So as we get ready to move across the country, I have been considering how this adventure will change our lives. Not just in an emotional way, but in a financial way as well. Our two main goals in this move were to be closer to family since our family members have been through numerous illnesses and life-altering events lately (my mom had a stroke, my brother in law their second daughter).
We are hoping, too, that the move is a sound one financially. California is expensive, and as a family of four with only one full-time working spouse, times are tough. Will this move save our family money in the long run? This questions plagues us most nights as we sit around and prepare to leave.
I thought I would report to you the findings as we come across them. To compare living in one part of the country with another can be an interesting adventure all in itself. You think that you are going to move to one area and save a lot of money (or spend way too much) and then you find out that when you figure taxes and gas into the equation your initial estimate was a bit off.
So how does California compare to Georgia so far?
In terms of business, I will be doing a bit better. Keep in mind that I work from home and do not have to operate an office and its expenses. For me, the largest expense I have each year after purchasing necessary equipment is the business license. When we moved to California I spent almost $300 on a business license. Then we moved to another county and I spent about $150 the first year and then $50 the second year. In Georgia I will be able to operate two companies (I’m obtaining personal training certification and I’m going to be running a business related to this that I will post about in the future) from my home and the total cost of a business license for this businesses and Kinetic Solutions is a whopping $78 dollars for the year! Score one for the east coast.
Gas. Well, let’s just say that gas in California is expensive, but gas in Georgia is not that much less and we will have to purchase a second vehicle because my husband will not have use of the company car once we move. So, figure in more for insurance, gas to and from his job in said car, and of course the car itself. We are torn. Do we purchase an old beater that he can just get by in or should we purchase a new car that we will then keep for good?
Housing is a definite switch. In California the home prices are about double. When we were looking at a home in Laguna Niguel a few months back (the one for which we’d written an offer until we found out that the foundation had a major crack, on top of all of the other problems-hole in bathroom floor, horrible paint job both in and out, drainage issue surrounding the house) we were going to pay over $550K. No wonder I woke up with night sweats every night! In Georgia, homes that are larger, newer and with more land cost about half of this. In addition, taxes are less. We will be able to purchase a nice home and pay less than we are currently paying in rent, which will be a great change of events. Plus, everything will be newer in the Georgia home than in this rental, where the cabinets stick constantly, if they close at all!