It might come as a surprise to you, but statistics show that Americans’ mobility rates are at their lowest in history. According to a Census Bureau, only 10% of U.S. citizens have changed their home in the 2017-2018 period. More than half of those moved within the same county, while 1.5% decided to relocate to another state. 16.4% of the respondents stated their main drive for moving was the wish for a new or a better home. Other leading motivations are establishing their household, family reasons, a new job, or a job transfer. Whatever the case, moving can put a major dent in your wallet. We’ve got a complete financial guide for moving to give you a heads up and equip you with some tips and tricks on the topic.
Regardless of what the figures say, moving to a new home is almost an inevitable milestone in people’s life. If you are leaving your parent’s nest, it might sound thrilling, empowering, and scary to live on your own. However, imagine this: You are working fulltime and have to move all your life and belongings to a new destination within a specific time limit. It comes as nothing less than stressful, annoying, and expensive. The key to making a smooth transfer and to lowering your costs is preparation and good organization.
Financial Guide for Moving…Out of Your Parent’s House
Living with your family has its definite perks. The comfort of the home where you grew up, the home-cooked meals, and the chores sharing all contribute to a cozy atmosphere. But let’s be honest, there is nothing more than when you get the freedom to follow your own rules and handle challenges on your own. As you enter the world of grown-ups, learning how to deal with money is essential.
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Budget Your Money
Before you decide to move out of your home, it is best to have a perfect overview of your expenses. Start with monitoring how much money you spend monthly on personal stuff – clothes, entertainment, snacks, hobbies, etc. Consult with your parents about standard costs – food, bills, cable fees, Internet, Netflix, etc. How do you move around? If you use public transport, how much is the price of the ticket? Do you own a car? What is the price of gas? Don’t forget to include payments that occur once or twice a year, but cost more like fees and taxes. Follow the numbers for several months to estimate your average monthly budget.
Make Your Financial Plan
Don’t be appalled by the idea of blueprinting your financial goals. Thorough consideration of retirement savings, social security benefits, and life insurance seems years away from where you are standing now. Regardless, take a few minutes to get yourself educated about the advantages and disadvantages of short- and long-term financial planning. Being careful with your finances from early on will improve your situation, such as paying off student loans to securing your retirement or covering long-term care insurance.
Once you know the average amount of your expenses, it is time to take a look at your income. Do you have a steady job? How much is your salary or monthly allowance? Do you get support from your parents? Did you already estimate how much can you afford for your new home? A commonly quoted rule is that the housing budget should not exceed more than 25-30 % of your income. If your take-home pay is $2,500, the rent shouldn’t be more than $750.
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Consider the 50/30/20 budget
A monthly income should be divided into three categories – needs, wants, and savings.
- 50% goes for covering your needs – housing, food, utilities, debt, and health insurance.
- 30% is for personal hobbies and sports, entertainment, shopping, dining out.
- 20% will be saved.
Here is the same example with a $2,500 monthly salary. You should not spend more than $1,250 on groceries, rent, and bills. A maximum of $750 is to cover personal wants, and the rest ($500) is to be set aside for savings.
Savings and Emergency Fund
Saving money often sounds impossible at the beginning of your independent life. However, it is a good goal. If you start as modest as $5 a day, you will end up with $150 at the end of the month. Moving out on your own brings risks, and having some money saved is highly recommendable. These savings amount is called an emergency fund that ideally will sustain you for the next six months.
Just think about what happens if you lose your job or you have to deal with an expensive car repair. After all, you want to be living on your own, not to expect your parents to help you. If you wonder where to keep your money, read all about the best savings accounts and how to get a higher interest rate.
Reduce Your Housing Expenses
It sounds natural and logical. If you wonder where to start, here are a few suggestions on how to bring down your living expenses.
Already equipped with your calculations, you can start researching apartment prices in the desired town. Maybe some areas match your requirements but offer cheaper housing. Invest some time in online search and if you are up for the challenge, check out more places until you find the one that best fits your budget and expectations.
