How to Budget When Relocating for Your Career After College


How to Budget When Relocating for Your Career After College. image packed white boxes

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When planning for relocating after college, it is important to take into account how much you will be spending on moving and how you should prepare financially in advance. For example, how can you budget for a move? what expenses are after college? Can you afford to live on your own? How do you figure out how much it would cost to relocate?

Graduating from college and entering the “real world” as a full-on adult is exciting, yet intimidating. After spending all of your life up until now in school, you’re finally getting your first taste of the rest of your adult life. You’ll suddenly find yourself thrust into a new dynamic with your friends, trying to enter the workforce, and facing extra responsibilities. Not to mention, you’ll also quickly come to realize how expensive the real world outside of college is. 

This all becomes even more complicated if you plan on relocating for your career after graduating from college. Relocating adds yet another complexity to figuring out how to plan for life after college. Not only will you need to get used to the place you’ll now call home, but you’ll also have to figure out how to get there and your expenses. Plus, leaving the environment you grew up in can cause a bit of culture shock, especially if you’re moving across the country. Below are some questions to ask yourself that can help you in your journey when moving to a new location after college in pursuit of your career. 

How do people afford to relocate after college?

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Moving out of your parents’ house can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you’re excited to continue to grow your independence and have a place to call your own. On the other hand, you may get overwhelmed by the responsibilities that come with moving out and might not be ready for that large expense. Let’s be honest, living on your own is expensive. 

If you’re fortunate enough to have parents who allow you to come back home for a period after college, seriously consider taking them up on the offer. Then, you can use that time to save up some money while also constructing a solid plan on how to move out of your parent’s house when you’re ready. That time might be when you get a job elsewhere, and it might come sooner than you think. 

In that case, you need to begin budgeting for life after college as soon as you can. The more time you’ve spent following a budget, the more accustomed to it you’ll be and the more money you’ll have set aside for your move. 

image; bedframe and packed cardboard moving boxes

How much should you budget for a move after college?

The quick answer here is: it depends. There are plenty of factors that go into the cost of a move. Use an online moving cost calculator for a better idea of how much it would cost in your specific case. It’s important to know that if you plan to do a majority of the work yourself, then your move would be substantially less money than opting for a full-service move. 

If you plan to relocate after college you may want to consider the cost of moving old broken down furniture vs buying used from Facebook Marketplace once you get to your destination. Of course, you’d need to budget for this, however, the cost may be less than moving these items across the country!

Another large factor that goes into the cost of a move is location. If you’re only moving across town or within a few hours of where you currently call home, then costs will be substantially lower. In this case, try to do the moving yourself or even offer friends an incentive with pizza and beer if they come to help. 

If you’re moving to another state or across the country, your costs will significantly go up. The bottom line: if you’re trying to stay within a budget, do as much of the work you can yourself. 

There are many things to consider when you’re relocating after college. Edit down your moving list to what you really “need” and a few comforts from home. Moving textbooks you will never use again is costly and you may be better served to sell them. Win, Win!

image: calculator on blue notebook (relocation calculator)

How do I live on my own after college?

Figuring out how to budget money after college can be difficult, especially in the face of so much freedom. However, you need to develop and stick to a budget if you plan to maintain living on your own after college. This starts with figuring out what you can afford for housing. If you’re looking to own a home after college, your first step to finding something affordable and within your budget is to determine if your credit score is in the right range to buy a house. Then you can begin looking only at the homes you know you can afford. 

The benefit of living on your own is no longer having to worry about pesky roommates and living around both of your schedules. An attractive sense of freedom comes with having a home to call yours and yours alone. Especially if you’re relocating to a new city for work. By choosing to live alone, you’re able to freely explore your new location and won’t have to answer to or even find a random housemate. 

However, the downside is that living alone can be expensive. You won’t have someone to split the cost of the house with, and then you’ll also be facing the added expenses of adulthood. This is when following tips for budgeting after college becomes essential to helping you stay on track.

image showing hands using calculator and taking notes for expenses when relocating

What expenses do you have when relocating after college?

When you relocate to live on your own after college, you’ll be immediately faced with expenses you might not be used to accommodating. Sure, you’ll be acquiring income from your new job, but it’s important to remain consistent with your budget for life after college so you don’t find yourself living paycheck to paycheck with no savings

Remember, what will probably be one of your biggest expenses will kick in six months after graduation: your student loan payments. If your payments are too high for you to manage, consider looking into options to refinance to lower your monthly payments and make them more budget-friendly.

Other big expenses include utilities, internet, groceries, furniture, housing repairs, insurance, parking, public transportation, car maintenance, gas, etc. If you’ve moved to a new location, then prices for these things might be drastically different than you’re used to. Larger cities especially tend to be more expensive for groceries and parking, but there’s potential to save if you take public transportation or walk. How much you are spending total will depend on your budget and the location you find yourself in. There are many things you want to consider when relocating after college.

Having the opportunity to relocate for your career after college can be overwhelming. But it’s also an extremely exciting start to your fully adult life. By budgeting for life after college, your big move, and the start of your life in your new location, you’ll be setting yourself up for long-term financial success. It can be hard to look that far into the future when just starting, but it’s still important to put things in perspective and find what can sustainably work for you in your new adventure. 

How to Budget When Relocating for Your Career After College.  Pinterest image

Matt R

Hi, my name is Matt and I'm the founder of Barefoot Budgeting. This site is dedicated to one thing... helping you budget and save money.

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