Should we move to another state? (Running from MIL) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi everyone Some background... We live in Chicago (hence my username ). DH and I are renting from our MIL. She's currently on her 500th power trip and we just can't take it anymore (info about that in this post and in this one and this one- we need out asap). We're in a considerable amount of debt. We need to get it paid off asap. Alot of it is no-interest on credit cards for 1-2 years so although we are continuously paying them off, we have awhile to finish paying them. We do have one credit card with a pretty high interest rate, which is being paid off and needs to be paid of asap. My husband works for Sears Holdings in the Auto Center. He does sales and is commissioned. Our total income monthly is about $1000-$1200 depending on DHs commission sales. I don't work, I instead stay home with our two daughters (2.5yo and 6mo).

I'd like to move out of state because the cost of living is extremely high here in Chicago, but I don't know if it would even be possible. My MIL has so many strings attatched to us and I truly think she did this so that we wouldn't be able to leave. We have our phones on her contract because she insisted on paying for them because "it's not that much extra and you guys need them in case of emergency". She added us to her contract almost as soon as I moved in. She just renewed the contract. DH is also on MIL's car insurance plan (for his own vehicle) because it's not "that much extra" as she puts it. We do pay her every 6 months for the car insurance.

It seems that we have so many "roots" here in Chicago- besides MIL's phones and insurance things. We currently receive Medicaid. DH's job. Our wonderful doctor. Etc.Etc.Etc. I don't know how we'd be able to move. I wouldn't know where to start!

Since DH works for Sears, who are pretty much nationwide, I assume that he'd be able to call around to different auto centers and see if he could get transferred.

I just don't know. Could someone give me a bit of guidance? Should we move? How? What more is involved? How much should we save up ahead of time? How do we find an apartment without seeing it etc. etc.

I'm just totally lost!

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#2 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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It sounds like you need to do a little information gathering before you know if this is a real possibility. Well,it's obviously POSSIBLE, however you need to figure out how complicated...I would start with looking into the likelyhood of a job transfer within your husband's company. A lot of companies will actually help with relocation costs in situations like that. We are currently waiting on a job opening in an area we want to move to so that my husband's job will pay for the cost of us relocating. Once you find out if that is an option, you can find out WHERE this might be most likely to happen. Do you want to move just a little ways away ??? Or do you want a major life change ?? I love moving to new areas, so I'm a big fan of looking at a map and seriously thinking about what we are seeking at this stage of our lives ~ What kind of weather do you want ? What kind of neighborhood ?? You can find out so much online. I have free travel info from states I am interested in show up in my mailbox almost daily. If you want it to happen, you can make it happen ! It sounds like you may also want to start easing back form some of the things tying you so tightly to the mother-in-law....get your own cell phone plan. Your own insurance etc...

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#3 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 02:26 PM
 
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I wouldn't move anywhere without having visited it first. But I'd do anything and everything to move if I were you.
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#4 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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Honestly I would wait until you are in a better financial situation. Moving is often quite expensive, it cost us 30k in three months so....It really depends on where you are moving to as well. I am not sure how expensive your location is, but I would look at home much you want to spend on rent and go from there. You can do it, but I would seriously consider just suffering for a while longer. JMO though. Good Luck!
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#5 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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my personal opinion: MIL sounds very controlling & toxic and that is not a healthy element to expose your children to. Striking out on your own as a family unit would be ideal. So I do think it's worth looking into. There are areas of the country that have a lower cost of living and possibly higher wages with better economic growth/climate.

However before committing to a move I would sit down and evaluate how high moving away from MIL is on your priority list. For example: are you willing to work out of the house/ place DDs in some type of care situation/ WAHM? Is DH willing to get a 2nd job or change jobs if that provides more income? Are you willing to risk alienating/ losing/cutting off MIL? In other words is the situation with MIL bad enough that you are willing to make some unwanted sacrifices to gain your independence? If the answers to all those questions point to getting your own place/life then it's time to start QUIETLY searching.

Do NOT tell MIL what your plans are until EVERYTHING is finalized, preferably as you are returning her house keys to her. She very well may set out to sabotage you (cutting off the cell phones/raising rent/demanding you pay for XYZ, etc). Keeping MIL in the dark will probably mean keeping DD in the dark as well.

