Dear Money Coach: I Want to Move Across the Country. What’s Next?

Let’s face it. Most people don’t have access to a financial advisor. And if they do, those financial advisors may not take into account the human side of managing money – like how spending, saving, and stressing about it actually makes us feel.

Cue the money coaches.* We’ve long been helping users in the app, but now you can write into our money coaches.

Dear Money Coach,

After graduating from college, I moved back to my hometown. I have a stable job and have been slowly paying off my student loans, but I’m still trying to figure out what’s next.

Right now, I live 25 minutes away from my mom, and my brother’s and their families aren’t that far away either. Besides that, I’m still friends with some of the same people I’ve known since elementary school. I really do love it here.

But a lot of people I know are getting engaged or having kids. Meanwhile, I want to move away.

I visited a friend in Colorado and it was so beautiful. I love the lifestyle – of being able to hike whenever I want. I’m just not sure how to plan moving, especially to a place that requires a three hour plane ride to get to!

Help me figure out what’s next!

-Motivated to Move

Dear Motivated to Move,

There’s a lot to consider before moving away from home for the first time. Do you have a job lined up? Somewhere to live? A solid plan for how you’re going to survive on your own?

If you’re not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge, here are a few things to think about:

Before you move, ask yourself:

1. Can I afford it?

Are you financially stable? Moving away from home is expensive, and you’ll need to be able to support yourself. Make sure you have a solid plan for how you’re going to pay for everything, from the moving truck to the first month’s rent in your new place.

Some expenses to think about

Cost of moving:

Hiring a professional moving company can be expensive. If you’re on a budget, consider renting a truck or borrowing a friend’s truck to move your belongings.

Cost of housing:

If you’re moving to a new city, research the average cost of rent or a mortgage in the area. Make sure you have enough saved up to cover moving costs and several months’ worth of rent or mortgage payments.

Cost of utilities:

When you move, you’ll need to set up new accounts for utilities like electricity, gas, water, and trash service. You may also need to pay a deposit. Make sure you factor these costs into your budget.

Cost of food:

If you’re moving to a new city, you’ll need to find new grocery stores and restaurants. It’s no surprise that grocery prices vary based on location. Make sure you have enough money saved up to cover the cost of food to cover your new routine.

2. Do I have a job lined up?

It’s a good idea to make sure you have some solid prospects lined up before you make the move. Jobs aren’t just a way to cover all of your expenses. They provide structure to your day, meaning, and potentially a new social support system.

Speaking of…

3. How do I feel about leaving my current home?

Make sure you’re emotionally prepared for the change before you make the decision to move.

If you have strong ties to your community, moving away can be really tough. Are you prepared for the isolation? Researching the area and understanding cultural norms can go a long way. So can creating a plan to build a new social network, including finding new hobbies.

4. Do you have a solid plan?

Moving away from home is a big decision, so be sure you have a plan. Know what you want to accomplish and plan how you’re going to achieve it. It sounds like you’re interested in having more adventures outdoors.

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you might be ready to move away from home to pursue those adventures. But if you’re not sure, it’s probably best to prepare financially and emotionally. There’s no shame in taking your time and making sure you’re really ready for this big step.


*Just remember, that we are NOT your financial advisors, tax advisors, or legal advisors by simply accessing this site.  Everything that you read or interact with on the site is for informational purposes only and you should contact a professional before taking action.


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