If you were offered a job in another state, would you make the move?
It can be a tough question. Americans are moving at historically low rates, according to the US Census Bureau. Nationally, nearly 10% of people who move do it for a new job or job transfer. I am one of them.
After college, I joined a small-town news station as a producer. It gave me an excellent experience in broadcast media, but I wanted to join a larger company that would offer greater opportunity for future career growth. I found that opportunity at Navient. I was excited to join the team as a communications specialist. But, it meant I needed to leave my hometown.
“Just after the New Year, I packed my belongings in my parents’ home and began my journey from Wilmington, North Carolina to the “other Wilmington” — Wilmington, Delaware, that is.”
My move was successful because I had a travel plan, created a budget, made new friends and continued to manage my finances. (I had a little help from mom and dad too.)
Using the tips below, you can also make a smooth move for a job.
Make a Travel Plan
After receiving my offer, I had three weeks to research and find an apartment, make my move and get settled in. I got a head start by doing some research on what Wilmington has to offer. I checked rentals online and asked my new employer for suggestions. I eventually narrowed my search to a few neighborhoods. When I had a weekend to visit, I visited my top choices.
Then, I had to pack up my dad’s truck and make the 448-mile drive to the “other Wilmington” I would now call home.
I made my move during the Bomb Cyclone, a weather mishap that covered the East Coast with a blanket of snow. My dad took the severe weather into account and booked a hotel room ahead of time. If you make your move during the winter or hurricane season, set aside extra money for unexpected weather challenges.
Fortunately, I made it to my destination without any significant issues.
Create a Budget
Creating and maintaining a budget is crucial when you’re planning a move. You may have to consider several one-time expenses. From the rental application fee to the security deposit, these costs can add up.
However, it is possible to look for alternatives to help cut back on high costs. For example, I avoided the cost of a moving truck, thanks to my dad’s truck. With the extra cash, I chose to splurge on a new sofa and bed for my apartment.
If you move to a larger city, the cost of living may be higher too. Research the cost of living and public transportation in advance. This will allow you to create a realistic budget.
Budgetary detour: Where I am from in North Carolina there are no tolls. During my drive to Delaware, I ran into several toll booths. While this caught me by surprise, it did not put a dent in my wallet because I created a realistic and flexible budget plan.
Budgets are not just for making a move. A simple budget could help save you money in the long-run. If you’re looking to manage your wallet, Navient offers an interactive budget worksheet that can help you keep track of your monthly income and expenses.
Make New Friends
Moving to a new city often feels overwhelming and can be lonely, especially in the beginning. I’m here to tell that you’re not alone. After you make the move, you’ll want to get out and meet new people. There are several ways to meet new folks on a budget. Consider free networking events, staying close to home or volunteering.
“Participating in employer-led activities is a great way to get to know your colleagues. For example, my new employer hosted a night at the ballpark.”
Make an effort to introduce yourself to your new neighbors. My apartment complex hosts several events such as free happy hours for residents. Through these events, I met four new friends including two who also recently moved to Wilmington.
Volunteering in your community is another great way to meet like-minded people. I volunteered with Junior Achievement, a nationwide organization committed to providing young people with the skills they need to make smart academic and financial choices. As a volunteer, I met other people who also have an interest in supporting the community through youth development.
Continue to Pay Your Bills
During the moving process, it can be easy to get side-tracked from your other financial priorities. It’s important to not forget to pay your bills, including your student loans.
“Although I focused most of my time, energy and money into moving, I also kept track of my student loans and credit card balances.”
Don’t forget to notify your creditors and the postal office of your recent move. This way you don’t miss out on receiving important information.
To make it even easier on yourself, use your bank’s website or app to keep track of your finances. I also found autopay to be helpful. According to Navient’s national study on financial health, Money Under 35, 51% of millennials use autopay to schedule recurring bill payments.
Once you start your new job, it’s key to make a good first impression and to thrive. Watch ‘How to Thrive: First Impressions’ part of the Career Playbook series for tips on how you can set yourself on the right path from the very first day on the job.
This piece was first published by Navient. For more financial tips visit Navient Blog.
Brianna Huff is the communications specialist for Navient and a graduate from University of North Carolina Charlotte. She recently moved from North Carolina and has settled into her new home in Delaware.