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 consider 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,

I moved back to my hometown after graduating from college. 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 from my mom, and my brothers and their families aren’t that far away either. Besides that, I’m still friends with some of the 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; it was so beautiful! I love the lifestyle and being able to hike whenever I want. I’m not sure how to plan a move, especially to a place requiring a three-hour plane ride to get to!

Please help me figure out what’s next!

-Motivated to Move

Dear Motivated to Move,

Before moving away from home for the first time, there’s plenty to consider. Do you have a job lined up? How about somewhere to live? A solid plan for how you’re going to survive on your own?

If you’re not sure 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?

Image of income and expenses in the app. Gains include income. Expenses include groceries, healthcare, restaurants, pharmacies, and unsorted.

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’ll pay for everything, from the moving truck to the first month’s rent in your new place.

Here are 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 rent or mortgage cost 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:

You’ll need to set up new accounts for utilities like electricity, gas, water, and trash when you move. 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 to cover the food cost for 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.

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

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

Moving away can be challenging if you have strong ties to your community. Are you prepared for a bit of isolation? Researching the area and understanding cultural norms can go a long way. In addition, consider 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 will achieve it.

It sounds like you’re interested in having more outdoor adventures. 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 ensuring you’re ready for this big step.


*Just remember, 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. You should contact a professional before taking action.

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