Do you have a formal rent/lease agreement with MIL?

Regardless of your decision GOOD LUCK. It can be very difficult to get completely out of debt but it can be done and is WELL worth doing....but I would place greater value on having a healthy family. Even Dave Ramsey says you take care of the 4 walls before the credit card companies (and to me that includes the health/well-being of the people within those walls).

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#6 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 03:50 PM
 
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The drive from here to Chicago isn't bad.
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#7 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks QuestionGal. Some answers to your questions...

Do you have a formal rent/lease agreement with MIL? No. We're not even in a legal apartment.

are you willing to work out of the house/ place DDs in some type of care situation/ WAHM? I'm willing to work out of home if it's overnight so that my husband can take care of our DDs.

Is DH willing to get a 2nd job or change jobs if that provides more income? He's VERY willing. Staying with his current job is a last resort. He'd like to get a 2nd job and prefers that over me getting a job.

Are you willing to risk alienating/ losing/cutting off MIL? Yes.

I love what you mentioned about taking care of the 4 walls before credit card companies. It would be ideal to juggle both but you're right.

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#8 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
The drive from here to Chicago isn't bad.
My husband hates Indiana BUT I do have family that I rarely see (half brothers and sisters) in Bedford and in Clarksville/Jefforsonville so that might be a plus. I hear y'all have a wonderful children's museum also

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#9 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that I agree COMPLETELY with keeping MIL in the dark ! We do not even live in the same state as my mother, but she just got wind of the fact that we are planning to move cross country by next year and she is already laying the guilt on thick.
Also, as far as looking into rent for different areas, I trust Craigslist completely in regard to giving me a picture of the average rent in a particular town. Craigslist exists for every state and even other countries. I can eliminate an area from our list of possibilities with just a quick browse online if I discover someplace is more expensive than we already are. I can tell you to not bother looking at New England if you want to lower your overhead !! That is the main reason we are moving again !! Not to mention the winter is

Allison~~ Mommy to 4 amazing troublemakers Newlywed to David Throwing in the towel on Fertility treatments after TTC for 5+ yrs. Simplifying our life in anticipation of cross country move in 2011
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#10 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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I would. Get out. I've lived with my MIL for nearly four miserable years. I would do nearly anything to get out of this situation (i can't leave, she's dependent on us).

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#11 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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Just start looking for communities and check out job listings and apartment listings online. If your DH is the primary income earner, have him just start applying.

Random places I can think of that I think are reasonably lower COL and reasonably healthy economies:

Charlotte, NC
Eugene, OR
Maybe some places in Ohio
Albuquerque, NM
Some smaller Texas metro areas

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#12 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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I would look within the state first, if you feel like you have connections you do not want to sever. Avoid the rock valley (Rockford, Dixon, Sterling, anything on the Rock River) as they are still hurting pretty bad from shutting down several big businesses and factories... even though I loved living in Polo... it was so hard to not have a job because everyone lost their jobs at the same time pretty much!

However, with a bit of research you can probably find something within reasonable traveling distance that is still far enough away from MIL to be free of her and have good COL.

I mean really, if you want super cheap COL, the Rock Valley is probably where you should go but as I said, theres not much by way of jobs there and auto sales around that area have taken a pretty tough hit along with it. (If you end up around Polo, gimme a pm and Ill give you the name of my doctor... she won Illinois Family Practitioner of the Year last year and is SO worthy of that title, though she is humble enough to disagree with me. She was my medicaid PCP and have never have a problem with her or medicaid for her)

As for a drive, its something like 2 hours outside of Chicago... enough that you are well separated from MIL and still close enough for any friends or even for DH to keep his job until he gets a new one!

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#13 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info laohaire!

Question regarding DH and jobs- we're both 20. We don't have college education under our belts. He's in sales so it's not too difficult for him to find a job- BUT it's not like he's a businessman or something, kwim? I don't know how easy it would be to find a job in sales in a different state. He'd have to go to interviews, that would cost money... I'm still so lost. For those who moved to another state- how did that work for you? I am a chacha guide, though I admit I had been slacking. I'm not sure that we'd have internet if we move, so I don't think chacha-ing would work.

