Change for Change: Living life to the fullest (on a budget)

This post is part of the Guest Blog Grand Tour over at Life Without Pants – an epic two-month journey of over 50 guest posts. Want to learn more about Matt Cheuvront and see how far the rabbit hole goes? Subscribe to the Life Without Pants RSS feed and keep in touch!

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Hey Paul

Change is difficult. It’s frustrating, challenging, and inconvenient. Change usually comes when you least expect it. It throws us out of our comfort zone and forces us to break away from the norm.

I’ve been through a lot of personal changes myself as of late – recently quitting my job and moving to a new city, making new friends, working at a new job – my comfort zone is nonexistent these days. I’ve spent the past several months redefining what comfort really means.

Before I took the leap back in June –  I spent months weighing the pros and cons. reviewing the obstacles that stood in my way – and when all was said and done, there was ONE thing that stood in my way – one challenge that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to handle. Money…or lack thereof.

I knew I could handle leaving my parents, making new friends, acclimating myself to the brutal Chicago winters. But what about finding a job? What about managing an ever depleting back account? Here are three things that I did – and you should too – if you’re thinking about moving on a budget.

Sell everything you don’t need

Before I moved –  I did an inventory of literally everything I owned – and then sold about 75% of it. Craigslist is a beautiful thing. In a matter of days I had sold nearly all of my furniture. Instead of paying for storage or an expensive moving truck, why not sell what you can to cover bills for a month or two?

Be “that guy” on Craigslist

As great as Craigslist is for selling your stuff, it’s also a recent-transplant-job-seekers dream. Yes, there is a LOT of crap on Craigslist – but if you’re in transition, looking for something that hold you over until you land a “real” job, there is much to be found. I spent my first couple months working small-time freelance jobs – online community management, ghost writing for blogs, PPC monitoring. My concept was “money is money” for the first couple months – and maintaining that mindset helped me get through the initial transition period.

Don’t be proud

If there’s one thing I’ve always struggled with – it’s accepting the help of other people. I was born and raised the type of guy who has done things for himself. The feeling of “helplessness”is something I was never used to, but I quickly got over my insecurities when I packed my bags and moved to Chicago. I spent the first 2 ½ months living in my to-be in-laws basement. I quickly learned that, while maybe not the ideal situation, without the help of another – I wouldn’t be where I am today. Be humble and accepting of other’s hospitality, just don’t wear out your welcome.

Relocating is never easy –  it’s even more difficult when you’re working with a tight budget. But I’m living proof that it IS possible –  when you plan ahead, take what you can get, and cut out the daily morning latte.

Have you relocated or moved recently? What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to make a transition?

About Kelly Whalen


Kelly Whalen is the founder of The Centsible Life, a blog where motherhood and money meet. Her goal is to help readers live well on less. Kelly is a mom to 4, and loves that she can stay at home with her kids, and still pursue her passions for writing, personal finance, and social media. You can often find her on twitter and Facebook talking money and motherhood.

  • http://www.jillianshaw.com/ jilliansmitty

    Thanks for this! Moving to NYC soon – sending this to my husband :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/lizreads liz

    I applaud the sense of adventure that led you to pull up stakes. I thought about doing it many years ago — going from Chicago suburbs to Minneapolis — but lost my nerve. I was afraid to go without a job (which was kind of dumb — I'm sure I could have found one, and I had a couple friends to at least be a social support for a while). Life worked out — but I think a sense of possibility is so important in life. And I tried doing Craigslist last night (looking for a camera lens for my husband for Christmas. But I'd either have to drive too far or the prices weren't any better than I could get by careful comparison shopping! Sellers– be more realistic! I also want to recommend a great book on getting out of debt (and working toward a financially stable retirement): Debt-Free Millionaire by Anthony Manganiello. This is a great book for anyon who's thinking of seeking help with debt. Those various plans can be so confusing. This guy points out that there are some really good options out there for debt, but they can be really bad choices, if you use the wrong answer for your particular circumstances. This will help you avoid potentially devastating financial pitfalls.

  • http://www.twitter.com/lizreads liz

    I applaud the sense of adventure that led you to pull up stakes. I thought about doing it many years ago — going from Chicago suburbs to Minneapolis — but lost my nerve. I was afraid to go without a job (which was kind of dumb — I'm sure I could have found one, and I had a couple friends to at least be a social support for a while). Life worked out — but I think a sense of possibility is so important in life. And I tried doing Craigslist last night (looking for a camera lens for my husband for Christmas. But I'd either have to drive too far or the prices weren't any better than I could get by careful comparison shopping! Sellers– be more realistic! I also want to recommend a great book on getting out of debt (and working toward a financially stable retirement): Debt-Free Millionaire by Anthony Manganiello. This is a great book for anyon who's thinking of seeking help with debt. Those various plans can be so confusing. This guy points out that there are some really good options out there for debt, but they can be really bad choices, if you use the wrong answer for your particular circumstances. This will help you avoid potentially devastating financial pitfalls.

  • http://twitter.com/centsiblelife @centsiblelife

    I love this blog post, Matt.

    It's never easy to go somewhere new, but even less so when you are strapped for cash. I'm sure looking back on the experience though it has been 100% worth any issues or stress you may have had.

    Thanks for letting me be a part of the grand tour!

    • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com Matt Cheuvront

      Than YOU! I really enjoyed putting this together and think it offers a unique perspective for anyone looking to make a move to a new place. Honored to have you as a stop on the tour!

  • http://twitter.com/centsiblelife @centsiblelife

    I love this blog post, Matt.

    It's never easy to go somewhere new, but even less so when you are strapped for cash. I'm sure looking back on the experience though it has been 100% worth any issues or stress you may have had.

    Thanks for letting me be a part of the grand tour!

    • http://www.lifewithoutpants.com/ Matt Cheuvront

      Than YOU! I really enjoyed putting this together and think it offers a unique perspective for anyone looking to make a move to a new place. Honored to have you as a stop on the tour!

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  • http://twitter.com/27andfrugal @27andfrugal

    I also recommend FreeCycle. I have received and given away practically new items! I have a Rival crockpot in excellent condition from someone who just didn’t use it anymore and responded to my FreeCycle request of needing one.

    I sold a TON of stuff when I moved from Michigan to New Jersey. Things that I knew I could easily replace, I just sold off. Computer paper, blank cd’s, etc. Also, I compressed a lot of items. For example, I had this humongous box of cds that I wanted to keep. However, I was getting sick of moving this huge box. So, I went to Target and bought two of those cd-book-storage-holder-things. All of my cds fit in the two books. No more huge box!

    And a packing tip: Since you’re packing both items anyway, use your own clothing to wrap dishes in.

  • http://twitter.com/27andfrugal @27andfrugal

    I also recommend FreeCycle. I have received and given away practically new items! I have a Rival crockpot in excellent condition from someone who just didn’t use it anymore and responded to my FreeCycle request of needing one.

    I sold a TON of stuff when I moved from Michigan to New Jersey. Things that I knew I could easily replace, I just sold off. Computer paper, blank cd’s, etc. Also, I compressed a lot of items. For example, I had this humongous box of cds that I wanted to keep. However, I was getting sick of moving this huge box. So, I went to Target and bought two of those cd-book-storage-holder-things. All of my cds fit in the two books. No more huge box!

    And a packing tip: Since you’re packing both items anyway, use your own clothing to wrap dishes in.