move. It will make for an all around less stressful experience.

As many of you know, I’m spending most of my summer getting the Financial Gym ready to raise more money. Something that always appeals to investors is new client growth. If you’ve ever thought about joining the Financial Gym, there is no better time than now. You’ll be helping me raise money to continue to grow the gym, but we’re also offering a number of summer specials so I hope you’ll take the time to go to and sign up for a free warm up call about how my team can help you with your next big move no matter where you’re going.

If you have any topics you would like for us to talk about during happy hour, please feel free to email me at or tweet to me at blonde_finance or join the private martinis and your money facebook group and let us know. Until next time, take care!!


  1. I had a big move from MI to Los Angeles 4 years ago.. I had a Penske Truck Rental, fuel, 3 nights in hotels, and traveling food. I did not hire movers, but had some great friends that helps and I bought a lot of food and beer for them.. The move in total cost me $14K. The new job salary more than paid for it.. but it was a cost I had to eat. It did help at Tax time since it was all a write off… HOWEVER, with the new tax policy moving expenses for a job are no longer a tax write off for the next 10 years.

    Great Segment!!

Leave a Reply