Should I go into debt to move?

Full disclosure even though I’ll likely end up as snarkpit fodder.

When my husband and I divorced 5 years ago, I ended up in the hospital for 2 months with depression. I then packed all my things and drove across the country and moved back in with my parents, went back to school, got a job and then got laid off. I’ve been out of work for 6 months and can’t find anything in the smallish (pop. 25,000) town I’m in. It is emotionally unhealthy for me to stay here in my parents house and I need to get out on my own. I’ve gone through all my savings while being out of work and I don’t see me finding a job here any time soon.

I would like to move to a bigger city about an hour away but the only way I can do this is if I use my personal credit line of $5000 to fund the move and pay the bills till I can find work in the new city.

I am trying to decide if it is a good idea to go into debt to move or should I keep looking for work and hope I can save up enough to move?

How long can you live on $5K in a new town? Unless you’re able to get into some sort of subsidized housing, you may find it hard to get an apartment without a demonstrable source of income…or a roommate.

That noted, if you think you can stretch the $5K to last for 6 months or longer, it may be worth a shot. I assume your parents would let you move back if things don’t work out?

If the bigger city is only an hour away, could you apply for jobs there and drive there to interviews to see if there may be a job there for you before you go?

It’s always easier to move when you have a job, so securing one before you go would probably make things easier.

I do realize that it’s hard to be positive for an interview when you’re stuck in a place where you don’t want to be, but I’m not sure that would magically change when you moved to the new place since it takes a bit of time to acclimate. And without a job and with dwindling resources and the threat of having to move back if things didn’t work out, you might be a lot more stressed as well.

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I did move out about a year after moving in, couldn’t hack it and moved back after three months.

There are one bedroom apartments for rent for $625 in the city. Actually in the same building I moved into. I really did love my apartment but I was still a psychological mess.

That’s a pretty good idea actually.

Yes, I wouldn’t move without a job in this climate. Plenty of people end up looking a very long time, and you want this to be successful for you.

Normally I would agree with this.

I guess I feel a sense of urgency because of my past with my parents. I was abused physically, emotionally and sexually by my dad and emotionally by my mom. When I first moved here I was a mess and pretty much just slept for the first year. I had money saved ($6000) and just sort of decided that it was time for me to move out and got the apartment. I ended up suicidal and my mom said I could move back if I needed to, so I did. My parents do try to make up for the past but things happen almost every day that remind me.

I went back to college and started therapy and was doing really well for a couple of years but I find I’m slipping back into my old way of thinking and I’m convinced it’s because I’ve stayed here all this time. It’s not a healthy place to be. But I don’t know what’s more important, to get out of here knowing the risk of not finding work quickly enough and really end up in a bind, or staying here and feel like I’m dying inside.

It sounds as though you are recovered enough to give serious thought to taking that risk, and if you reckon it’s a bad idea to go on staying with your parents, then you are probably right. (Actually, do you have current contact with your doctors etc., and if so, what do they think about this?)

Plus, it seems as though simply to move away from your parents but remain in your current town would give you all the troubles of moving but with no concomitant advantage in finding a job, as you have no doubt worked out. Oh woe.

It would be good if you already have friends/acquaintances in the new city, but even without that, it could be well worth the risk and the debt, IF you feel strong enough to cope with that alone. You’d probably have to be able to face a period of living on very cheap food and probably in shared accommodation, but the feeling that you are on your own again, out of your parents’ home, etc., would help you pull through. I imagine you have looked at both the upside and the downside and are not relying on a message board but just airing the ideas/thinking out loud. :slight_smile:

On the whole, I say you should go for it. It’s a risk, but you know you will have times of being financially pressed and when you would like chicken but can only have rice (or the famous packet noodles), or when you want to buy a book but cannot, and you know there will be difficulties*, but I’m guessing that having the peace to know you are in charge of your own life again, not in your parents’ place (as no matter how delightful parents are, it just feels better to have independence ).

You mentioned that you went “back to school”, so you do have university qualifications of some kind - OK, given the current climate, that might still not help, but shows some application and level of education and so on. I don’t know if your preferred city has openings in your preferred field, but yeah, it’s probably a happier hunting ground than your small town. And for the early days, it’s more likely to be a case of any work at all.

I still think go for it, but make sure you’re clear that there will be some sacrifices and trouble ahead. Or simply challenges, if you prefer to look at it that way. :slight_smile: So, it’s a risk, but if you are clear what you are doing, probably a worthwhile risk.

