Moving? Remember To Take These Steps With Your Finances
If you’re getting ready to move, there are some important financial steps to take — including finding the cheapest way to move for your situation.
October 28, 2021
Moving involves more than just figuring out how to move cheaply. It can be a major undertaking, whether it’s around the block or across the country. Planning, coordinating, and searching for the cheapest way to move out can become overwhelming to the point that you forget to keep your finances in mind — but it’s important to make sure that the move and how it’s executed are made in a way that makes sense for your financial future.
If you’re proactive, you can take a few steps to strengthen your financial position while ensuring that everything transitions smoothly to your new home.
What to consider before moving
It’s a good idea to make sure that your move makes financial sense for you in the first place.
There are plenty of considerations to keep in mind while preparing to move. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to approach a move from a financial perspective.
Change your address
It’s very important to change your address on file on any important accounts that you have. This includes your bank, health insurance, credit cards, the USPS, and many others.
Change your address with the USPS online or at the post office. This will ensure that your mail is forwarded to your new address
Change your address with all credit and debit card providers. This will ensure that transactions still go through correctly
Change your address with any important services you subscribe to — health insurance, automotive insurance, etc.
Generally speaking, you will need to contact each provider (bank, financial intuition, service provider, etc.) to change your address individually with each. Many providers will have an online option, but you will typically need to verify your identity in some way.
Change your insurance
Insurance is a major cost for most of us. Car insurance, health insurance, and homeowner’s insurance/renters insurance are the most common. And when we move, all of these insurance policies may change.
Before moving, contact your insurance providers to discuss your options. You will need to update your address on file, and your rates may change.
The most substantial changes will take place when you move to a new state. When you move states, you will likely need an entirely new health plan (you’ll get a special enrollment period to shop for plans), and your insurance rates may change substantially. Plan ahead for these changes to avoid surprises!
Consider career implications
Moving can impact your career, whether you are changing jobs or not.
If you’re moving locally, the main impact will be your commute. Be sure to account for increased costs if you’re moving further away from your workplace, as well as the impact of less free time.
If you’re moving a substantial difference and will be changing jobs, this is where a move can have a major impact on your career. Some important questions to ask yourself include:
Can I work remotely with my current employer?
What is the job market like in my destination?
Can I have a job lined up before moving, or will I need to find work when I get there?
Do I have savings that I can use to cover any gap in employment?
If you live with a partner, you’ll both need to ask these same questions to evaluate how a move might affect your household finances and career trajectory.
If you are moving to a new location but plan to continue working for the same company, ask the HR department if they offer any assistance with relocating. Some firms will help their employees with the financial costs of relocation.
Consider tax implications
If you’re moving to a new state, it’s wise to consider the financial and tax implications of your new home state. For the most part, this includes considering:
State income tax, which range from 0% to 13.3% depending on the state and your income bracket
Property taxes and other local taxes (if you are buying a home)
Sales tax or lack thereof
Considering these factors are especially important if you’re moving from a state with no income tax to a state that does have one. This can have a substantial impact on your finances.
More broadly, consider the affordability of the state you are moving to. Using a cost of living comparison tool can help give you an idea of how your destination will compare to your current home.
Settle your lease or mortgage
You may be focusing on your new home, but from a financial perspective, it’s very important to wrap up your affairs at your current home.
If you’re a homeowner, this means figuring out what to do with your old home. Your options are to sell it, rent it out, or leave it empty for a period of time. Regardless, you’ll need to consider the financial implications of your mortgage.
If you’re a renter, this means ending your lease.
If you’re on a month-to-month lease, you typically need to give written notice within 30-90 days, depending on the lease terms.
If you’re still under a term lease of X months, you will be expected to pay rent until the lease ends — whether you continue living in the home or not. Depending on the lease, you may be able to sublet the home to someone else, or pay a fee to end the lease early.
It’s important to understand your rights as a renter, and to fully read through your lease agreement to understand the specific terms that you agreed to. From there, you can make an informed decision about how to settle your old lease.
Even if you figure out how to relocate cheaply, moving can be costly, so it’s important to be prepared. The obvious expenses include actual moving costs, like a truck rental and gasoline. But there are other miscellaneous costs that you may not have considered:
If you’re moving to a new state, you may need to re-register your car(s)
Your insurance premiums (automotive, health, homeowners, etc.) will likely change
If you’re a homeowner, your property tax rates will likely change
If you’re moving to a smaller house, you may need to pay for storage
If you’re moving to a larger house, you may need to buy new furniture
There will likely be other expenses, too — pizzas when everyone is too tired to cook, gifts for new neighbors, etc. The point here is to think about these expenses ahead of time, so that there are no surprises.
Moving can be a fresh start and a good opportunity to get your finances in order. If paying off credit card debt is on your financial to-do list, be sure to check out Tally†. Tally helps you pay down credit card debt automatically and efficiently.
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