How to Financially Prepare for a Major Move

Stacked furniture and boxes ahead of a move

Whether it’s to a com­plete­ly new city or down the street, mov­ing homes can be both exhil­a­rat­ing and nerve-wrack­ing at the same time. Between pack­ing, trans­port­ing and the logis­tics of a move, it may feel like there are a mil­lion things to keep track of. In addi­tion to the phys­i­cal and men­tal aspects of mov­ing, know­ing how to finan­cial­ly pre­pare for a move is one of the top things to consider.

Through­out a move, it’s cru­cial to account for not only planned expens­es but also any unex­pect­ed costs that may arise dur­ing the process.  If you or your fam­i­ly are prep­ping for an upcom­ing move, here are some tips that will help to ensure things go smooth­ly while you remain finan­cial­ly sound.

1. Do Your Research

The first step toward a finan­cial­ly suc­cess­ful move is to gath­er the prop­er infor­ma­tion about your des­ti­na­tion. Although you’ve like­ly done some research on your new envi­ron­ment before decid­ing to move there, you should take things a step fur­ther and cal­cu­late the cost of liv­ing in your new area. With infla­tion and real estate prices on the rise, you’ll want to be sure you can live com­fort­ably in your new home.

An alter­na­tive source of rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion about a new area is a local real estate agent. Giv­en that a large part of their job is to be knowl­edge­able about the region, they can pro­vide you with valu­able insight that might not be read­i­ly avail­able, or that is hard to find through online search­es. If you’re mov­ing to anoth­er state, research­ing the state and local tax rates is impor­tant and will cer­tain­ly affect your mon­e­tary sit­u­a­tion, whether for bet­ter or worse. Trans­porta­tion is anoth­er fac­tor to look in to; in some cities you may not need your own vehi­cle and can eas­i­ly reduce your expens­es by sell­ing your car and using the local trans­porta­tion sys­tem to get around.

2. Be Sure to Budget

A family budgeting financially to prepare for a move

One of the most essen­tial tools for mak­ing finan­cial­ly-sound life deci­sions is a good bud­get. As a fol­low-up to research­ing your new area, you should use the infor­ma­tion gath­ered to cre­ate your bud­get. When it comes to mov­ing, it’s most effec­tive to cre­ate two sep­a­rate budgets—one for the move itself and one for your dai­ly life after set­tling into your new home. 

A mov­ing bud­get should encom­pass all of the costs asso­ci­at­ed with get­ting you and your belong­ings to the new loca­tion as well as any costs asso­ci­at­ed with set­tling in. This includes the expens­es for pack­ing mate­ri­als, pro­fes­sion­al mov­ing ser­vices, and trans­porta­tion expens­es, whether you ship your belong­ings or choose to rent mov­ing trucks. In sit­u­a­tions involv­ing the lat­ter, fuel and lodg­ing costs along the way can amount to a sig­nif­i­cant sum depend­ing on how far you’re traveling.

The bud­get for your post-move life will include many more vari­ables. A typ­i­cal month­ly bud­get takes into account all expens­es between neces­si­ties such as hous­ing and food, wants such as din­ing out and shop­ping, and mon­ey towards sav­ings or pay­ing off debts. To get the most accu­rate break­down of your month­ly bud­get, it would be a good idea to list out all of your expens­es in a month­ly expense cal­cu­la­tor. Once you have an accu­rate han­dle on how much you spend a month, you can break down your month­ly bud­get even more into week­ly or dai­ly bud­gets to help keep you on track towards reduc­ing your spend­ing. Regard­less of what you decide, the most cru­cial aspect of bud­get­ing is stick­ing to it, so be sure to set firm but real­is­tic expec­ta­tions for yourself.

3. Cut Down on Moving Costs

Items boxed in preparation for a move

In addi­tion to cre­at­ing a mov­ing bud­get, you should also think proac­tive­ly about reduc­ing the expens­es asso­ci­at­ed with your move. If you’re mak­ing the move for a new job, some com­pa­nies may offer a relo­ca­tion stipend to assist you with your tran­si­tion. If that’s not the case, there are oth­er ways to cut costs dur­ing your move.

One way you can save mon­ey in the short-term is to sell your exist­ing fur­ni­ture rather than bring­ing it with you, and then rent new fur­ni­ture for your new home until you’re ready to buy. This will pro­vide you with more funds upfront and reduce the num­ber of things you need to wor­ry about trans­port­ing. It will also assist in declut­ter­ing your new space if you have an excess of fur­ni­ture that you’ll no longer have a need or the room for. Your fur­ni­ture doesn’t have to be the only thing you sell before mov­ing, a yard sale can help you turn excess per­son­al items into mon­ey you can use toward your expenses.

Pack­ing strate­gi­cal­ly can also serve you well in terms of reduc­ing mov­ing costs. Rather than pur­chas­ing pack­ing sup­plies, ask friends or fam­i­ly if they have box­es and stor­age solu­tions they could give you or if they would be will­ing to lend a hand in the mov­ing process, so you can avoid hir­ing pro­fes­sion­al movers. In terms of strate­gi­cal­ly pack­ing, as opposed to just throw­ing things into box­es, try nest­ing items with­in each oth­er to reduce the space tak­en up, allow­ing you to fit more into a sin­gle box. Con­dens­ing the num­ber of box­es to move means you may be able to use a small­er mov­ing truck, sav­ing mon­ey on both the fees as well as the fuel costs.

4. Optimize Your Financials

Woman paying off old bills and credit cards ahead of a move

As we’ve cov­ered, a major move is like­ly to car­ry sig­nif­i­cant costs from the mate­ri­als them­selves to mov­ing ser­vices, trucks, and expens­es along the way. Whether you’re wor­ried about your finan­cial stand­ing or unsure if you have the cash on hand to pay for your move, there are options avail­able to assist you. In instances of long-dis­tance moves, some peo­ple find it ben­e­fi­cial to seek out a per­son­al loan. Per­son­al loans may be used for any num­ber of rea­sons, but a com­mon use is to cov­er expen­sive moves, home fur­nish­ing efforts, or any oth­er major life change asso­ci­at­ed with mov­ing. If you have enough time to tru­ly cre­ate a mov­ing bud­get, you should not have to rely on a loan or oth­er out­side help to effec­tive­ly move.

Right now is also the per­fect time to con­sol­i­date any debts that you don’t want to bring to your next city. Lit­tle things like out­stand­ing util­i­ty bills, park­ing tick­ets, or old doc­tor’s bills can add up. Use the time you have now to tie up any loose ends in your cur­rent city. Start­ing with the clean­est slate pos­si­ble will only make your move that much better!

When it comes to a major move, you can either make on-the-fly deci­sions and scram­ble to make every­thing work, or you can take the time to plan every­thing out and seek a more finan­cial­ly-fea­si­ble out­come. Giv­en the stress and anx­i­ety that often coin­cides with mov­ing, there’s no rea­son to make things hard­er on your­self by going at it unpre­pared. In using these tips to finan­cial­ly pre­pare for a move, you’ll not only feel more secure mon­e­tar­i­ly but will have more funds to explore your area and make your new place feel like home.

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