Thrifty Thursday: Moving Cross Country on a Budget

Moving as a semi-established adult is expensive. The past few cross country moves

Albany -> San Diego

San Diego -> Washington DC,

Washington DC -> Albany

were significantly easier/ cheaper.  During those years, the bulk of my stuff remained neatly in boxes at my childhood home.

When I moved to SD, I loaded up the trunk of my trusty corolla (still driving it today) and packed two suitcases and went on my way.  ( I flew & shipped my car) The move to Washington left the few ikea pieces of furniture and bikes behind and drove with a full trunk and semi full back seat. I was only in DC for a year in a furnished apartment, so that move was easy as well.


Fast forward 6 years and I have purchased a home and taken full ownership of all the stuff from the free storage unit (parents)  As they have downsized to a 2 bedroom condo or are otherwise in FL, and they no longer provide rent free storage.

Getting ready to move to Denver was HARD.

I had to do some serious purging and figure out how I was going to orchestrate the move. The initial thought was to load up a UHAUL and drive it all out there.

But then the thought of Marcy stuck in the middle of a uhaul cab for 3/4 days didn’t sit well with me. That, coupled with the idea of us ( J & I – but really J) having to drive a 16 ft truck with the corolla attached really stressed me out.

I did some math – the truck alone would be about $1800 not including insurance or gas (gas was estimated about 600).  So while I thought the UHAUL/ Budget truck would be the most economical, it was proving not to be.

After doing a Facebook crowd-source, several people recommended a variety of POD type options. After semi limited research ( time was becoming critical)  I reserved a Relocube from UPACK.  In order to have it delivered to the house, it would have cost an additional $1,000.  Instead, I rented a uhaul for the day and loaded the cube at the truck terminal.

While this was a huge pain, certainly saved money. (although with a larger load, it would no longer be the cost effective way to do this)

After the cube was loaded up, the remaining/ moderately important stuff was moved into my car for us to then drive across the country.  After 3 days of cheap food ( mostly because of Marcy dog not allowing us to go to restaurants) and excellent fuel economy, we arrived safely to Denver.

I had zero interest in having the move anything again. I hired movers to unpack the relocube and deliver it to my house.  This is obviously an area someone could save a significant amount of money, but as J was out of town – It would have been nearly impossible for me to move the furniture. *A few lessons were learned with the relocube, use plastic totes of the same size to stack. Also, wrapping of furniture is critical.  The rubbing of some of the wood, was impressive, since it appeared to be in areas that weren’t touching anything.

Overall the positives outweigh the negatives, and I would recommend relocube to anyone trying to move across country with stuff.

Because everyone likes numbers and I was desperate to find a rough estimate before having to make phone calls. (I hate making phone calls.) Here is a breakdown of moving costs.

  • UHAUL: House to Relocube terminal: $147

    potential savings: larger truck or renting one closer to home.  Mileage added up a lot quicker than I expected.

  • Relocube: Terminal to Terminal (Albany to Denver) $1,817
    • potential savings: none, terminal to terminal was the lowing cost option
  • Fuel for Corolla: $118
    • potential savings: none, the corolla is a rockstar. ( I suppose we could have searched for fuel options that may be a few cents cheaper, but the average price to fill the tank was 22 bucks.
  • Hotels (Dog Friendly)
    • Baymount Inn ($100ish + 20 dog fee)
    • reward hotel
    • Cobblestone hotel + dog $ 130
      • potential savings: camping/ cheaper motels.  These hotels were all listed just in and around 100 bucks. All offered breakfast, theres that.
  • All My Sons Moving: 2 Hours w/ 2 official 1 extra mover $537 + tip
    • potential saving: renting UHAUL and loading & unloading (again.) I believe my sanity was worth the roughly 400 dollars spent to have someone else move everything.
    • potential savings: shopping around for movers.  I was give a days notice for my cube being available & needing to unload it. Realistically I should have found someone for 200-300 range, but time and convenience won me over.

Grand Total: $2,769

According to a quick google search, I was under the national average by $1,500.  For sure I could have squeezed out a bit more, but this was about as low cost as I could handle.

We are renting, so eventually we will move again.  How have you saved money when moving?

[Training Log] Rock n Roll Denver 13.1

My last blog ( transformed over the years, but ended up almost solely as a running blog.  It was relevant, since I spent so much of my time thinking about running, running, and the like, but when I wasn’t running, I felt like I didn’t have anywhere to go. Or if my interest shifted I felt disloyal (primarily through my 46er Journey.)

