Moving out of state is a life-changing decision, but it has to be made with a purpose. Many people will make this decision on a whim, assuming everything will work out as planned.
Unfortunately, this is risky and may not end up the way you want it to.
So, what do you have to look for then? What should you focus on before moving out of state?
The best place to start would be on the financial side of things. Just getting your budgeting to make a big difference throughout the move and ensure the transition is as smooth as it needs to be heading into the future.
Here are some of the things to look out for.
Saving Money To Move Out Of State
I recommend saving at least $10,000 before moving out of state along with a separate emergency fund. This will include moving costs, living arrangements, groceries, transportation, and anything else required to move to a different state.
Please note, this will vary depending on where you are moving and how far it is. The further you are, the higher this number is going to be.
1. Moving Costs
Studies show it can cost approximately $4,000+ to move across states, especially when moving everything. This number may vary depending on the number of items being moved and where you are going. If the state is far away, this may add up right away.
Moving costs are something the average person has to think about beforehand.
It’s easy to assume the costs aren’t going to cross $1,000, but that is rarely the case. Even when you are moving to a next-door state, you are not going to see cheap rates.
It is quite a long drive to get the items moved across state boundaries, and most moving companies will account for this during the quotation process.
You have to take the time to budget for these costs because they can quickly add up.
If you want to save a bit in this regard, take the time to get rid of items that will not be needed after the move is complete. This can include furniture and other things that you can repurchase when you move into the new home in another state.
If you are willing to do this, you will save a fair amount of money on moving costs, which may be worthwhile for you.
2. Living Arrangements
Where are you going to be living as soon as you move out of state?
If you are staying in a motel/hotel for a little bit, that will add up. If you are going to be moving directly into a new home (common option), you will have to focus on the upfront expenses that will come with that.
This can include all of the bills you will have to prepare for and potentially have to pay rent if you are renting.
It is always recommended to account for at least 3-4 months of living arrangements before moving out of state.
You don’t want to get caught out in a bad situation where you don’t have the opportunity to react. This can happen when you only give yourself a month or so for living arrangements.
3. Basic Necessities
There are going to be specific necessities that have to be accounted for before moving out of state. Don’t assume everything will be ready to go as there are so many moving parts and just getting yourself oriented to a new place takes time.
This is why you want to be aware of potential costs that will add up right away, such as your food expenses.
Get all of these funds in place beforehand, so you don’t have to think about finances when going to the grocery store in the first few months.
You always want to stay safe because not having money for necessities is a severe risk, not worth taking.
4. Emergency Fund
I strongly recommend having at least 3-8 months of expenses saved up in an emergency fund before you move out of state.
This is a fair amount to aim for, and you can always shoot for more when moving out of state. It is not easy to adjust to a new state even if you are excited about the move.
It is essential not to think about the money you will need to spend by having an emergency fund.
In the best-case scenario, these funds will be separate from what you are budgeting to spend during the move (i.e., moving costs, groceries).
You should look to have the funds in hand after the move has been completed, so you get the opportunity to adjust to the new location.
What is your income going to be when you move to the new home? Are you going to have a job? Will you be finding a job when you get there?
These are vital details to think about because having an income is essential. It’s the only way to ensure you are not left in a situation where the money runs out, and you are left in a state that you are still getting used to psychologically.
This can make it challenging to thrive in the new state, and that is the last thing you want to deal with. Keep things simple and know what your incoming is going to be at all times. This means you should have an overhead number in place for each month beforehand.
6. General Expenses
Several general expenses are going to come up throughout the first few months.
This can include utility bills, mortgage payments, and more, depending on your living arrangements. Even something as simple as rent has to be accounted for.
If you don’t have the funds for this, how will you transition to a new state? It is not going to be as easy as you want it to be.
The goal should be to account for these expenses and make sure you have at least 2-3 months’ worth beforehand. Going with a fair amount of money will provide peace of mind during a situation.
7. Transportation Costs
Certain transportation costs are going to matter when you are looking to get around town. It’s okay for some people to ride a bike, but that’s not always realistic over the long haul.
You may have to travel longer distances where Uber, taxi, or bus costs will start to add up. Ensure you have funds for these types of expenses so you aren’t stuck at home all day.
8. New Home Costs
When you are moving to a new home, there will be specific costs associated with moving in. You will have to think about these costs, including new connections or installations that will be done on the property.
Most people don’t think about these costs and assume the house will be ready to go. Sure, it might have been lived in, but each person has a unique set of requirements for moving into a new home, especially in a different state.
This means you want to factor those costs into your budget well in advance.
There you have it – most of what you need to consider if you’re moving out of state. In short, you can expect to spend at least a few thousand dollars on moving out of state — and this number is going to be higher if you move further away.
Either way, just make sure you’re financially (and mentally) prepared for the change.