Are You Financially Ready for Moving?

May 29, 2013

movingI’ve been thinking a lot about moving lately. My sister’s family is preparing for a cross-country move, and I wonder if I’ll be moving sometime soon.

My husband is getting tired of being an adjunct professor, and he’s getting serious about applying for jobs at other universities. As a result of this new reality, I am aware that I could be moving in the next 12 to 24 months.

I’ve been thinking about what needs to be done if we’re to make the move successfully, and thinking about what we’ve done in past moves (two of which were across the country). Moving can get expensive, and it’s important to be ready for what’s coming.

The Cost of Moving Your Stuff

The most immediate concern that many of us have when we prepare for a move is the cost of moving stuff. Depending on whether you do it all yourself, hire movers, or use a service that allows you to pack your items but will do the driving for you, your costs will vary.

However, for most people, just moving stuff is likely to cost at least $1,500 to $2,000. It cost us about $2,000 total to move all of our things across the country eight years ago, and I assume the cost of moving has only gone up – and we’ve managed to acquire more things to boot.

Run simulations to see how much it will cost to move your things. There are calculators online that can help you compare the cost of driving your stuff on your own (including the cost of gas to fuel the rental truck) to hiring someone else to do at least some of the work.

Now is the time to start saving up to pay your moving costs.

The Cost of Living in Your New Location

When we moved across town, we didn’t have to worry about a change in the cost of living beyond our mortgage payments – which amounted to more than we were paying in rent.

But you might run into different costs if you move farther than across town. You might have a higher cost of living that negates your higher salary. Indeed, it’s important to understand the impact that a higher cost of living will have on your disposable income. If your new job provides you with a 5% pay increase, but the cost of living is 7% more in your new location, you are actually losing out.

Take into account such factors as whether or not you have a longer commute (and its attendant costs), as well as how much it costs for food, clothing, and housing. If you are going to have to spend more time to get anything done, don’t forget to include that. Sometimes, time can be more valuable than money.

Before you move, understand the realities of the situation. Can you really afford your new home and your new lifestyle?

Do the Research

Moving is a big decision – especially if you have a family in tow. You want to be careful about what you decide to do, and when you decide to do it. Research your new community, as well as the costs involved in getting there. You want to know that you are financially prepared for this next phase of your life, and that you will have sufficient funds to continue living within your means. And, make sure to keep a moving checklist for your money so you don’t forget to do anything!

Are you moving soon? Have you calculated the costs? Leave a comment!


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Miranda writes about personal finance almost every day. An experienced freelance writer, she's covered your money online and in print from every angle and is always looking for new ones.

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One Response to Are You Financially Ready for Moving?

  • Francieidy

    This is perfect. My husband and I were just talking about moving yesterday. It would still be a year from now but we were talking about whether to get a truck and drive it ourselves or hire a company. Do you have any companies in particular that you would recommend.