  • even small distressing things that won’t seem to matter right now, such as when friends say "we should all go to the concert/out for dinner/any similar fun, but you know your own budget can’t stand it.

Ruts are bad, and it sounds like you’re in one that is not doing you any good. If you c an’t envision things getting BETTER for you while you are there, it would seem a good idea to move. At least then you’ll be doing things for yourself, by yourself, without the environmental factors that seem to be paralyzing you.

Sometimes you just gotta get out, and it sounds like you’ve given your current situation plenty of time to work out, and it’s just…not. Worst case if you stay there = ? Worst case if you move out is broke + ?. Besides, you’re going to end up using that credit anyway, if you stay where you are and continue unemployed. I’m thinking the move will help you emotionally; staying will not. So…look for jobs while you’re there; an hour drive is worth it. Then move when you get the hit. And good luck!!

Oh heck, that’s what happens when one starts a reply and wanders to and fro to the kitchen in the middle of it. :smack:

No, sorry, I now revise my opinion. I think it is possible that you are perhaps still too fragile to go off to a place where you will have no job, and where you have yet to find a place to live.

Is there some middle ground? On new reading, now I do begin to think perhaps remain in your home town, but move to another house. Yes, that will cost you some money but it will make you happier and it would be a test run for removing yourself to the city at a later date.

Do it all in little baby steps. And I do hope you can get something to work out for you. :slight_smile:

Summer’s a time when people go away and sublet or need housesitters. Is there any way you could find a highly temporary (1-2 months) living arrangement while you search for work in City?

Then if things are really not working out, you won’t be tied down to a year long lease and won’t have expended moving expenses, as sublets usually come furnished and such.

Are there places in either town where you can rent a room in someone else’s apt. or house? I did that once during a depressed and broke time in my life and it did enable me to get a bit back on my feet without living all alone and using up all my money. But I do think you need to use the money you can access to get out of your current living arrangement one way or another.

Actually no. I am really not sure what is the best thing for me to do. My instincts say “get out” but the rational part of me isn’t sure if moving out w/o a job is the best thing to do.

$625 a month rent plus utilities plus food, plus transportation, plus payments on debt . . . $5,000 won’t last you that long with no income. Moving to a new town and subsisting entirely on a credit line seems like a horrible, horrible, idea. I second the ‘find a job first’ recommendations. Going into debt to move is one thing, going into debt to live is another.

Two questions:

  1. What kind of a job are you hoping to get?

  2. Why do you want to move to that particular city?

Administrative Assistant would be my first choice but I’d also be happy with any sort of entry level position.

No real reason. I guess just because it’s the closest larger city. I could also move to a bigger city 3 hours away.

I’m just worried that if you get out there and by no fault of your own can’t get a job and get stuck repeating the cycle you’ll feel that you’ve failed, and worse that you can’t succeed.

That’s the main thing that stops me from just doing it.

While the economy is slowly improving, it’s still not what it should be. I’ve been unemployed for just over a year. Not fun. If it were me I wouldn’t go into debt and move until I had a full-time job even if it meant a longish commute from the beginning.

Given the situation, yes, you SHOULD move, regardless. BUT, as others have said, line up a job FIRST! It is rough out there right now. If you begin taking action towards this goal it will make what time you have to spend in your current situation more tolerable and will be moving you towards moving on and OUT.

Also, look into lining up a roomate/shared living arrangement to give you a better chance/lower housing costs.

Have you considered going back to school? I mention this not because I am making any assumptions about your educational history, but because it IS an option that could allow you to escape the current situation and further your education and make you more competitive in the job market long-term.

You could look into funding to go to college (grants, scholarships, student loans). I am a returning student and while I had toyed with the idea of going back for years, the economic crisis drove me to it. My UE was running out and I said, wth, and applied for funding and to a college I liked. I got a Pell Grant which covered my tuition AND student loans to help cover my living costs. The rates and terms of student loans are MUCH better than those of credit cards or other loans, including the fact that you don’t have to start paying them back until 6 mths after you graduate.

I just feel that living in such a situation is unacceptable, and you should do whatever you can to get out of it, ASAP. Just plan and make sure you don’t end up back in the same or worse. Good Luck!

btw, do a FAFSA if you apply for student funding, not one of the for a fee rip offs…

I’ve known many people whose commute distance is an hour or more away. It’s certainly do-able if you know it’s just until you get a good footing in the new city. Books on CD, podcasts, learn a new language - there’s lots to occupy yourself during a long commute. After being in your job for a couple months and being sure you like it, you could then find yourself an affordable living situation.