I’ve had my fair share of moving whether it’s from a more expensive city to a cheaper one (Los Angeles to Dallas), a lateral move (New York City to Los Angeles), or from a cheaper one to a more expensive city (Dallas to Washington DC). Whether it’s a job that takes you to this more expensive location or it’s your dream city, don’t let money get in the way of trying something new. Below I want to give you a few suggestions that might help you save as you begin this new season of your life. They are in no order of importance but hopefully you’ll be able to use one, two, or all of them!
- Sell your furniture especially the pieces that do not fit your new home (unless it’s a family heirloom). Storage units are good for short-term (think 6 months) but any longer they can be a drain on your finances. All the money you make, put directly into savings.
- Decide what you can live without? Do you need the same type of clothes for this new climate? You wouldn’t necessarily need a heavy parka in Los Angeles but you would need one in Boston. Be practical and realistic.
- Use points for the move. If your company is not paying for the move, things will add up very quickly. Make sure you explore all your options. Check to see if you have any points you could redeem for flights or gift cards (to home stores to decorate your new place). When we moved from Los Angeles to Dallas the moving costs were all on us. So I looked for ways to save money, I cashed in enough points to get 2 one way tickets on Virgin America. It ended up being $60 total for fees and taxes.
- If you are moving to a city, consider getting rid of a car and join a car membership program like Zipcar or Car2Go. It works best if you live in a fairly walkable city. Also, check out bikeshare membership programs too.
- If you live further out in the city and don’t want to use mass transit try to carpool so you can use the HOV/carpool lanes. A lot of companies, have boards where people look for other employees to carpool with. Ask Human Resources for information to see if your company has this program.
- Find free kids activities in addition to playgrounds and parks. This is a huge one. There are so many free activities out there nowadays for our kids. I’m always surprised that more people aren’t taking advantage of this. Some ways to find these activities are by looking online at your town’s website. Also, definitely try the community center nearby. Most cities and communities have free magazines and papers with upcoming events.
- This is an old tip but worth mentioning – Ditch cable and go with internet if your don’t watch a lot of television. If you watch 5 hours or less per week, see if you can find your shows elsewhere on the Internet. Maybe Hulu or see if your Internet provider has a special rate just for live streaming (Comcast in the Washington DC area has this).
- Limit eating out and stick with $5 meals. Think frozen veggies with brown rice // pasta with sauce // beans and rice // chicken (on sale) with rolls and frozen veggies.
- Take your coffeemaker to work with you and buy bags of good quality coffee. You will still have great coffee and you’ll save money too. My husband does this and uses this coffee maker.
- Two beauty tips for women to save money. Use at-home face masks to keep your skin moist and nourished. Check out this one from Sephora. You can still go to the spa, just go quarterly instead of monthly. If you want to get your hair done, try finding a blow out salon like Drybar. It’s $40 a blowout and cheaper than a regular salon. It’s a good alternative in between your regular cuts and colors.
- Life Coaching Bonus moment *wink* – Deliberately decide what’s important to you and your family and then decide where you want to focus your energy. Pick 2 things and find a way to keep it in your lifestyle. For example, traveling is important to me. But with higher expenses and our income not stretching as far as it does in Washington DC vs Texas this created a challenge. One thing that helped us was getting a particular rewards card with travel rewards (and a cash back option) so we could continue to travel and explore at a fraction of the cost. So please take the time and think about what your want and how you want your new life to look. You do not have to give up everything BUT you will have to choose your top 2 priorities and make it happen!
Happy Moving and Good Luck!