Are You Prepared Financially To Relocate?
Most people relocate because the move will increase their quality of life in some way or another. But, if your finances aren’t quite prepared to carry you through the move and beyond, the negatives of relocating can more than outweigh the good.
Use these strategies to financially prepare yourself for your move ahead of time:
Create an emergency fund
In households that are about to undergo an expensive relocation, a well-stocked emergency fund is a requirement.
When you move, surprise fees and expenses will spring up at every corner. You might need to stay at a hotel for a night. You’ll be charged activation fees for every service you start. Or, you may not land a job as soon as anticipated.
Sell big-ticket items you currently own, like televisions, computers, cars, antique furniture and the like. In this way, you may be able to quickly create an emergency fund that will get you through a few months in your new home.
Have job offers before you move
Ideally, you’ll want to have a job lined up in your new location. This saves you from the emotional and financial pressure you’ll endure once your savings begin to dwindle.
Set up interviews with companies you’d like to work for before relocating. In doing so, you’ll have a higher likelihood of landing a job sooner than if you were to start sending applications once you arrive at your new home.
If you’re relocating because your spouse has a job offer, be prepared to adjust your expenses to be within budget based on a single income at first. Once you land a job, you’ll be able to add luxuries, like expensive cable packages and dining out.
Research and plan for cost of living increases
If you’re going to take on a higher cost of living, it’s important to have the financial backing to do so, especially if you don’t have a job lined up in your new location.
At the bare minimum, you should have at least three months’ worth of living expenses saved up if you don’t have a job in-hand. Include approximately one to two months worth of expenses for emergencies even if you do have a job.
Visit the area beforehand
With services, such as rent.com and craigslist.org, it can be tempting to simply see the listing’s pictures online and feel as if you know enough to rent the apartment, but resist the urge.
Landlords display only the most flattering photos of their rental properties. Therefore, what you see online isn’t always what you get.
You need to visit the property physically in order to discern whether it’s a safe neighborhood, whether the apartment truly is of high quality, or whether the neighbors seem to be trustworthy people.
Have a plan
If you’re moving to an area where you know very few people, you need a plan. Sure, it may be tempting to take the higher paying job offer, or to significantly slash your expenses, but how much of it will you really enjoy if you have no friends or loved ones in the area?
Moving to a new state is an emotionally taxing process. Create a list of your favorite hobbies and the qualities you like in your current circle of friends. Then, think of places (book shop, coffee shop, sports teams, church, and volunteer work) where you may be able to meet friends that fit your criteria.
Even if you feel that you aren’t prepared to move at this moment, by simply delaying your goal a few months and aggressively minimizing your expenses at your current location, you can still pursue the life you desire by edging towards your relocation one step at a time.