Four Financial Things to Consider Before Relocating for Work

So you’re getting out of town and relocating elsewhere for work? Well done. It’s an exciting opportunity to advance your career and get a change of scenery. Making new friends and finding things to do in a place where you’re new isn’t easy, but that will come in time. Right now, you need to consider how the move will impact your finances.

Why do you need to think of money?

Lost in the shuffle of planning and saying farewell are the underlying costs of making the move. What might look like a big pay raise could in fact end up costing you more in the long run. Alternatively, the cost of living could work out to your benefit and make your future a lot brighter.

Here are few things to consider before relocating for work:

1. How Much Does it Cost to Move Your Stuff?

First things first: how much should you expect to pay for the move? If you’re lucky, your new employer will foot the bill, or at least part of it. Otherwise you’ll have to do some research to see how much you’ll be spending.

A ballpark price can be found on numerous online moving cost calculators, such as City to City Moving and It depends on where you go and what kind of services you need, but you can expect to pay a couple thousand dollars if you take a hands-off approach. If you’re the DIY type, you can rent a large truck for around $100 a day. Saving all that money makes this approach worthwhile if you can handle it.

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Price is just one thing to consider when making the physical move. Our guide to moving will help you with the preparation, the purging of unneeded stuff, and hiring the right services.

2. What’s the Cost of Living?

This is the biggest thing to consider. With the U.S. so vast, cost of living can vary not just across the country but also across a county. The pay raise you think you might be getting by relocating might end up being a lot smaller than expected when you factor in the price of apartments, groceries, utilities, and so on.

Take, for example, a young woman making $40,000 in San Diego. This is a pleasant city and somewhat affordable when you compare it to places like Los Angeles or San Francisco, but far from the cheapest place in the U.S. If she wants to move to New York City, she’d have to make at least $53,000 to maintain her quality of life, according to the cost of living calculator on

Alternatively, if she took a job in hip Austin, Texas, she’d only have to make $27,000 for the same quality of life she’s enjoying in San Diego thanks to a 33 percent lower cost of living. However, salaries are on average 9.5 percent lower in Austin than her hometown. That’s something else that needs to be considered when making a move.

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Some great resources to get cost of living comparisons can be found on Wolfram Alpha and Numbeo. 

3. How’s the Opportunity?

Let’s be realistic: Odds are you won’t stay at the same job forever. You might, however, want to settle down and stay in the city for the long term. That why it makes sense to check the available opportunities in a city. Some places are full of potential, while other places are on the decline.

The cities with the most opportunities might surprise you. The 2015 study by Nerd Wallet determined Lincoln, Nebraska, an oil boomtown, is the best place for job seekers. That’s mainly for people in one specific industry, so moving there only makes sense for some. Alternatively, chilly Minneapolis, Minnesota is also one of the best cities thanks to decent wages and the presence of several Fortune 500 companies.

If your job is in a competitive growth industry and in the right place, then you could have plenty of chances. If you’re in a declining city, then things could get tough if you leave the job.

Related: Looking to Relocate For a Job Opportunity? Ask Yourself These Four Questions

4. What About Fun?

This article has delved into the costs of moving from a financial perspective, but we here at GenTwenty know there’s more to happiness than that. We’ve heard from friends who have moved to a new place for a cushy job only to be unhappy with living there. Some cities might not cater to your interests, whether it’s a lack of arts, a lack of sports, or a completely different culture.

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It’s not impossible to find like-minded people in a new place. Sites like are a great place to see what people are into and find some fun things to do.

Remember: You Got This

The only other thing to add is “don’t panic;” it’s not as bad it looks and you’ll feel great when it’s all over.