So it is with hope that I am able to maintain the other areas of interest on this little corner of the internet but share my training, races, and all; in conjunction with my interest in budgeting, volunteering, breweries, and being a new Denver resident.

( I encourage anyone to poke me if they find that I am only able to keep up with training logs each week)

Moving on, I am training for the Rock n Roll Denver Half Marathon on October 15th, 2017.  This will be my 26th half marathon and 8th State.  I don’t have a rushing goal to run a half marathon in every state, but its still a neat statistic to note.

Traditionally, I view every race one as a potential PR.  This fall I am not.  I am starting a new position ( like brand new, didn’t exist at my school last year..), am living in a new city, and said city is 4,818 feet above the elevation where I have trained for the past 5/6 years. I hope to train well and run well, but am saving at time/PR goal for January when I will return to Carlsbad half marathon after 8 years away ( what?!)

Officially I think my training started a few weeks ago, but between the move & everything else, I am just starting to get my feet under me.  Luckily my base is solid, so I am not worried.

For ease, I’ll consider this week one of RnR Denver Training.

Monday: Rest

I had plans to join the run group at the local brewery (Seedstock) but it was raining all day long. I was in a solid funk about said weather and couldn’t get myself motivated to go.

Tuesday: 4.5 Miles @  10:21

For the first time since moving to Denver, I got myself out and running in the morning.  I absolutely loved the habit that my BRF instilled in me during Vermont City Marathon training and I am hopeful to revive it once the school year starts next week.  To my standards, it wasn’t early enough in the day to count for a Rise & Run, but was still done by 9am. Despite Marcy dog being sick for a few days before, I brought her along hoping to spike her appetite to get her to eat more. (it seems to have worked, Mdog is on the mend!)



Wednesday: 5.5 @ 10:51

I did a lot of wandering around to collect the mileage.  I live in a moderately hilly neighborhood, but the hills are easily avoided. Not wanting that to become my normal, I headed along one of the hillier streets.  I tackled one and was eager for the second when I saw an extension of the bike trail I hadn’t yet explored.  I ended up running that trail, and through a tired neighborhood before connecting back to the dry gulch.  I was especially proud of myself for continuing on after 3 miles.  I was near the house at that point, but I felt good and kept going to explore near Mile High Stadium. Although I am still working more than I’d like for the paces, slowly but surely my normal ‘easy’ pace is starting feel a bit easier.


Thursday: 1.5 mile warm up 6×400 with 2 minute recovery 1.6 mile cool down total: 5.52

I was a bit nervous about introducing track workouts. For starters, the sheer act of finding a public track left me feeling anxious.  It made me very aware that I couldn’t drive to SUNY or to Guilderland and feel like I was in the right place.  I did a few google searches, which indicated that the JeffCo schools tend to make their tracks available to the public, that coupled with input from my friend Amanda, I found one a short drive away.  Despite Thursday being my last weekday of summer vacation, I was up early.  I had some coffee & oatmeal before heading to the track.  To my surprise the track was gravel, I don’t think there are too many gravel tracks in Upstate NY ( my guess would be because the amount of rain we have) but otherwise was a nice set up with a clean portojon (although I didn’t see any water). I shuffled along for a mile and half before tackling the full workout.  When I’ve done 400s in the past, I am able to smoke my 5k pace (on 400s), this was not the case today.  I wasn’t surprised, I haven’t any speed since March ( and I think I did one track workout then) or last fall while training for Philly.  My endurance is what carried me. I hit close to my 5k pace[8:51] for 5 out of the 6 repeats. I was toast by the last one, but squeaked out a 9:19 pace.  I had an extended cooldown, mostly to beef up my mileage a bit after a few low weeks.  Although I had to work a lot harder to keep those paces than I would like ( I’ll be saying this for a while) It gives me hope that I won’t totally plateau while living in Denver.


Friday: Rest

My school invited the new employees to come a day early to meet/ work on our classrooms etc, so I ended up staying there until close to 4pm.  I then started a mission to find a commuter bike. I drove around a few times and was unsuccessful. Shortly after I arrived home, J suggested that we walk to the other neighborhood brewery for a beer & food truck.  I am not a pro-athlete.  Running is important, but so is everything else.  It was a really lovely evening.



Saturday: 6 miles

Amanda had messaged me the day before asking if I’d be interested in running with her on the Highline Canal Trail, which my answer was a definite yes.  We ran along for 3 miles before turning around.  Its an awesome gravel trail that was filled with runners & walkers. While Amanda and I have known each other for close to 15 years, we’ve only hung out a few times ( her sister was a college roommate of mine). The time passed quickly and we were back at the cars.  I had toyed with the idea of getting 7 miles, but there was a cyclists down on the trail and I had an old t-shirt that could be used for pressure & Amanda offered the rider a lift back home ( larger car than my own.) so 6 it was! I spent the rest of my day trying to buy a bike from walmart ( unsuccessful) before heading to Boulder for a wedding.



