Do Your Research Or Your Budget Will Suffer.

When you are preparing to move some place new, especially abroad, it is important to do your research. Often, the idea of the city in your head is not going to match reality. Loek tried to tell me about Holland in the Summer. He told me all about how our home would not have AC and neither does his office. In my Southern mind, I could not imagine. I was convinced that I was going to die of heat exhaustion. I knew it was bound to be colder there than here. But no air, the Dutch must be insane. It was not until I found a 24 hour streaming webcam and saw that people were wearing jackets in Utrecht, in July.... That I realized, I don't have enough clothes that I can layer.

So what does this have to do with my budget? Well, because of my "oh shit, I'm going to freeze" epiphany, I started spending money on things like jackets. Two beautiful wool coats to be exact. Because in my mind, if the dollar is less than a euro, my clothes might be cheaper here. I also went scarf crazy! When making my original budget,  I didn't think about the fact that I will have to buy things like suitcases. Since I overestimated on the amount of money that I would spend in other areas, I will still come out pretty much on budget. 

Here is my new money saving tip: When trying to save money, it helps me to think about what I can't have if I go out to eat or buy that magazine. When you compare what you could do with the money as opposed to what you want to spend it on at the moment. The better thing will win, hands down. 

Image from Pinterest. I really need to learn the art of light layers. 




I'm terrible at layering, also. I know it's a trendy things to do (and essential in cases like yours!) but if I wear so much as an undershirt in this 110 degree weather, I think I might just die. Granted, I pretty much feel that way whether I'm wearing a couple shirts or just a bikini top. I hate Southern Summers! haha! But anyway, I think maybe the fact that it's hot so much of the year here, has led me to not be able to effectively layer in the colder months, either. I just don't know how to do it!! I have some sweaters or light overshirts, but mostly I wear one shirt and a jacket or sweater, depending on how cold it is. I wish I had trendy clothes to layer up...and I wish it was cool enough outside to actually do it!!!

I am not going to miss the heat at all! I am probably really terrible at dressing appropriately for the weather. I have been hoarding scarves almost everywhere I go because I am convinced I will freeze. 

There are plenty of spots to buy scarves here in Utrecht, and they do come in handy. It's really not been that cold this summer. It hasn't been warm, but coats really are a bit much. A light sweater over a t-shirt is more than enough. When you add in having to walk or bike most places, the energy you expend keeps you warmer. ;) You're more likely to need a raincoat/jacket (with a hood) so you don't have to worry about carrying an umbrella all the time, especially if your hands are already full with grocery bags and such. It's been ridiculously wet this "summer". I say this as a native of central Florida, the thunderstorm capital of the world.

If you have any questions about Utrecht, etc., feel free to ask! I'm happy to see another Southerner moving here to Utrecht! It's a beautiful city and I absolutely love it here.

Hey Alison,

Thanks so much for the advice! It would be great to have a contact in Utrecht that is female! You know men, Loek tries really hard to answer my questions, but sometimes, you just need to talk to a girl. 

Absolutely! A girl and a southerner! I've got to say, though, if you make pecan pie, you might want to bring some karo syrup with you. Oh, and molasses. Those are the two main ingredients that I can't get here without spending an arm and a leg for them.

I'm also an art history graduate, so if you want to talk art and architecture (saw it mentioned in another post), I'm a willing source. :) Good luck with the move!