I’m very meticulous about my budget. I know exactly how much I’ll make after taxes and other deductions with any salary I’m quoted and I’ll know in seconds if that salary will be enough to cover my monthly costs. It’s all in an excel spreadsheet if you ever want to use it I’ll send it over, just ask.

But one of the things that keep me up at night is when I have no actual clue what my monthly costs will be. Moving back to Michigan I have to look at daycare and rent as my two unknowns. In this day in age of the internet we all want information instantly at the tips of our fingers. So it makes me wary of businesses that aren’t transparent about their costs or their facilities.

Working in sales I get why, you know you don’t want someone to be scarred away from a price tag without even knowing what you offer. But from a consumer stand point I don’t want to waste my time if it’s way out of my budget. And it appears that you have something to hide.

Rent I know will be much cheaper in Michigan than in Chicago and I would assume daycare would be similar. But companies know this too and most jobs in Michigan (at least in my field) pay much less than in other areas of the country.

So I can’t just go guesstimating how much daycare and rent will cost and say with confidence I will be able to make it on one income back home.

I started realizing transparency is important to me outside of this context as well. I don’t trust people who can’t be real with me about what they do, and who give me an overwhelming “shady” vibe. I know people don’t want everyone in on certain aspects of their life but if I feel I have to interrogate you just to get some clarification because you won’t talk to me at all, I’d rather keep you out of our life altogether because more often than not you probably have some skeletons in your closet you’re still trying to bury.


  1. Having moved from Chicago to Milwaukee, I have been delighted with the lower cost of living. It does take some time and ground work to find the best fit at the best price AND it takes about a year or so to finally feel like everything is working and your budget surplus is actually starting to show. I too have had to do this research and make comparisons and also make changes when it’s not working out (I went from the most expensive daycare to one almost a third of the cost!). The biggest thing is find a place you feel safe and a caretaker you can trust. Start working your family and friend network and keep your mind open to all possibilities like a work from home job or a nanny share. But you are on to something, always go with your guy instincts! If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not so walk away and keep looking. Best of luck!


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