Sunday, June 28, 2009
Frugal First Days in MA
A cross-country move is fraught with expense and inconvenience. To compensate for the hassle and cost, the company gives us a lump sum for incidentals—meaning we get to keep any excess for personal use. Naturally, being frugal folks, Jerry and I have strategized how to get the most out of our money over this past week.
1. Transportation: Had to start with a rental car (approx. $110 per day after outrageous taxes, insurance, and mileage, etc.), because our flight came in late and that’s all that was feasible from the airport. Granted, $110/day is painful to behold, so as promptly as we could, we downgraded to driving a U-haul truck (brilliant! we know!) to total approx. $36 per day after taxes, insurance, and mileage, etc. After learning our car may take yet another two weeks to ship here, we have seriously considered downgrading from the U-haul—is that possible?--to riding bicycles around town. But as it has been raining every day, we are still in the deciding phase of that option.
2. Food: We were brave and ate the free continental breakfasts at EconoLodge, because savings were approx. $5/each for the meal cost. By the way, “brave” is the appropriate adjective, because that place was smelly and dirty like none other, with insects on the appliances and employees who touched things with sketchy hands. Also, since we moved into our apartment as early as it was available, that means we have started cooking meals instead of eating out. Spaghetti last night turned out to be veggie-less when we realized we forgot to pack a can opener. Anyway, the stay in our new apartment brings me to my next point…
3. Housing: Obviously renting. The realtor who assisted us in finding a rental said most people with our income are looking to buy a home, so we feel more frugal than the average consumer already. (all you home buyers, we know it was probably the right option for you—but for us right now a mortgage is just a big liability). Econolodge was approx. $50/night. As soon as the signage occurred for our new apartment rental, we moved in, sans furniture, to save that amount. Our landlord was generous and let our rent begin on July 1st, so these last days of June in our apartment have been actually free.
4. Sleeping: Did I mention we have no furniture? When the air mattresses at Wal-mart looked expensive ($11) we decided to sleep on the floor. Our living room carpet is fairly padded, but it was still soaking wet from being cleaned yesterday. So we slept on the bedroom area carpet, which is equivalent to a firm, firm, firm mattress. Recall what sitting on the floor does to us and it will not surprise anyone to learn that we had a hard time falling asleep last night due more to laughter than discomfort. We laughed hysterically as we discussed ways to save money further. I will refrain from sharing any of the ideas we brainstormed last night because they were coming from sleep-deprived minds and are therefore embarrassing. Funny but embarrassing. Anyway, one night on the floor is all this pregnant woman could take so we did splurge and get an air mattress & pump today.
Well, there is our report for the first few days in Massachusetts. We have found the people friendly, the setting green and gorgeous, and our initial reaction is extreme gratitude to be assigned to this location. We are excited to go to church tomorrow and meet our new ward family. More updates to come…