Moving to a new city on a budget

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moving to a new city

Moving to a new city is expensive at the best of times. But if you’re on a budget, you have to make every penny count. Here’s the secret to moving on a budget.

How much does it cost to relocate to a new city?

Your moving costs will depend on several factors, including:

  • How far you’re moving
  • The amount (and type) of stuff you have to move
  • Whether you’re renting a truck or using your own
  • Whether you hire a moving service 
  • Packaging, blankets, and other moving supplies

Since moving costs vary, try using a moving cost estimator to get a better idea of your potential relocation costs.  

How much money should I save before moving to a new city?

The exact dollar amount you should save for moving to a new city depends on your total moving costs. If you have a gap in income when you move. For instance, if you haven’t started a new job yet, you’ll also need enough savings to tide you over. 

If you’re not sure how much you’ll need, it’s wise to start building an emergency savings fund as early as possible. Typically, this fund should hold at least three to six months’ worth of household expenses. With a big enough savings account, you’ll have all the cash you need to move as well as some money left over. 

Should I use a moving company?

Using a moving company can be helpful if you have a lot of heavy furniture. But if you can avoid using a moving company, you can save a hefty chunk of change. 

Consider hiring a moving truck, freight shipping service like U-ship, or a portable shipping unit to lessen your costs. (And don’t forget to compare quotes for your moving services!)  

12-step guide to help you move to a new city  

Moving on a budget requires a little research and a thrifty mindset. Here’s how.   

1. Research the cost of living

The first step in moving on a budget is knowing the cost of living where you’re moving. Then, you can fit that cost of living into your budget, so you know what to expect when you arrive. 

2. Create your budget

The next step is to determine your net salary. Then, you can use that information to help you budget for moving out based on your new cost of living.  

3. Check your banking situation

Before you move, it’s wise to check that your banking institution has a branch in your new location. If it doesn’t, you may need to switch to a new bank or online institution. 

4. Boost your credit score 

Next, you’ll want to check up on your credit score. If it’s not where you want it to be, and you have time before moving, raising your credit score can help you get better rates on a new living situation. 

5. Pay down your debt

Paying down your debts now can help you to free up cash flow for your move. Plus, you’ll be able to start with a clean slate in your new home! 

6. Prepare for moving costs

Once your budget and debts are sorted, you’ll be able to start setting aside money for your moving costs. To estimate your moving costs, you can do some research to determine which items and services you might need. 

Keep these services in mind: 

  • Your moving van, truck, or company
  • Packing supplies
  • Travel costs such as gasoline or hotel rooms
  • Moving liability insurance
  • The cost to transport any pets you have

7. Sell unnecessary items

One benefit of packing is that you have an excuse to sort your valuables and determine what you don’t need anymore. Instead of tossing those items, see if you can sell them to pad your moving budget.

8. Find budget-friendly things to do in your new city

One of the hardest parts of moving to a new city is not knowing anyone. But with a little research, you can scout out budget-friendly activities that will keep your budget intact and help you meet new people at the same time. 

9. Research the cost of parking and commuting

Before setting out, you’ll want to plan your moving route to avoid toll roads and high parking costs. And once you’re in your new city, you’ll need to know how much it will cost to travel around your new city. These costs will vary depending on if you bike, drive a car, or take public transportation.  

10. Work with a local real estate professional

Working with a real estate professional in your new area can help you find budget-friendly housing in a safe area. And if you have a commute to work, they can identify areas that will make your commute that much easier.  

11. Use Google

If you can’t see your new home in person before moving, or if you’re researching living situations without a professional’s help, be sure to look at as many pictures as you can find. You can even use Google’s street-view feature to look at the property or local websites to research safety ratings in the area.  

12. Contact your new building manager

Your new building manager can be a great source of information about your neighborhood and the surrounding areas. If they’re available, you might want to consider reaching out to them before you move to find out as many details as possible about what to expect. 

Moving to a new city doesn’t have to be expensive

Building a budget for moving out involves more than just looking at the cost of gas and a moving van. You’ll need to consider packaging, insurance, and the cost of living in your new city. But with a little foresight and some research, you can make the process as easy as possible. 


How much should I budget for moving?

That depends on where you’re moving to, whether it’s local or long distance, as well as any moving services that you need to hire. A moving expenses estimator can help you narrow down how much you’ll need. 

How do you plan to move to a new city?

Planning your move to a new city involves looking at your budget, the cost of living, and estimating moving costs. You’ll also need to find a suitable living arrangement and establish yourself in your new city by finding friends and things to do.

What is the first thing to do when moving to a new city?

Before you move to a new city, you’ll need to find a job and a place to live. After you arrive, it’s time to start living your new life by establishing new friends and routines. And don’t forget to forward your mail! 

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