Here's the breakdown, for anyone who's interested:
- $999.11: Shipping costs from the post office and UPS; altogether I sent 58 boxes (at an average cost of $17.23) to Oregon. That might sound like a lot of stuff, but they were usually pretty small boxes, as I was mostly sending books. I lovingly carried most of them in my little rolling "granny cart" the three-quarters of a mile to the post office (where I would wait in line 30-45 minutes each time) or six blocks to the UPS store. The only exceptions were the final 11 boxes, the bulk of my CD collection, for which I arranged a ground pick-up. All 58 boxes arrived, with the notable exception of #14, which apparently succombed to the rigors of being transported across the country by media mail through the postal service. No word yet on the missing contents.
- $823.71: The rental car, including taxes and fees, for a full 7 days. I had a nice, dark red Dodge Grand Caravan, which easily accommodated everything I decided to bring but not ship. It was a comfortable, easy ride. If you're interested in renting a car for a cross-country drive, you can probably get something decent for as little as $450, but obviously I needed the maximum amount of cargo space.
- $352.99: Gas. Oof. Well, good thing I went when I did. Right now gas in the Portland area is going for as high as $3.49/gallon, so I guess I got off relatively lucky. The Dodge got about 26 mpg in the flat, open places, and 21 mpg going through the mountains in Montana.
- $310.52: Motels for six nights. Here I think I did pretty well. It helps to have low standards (and also to get military discounts). There aren't many places in New York City you can stay for even one night at that price. All of them were pretty decent, but I really couldn't recommend the Guesthouse Inn in Spokane by the airport.
- $259.16: Food and miscellaneous. This figure is too low, probably by $150 or so. I'm sure there's about $60 in packing materials from Staples that I didn't record in my ledger, and also I didn't keep up with all the cash receipts from McDonald's/BurgerKing/Dairy Queen/etc. during the drive itself.
Neither U-Haul nor anyone else will let you rent an actual cargo van (one of those nice Ford Econoline things) one-way; they are all in-city only. The cheapest truck U-Haul will let you have on a one-way rental is the 10-footer, which was quoted to me at $2,700 for a week. This truck gets 12 mpg, which would have doubled my gas costs. Also, they don't go real fast, so it probably would have necessitated an additional night on the road.
The bill for the credit card on which I put most of this came in yesterday. I've been saving and planning for a long time, so it felt nice just to write a check and be done with it. Paid in full.
Now, I just need to buy new furniture. Hello, debt! Whoo!