Most anyone who knows me will tell you I spend very little money. Part of it is because I worry incessantly about future expenses like retirement (it’s only 42 years away!), and part of it comes from a tight budget in my first year out of college.
So as I moved into a new apartment six times in five years, I relied on friends, family and what little muscle I have. It was free! And that was fine, of course, when I only had boxes of clothes and maybe a lamp in freshman year of college. It was a lot less fun last year when I was moving furnishings of an entire apartment.
In my most recent move, from Carlisle to York in May, I hired movers. And I (the frugal chick who sweated in an 80-degree apartment last summer and shivered in 55 degrees in the winter to control skyrocketing utility bills) have never been happier in spending $350.
Let’s take a quick look back on the many moves:
- Into a dorm, freshman year at James Madison University
- Out of the dorm, freshman year — many things into summer storage
- Out of storage and into the dorm, sophomore year
- Out of the dorm, sophomore year — things back into summer storage
- Out of storage and into the apartment, junior year
- Out of the junior apartment and into a new one, senior year
- Out of the senior apartment and to Carlisle
- Out of Carlisle and to York
For moves No. 1 through No. 6, a few trips in the family SUV sufficed. Things were heavy, but there was an elevator or just a single flight of stairs for each apartment. And of course, there was good old Dad for the heaviest things.
For move No. 7, we rented a Penske truck. On Memorial Day weekend. And paid for the gas from Harrisonburg, Va., to Carlisle (est. 163 miles). I got my handy AAA discount, but it still cost a bundle more than I wanted to spend.
And then, of course, we lifted everything ourselves — the $85 yardsale couch, the free-but-heavy-as-all-hell dresser, endless boxes of books, clothes, kitchen items… etc. Between my mom, dad and then 8-year-old brother, we carried it out of the second-story apartment at JMU and into the three-story duplex in Carlisle. On a humid, 80-degree day at the end of May.
And by move No. 8, my mom subtly hinted she never in her life wanted to do that ever again under any circumstance. So I started looking for movers. Not surprisingly, I was very bad at this. I was 22 and had lived in Pennsylvania for less than a year. I knew very few people, much less any who had recently moved — much less any who had used movers.
We’re 20-something. In the grand scheme of things, we have few belongings. We’re young and able, and often willing to do things for pizza and beer. Who needs movers when you have friends?
Everyone. Everyone needs movers.
Once I found a company and worked out the logistics, three men showed up with their own truck and loaded everything I owned into the back in less than 30 minutes. Thirty. Minutes. They drove down to York and unloaded into my second-floor apartment in — you guessed it — less than 30 minutes. I spent more time waiting for the cable guy to arrive and do his thing than it took to move out, drive to York and move in.
Has anyone else found themselves spending money on something they never thought they would? Or made a big purchase that was worth every penny? Share your story in the comments.