To move or not to move?

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Hello all,
I need help on a decision on whether moving would be financially fit...

Some background:
I'm 20 years old and I currently live with my parents in Austin, TX. I work at a local police department and make 33k a year, with benefits and an additional 300$+ a month from overtime. At the end of this month I will receive a raise to 38k a year.
I don't pay any rent, though I have previously rented an apartment before but my roommate turned out to be financially unresponsible.
My only expenses are a 400$/month car payment and a 140$/month car insurance. I pay a bit extra on my car payments, and I'm a few payments ahead.

My boyfriend goes to school in Cali, and has recently decided to change majors so he will be coming back here in a week. We will be moving out together and getting an apartment. AVG rent 600/mo 1 bedroom. By the point we move out, we should have around 6,000$ saved.

His Grandmother owns property in Silver City, NM and Los Angeles, CA and has offered to let us stay there rent free. We'd have to pay utilities and repaint the house but that's about it...

He does not have a job here, and if we moved we both wouldn't have a job there, and no way to guarantee a job there (we'd most likely go for one of the NM properties)

I need some advice from people with more wisdom than what I have.
Thanks for your time,

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Having mystery shopped in Silver City, NM and in Austin, TX - I can at least state with some sort of reasonable certainty that the odds of your boyfriend finding a job in Austin are significantly higher than both of you finding a job in Silver City, NM of any type of equivalent pay.

I can also state with some reasonable certainty unless you like to have sex and watch Netflix/Redbox as 95% of your entertainment, you'll have more fun in Austin.

Hopefully you have a desk job...as your decision making is questionable. You have employment and are considering leaving to be unemployed. Your debt to income is also low enough that you should have plenty of savings and the ability to pay rent where you are. Live together locally for one year, if you then want to relocate, do so. Even then... dont relocate just bc the housing is free. One of the reasons you have employment is to support yourself. Also sounds like BF isn't changing majors but quitting school.

Your current situation, free rent and a job, is much better than the alternatives you have listed of free rent and no job. See what you can do about finding a job before you move to a new area. I imagine being in LE it may be easier transfer jobs that in some other professions.

Also I wasn't clear. Are you and your BF moving in together while he finishes his degree and THEN potentially moving into one of the free apartments? Or is it option A pay for an apartment or option B moving in to a free one?

What if you give up your job and your nice living arrangement at home and move into one of your BF's grandmother's properties, and then you break up? Think ahead here.

uberlyawesome said:   Hello all,
I work at a local police department and make 33k a year, with benefits and an additional 300$+ a month from overtime. At the end of this month I will receive a raise to 38k a year.


What is your job title? This is your best bet as LAPD is always hiring. Prior experience with good references from another police department will pretty much guarantee you a job. Apply now, don't wait until you show up.

uberlyawesome said:   AVG rent 600/mo 1 bedroom.

Maybe in compton, or 2 hours drive from the westside, but not anywhere you would actually want to live. $900-1100 would be more accurate. You could share a 2 bedroom with someone else for $1200-1500 tho.


uberlyawesome said:   
His Grandmother owns property in Silver City, NM and Los Angeles, CA and has offered to let us stay there rent free. We'd have to pay utilities and repaint the house but that's about it...


No jobs in New Mexico. Lots of jobs in LA if you are motivated and have any marketable job skills. Stay in the grandmothers house in LA for free. In fact, rent out some of the other rooms for $500 each to get positive cash flow. Your boyfriend goes to college, and will know plenty of interested people as that's how most college students live in LA.

Pics? And $400/month for a car is absurd, esp with $33k salary...what are you thinking? I have an Escalade that has $500/month payment.

You dont know the term of that $400 mo payment. With little other expenses, could be a 3yr term, and not an issue.

^^You're right, I'm assuming. I'd bet money I'm assuming right though. A $15k 5 year loan is sub $300. $400 is a fortune in car payment terms.

Elaborate on this "change of major" thing. Is that a euphemism for dropped out of college with no job? I ask since he's in school in CA, but has option to pickup and move to NM.

Are you willing to prioritize living/being with your boyfriend over your own career/life goals? I'll say the job market is pretty rough in some areas, especially if neither of you have a college degree (or do you have one?). I know recent college grads are still struggling to get a decent paying job.

EDIT
When re-reading your post, I think I have a better grasp of what you are saying. Is this right?