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#14 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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OK, I was not a big fan of living there (coming from California) but check out Omaha Nebraska. The cost of living is really low and the economy there is doing fine. Its not a bad town for raising a family. Too conservative for my tastes...but y'know.

Drivable from Chicago in about eight hours so that would lower moving costs.
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#15 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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I think you can move relatively cheaply depending on a few factors.

How attached are you to your "stuff"? Are you willing to sell a lot of your big items? The biggest cost, IMO, with moving is renting a moving truck. If you can manage to move everything in just a small uhaul, you'll be much better off. But in order to do that, you also need to be a pretty thrifty shopper once you get where you're going. Ideally you'd want to replace things for less than what you sold them for, and to not replace everything. That way you're making money selling your stuff, which will help with the cost of moving.

Price what cell phones and insurance will cost you...because I'm willing to bet that those perks will dry up as soon as you move. But I think (maybe someone knows for sure) that if it's her phone contract, that it's her issue if she wants to break that contract early. Otherwise, the fact that she just renewed it may work in your favor.

As a matter of fact, I'd go ahead and get insurance set up before you ever even tell her that you're moving. That way you have no lapse in coverage.

Aside from COL, also look at the public assistance benefits available in the areas where you're looking. Some places have lots of great programs.

I agree about craigslist being a great place to look to get an idea of rent prices. Remember to factor first month's rent and the security deposit into your moving estimates.

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#16 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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MaerynPearl- thanks. I wouldn't mind seeing the family once or twice a year for a weekend or so. It's just the constant presence of MIL controlling our lives that's hurting us. I'm hoping to move somewhere where MIL won't be tempted to visit. She HATES traveling. She won't drive anywhere further than 1 hour away, and can't get FIL to drive her anywhere because he quite frankly doesn't want to be trapped in the car with her (ask me how I know this). They can't afford airfare. Rockford seems too close for comfort though. I'm hoping to get out of the midwest if I can.

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#17 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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Instead of out of state, why don't you look in the suburbs? I have lived in the city and currently live in suburban chicago and I love it! Can he transfer to another location? Look at places along the metra route so he can still get into the city easily. For cost savings look at Elgin, Aurora, even Rockford. Much lower cost of living than the city (get yourself out of cook county!!) and see what you can find.

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#18 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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MaerynPearl- thanks. I wouldn't mind seeing the family once or twice a year for a weekend or so. It's just the constant presence of MIL controlling our lives that's hurting us. I'm hoping to move somewhere where MIL won't be tempted to visit. She HATES traveling. She won't drive anywhere further than 1 hour away, and can't get FIL to drive her anywhere because he quite frankly doesn't want to be trapped in the car with her (ask me how I know this). They can't afford airfare. Rockford seems too close for comfort though. I'm hoping to get out of the midwest if I can.
Honestly, I think it's going to be really hard for you to move out of your region with little means. Interviewing would be very difficult and it would be too easy for MIL to figure out what was going on.

Focus on getting out of your current situation first. Look at nearby cities where the COL is lower and jobs are available. Get on your feet first, wherever that may be, and THEN move out of the midwest if you still want to.

If your priority is getting out of the midwest above getting out of the MIL's grip, it's going to take much longer. Get out of the situation first. No move has to be permanent.

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#19 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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You're right, applying to jobs like retail or whatever is different than middle management or whatever.

Some of this comes down to how brave and flexible you are. Could you research areas online and just get a sense for job opps and rent, pack up your car with the essentials and sell/give away the rest, and just hit the road?

I'd do it no problem in another economy but jobs are hard to come by these days.

So next option I guess would be to think about anyone you know or sorta know in some place you would consider moving to. Your old college roommate lives in Austin? A cousin that lives in Memphis? Would they be willing to let you stay (heck, in their GARAGE? If you get an air mattress?) while you get a job? In exchange for childcare or just the goodness of their hearts?

There's also youth hostels in some places. It was 15 years ago but I stayed in one place in Utah for $7 a night. It was fine. You need to bring your own sheets and pillows and such.

There's camping. Don't know how cheap it is, but it's an option.

