Moving Across the Country and Other June 2019 Expenses

Portland skyline on a clear day

June was the month of uprooting.

Mr. Mechanic is headed across the country for his first year of residency and I am going with him. We moved most of our stuff to storage, packing what we could into our little white Rav4.

Mr. Mechanic drove cross-country, arriving in New York later that week. 

He has temporary housing through the hospital, but only for himself. For our shared long-term student housing, we have to wait for the previous resident to move out of our unit and then they have to do some maintenance. As it stands, our move-in date is up in the air.

With no place in NY to stay, I decided to wait back in Portland to continue working out of the office. The only problem with this plan is that our lease ended half-way through the month.

A sleeping bag on the floor of a mostly empty room
Minimalist living after we moved our furniture out

In a recent interview on the podcast Afford Anything, Ken Honda encourages listeners to tackle money worries by imagining what they could do if worst came to worst. For example, if you were to lose your home, count the people who would let you stay on their couch for a week so you could figure out your life in the meantime. The interview came at an apt time, as I had to figure out how to navigate the in-between between our lease ending and our new apartment opening up.

Luckily, more people offered up their couches than I had weeks left in Portland! It reminded me of Honda’s assurance from the interview:

“You’ll be okay. And when you internalize this idea, you find peace.”

It’s uncomfortable to be uprooted. To not know when your home will be available, and how many nights you should plan to be sleeping on floors and couches. On the other hand, there is an urgency to soak up Portland, to eat at all of the restaurants, play in all of the parks, and snap summer memories of wall murals and final weekends with friends.

Now that June is over, I’m incredibly curious to take a look at my spending. We kept moving costs low (cost in dollars: $0, cost to sanity: high) by borrowing a large truck from a relative and moving all of our furniture into storage ourselves.

However, I expect that the savings from DIY moving might be offset because I went out to eat more than ever, indulged in several ice cream shops, and booked my one-way ticket out of Portland. 

Note: This is the spending for just me. I report expenses when I pay them, so you may not see insurance or other bills that I pay in full when I receive them.

ItemAmountMechanic Musings
Rent$434We moved out early in the month, so we paid the pro-rated rent.
Restaurants$204My restaurant bill is massive this month, as I don’t have my own kitchen anymore. For the most part, I tried to save half of every meal eaten out for leftovers.
Flight$63I used the rest of my Chase Sapphire Preferred points to book a flight to Denver, so I could stay with my parents while waiting for the NY apartment to open up.
Self-care$38A friend visited from Seattle and, on her suggestion, we got pedicures. I thought it might be awkward with my hairy legs, but it really wasn’t bad at all. It felt indulgent, but overall, was great bonding time with one of my best friends.
Internet$28Unfortunately, we had to pay for the full month even though we only used it for the first couple of weeks.
Lyft / Parking$24A couple of Lyft rides around town—I no longer have a car! It’s with Mr. Mechanic in NY. Without help from friends and family around town this line item would be much higher.
Gifts$42Gifts for my gracious hosts. Picked up a couple of things from the local farmer’s market.

flowers and blueberries

Book$3I’ve been trying to use up all of my gift cards, so I swung by Powell’s and picked up a used book for Mr. Mechanic. It looked like it might be helpful in the coming years: Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity



I’m shocked at the total spending for this month. I expected my exorbitant eating out costs to offset the lower rent for the month, but it looks like I got off with really low spending for this month. Since the average ranges from $1,300-$1,500, I’m pretty happy that I let go of the little things this month to indulge a little with restaurants, gifts, and pedicures.


The willamette river with Portland skyline in the distance
A last walk along the riverfront– we will miss this a lot!

How were your June expenses? How much did you spend when you moved? What unexpected costs did you face?

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  1. hey, where you headed in ny state? we’ve lived here most of our lives (presently in buffalo) if you need tips on fun stuff to do. the smaller towns here are great (mostly). travel safely.

  2. My June expenses were terrible because I had a bunch of mid-size expenses hit me (between $80-250). So it was about $700-1000 higher than it normally would have been. (The range is because I figure a certain number of expenses will hit in ANY given month.)

    I’m hoping this month (mid-June to mid-July for me) will be more sane, but eating out is already over where I want it to be. I covered a friend who took me out boating, and that alone was $46. I had hoped to keep eating out under $50, but I order at least something small at my weekly trivia nights to support the bar/restaurant holding the event. So… Sigh.

    1. The social expenses is definitely where it gets dicey. I covered a couple rounds of drinks with friends already too! Do you eat before going to trivia nights? That usually helps me keep it to a drink or a small app like pretzels.

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