- Boyfriend is dropping out of college, tentative plan to move back to TX.
- Your tentative plan is to move out together in TX for $600/month.
- You have your job, he has nothing.
- You are considering options to both pickup and move together to either Los Angeles or NM and live rent free at the house the BF's grandma is offering.
- The dilemma you are asking about is whether its worth it to quit your job and move somewhere together in return for rent free living.

If this is correct, my advice is NO. The move to Los Angeles or NM is not for the boyfriend's career since I'm assuming he dropped out of school with no job. You have a job and a decent budget.

Giving up a secure financial situation and local friends and family to save $600/mo rent is just not worth it. As others mention, what if things don't work out with the boyfriend in a year?

First, giving up a nice job in a cool place like Austin and moving with your unemployed bf to NM is not a good idea. Please reconsider.

Also, since bf is unemployed, getting an apartment in Austin before he has a job is also not a good idea.

If bf gets a job, and you and he want to set up an apartment, get a month to month agreement in Austin and see if it works out. If it doesn't work out, you have a fallback position (parents) and you still have a job.

Only then, after a year or so in Austin, if living in NM sounds romantic, explore employment in the area before moving. Don't move without both of you having jobs in NM. You and bf can take a trip to NM and check out the free lodging and job prospects to see if you like it there and can both work.

Don't take risks with your financial future for a man...trust the voice of experience.

ahhh...The Land of Enchantment!

Don't quit your job to move for any of his grandmothers free rent arrangements - specially giving up your job. That sounds like a pretty good job you've got there and given your age I'm guessing you don't have a BA/BS or anything. There are plenty of 20 somethings with 5 figure loan debt with BAs that cannot get jobs that good. Those free rent arrangements always come with strings attached as well and are not worth it unless there is real need. Just wait until some aunt or uncle finds out Mom is giving up "their" inheritance by not collecting rent from a grandchild's GF. Also plenty of people make offers they have no intention of keeping because they do not expect you to accept because proper etiquette dictates you do not.

I'd say move into a apt in Austin with a 6 month lease preferably. If your BF doesn't find a job to start paying his share of the rent in 6 months consider moving back in with your parents and finding a new BF while you save the money.

You are only 20. There is a greater chance of breaking up if you move with him.

Stay at your job. Do you have a degree. Make sure he finishes school.

Horseymen said:   ... unless you like to have sex and watch Netflix/Redbox as 95% of your entertainment, you'll have more fun in Austin.

Sounds like Silver City, NM is my kinda town! Just gotta find a chick with the same goals to go with me.

You've got it made. $38K, low living expenses, secure job.

Sounds like you don't have college, at least not above an Associate's degree. You're outearning quite a few recent grads PLUS you've got low expenses.

Moving somewhere new is a grand adventure. If it wasn't for your job, it might be worth it.

Here's what would happen if you moved:

One of you would get a job first. While he/she was working, there would be natural resentment toward the other partner who wasn't pulling his/her share. Neither one of you would know people there, so you'd be cooped up with each other. Sure recipe for lots of stress, especially since you're not really aware of the true COL.

DO NOT leave your job unless you have something much better to move to. Just stay in Austin.

I think you are better off in Austin or if you work with a suburban police dept, living in the Austin suburbs to save on commuting and get cheaper rent. Austin's unemployment rate is around 5% and the area is growing faster than most other areas. Plus, you have no state income tax. $140/mo for car insurance in Austin sounds very high especially for a female. Shop around for that or live outside Travis County to save a bundle.

What does your dad think?

I know the social stigma of being 20 and living with your parents in TX is pretty bad, so much so that moving to a dead end town in nowhere, New Mexico seems like a step up, but trust us, it's better to keep your job, endure a few years of living with the parents, save up and move out closer to your job in Austin.

If you decide to move, take a week off from work, go to the location and apply for jobs, you might get lucky and get hired. You have a job, quitting without having been hired somewhere else may come back to haunt you. You will burn through $6k in a very short time, rent free or not.

JaxFL said:   Hopefully you have a desk job...as your decision making is questionable. Haha! Well, no one is immune from bad decision making, especially when they've drunk the love potion. At least this young woman checks with her FWF friends before she embarks on a life changing course. The barge has not yet left the harbor, so there is still faint hope

OP, think about what you are about to do. It is unwise from so many angles. Others have elaborated. I'll just say - it is bad sign when your man drops out of school with no plans whatsoever.

Al3xK said:   Pics? And $400/month for a car is absurd, esp with $33k salary...what are you thinking? I have an Escalade that has $500/month payment.