Sharing the Rent
Another solution is to live with a roommate and to split rent and bills. At the same time, it can be fun and contribute to a broader worldview. There is always the possibility that you won’t get along. And even worse – it might end up in financial burdens if somebody doesn’t respect their part of the deal. Keep this in mind: when you sign your lease, the person named on that document is responsible for paying regularly.
Cooking at home is a paramount money saver. Why don’t you kill two birds with one stone by taking the role of a sous-chef in the kitchen when your mom is preparing the Sunday lunch? The two of you will spend some quality time together, and you will acquire some useful skills.
If you estimated that most of your expenses fall in the “wants” category, you might contemplate your lifestyle. Is there something you can change that will end up lowering your bills? Do you need to go to the gym or can you exercise at home or run in the park? If tourism is your guilty pleasure, check out last-minute travel deals. After all, now is the time to explore the world, isn’t it?
Finally, pay attention to climate change and environmental problems on our planet. Nowadays, there is plenty of information on the Internet on how to improve your energy efficiency and to save water. It all ends up reducing your monthly bills while doing the best you can for the Earth.
Financial Guide for Moving Across the Country
One can think of many reasons to move to a new city or even in another state. Some relocate because of a new job, a new love interest, or just in pursuit of a new home. If you look at it from a financial perspective, there are several crucial topics for you to consider before embarking on a relocation endeavor.
Lay the groundwork for a lucrative move. You don’t want to end up in a city with more expensive costs of living, or that does not offer jobs in your field of expertise. Plan and research the economic situation in your desired destination. What do you pay on average for food or transport? If you own a car, is there a parking spot available or will you pay for a garage? Some towns are bicycling friendly, and it might be better, in the long run, to invest in a bike rather than shipping your car.
What is the situation with housing? There are places where it makes more sense to buy a new home than to rent one. The location plays a significant role in price formation. Consulting with a real estate agent might be a good idea to advise you about the optimum solutions within your criteria.
Don’t Forget About Taxes
Investigate what the local taxes are for owning a car or property. Are there any specific environmental fees, registration charges, etc. What about your income? A taxable income, federal tax, social security, deductions, AMT, and state tax form your gross income. The latter vary from state-to-state, so investigate the relevant agencies’ websites and do your homework. Prepare to file two tax returns for each of the states where earned money in the last financial year. It might sound aggravating, but it is less complicated than if you are moving to Portugal.
Unless you are a client of a national banking and credit service that is widely represented in the country, you might deal with difficulties to access your financial institutions. Check if your current companies are within a reasonable reach. If you have to use an ATM of another bank, you will end up paying a serious amount of unnecessary fees. Weigh in your options and if the current service doesn’t function in your favor in the new place, explore which will be the best checking account for you.
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Always Keep a Reasonable Credit Rating
A credit check is as inevitable as proving your social security number when renting or buying a new home. It will influence the size of the security deposit in case you sign a lease. The credit score also determines the mortgage conditions. Before you move, make sure your credit rating is as best as possible and avoid the temptation of paying with a credit card.
Pay Your Debt
Moving to a new home often symbolizes a new beginning. Speaking in a financial language, it means to pay your dues. Debt management might be a cause of irritation and anxiety, but it is better to start without any payments to hold you down.
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Revise Your Information
It is a good idea to make a list of all the institutions, companies, and people that you need to inform about your updated address. You can do some of this online, but there are still services that you need to notify the old-school way. What about your mailing address? You can ask your mail to be forwarded to your new address, but it will cost you some money. A friend could check, now and then, at your old place for letters addressed to you.
If you are moving because of a job, investigate if your employer can offer a reimbursement of your expenses. This practice is common, especially if it is a relocation within the same company. Likewise, if a headhunter contacts you regarding a position in another city, require from the firm to pay the costs.
Be sure to understand what precisely the moving-expenses reimbursement includes and what kind of proof you need to provide. The best option is to have everything in writing so that there are no grey areas and frustration in addition to the new environment. Try to find out which area of the city to explore for housing. The time and expenses for commuting shouldn’t eat up your higher salary.
