Experts Outline Considerations When Moving for Work
Posted By Amanda Abella on March 8, 2017 at 11:57 am
Moving to a new city presents challenges, whether you’re moving for work or whether you need to find a job as part of a relocation. Either way, the next logical question is how to pay for a move to a new city once you’ve got the job.
Ask people who have moved and they’ll confirm it’s not easy – or cheap. In terms of the most stressful situations in life, moving ranks up there with the death of a family member or losing a job. And that’s just moving to a new house. Fold in extra stress when the moving recipe cooks calls for a job in a new city.
But there’s help. Here’s a guide, compiled with the help of experts, outlining steps to take to budget when moving for work.
Ask whether the new job offers relocation
Before getting into budgets, first see if your employer will help cover relocation costs. Some jobs do offer this as a benefit to their employees so it doesn’t hurt to ask. It stands to reason that the more you can get an employer to cover, the easier the move will be on your bank account.
If not, don’t automatically decide on a DIY move. “Self moves are not always cheaper,” says Jessica Garbarino of Every Single Dollar. Garbarino, who has moved to new cities several times, says paying to outsource a move can save a lot of time and headaches – both of which can be costly.
Seek inside information before moving for work
When you’re moving for work, you may be able to get a lot of information from your new coworkers about good neighborhoods and cost of living. They may even be able to give you a lead or two. If you know someone who lives in the area, even better. Consider asking about the average cost of living. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to ask people who have a similar situation as you.
For example, if you’re single with no kids, then ask other people who are single with no kids. Cost of living varies drastically depending on your particular situation so it’s best to find people who resemble your lifestyle.
You can also get a lot of information by attending meetups in your new city.
One warning: Don’t fall in love with a place without considering your budget. “When looking for a place, know your budget and investigate where you can afford places before you actually start looking,” says Kelly Whalen of Centsible Life.
Consider that bigger isn’t always better. In many cases, a bigger place will cost more to heat and cool, and that can stress the budget even further.
Part two of bigger isn’t always better: Everything doesn’t have to be new. Pick up used stuff at secondhand stores or online and save a bundle. Many of the financial experts used Craigslist to sell stuff they didn’t want to move and pick up stuff for the new place.
Don’t forget the sublet option
A good trick when you’re moving for work, try to sublet your current residence before you leave. This will give you some income to work with until you officially start at your new job – and you won’t have to pay housing costs in two places. Added benefit: You’ll have the chance to get a feel for places in your new city without worrying about depleting your savings.
And while you’re subletting, consider it in the new location, too. “Look for a one or two month sublet,” says millennial money expert Stefanie O’Connell of StefanieOconnell.com. “This will give you a chance to experience your new city and get a feel for what neighborhood you like.” O’Connell adds that this also gives you a chance to check out price ranges before committing to a long-term lease.
Another benefit of this is getting a line on utility costs. If you don’t want to sublet, don’t give up on this idea of investigating utility costs. “Most utility companies will give you as 12-month average of past bills so you can have an idea of those costs before moving,” says Thomas Nitzsche of Clearpoint Credit Counseling. Of course, this is contingent upon someone having lived in this place before you did. You may also have to take usage into account. Either way, it’s a good thing to do so you at least get an idea of what to expect.
Factor in security deposits
Security deposits can vary, depending on location. That’s what Teresa Mears of Living On The Cheap learned the hard way when she moved from Kentucky to Florida. “When I moved to Florida, I didn’t know landlords would want first month, last month and a security,” she said. She noted how in Kentucky this wasn’t the case so she wasn’t expecting it.
Mears also warns that in some places you may have to pay a security for water, electricity and trash, so you’ll want to make sure you factor those in as well. The (sort of) good news: Online tools such as Zillow typically provide guidance into how much you’re expected to pay in a security deposit.
Remember to treat yourself
Since moving is so stressful, Emilie Burke of BurkeDoes.com suggests budgeting in some self-care to help you with your nerves. “Make sure you have a cushion for the things that help you feel grounded so you can tackle all the necessary tasks,” she says.
One essential: Go out to eat, especially immediately after moving when you’re too exhausted to cook. That’s why financial writer Justin Pritchard recommends budgeting for going out – to ensure you’ll actually eat something. Additionally, he suggests budgeting in fun stuff too like festivals or local trivia nights to meet new people.