$400/mo for a car is absurd? She should be paying $500/mo like you instead? Not really the best argument there. As mentioned, you also do not known the term, APR, or type of car.

To be fair, the bf is moving back to TX. So, we would assume he was originally from there and has families.

The BF is leaving california and changing majors, so I assume he's continuing college in TX? That's the reason he's moving back, right? Right?

Here are some pros if you move to LA or NM:

1) Learning a big life lesson.
2) How to deal with bitterness.


Here are some cons:
1) Your 6K in LA will last about 2 months.
2) Being unemployed at this time and age is gonna suck

Well, it's Sunday Morning and I feel like I need to drink more tea before tackling this subject again.

OK. Let's see pics of the BF. Might be worth the financial risk of a move if he's hot enough.

And on a serious note, is there any way you can get your current job back later if you quit? Not too much downside if you can.

vipercon said:   Al3xK said:   Pics? And $400/month for a car is absurd, esp with $33k salary...what are you thinking? I have an Escalade that has $500/month payment.

$400/mo for a car is absurd? She should be paying $500/mo like you instead? Not really the best argument there. As mentioned, you also do not known the term, APR, or type of car.


$400/month on a $33k salary is absurd, yes. I also make more than 3 times what she makes and our car payments are comparable. And I know you're technically right about the term, APR, etc, but she's 20 so I'm very confident in assuming it's a 4/5 year loan, and she's spending almost a quarter of her after tax pay on it. I can't imagine anybody actually thinks she has anything less-than-typical for a car loan.

You have a great job for a 20 year old, congratulations! Don't give it up to save money...that makes no sense

If he is going back to college (rather than getting a job) when he moves back to Texas; then I would advise against moving in with him. Nothing will kill the romance faster than paying his bills for him.

Standard advice: You say "we will have $6k saved". That is a false statement. you and your boyfriend are not connected on paper in any way shape or form. Maybe you have 6k, he has nothing, or he has 6k, or you each have 3k, but you have no legal protection if you mix your money and he shortchanges you.


So: move if you want, stay if you want, but do not pretend like the two of you are in it together, because until you are married, you aren't.

Ok you are thinking about renting a place for $600 play pretend for a year save $600 in a special account each month for a year, put away a pretend electric bill , gas bill, cable bill, grocery bill, rental insurance, food ect( probably about $1000 a month) put that away every single month on the 1st of the month for a year.
Assume unemployed boyfriend will contribute nothing.
If in one year you still feel like you can afford it then at least you will have about 12K extra emergency fund.
You have no idea of the costs and if you only have 6K you can not afford it. Think the cost of moving furnishing a place, paying food and rent while looking for a job seriously you will be broke when right now you are in giood shape.

Many good responses; mostly saying moving together (that too without a job) is not a good idea. Not a single request for pictures. Havent heard from OP in a couple days. Did we scare the OP off?

Post pics, OP.

TravelerMSY said:   OK. Let's see pics of the BF. Might be worth the financial risk of a move if he's hot enough.

And on a serious note, is there any way you can get your current job back later if you quit? Not too much downside if you can.


I asked, but of the BF.

It may appear that he quit school to feed off the GF's job but obviously doesn't/can't live with her in her parent's house so they've decided to find a place together. Well just so happen's BF's Gammy has a couple rent free places but then OP will have no job, what happens when money dries up? It's "possible" that he will stay, or it's also possible they could breakup. Any angle you look at it, OP is not benefiting except by staying where she is. She's also probably not thinking straight due to the love potion. It happens to everyone...

OP want to commend you for having the clarity to ask for FWF opinions this far which have all pretty much said the same thing. Please value this advice for your own benefit.

OP, have you decided yet? Or at least ruled anything out?

billybwilde said:   

No jobs in New Mexico. Lots of jobs in LA if you are motivated and have any marketable job skills. Stay in the grandmothers house in LA for free. In fact, rent out some of the other rooms for $500 each to get positive cash flow. Your boyfriend goes to college, and will know plenty of interested people as that's how most college students live in LA.


Uhh...LA metro area is over 11% unemployment. 'Lots of jobs' is hardly how I would describe it.

Silver City, NM sucks, and I mean seriously sucks. I grew up in Albuquerque so very familiar with the area. I also just moved out of Socal. LA is too broad of an area to say if its a good decision. If the place is in Malibu it could be spectacular. If its in Palmdale then you have a whole other situation.

