Financial Impacts of Moving


Last glimpse of our empty Texas house

The prevailing theme of this blog over the last few months has revolved around our recent move from the US to the UK.  Huge life changes like this often come with massive financial impacts.

Fortunately for us, the actual move itself was free.  Packing and shipping our household goods, airfare to London, and temporary lodging were all paid by the US Government.  After all, they were the ones responsible for our move.  For our family of five, I’d estimate the value of these services exceeded $15,000.

However, before moving we needed to sell our house along with many of our other possessions.  Moving from Texas to England meant downsizing from a sprawling 5-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom, 3,200 sq ft suburban home to one just over half that size.

Three years ago, we purchased our house for $280,000.  Although we enjoyed the house and neighborhood amenities, we confess that it was more home than we’d ever need or want again.  We sold the house in August for $297,000.  After paying roughly $9,000 in real estate commissions to the buyer’s agent (we did not have an agent ourselves) and other closing costs, we profited only a few thousand dollars.

With moving costs paid for and our home sale a wash, we were at just over the breakeven point.  Remember though, the move came with a fairly drastic downsizing and this is where we really did well.

A few months before moving, we made an initial pass through our belongings to get rid of some easy stuff.  This culminated with an “open house” of sorts where we invited the neighborhood to take anything we no longer needed.  Everything was free, though we set out a donation jar that most people contributed to.

As the summer wore on, we buckled down and got much more serious.  We touched everything in the house and began selling anything we couldn’t envision fitting in our English house.  This included ditching the contents of two rooms almost entirely, our media room and spare bedroom.

Lastly, days before we left the states, we sold both of our cars to CarMax.


Since arriving in the UK, we did purchase one used car for roughly the same amount we’d sold our older car for a couple weeks prior.  We’re on the fence about buying a second car.  If we do, we’ve set a hard budget at £3,000, or $3,677 at the current exchange rate.

Additionally, because of the lack of storage in our new house, specifically in the kitchen, we’ve purchased a shelving rack and some cabinet inserts to maximize the space we do have.

The table below lists everything we sold leading up to the move and everything we purchased to replace some of those items or accommodate our new house.

moving-sales-and-purchasesIn total, we’ve come out ahead nearly $20,000 as a result of our move overseas.  Not to mention, we received $45,126 in equity and escrow payments from selling our house.  This means we now have another $65,000 in investable assets!  Our goal is to use these funds to bolster our passive income streams.

Have you ever moved or downsized to improve you financial position?

13 thoughts on “Financial Impacts of Moving

  1. TJ says:

    I’m super curious to see how much $$$ I will get out of selling my belongings before I hit the road. I’m also curious to see if there’s any variation at all in my variable expenses, or if it’s all mostly the same as it has been.

    Thanks for sharing your numbers! Even just considering my real estate that I sold and putting that capital into more productive assets, it’s been amazing to see what that has done for my taxable income stream…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      You’re welcome, TJ. I’d definitely like to increase our dividend income, but haven’t decided exactly what we’ll do with this extra cash. Good luck with your selling!

      Now that we’re getting settled, I want to start comparing some of our other expenses. It’ll probably take another month or so to get some good data.


  2. Mr. PIE says:

    We made the move from the UK to the US nearly 18 yrs ago. We have not looked back since.

    The opportunity to live in a new country and pursue our careers without switching disciplines was the pull. Our salaries at the time nearly doubled for each of us. And we got a lot of relocation assistance and help with purchase of a new home here ( closing costs on old home and new home all taken care of and budget provided to buy new appliances). I can’t imagine our plans for FIRE in 2 yrs would be happening had we remained in the UK. But living in the parallel universe to answer that question properly is simply impossible!

    What has been more important has been the opportunity to experience life in a different country. This has opened our eyes to what we miss from the UK and also why our family call the US home. Seeing our boys born here, grow up here is a great thing. It is very unlikely we will move back to the UK but we also learn never to say never.

    Hope you have settled into a fun life over there and not getting too sucked into the hedonic treadmill of Christmas shopping and bargain hunting even before October has passed…!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Thanks, Mr. PIE! Even in the short time we’ve been here, it has already been such an eye-opening experience. I’d highly recommend for anyone to live in another country if they ever get the chance.

      We’re settling in nicely. Our daughter will begin attending a British school soon. Can’t wait to hear her develop an accent!

      Fortunately, I avoid stores unless absolutely necessary so the marketers have little impact on me 🙂


  3. Mr. SSC says:

    We’re with you on the Texas home being nice, but it will be the largest home we ever own. 🙂 It will be nice to downsize when we move away from here.

    That’s great you got to get so far ahead on costs with the move. Having a nice chunk of money for investing and building up the passive income stream has to feel great! Being that large, it probably opens up a different set of investments to look into that may not be available in “monthly sized” investment increments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      I like nice, but can do without gigantic!

      I’m still debating where to put the money. Things are finally settling down to the point where I can do some research. I’ll probably divide the money into a few chunks for various investments and leave a little bit in savings.


  4. Graham @ Reverse The Crush says:

    Hey DTG,
    Thanks for sharing the breakdown of the move. It’s amazing that the government covered the moving costs for you.
    And it’s great that you’ve got all that excess cash now to invest and further your passive income. I’m totally like you in that I wouldn’t want an extremely large place. I grew up in a house about the same size but never really aspired to own a big house myself. Sounds like your adjusting to the move well. Looking forward to following the journey!


    • Ditching the Grind says:

      The military moved us so it’s only fair they pay for it.

      Definitely no complaints here about having more money to invest. Still deciding where to put it. Majority will likely go in a few index funds, including an REIT fund.

      We’re renting for the first time and it’s got me thinking whether or not we want to buy again. Being a renter is a lot simpler and less stressful for sure.


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