I thought it’d be interesting to compare our actual moving expenses with our estimated moving expenses. And I believe this will lead into a rant about modern living, early retirement, and education. We’ll see.
Let’s take a peak out the window of our new situation.
Before we moved, I estimated $30,000 in expenses. The big expense was our car, because now we need 2 cars as modern dual income working professionals. We also needed a bunch of furniture because all we owned was a couch, a bed, and an old dresser.
Well, the numbers are in — gaze upon them and be astounded:
I’m not sure what’s astounding about this, I just wanted a dramatic transition.
Mrs. Rich told me my estimates were too low, and she was right. That said, I was expecting it to be worse. Every time we leave the house we spend a few hundred dollars on something. I’m not complaining at all — we knew we’d spend a lot getting a car and getting our apartment set up. $6,000 isn’t nothing, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it. I decided long ago I don’t want to lose sleep over money.
Here are some observations about minimalism vs. frugality, modern professional living, and FIRE (financial independence / early retirement).
MINIMALISM VS. FRUGALITY
The personal finance blogosphere has already noted this apparent paradox, that minimalism (desiring fewer possessions) is often at odds with frugality (desiring inexpensive possessions). I think we’re a good example of this.
I was telling someone about the furniture we needed, and they commented, “You could find a lot of that on Craigslist.” I can’t remember what I said, but I was thinking, “Do people still buy second-hand merchandise from would be serial killers?”
But seriously, the Rich family doesn’t use Craigslist. Mrs. Rich and I agree that we don’t really want a cheap find; we want a quality piece of furniture that we enjoy and would like to keep. That’s minimalism vs. frugality. So when you look at the line items like Rug, Dressers, End Tables — that’s what you’re seeing.
Even the cat is getting into the act, showing an interest in Crate And Barrel!
MODERN PROFESSIONAL LIVING
I would describe us as modern professionals. We’ve got the dual careers, the dual cars, the school activities, and the Vitamix. This is what we want. But in the midst of this tumultuous transition, I need to say something: I understand.
I understand the desire for simplicity — something you, Penny, have expressed over and over in one way or another. My life right now isn’t difficult, but it isn’t simple either. And this is mostly by choice, and the consequence of a life where one moves around.
We’re busy, juggling school related activities and work related activities. On top of it all, I volunteered to coach Kindergarten soccer. What was I thinking? Yet another activity.
Most of our stuff is still on a boat, so we’re eating take out on paper plates. At night we’re exhausted. It won’t last forever, but it’s been quite week. Or two.
I understand your mixed feelings about education in America. We went from a small cozy international preschool to a huge chaotic urban elementary school. Our boys, so far, don’t like it very much. All the rules, regulations, and impersonal interactions … I understand why you can’t stand it. Part of me wanted to pull them out after the second day, drop everything, and move to Finland.
THE FIRE DESIRE
I understand why people strive for FIRE — Financial Independence and Early Retirement.