Savings Report #47 – Landing in The New World

I’ve landed in New England.

Right now, the Ninja household is going through that momentary relocation struggle of not being able to do anything.

Want a Home Depot order online? Sorry, you need a debit card linked to a US address.

Want a US debit card? Sorry, you need a social security number.

Social security number takes 5-10 business days to arrive if we’re lucky.

It’s not much different for my work. I’ve needed to re-enroll in everything as it’s effectively a separate company, I can’t get paid until I have a US bank account.

We don’t even have a car!

The chip shortage in the USA is a lot more pronounced than I’ve witnessed in Sweden and the UK, 10 year old used cars are going for 90% of the MSRP of their new counterpart. Due to this, we thought it would be better to just buy a new one, a Hyundai that had 5 years full and 10 years limited warranty as we weren’t equipped to deal with the worry of a used car right now in a location where a car is a necessity.

This car hasn’t arrived yet, and I think it will be delayed for quite a while. We may be home bound for a month or two at least.

Buying Second Hand Furniture

Moving countries multiple times really makes you think twice about buying new furniture. Our £1800+ new corner sofa in the UK couldn’t be sold, our $800 new IKEA sofa in Sweden sold for $150.

All kinds of furniture and white goods sell for a fraction of their retail price, even if they’re only 12 months old, the depreciation is greater than a car! We didn’t want to make the mistake of buying new again.

We rented a van last week for the first two days of our arrival in the US and as well as stopping by at Costco (I missed you Costco!) and Walmart, we went on a second hand furniture scavenger hunt to deck out our empty home.

Here’s the haul…

Collection of old stuff – FREE!

On Facebook marketplace we found this guy who was clearing out his Mum’s house, we got to go in and pick up anything we wanted. We’re going to sand and refurbish everything.

That old suitcase? Clean it up, fit legs to the bottom and it’s a nice side of the sofa table.

Our favourite find was this old chest, it’s solid wood and metal. We’re going to re-condition it and fit a glass top to turn it into a coffee table.

40 Year Old Solid Wood Furniture – $20

This guy was selling the furniture “from his youth” which he said he purchased for $3000 40 years ago, for $20!!

This furniture was HEAVY, but we managed to get it up the stairs eventually. We’ll sand them all down and refurbish them with new handles and either paint or varnish.

Corner Sofa – $50

Our treasure chest find was definitely this sofa. It looks pretty similar to our £1800 UK sofa, it was in great condition and it fit our living room perfectly. For only $50!!

We may have had to drive 1h to get it, struggled to fit it into the van, and then had to take the bottom panel off to get it into the living room, but it was worth it.

We’ve definitely been converted to used furniture, I can’t ever imagine spending $1000+ on a sofa again, people are literally throwing them away just like we had to do in Sweden and the UK.

Finances

I’ve frozen my finance reporting for this month as I had to withdraw my Swedish ISK and English ISA until I get a Social Security Number and open an investment account over in this new land. That mixed with our Swedish house sale, and my relocation allowance I have around $250k (minus $23k for the car) waiting to be dumped into the stock market. I hope the markets continue to drop slightly until I can get re-invested!

This is the first time in over 4 years that I haven’t looked at, or reported on my savings spreadsheet. It’s making me anxious. But, hopefully it will be OK next month – this month will show as a ‘relocated to the USA’ in the savings report list.


See you in July!

OddsMonkey

4 thoughts on “Savings Report #47 – Landing in The New World

  1. You made it! Congrats!

    I’m surprised to hear you’ve bought new furniture before with your deep aversion to spending 🙂

    I actually prefer old heavy wooden furniture as you know it’s robust and been around years. All the new flat pack stuff is useless and will be falling apart in 5 years or sooner if you ever need to move house. They just don’t make it like they used to! Saying that we’ve picked up some decent stuff that is newer but solid on the cheap, just need to be patient. We’ve been stung a few times by just needing something quick and it ends up being useless, certainly a bit of trial and error involved.

    Looking forward to the next post about your American adventure

  2. Congrats on making it there!

    Loving your second hand furniture, particularly that ‘treasure chest’ – what a find!

    When I moved house, I took the family furniture with me (what could fit!) – figured it had already lasted over 20 years and still looked decent! New goods these days are not built to last, as TFS says! The only piece of furniture I ended up buying was a small dining table.

    Hope all goes well and you and the missus (and cat) settle in quickly and that the financial side of things are sorted out quickly for you.

  3. Congrats on the house move. We one of those brits who waste money on furniture. Bought new sofas for £1400, decided don’t like them so going to replace. Maybe after a year. An expensive business!

    Sounds like you might have got lucky if you’ve had cash whilst markets are falling. When markets are down I like to look at relative performance rather than absolute returns, as long as you’re not cashing all in, ups and downs shouldn’t really matter.

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