Moving while short on cash?

Moving out on your own requires more than a futon and determination.  It requires money, money to pay for the move itself and money to cover you over the ensuing months.

If you’re thinking about moving, you need to make sure that it’s economically feasible.  Here’s how to make an accurate moving budget:

Dual Budgets

You need to create two budgets if you are moving out.  First, you need to calculate all of the moving costs that are directly related to the upcoming move.  Second, you need to budget your monthly expenses after you move.

The Moving Budget

Take a look at your bank account.  How much is there?  Hopefully a couple thousand dollars, because most moves cost at least $1,500.  Here’s what you will need to pay within the first couple weeks of moving:

  • First month’s rent
  • Rental deposit – Almost all apartments and rentals require an up-front deposit equal to a month of rent, and sometimes more.
  • Groceries, tools and basics needs – You will need to acquire everything that you need to live right after moving.  This includes soap, scrubs, toilet paper, a shower curtain, towels, food, spices, garbage bags, ziploc bags… the list goes on.
  • Utilities – Some utilities require a deposit or the equivalent.  For example, Internet services usually require that you pay for a modem.
  • Moving expenses Even if you don’t have many personal items and furniture, moving is not a cheap experience, especially if you’re moving across the country.  If you have to hire a moving company, these expenses alone can reach a few thousand dollars.

The Monthly Budget

After you consider the cost of moving itself, you need to figure out whether you will be making enough money to cover your monthly bills in your new place.  This is especially important if you’re moving without a job.  Here are common monthly expenses you need to consider:

  • Rent
  • Groceries
  • Livelihood expenses – Your nights out, luxuries, clothes shopping and lunches with friends.
  • Utilities
  • Gas / public transit
  • Parking – If you’re moving to a city, you might have to pay for a parking spot.
  • Insurance – Auto and health insurance are the most vital and should be owned by everybody, even those whose jobs don’t provide it.
  • School/loans/debt – Whether you’re in school or recently out of it, you probably owe someone some money.  This will need to be considered.


If it all seems too expensive, look into some ways to save money on moving.

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