As you may know by now if you’ve been following my posts, my boyfriend and I are moving back down to Florida. If you don’t know, we live in New Hampshire right now, so it’s a pretty big move. However, we’ve both lived in Florida before, so we kind of know what to expect. This will be my fourth time moving, so I like to think I’m pretty good at it at this point. I wanted to share what my boyfriend and I are doing now and over the next few months to get ourselves ready to move.
First of all, set a money goal. The cost of living is higher in NH than FL, but the minimum wage is lower in NH than FL. So that right there makes it a little easier when it comes to saving money. Obviously we want to save as much as possible, so even if we hit our goal, we’re going to keep going. Our money goal is $7,000. The reason we chose this number is because after discussing it, we decided $5,000 wasn’t enough and $10,000 was too much. We want to have enough money to pay for hotels, gas and food on the way down, first months rent and security deposit, groceries, and basic furniture that we NEED like a bed, towels, and other necessities. We also want to have enough to keep us going if one or both of us doesn’t find a job right away.
In order to do this, we split the goal in half. We each need to save $3,500 a person. We also figured that that would mean we put away $125 a pay check each. We each opened our own savings account for this, and so far we’ve been doing really well.
Next decide when you want to be moved out by. We decided that we want to be down in FL by the end of September. The lease on the place we have now is up early September, so we’re hoping we can move down right after, but if for some reason we can’t, we plan on staying at one of our parents houses in the mean time. This also gives us plenty of time to save up money, and September starts the busy season in FL, so a lot of businesses are hiring which makes it a good time to find a job.
Next is finding a place to live. If I were to have my ideal apartment right now, it would be a 2 bed, 1.5 bath apartment with faux wood flooring, washer/dryer, a small pantry, with a breakfast bar and lots of lighting. It would allow pets, have an onsite gym, and in a quiet area but not far from the city or beach, and I want to stay under $1,000 a month. Initially I wanted to move back to Tampa, but after visiting in March, I started to think I’d rather live in St Petersburg or Clearwater. Maybe even Sarasota. The good thing about most places in FL like I said, is that the cost of living is cheaper than here in NH, so I’ve actually found a few places that fit the criteria. However, if there’s anything I’ve learned from apartment hunting it’s 1. Apartments are almost never how they seem online. 2. READ APARTMENT REVIEWS. 3. Read all amenities and all info you can find on the website and get in contact with the leasing center to get as much info as possible. A lot of places look really nice and sound really nice on their website, but you’ll read the reviews and people will be like “Out dated” “Roaches” “Mold” “Dirty” “Rude office staff” “Maintenance never fixes anything” “Falling apart.” Beware of these comments because they’re important. Of course there are times when you can ignore them, like if 80% or more people have good things to say and there’s just a few bad ones, you can probably take a chance and it’ll work out for the better. Read all amenities and see if anything, like water and sewer, are included in the rent. That’s always a nice bonus. Also use Google maps to find out if the area of the apartment is a safe area and what is near it for grocery stores, gas stations, and things to do.
Next is deciding what to take with you. My boyfriend and I want to basically start over and do the actual moving process on the cheap. We’ve decided to sell everything we own, minus our personal belongings. This means all our furniture, and basically stuff we can repurchase. We plan on taking just our clothes and personal belongings like memories and stuff like that. We’re getting rid of all our kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, bed sheets, desks, dressers, etc. We want to drive down with as little as possible. The bigger, pricier stuff we plan on selling on Facebook, OfferUp, or LetGo, that way we can make a few extra dollars.
Kind of related to what we’re traveling down with, we’ve kind of decided that we want to only have one car if possible. My boyfriend wants to sell his truck, and put that money towards our moving fund, and then we’ll only have to worry about one car, one payment, and less gas. We want to be able to bike, walk or Uber while we’re down there so keep things inexpensive. However, I think before we move I’m going to trade in my car for a bigger car. I currently have a 2011 Kia Soul and it’s been great to me for the past four years, but I’m ready for something else. I’ve been looking into getting a Jeep Patriot Sport, that way we have more room for the move.
These are just the basic things we are doing right now to get ready. We still have 5-6 months before we leave, so we have plenty of time to save and prepared. As it starts to get closer, more detail will be required and I will update you guys on what we are doing and how we narrow down where to live. Let me know if you guys have any question or comments for this!