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|Mon, 07-07-2014 - 7:24pm|
Hello, everyone. I've been away, but I want to come back and touch base. I miss the old gang.
So I'm making preparations to move to the West Coast. I'm really looking forward to living there! In fact, I am already thinking of all kinds of stuff I want to do once I move -- I'll have to pace myself once I get there! In the meanwhile, I feel like I could be better about money if I were better informed & more willing to take chances where I wasn't so well-informed. But that's where I don't want to take chances.
I'm hiring movers to do the whole move. My employer will pay for most of it, but I still have to pay a portion. I'm a little nervous about electronics breaking and things going missing, but that's only because of the horror stories from a friend who does business with the moving industry. Everything was fine the last time I moved. I had to choose between having the movers pack (which will cost $1,500-$2,000 more) and packing myself. The problem is that if you pack yourself, the insurance won't honor damages to the goods unless the carton has been visibly damaged. I ended up choosing to pack myself. So I'm taking a chance here. I don't know whether I made a mistake or not.
I found an apartment. Because it's in a new, big city that I am not familiar with, I ended up hiring a realtor (the employer paid for this, too). I had to rely on the realtor quite a bit because I just had no idea what rent was right for what was offered. At first I was shocked by the rent of the places I see. They are astronomical compared to the small town I live in. So I had to get over that psychologically and figure out what would be a reasonable rent for my budget. It was still a little hard to search from afar when with the realtor's legwork. Some landlords aren't very comfortable renting to someone they can't meet in person. We missed what semeed like the deal of the century for that reason. At the end, I got a place that seems like a reasonable deal because it's new and close to work. I'm paying $500 more for 400 sq ft less than my current apartment. The housing search would have been a lot easier and cheaper if I were living there already. I was going to take college housing, except they were full.
I sold my car. I think I gave someone a good deal, and I probably could have gotten a few hundred more if I were wiser about the market. My car probably has only four more years to its life, and it was a big source of stress for me because every year I'm faced with the question of "throw in more money for the repair, or abandon?" I just don't know how to price something lke this. It turned out there is a market for such cars. There are quite a few people have to make do with really old cars that need constant repair because they can't afford better. So, perversely enough, crappy cars here cost more than crappy cars elsewhere, and I missed the chance to make money off the moneyless. I felt good about the fact that was quite honest about the condition of my car. Most of my friends (who have a very different financial situation) basically said, "Oh, don't stress about selling the car. You can just donate the car to a good cause!"
I'm wondering whether I should sign on for COBRA, as my new health insurance won't kick in until September. I guess I'll decide once I get my termination papers.
I have plenty of money to get through the next two months, but that came at the cost of slowing my debt repayment. I'll be done with most of my debt once I withdraw my retirement funds. But then I'll have to buy a car. This time I want something that won't send me to the repair shop all the time. No more GM cars, please.