Saturday, July 9, 2016

My moving to the Netherlands: expenses

I already explained in another post the reasons why you should leave your country if the expectations for improvements for you and your family are vanishing. Sometimes our mind is extremely brilliant in finding explanations for not moving. Here I recap some of the justifications we give to ourselves:

"I am too old to leave."

"I don't speak the language."

"I don't have enough capital to make a move." 

"I can't leave my aging parents behind."

"My parents and grandparents were born here; I have roots in this country/I'm not going to be a coward and I want to fight for my country".

I respect everybody's decisions, but, really, if you are unhappy with your situation, or if you are scared about your job, your financial safety, just take a sheet of paper and WRITE pro's and con's for staying or going. 

I will tell you about my experience. 

First, you have to be aware, of course, that moving with a family may be hard and expensive, especially in the first year. So you need some savings apart. That's why you must evaluate carefully what you are going to do. If you are on your own, then this post is not meant for you: you typically have a native family to come back to if situation gets worse. You are in a lucky position. 

Second, I consider that you and your family rely on your own: no extra aunts, grandparents to ask for help. Me and my wife, personally, had our parents and relatives hundreds of kilometers away. If you have a network of relatives to rely on, that's good for you. 

I moved from Italy to the Netherlands in the Summer of 2014. I got the job after an interview in May. 
I had to plan:

1. the moving
2. what to do with my house in Italy
3. where to live in the Netherlands
4. how to organize the new school for my child

So, me and my wife spent one week in Leiden, close to the place I would work, in early Summer. I contacted some real estate agencies for a house to get for rent. I visited 12 houses in two days, I made up my mind for one of them with my wife ( we wrote on a piece of paper, in a pub, in front of a couple of beers, the advantages and drawbacks of each solution), finally one day before leaving we signed the contract. In the meantime, my kid was with his grandparents, in the South of Italy (extra expenses to go there, leave him with his grandparents and go back to Rome and fly to Amsterdam).
I say it again: you have to plan it carefully. 
Be aware we had our own furniture to move to the Netherlands: so we wanted an unfurnished house.
We also got information for the school that our kid would attend and for registering and getting the residence in the country. 

When back in Rome, we contacted several moving agencies to get an estimate for moving our furniture:  the cost was around 5000 euros. Fair price to cover 1750 Km, and the owner of the company removals was a nice and straight guy in his late fifties.

So, no vacation in 2014. Too many expenses and too many things to organize. 

It was just the beginning. Soon I would have to deal with:

1. Car registration - a nightmare!
2. Healthcare system
3. Social Security system
4. Tax office

plus a collapse of the real estate market in Italy that has prevented me from selling my house at a decent price. 
That's nice, eh?

Until next time. 

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