Sunday: Wedding Recovery

I had wanted to run another 5 or 6 miles, but in true 33 year old fashion, I was useless.  By mid morning, J and I drove back to Boulder to retrieve my car ( we had taken a Lyft home) I had parked in front of a play it again sports, which J and I had a field day in.  I already love used stores, and sporting goods? In my hangover haze, I was convinced I should take up every sport. I held it together and only bought a commuter bike. And it is beautiful. The rest of our afternoon was the final push to unpack boxes and clean.  So while we did recover from the wedding with some grace, no miles were tackled.



Overall, a decent week.  I am super eager to  higher mileage, but can’t quite get the pep to follow through. As the new school year begins, I hope to have some new routines and motivation!

Weekly total: 21.55



Summer Recap

It was a whirlwind summer. Due to leaving a NY teaching job ( where the school year ends mid June) and beginning a new position in Colorado ( where the the school year starts in August) Today I start my official first day of school.  We won’t have students this week, but it will give me an opportunity to meet my coworkers, set up my classroom and create some lesson plans to get the ball rolling.

I was lucky enough to be offered & accept a Montessori teaching position within the public school system just a few days before moving to Colorado. To me, this is a complete dream.  I very much loved my time as a Montessori teacher in NY, but often struggled with the fact that it was a private school and not available to everyone. It will be a unique challenge to blend the Montessori philosophy with the requirements of a public school, but I am up for the challenge and I can’t wait to see the results.

Anyhow, the past few weeks were a bit bananas. After school let out, I spent most of my days, organizing & purging my stuff at my house in Guilderland. While it felt like weeks of organizing, it was still a beastly effort to then compact it down to fit in my UPACK relocube & ultimately our small rental house.

Because of my job starting & J having a work event, we were a bit tight on time.  We made a quick trip to Long Island to see my sister & my nieces & nephew before loading everything else up.

On Friday (7/21) we packed the relocube with everything I deemed important enough to drag across the country. Saturday I met L for one last BRF run. After, J & I loaded up the car with the things we either forgot to load in the relocube or didn’t want to risk being without for 6-8 days. Sunday we had breakfast with my parents before making our way west.



Unlike last year where we built a full blown vacation out of J’s move to Colorado, we were on a direct mission to get to Denver. A few reasons for this, one, J’s job paid for the move last year ( gas & accommodations) & two, Marcy dog was a bit stressed as it was, and the thought of extending days in the car & potentially boarding here for sightseeing stressed me out too much.

We did stop in St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch & enjoyed a nice dinner at the Boathouse, but otherwise our days were dictated by mileage gained. While those days seemed ‘busy’ ( really sitting in the car shouldn’t be busy, but moving across the country had my brain on overdrive) looking back they seem so much more relaxed.

The day after we arrived, I scooted over to my employer to get finger printed, and began one of my many many trips to Target. My stuff thankfully arrived early from NY.  It had been projected early the first week of August, which would have been tough since I was at new employee training & J was away.  After the movers dumped all my stuff ( most of which looked like it should have been left in a burn pile in NY, I spent the remainder of the weekend attempting to unpack despite our lack of furniture.

The weekend was too quick ( as they usually are when you have to report to work on Monday) but I was a thankful to start a routine.  I attended a week of new employee workshops, which provided with some valuable information, but mostly helped me generate a longer list of questions for my school admin.

Somewhere in between, I met up with a college friend for drinks downtown Denver, went to a running club from a local brewery, and made it to the final Jazz in the Park with J & some of his friends.

I miss my Albany life. But I am happy to be closer to J and to have the opportunity to teach at a public Montessori.


New Here, Again.

I had created this new blog back in the winter, in hopes to branch out from the rut I had found myself with my old one (  Because I was in the midst of planning a cross country move, but unable to speak about it (until I notified my employer etc) I found that I was super limited in what I could express and this blog quickly became a new version of my old.  I was stuck continuously writing about running training logs and not much else.

With a new zip code for all of my billing/shipping addresses and the move behind me, I am ready to begin again.  I have removed all of my older posts and am creating a new start.

I am looking forward to writing about our budget friendly lifestyle, volunteering, running, reading, adventuring and making Denver Colorado our home.