If you wing it like this you have to have a cooler no matter what, since eating drive-through will hurt your wallet and health. Bring sandwich supplies and such. Keeps it relatively cheap.

Also your husband could go on his own at first and stake it out. You'd have to have a story for MIL. He's having a boy's week out or something. Hunting. I don't know what. Yes, loss of income for the week plus gas. (Pack him a cooler). But if you're going to move, it's unlikely to happen without any effort or cost.

These are just ideas. A lot of people just could not consider winging it like that. Some could. If you could, then it's something to chew over.

Personally I think the toxic MIL situation is worth taking the chance. You guys aren't really getting anywhere where you are anyway.

Do you HAVE a car? If not, that could be a lot harder...

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#20 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We do have a car- it's a small '94 Ford Escort Hatchback.. It was purchased in an emergency because DH crashed the other one (a jetta with a huge trunk that could've helped alot!) I think DH and I should look into selling some things and getting a more reliable car- especially for a move. I do know that he has buddies that would help him out with moving (not with cost) so maybe that is an option as well.

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#21 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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Check out Iowa, there are several areas that have been getting national recognition lately for the state of the economy and the family friendliness. It's not too far either. We are pretty close to the Des Moines area and there are a lot of crunchy things and groups around. Good luck!!

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#22 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 05:17 PM
 
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Why not move to a different area in Chicago? What's to stop her from moving to the same city you move to or making your life miserable in other ways? At the heart of the matter, you guys need to start putting up better boundaries and stop blaming your situation on your mil (from this post it seems like you are not taking responsibility for the car insurance and phone thing because she "made" you a part of her plan). There are a lot of posts on mothering from people dealing with long-distance mil problems. They aren't going to disappear because you move far away. Tempting though.
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#23 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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Can you not get housing assistance? Here, a family of 4 can make up to $31,500 and get a 3 bedroom apt, brand new, for $600/month.
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#24 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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I don't know how far away you are willing to move, but North Dakota has tons of jobs and some pretty high paying jobs at that. We have a big oil boom here and there are tons of jobs in oil that pay super well. There are also tons of retails jobs and other opportunities. Not the first place people think to move, but financially, you could do well for yourselves here!!! Check out jobsnd.com if you are interested.

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#25 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DandelionKid- Why I don't want to stay in Chicago: Cost of living. That's #1. Second would be MIL. About the phone and insurance- what started as temporary "help" for us ended up being strings tethering us to MIL. I'll take long distance MIL problems over the MIL living upstairs forcing my DD to call her "mom" and threatning to ignore her if she calls her otherwise, and also over the MIL that directly disobeys whatever we tell her as far as raising our children. The other day we were at a water park with more family and MIL wanted DD to go underwater (2ft deep). DD said no, no, no. MIL dunked DD underwater. DD didn't really care about it, thankfully, but wow- way to not respect anyone's boundaries! MIL has no boundaries. You honestly have to be in our position to understand what we're dealing with.

isign- Chicago's section 8 is a waiting list that occasionally opens up. It recently opened up, I checked it out but did not enter. all of the openings were in horrible neighborhoods. I'd rather live with MIL for the rest of my life than live somewhere where my children might be the receipents of a bullet meant for someone else

Thriftyqueen- thanks for the info on north dakota. we may have a bit of ease getting away if DH is able to get a job somewhere else that is higher paying.

I also spoke to someone I know who lives in Omaha- she gave me some really good info.

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#26 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 05:49 PM
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Thanks for the info laohaire!

Question regarding DH and jobs- we're both 20. We don't have college education under our belts. He's in sales so it's not too difficult for him to find a job- BUT it's not like he's a businessman or something, kwim? I don't know how easy it would be to find a job in sales in a different state. He'd have to go to interviews, that would cost money... I'm still so lost. For those who moved to another state- how did that work for you? I am a chacha guide, though I admit I had been slacking. I'm not sure that we'd have internet if we move, so I don't think chacha-ing would work.
We recently moved from Sacramento, CA (High COL) to Salt Lake City, UT. We were trying to move here specifically because our families are both here, but it was incredibly stressful nonetheless.

First DH had three out of state interviews. Luckily the company paid for him to fly and stay where he wanted. Then the company gave us money for moving expenses. Then DH had to fly out of town the first few days we were here to do training.

