Author Topic: How to spend a relocation budget?  (Read 3709 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: Henderson NV
How to spend a relocation budget?
« on: December 12, 2014, 10:46:20 PM »
Hi All,

My familiy and I are going to be relocating from New Zealand to Las Vegas, and my employer will fund the move to the tune of US$10K + airfares. We plan to be in the US for somewhere between 2-5 years before returning home to NZ. (The company won't be paying any relocation back home)

We think its an awesome opportunity to have a look around an interesting part of the US, but also to try and apply some MMM techniques to getting a little FI, and maybe some RE when we return. .

So my question to you is - what do you think is the best way to spend the 10K? It can be for such things as
-Shipping (about $1K+ $500/m3)
-shipping pets (we have 2 cats at about 1K each to transport)
-shipping vehicles - I have an older touring motorbike (Honda ST1100) that would kinda fun to be tooling around the desert on $2K shipping.
-storage - Since we're coming back home, and we have access to 'free' storage in NZ (i.e. a shack in the country we're committed to keeping) we can put anything we're not taking there
-temporary housing
-rental cars

but not for
- new furniture or possessions.
- anything else

We'd like very much for the as much of the 10K as possible to contribute to our net worth at the end of the process.

We're tending towards spending as much of it as possible on temporary accomodation (e.g. a serviced apartment), as this is replaces our normal housing spending, which we can then use to re-equip cheaply from Craiglist.

What do you all think would be efficient? Do you think there's any point in shipping particular kinds of things, given that if the things are at all special to us then we'd have to pay shipping home again too? We'd be thinking of bringing things like
- kitchenware (not applicances because the voltage is different)
- computers
- bicycles
- clothing
- tents
- skis/golf clubs/sports equipment

What do you think?




  • Guest
Re: How to spend a relocation budget?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2014, 12:12:18 AM »
Tbh, you won't be seeing any of that 10k from an international move. You will most likely be spending more than that. So keep that in mind.

I wouldn't ship the cats or the car. You need to plan for housing and necessities.
We shipped 15 boxes NYC to London and the quote was 2.5k at least.

Are you moving your house or keeping it in storage? Either way starting over is very pricet. Especially for a family.


  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13584
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: How to spend a relocation budget?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 01:24:54 AM »
I'd go for a furnished apartment rather than a serviced apartment (although if you had a serviced apartment, you would get the kitchen gear).

Check out the US vs NZ prices of things - if NZ is like Australia, US companies charge ridiculous amounts for software and computers, so it would be better to get it while you're there. Clothing and camping gear is probably a lot cheaper in the US too. I suspect that skis are similar. I wouldn't take the motorbike - sounds like it would be cheaper to buy/sell than to transport. Kitchen gear should be available at the local op shop (and of course, if it's electric, it would be better bought in the US anyway).

If you have anything left over, rental cars for the occasional trips sound good. Try to take nothing but normal luggage and the cats (I assume you won't leave them behind, but check what quarantine restrictions there are (especially coming back) and how long they will be in quarantine.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: Henderson NV
Re: How to spend a relocation budget?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2014, 01:28:55 AM »
Hi theonethatgotaway,

I think you're right that we will be spending all that money. I guess we're hoping to at least get set up in our new location as frugally as we can, and minimising the future expense of moving back home.

At one extreme we could take nothing but suitcases, ship everything to our NZ storage location (at a cost of about 2K, its quite remote) and spend 8K on furnished accomodation in Nevada. This might buy us 4 months worth of accomodation, which we would have otherwise been paying say 6K for. Is 6K enough to set up a household (2 adults, 1 child)? If so then i could say the move was cost neutral.

At the other extreme we could ship our whole house contents to Nevada (maybe 12-15K), rent temporary furnished accomodation for 2 months while goods are in transit (about 1K more than unfurnished). This sounds expensive to me, and leaves us with another tricky decision about moving our stuff back to NZ in a few years (another 12-15K unfunded).

Of course, the storage in NZ doesn't come for free (it has a mortgage that we're chipping away at), but the place is basically a garage with a bathroom. Perfect for our own holidays (or storage for that matter) but not rentable to anyone else except a hard-core mustachian, and still pretty down in value since the GFC.

Logic seems to dictate the first option, but emotion makes other calls on us (cats and motorbikes)

Decisions, decisions


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 90
Re: How to spend a relocation budget?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2014, 03:56:07 AM »
I've done this a couple of times and come to the conclusion that I'm hopeless at predicting what I will miss and what I will replace. I also had a conversation with my aunt where we both laughed 'til we cried about putting stuff in storage and then realising that we weren't using the stuff we'd kept out of storage and were buying seconds of things that were in storage.

I moved stuff from Aus to the UK for less than the prices you are talking about, and there seemed to be even more shipping options for NZ. Not sure if the same applies for moves to the US.

Things I miss (my stuff is currently spread across 3 continents):
- kitchen equipment including baking pans and tools that I used regularly (harder and more expensive to replace than I anticipated)
- a few books

Things I have with me that I am glad I have with me:
- wool products from Australia and NZ (doonas, icebreaker stuff, thermals)
- goretex boots, RM Williams
- jeans
- road bike
- mountain bike
- biking accessories (shoes, helmet, tools, cleaning equip)

Things I have replaced that I'm not upset about having paid for:
- running shoes, work shoes
- work clothes that were getting a bit dated

Things I have with me that I regret paying all that money to ship
- masses of clothes
- stereo
- stuff that I hoped I would one day use but actually I'm just not that motivated (hard to read books, clothes that require effort - like, can't wear jeans with them!)

I'm not paying for storage either. My suggestion would be suitcases plus shipping household items you use on a weekly basis; I'd also look into keeping the electricals and using transformers - more than anything I miss the quality of electronics in Aus: super cheap (proximity to Asia?), excellent quality, and a great range. I do also think it's worth considering how much time you want to spend replacing stuff. I got so fed up with the trips to the outer burbs to big box stores for household goods etc, I realised that I would have been happier paying to have my own stuff delivered to my doorstep.

How soon is the move? If you have a couple of months, I suggest taking an inventory of your stuff and ticking off what you actually use vs what you think you use. Also, look into getting rid of stuff you have that you don't anticipate needing after you return, and think about leaving stuff in the US rather than bringing it back so you're only moving it one way. For things like computers and appliances, if you decide not to take them with you it could be better just to sell them now, rather than store them.


  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
Re: How to spend a relocation budget?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2014, 09:37:37 AM »
Why ship things like bicycles and skiis? It'll likely be cheaper to sell them, not pay the moving fee, and to buy them in Craigslist in the States. This is double for the vehicle, just sell it and buy a used one over here. I would say the same for the cats, but I'm assuming there's quite a bit of emotional attachment on those!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
  • Location: Henderson NV
Re: How to spend a relocation budget?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2014, 01:57:06 PM »
Aschmidt2930. - those are great questions to think about. I guess the attraction of taking things we already own is that we invested considerable effort in choosing, buying and customizing the things we have. We'd have to make all that investment again, as well as the time and trouble it takes to sell them.

Motorbike, bicycles and skis, probably makes sense to sell or store and buy again in the US as we need them.

We're leaving in about 5 weeks and we have so many things to sort out in that time.

SU thanks for sharing your experiences. Lots of useful tip there.