Financial Guide for Moving: How to Reduce Your Moving Expenses
If you are in your early 20s, in most cases, moving means finding a semi- or fully furnished apartment. Next, you will need to pack your belongings and stuff your car to a maximum. Hopefully, a few close friends will help with carrying the boxes and sharing a drink after you finish the job. Since we tend to collect stuff, we need more space and have less time. Luckily, there are moving services that we can employ.
A person could hire professionals, rent a truck, or rent a container. Shipping is another option. Whatever you choose, the timing is essential. If you are planning to move during the winter or Sunday – Thursday, it might be considerably cheaper. Plan for a couple of hours to research prices, ask for several quotes, and decide on the one that works best for you.
You could ask professional movers to pack your belongings, move them, and unpack in the new place. This service is useful if you own heavy furniture or delicate objects, like a piano. We recommend inquiring about the company’s packaging service. Engage with them, only if you confirm that it is good enough to protect your favorite vase. You can consider packing things on your own to avoid disappointments.
In any case, it is good to take out insurance in case any of your belongings get damaged during the move. You can get an idea of how much it costs to move your home across the country from moving.com. Remember, distance and weight determine the price of the service so you might reconsider keeping the big couch. And take the time to get yourself informed about the service since there have been numerous victims of fake movers. Protect your move is an excellent place to begin.
Pro financial guide for moving tip: if you want to save some money and personally take care of your belongings, you can rent a truck and drive it yourself. That is a good option if you feel comfortable maneuvering big vehicles on the highway. Factors in this scenario are time available, fuel expenses and costs of overnight stays (if needed). The price depends on the size of the truck you rent and how far you travel. You should plan well to organize your stuff so that you don’t end up with too big or too small of a van.
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Containers usually are delivered to your address on a specific date and get picked up again in an agreed time. You should provide a place for the container to remain parked for the loading process. This option is useful if you have space in front of your old and new home. Moreover, if you don’t have a place yet in the new town, your belongings can be stored in the container in a nearby location. Container services vary from company-to-company, and you may not be able to access your stuff. It might be the best option for you.
Reduce the Number of Your Belongings
When you are moving to a new home, it is the best time to reorganize your stuff. Donate or give away your furniture; organize a garage sale. Sell items online or ask your friends to come and take some of the things you don’t need anymore. Once you move, you can refurnish your home over time. However, keep your kitchen utensils – they seem to be more expensive and harder to replace.
How to Handle Two Homes at the Same Time
If you own a property, moving becomes more complicated. If you intend to sell your current home and buy a new one, we recommend that you first sell and then acquire the new real estate. You don’t want to have two mortgages and to deal with deals from afar. Try to engage real estate agents – they are quite aware of how quickly things need to happen and will do their best to help you out.
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If you are renting, it is a good idea if you allow some overlapping time. That will give you some freedom to organize your move, and you will not be so pressured to do things in a hurry. Be careful, though. Don’t pay double rent for too long. Consider renter’s insurance if your lease doesn’t protect your belongings.
Moving Loans – Are They Worth It?
Relocation is an expensive enterprise (hence this financial guide for moving). You are most probably already preoccupied with the expenses of the new home, the security deposit, all the bills and services around the moving process. If you need to move quickly and you are low on money, you might consider a moving loan. It is credit for covering your relocation expenses – from packing supplies to prepaying service fees to insurance and moving services.
You can get this type of loan relatively quickly, and the lump sum could range from $1,000 to $20,000. The interest varies, and it might get very high if you have a more complicated financial history. The payback period ranges from three to six years.
It is best to squeeze within your moving then taking out a loan if you can afford it. However, if you have to take out a loan, try to estimate all the costs involved. There is a risk of paying high interest on money that you don’t need in the first place.
Are You Excited Already?
We hope we made you feel a bit more relaxed about your future relocation with this financial guide for moving. Do you still have any doubts or fears about the moving process?