Now, DH works for a big corporation and they are the most generous I've come across as far as covering everything.

UT may not be what you're thinking of, per se, but I'll put in a plug for it. The cost of living is really low. A 1 BR around here runs about $550/month. If you're thinking about school in the future, the tuition for residents is pretty low.

You will have to look into the culture. For some, it can be a dealbreaker. I have to admit that it's hard for me. But the nice thing is that people around here have their kids really young, so being 20 with 2 children is totally normal. That meant somethign to me, coming from CA where people were having their first around 35-40, on average.
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#27 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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DandelionKid- Why I don't want to stay in Chicago: Cost of living. That's #1. Second would be MIL. About the phone and insurance- what started as temporary "help" for us ended up being strings tethering us to MIL. I'll take long distance MIL problems over the MIL living upstairs forcing my DD to call her "mom" and threatning to ignore her if she calls her otherwise, and also over the MIL that directly disobeys whatever we tell her as far as raising our children. The other day we were at a water park with more family and MIL wanted DD to go underwater (2ft deep). DD said no, no, no. MIL dunked DD underwater. DD didn't really care about it, thankfully, but wow- way to not respect anyone's boundaries! MIL has no boundaries. You honestly have to be in our position to understand what we're dealing with.

isign- Chicago's section 8 is a waiting list that occasionally opens up. It recently opened up, I checked it out but did not enter. all of the openings were in horrible neighborhoods. I'd rather live with MIL for the rest of my life than live somewhere where my children might be the receipents of a bullet meant for someone else

Thriftyqueen- thanks for the info on north dakota. we may have a bit of ease getting away if DH is able to get a job somewhere else that is higher paying.

I also spoke to someone I know who lives in Omaha- she gave me some really good info.
re the bolded, why can't you get your own cell phones and insurance, or just do without if you want to cut the strings?
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#28 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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My suggestion would be to look at the places that your husband could transfer to. Find one that has a low COL in an area that you like. Organise a transfer (as others have said, often companies will pay for moving costs to transfer you). If your DH doesn't like his job then once you are there he can start looking around and applying for new jobs. That way you are covered financially after you move.

I would look at getting rid of everything that you can. Just take big furniture items that are expensive to replace and the essentials. Rent a trailer that you can drop off at another location in your new city.

You will need to have some money saved. I would lessen the amount that you are paying off your debt and start putting some aside in a savings account. I'm not sure how it works in the US but here you need two weeks rent for bond (which I suppose is a security deposit?) and then two weeks rent in advance, so you need to have enough that you have a months worth or rent. Plus the cost of hiring a trailer. Not sure how your phone and power companies work but you might also need enough for connection fees and desposits. Then you will need a small buffer to buy things that you didn't really think about for your new place. That might just be enough for a large grocery shop or you might need to buy new curtains, shower curtain, plugs etc.

I think it will probably take a while to get everything organised but if you start putting things in motion now then you will probably feel a sense of relief even though you haven't managed to move yet because you will know it will only be X amount of time before you can leave.

It's complicated.
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#29 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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vbactivist- I suppose we can just drop those things, seeing as they're not really "ours". I guess I should stop feeling sorry for MIL, I think I was considering the cancellation fees, etc. The phone isn't much of an issue, I think the car insurance was a bigger deal. I'm actually not sure where I was going with that but you're right- everything can just be dropped. They're not permanent.

LearningMum, thanks for all of that. I suppose it will take a little while to save up to move- thanks for putting it in perspective.

rainbow1284.gif Mama to DD1 (6) DD2 (4) and DD3 (1)
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#30 of 47 Old 07-13-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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I'd start with at timetable - do you want to move in six months? In three? and then make specific long and short term goals.

First, honestly, I'd look for evening work for yourself, waitressing or retail, so that you can save money towards a move and then once you've moved have current references so that you could work a bit there, too.

Then you can figure out what your dh's transfer options are, and discuss where you'd like to go, and do online research about the cities you might choose. Low COL is important, but so might be walkablity, good schools, weather you like, opportunities for you to continue your education or get training in a trade (my hairdresser makes good money, works p/t, and spends most of her time home with kids, for example.)

Good luck with this!

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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