Budgeting for a Long-Distance Move

The millennial generation has a lot of distinctive qualities about it, such as relatively progressive social and political views, as well as the tendency to hop around from job to job. As a generation that has been openly considered somewhat entitled and reckless, millennials value a positive and inclusive work environment where they feel they get the attention they deserve.

Millennials are also recognized to be extravagant, living beyond their means and focusing on their quality of life over all else, rather than saving for the future. This is why they are characterized as feeling privileged — but this is truly more of a reflection of their progressive views that consider everyone deserving of a high quality of life, not just those who make lots of money.

However, the one-third of millennials who prefer urban living, in particular, tend to navigate towards up-and-coming cities that have high paying jobs and a thriving social scene. Sometimes, these cities that attract them are found on the other side of the country. This type of move requires forethought, preparation, and a lot of saving to be successful.

Moving to start new opportunities is a common way to make more money. You may also move to improve your quality of life while earning a small income. I’ve moved three times as an adult to advance my career. Moving isn’t fun but think of it as a temporary hardship like going to the gym to get healthy.

Saving Money for the Move

Saving money for a cross-country move is really important if you want it to be a permanent and sustainable move. Throwing your hands in the air and hoping you’ll figure it out as you go can lead you to some really rough times, so you should be prepared for all of the possibilities. Aside from finding a job before you get there, you should also prepare by saving a few thousand dollars so you can handle anything that is thrown your way on route.

Cut Your Monthly Spending

If you’re considering moving, give yourself time to really think about the benefits of the move and why you want to do it. Once you decide it’s definitely what you want to do, give yourself a timeline for the move so you can figure out how frugal you have to be in order to save a goal amount in the time you have before the move.

At that point, consider eliminating spending where you can. Spending less money is a good way to save money if you can’t simply make more money with a temporary extra job. Therefore, if there are any areas where you can save on costs, such as cutting back on eating out, walking or biking instead of taking Ubers, or getting rid of subscriptions you don’t use often, do so.

Tax Yourself

After you have helped cut your monthly costs, you can see what you can afford to budget. This is a good time to establish a moving tax for yourself. Determine how much you need to set apart to get by each week, and after that, put away 20 to 30 percent of the leftover income towards your saving account and don’t touch it again.

Even if this is only 50 dollars each paycheck, it will steadily add up to hundreds of dollars, which may be all you need for your move, although you should definitely save more if possible. Although acquiring several hundred dollars all at once may seem difficult or impossible, saving bits of your hard earned money will eventually turn it into a good chunk of cash.

Get a Side Hustle

If you barely make enough to live on, saving money can seem impossibly frustrating, as being extra frugal can mean taking away the few small things that make it feel like you’re working for something other than paying bills. If this is the case, it might be a better idea to save money by getting another job and making more money, rather than trying to further cut your expenses.

This can make it easier to save money, as you can simply budget to continue spending what you have been, but save all of the extra income from your side hustle. It’s best to look for a flexible side job in these instances, so you can choose how much extra you want or need to work to reach your savings goal, which can prevent you from overexerting yourself.

Popular Destinations for Millennials

There are several different cities where Millennials have migrated over the last few years, but more often than not, metropolises are the most popular areas. These are popular areas because of the job opportunities they offer and the average salary and cost of living that comes with it. Large cities also tend to be more diverse and liberal, which makes them more popular among millennials as well.

A few of the top cities where millennials are moving include:

  • San Francisco, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Austin, Texas
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • San Jose, California
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Seattle, Washington

The majority of these cities are found along the coast, although Denver and Nashville are attractive options for those who live closer to the middle of the U.S. The cities that are more central in the country often have a lower cost of living, as well as more suburban areas around the cities, which can make them good options for those with a low income. In fact, the number of poor suburbian residents has increased by 139 percent, compared to only 50 percent in urban areas since the year 2000.

Budgeting for a move across the country is not always easy, but when you finally arrive somewhere completely new and different from where you lived before, it will all seem worth it. By saving money, or earning extra where you can, you’ll have the opportunity to move to a city that is popular among millennials and have a chance to pursue the lifestyle you’ve been looking for.

Indiana Lee is a writer from the Pacific Northwest who enjoys writing about personal finance, social justice, and politics. You can find more of her work at on Contently at indianaleewrites.contently.com.

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