Al3xK said:   ^^You're right, I'm assuming. I'd bet money I'm assuming right though. A $15k 5 year loan is sub $300. $400 is a fortune in car payment terms.

Yet you are a self-admitted $500/m Escalade driver?

jaytrader said:   Al3xK said:   ^^You're right, I'm assuming. I'd bet money I'm assuming right though. A $15k 5 year loan is sub $300. $400 is a fortune in car payment terms.

Yet you are a self-admitted $500/m Escalade driver?


I buy cars regularly (10+/year) so when I sell it in a couple months, I'll have made $1-2k on it.

It's actually $457 or something and I have the cash to pay it off, Penfed is just so cheap to borrow. I didn't walk into a dealership like OP and sign & drive, it took me a couple months to find this specific one.

Since the OP hasn't responded... I am guessing she has low self esteem and is considering moving to nowhere with her jobless college dropout boyfriend? It's really hard for a 20yr old woman with a job to find a guy to have sex with?

OP... If you are still following this thread... DO NOT MOVE IN WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND!!!!!!!!! He should move home, enroll in a local college and get a job... You can go to school and work, many people have done it, it's tough but doable.

Al3xK said:   jaytrader said:   Al3xK said:   ^^You're right, I'm assuming. I'd bet money I'm assuming right though. A $15k 5 year loan is sub $300. $400 is a fortune in car payment terms.

Yet you are a self-admitted $500/m Escalade driver?


I buy cars regularly (10+/year) so when I sell it in a couple months, I'll have made $1-2k on it.

It's actually $457 or something and I have the cash to pay it off, Penfed is just so cheap to borrow. I didn't walk into a dealership like OP and sign & drive, it took me a couple months to find this specific one.

You make a lot of assumptions. How do you know OP walked into a dealership and did a sign & drive? Unless I missed it, I don't recall the OP stating how they acquired their vehicle and its payments.

jaytrader said:   You make a lot of assumptions. How do you know OP walked into a dealership and did a sign & drive? Unless I missed it, I don't recall the OP stating how they acquired their vehicle and its payments.

They're educated assumptions, and to try and argue that OP could have technically done something different is just silly. Also, to assume something other than what's conventional doesn't make sense either, especially when OP is 20 w/$33k salary.

The $140/month insurance alone should set off bells & whistles as a $18k+ car...now I'm sure you'll argue the bad driving record, but that wouldn't mesh with the $400/month car payment.

And every first time car buyer does the exact same thing. They walk into a big dealership with their eyes glossed over and shop for the car of their dreams. Sign whatever, put some money down, and drive home.


Give me the scenario you think that could make $540/month total for a car make sense on a $33k salary? OP has 5 payments left? 1.49% interest rate? Killer deal? Not at 20 years old. They can't even get a loan until they're 18 w/o cosigner, which I doubt they have since they're consulting FW for advice and not their parents.

I'm just saying, let's be real. Not the "technically you don't know these X,Y,Z variables and they could be off the charts from what you expected"

Skipping 20 Messages...
rufflesinc said:   lonestarguy said:   rufflesinc said:   lonestarguy said:   rufflesinc said:   uberlyawesome said:   My car payment is 300$. I pay 400 so I can stay ahead, in the case that I have some sort of financial crisis. Perhaps others can chime in, but I don't see this as a good financial move on a 6.9% loan. You could be putting $1200 a year in a emergency fund. If you have a crisis within the next couple of years, this plan means you'd have to either sell your car, or take a title loan which will most likely be higher than 6.9%.

Typically on car loans if you pay extra each month it can advance your next due date so you can "stay ahead" giving the flexibility to not make payments for some time.
My bad. I'm more familiar with BTs and no interest credit card or store card deals. There the fine print is that even if you pay more than the minimum on one month, the next month you are still on the hook for the minimum.


This even works on many Home Equity Loans. I currently don't owe a home equity loan payment until fall of 2017 as I've been making 4-5 payments per month since I opened it in Feb 2011.
Aren't mortgages a sweeter deal since you are applying the extra amount each month to the outstanding principle, thus paying less interest over the life of the loan? From what OP says, she ends up paying the same.


No, mortgages are not better. The HEL and car loans use simple interest. Each payment will cover any accrued interest since the last payment using the formula of interest rate / 365 * # of days since last payment with the remainder going toward principal. There was a big archived thread where this was discussed a few years ago at http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/60734/. Both car loans and HEL have you pay a daily interest amount equal to your rate/365 * your principal balance.



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