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How Much Money Should I Save Before Moving Out?

 

HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I SAVE BEFORE MOVING OUT?

Millions of people around the nation are currently in the process of moving out. Especially in tough economic times, many young adults have issues paying their rent and are basically forced to move into more frugal places or to join with roommates. For many, this isn't even their first time moving. Though, more and more often, the number one question asked by those moving is: How much money should I save before moving out? At Oz Moving & Storage, we want to help you find the right answer for your situation.

To be clear, all situations are different. Rent, security deposits, moving expenses, etc., can all range. We want to use our particular know-how and knowledge of the industry to give you a useful rundown on the process and the money potentially involved. We did the research; all you have to do is read it below.

 

DEFINING THE “RIGHT AMOUNT” TO SAVE

There are different reasons you may be moving, of course. You could be moving out of your parents' house for the first time or going a long distance to some college to live off-campus. You could be having to downgrade, or maybe you're even upgrading. You might have more to spend on monthly bills or less. Regardless of your reason or your situation, you will need to set aside and save enough money to handle the transition.

Keeping inflation in mind, the calculations you could have done last year would have to be tossed out the window and reconfigured today. Things cost a lot; as unfortunate as that is, it's a reality you must face. Plus, you may have to factor in student loans, renter's insurance, and other expenses.

We spoke with a financial advisor at Client Focused Advisors, Luke Demaria, and he told us that he personally saved for four months of expenses. This number isn't right for everyone but should be the bare minimum you save before making that big change. Monthly expenses like utility bills, deposits, potentially a moving truck heading long-distance, upfront money for first and last month's rent, etc. – it really does pile up in a hurry.

Calculate what you're going to owe on rent and attempt to save four times that amount before you go through with the move, just to be on the safe side. New York City is not cheap, especially if you have student loans and are moving into your first apartment. The cost of living can sneak up on you quickly.

 

SAVING RENT MONEY

Did you know that most landlords expect you to make 40-times the amount of rent you pay? So, if you're looking to get an apartment for $1,000/month, they expect you to make $40,000/year. Rent is without a doubt the primary expense of the renter, and many of the top financial advisors suggest you do not put more than a third of your income toward rent. In places like New York City, real estate website SpareRoom ran an analysis of rental prices and found that the rental rates are up citywide. In today's economy, this could potentially be the case even in rural areas well outside of cities.

The point is, when it comes to saving money for your rent, it will not hurt at all to go a lot more frugal in your living. Meals at home instead of Uber Eats or walking instead of taking taxis; perhaps even going for secondhand items instead of brand-new merchandise. This can all help you save money to ensure that rent isn't wiping out your finances.

Saving prior to moving is essential, especially if a landlord requires the first and last month's rent plus a security deposit. At $1,000/month for rent, that leaves you paying $3,000 upfront. This isn't something to put on a credit card. This is why saving up four times those expenses, as mentioned above, is a great way to go about saving your money here, if that's possible for you.

There are also fees you may be asked to pay even prior to renting a new place, such as being charged for a background check/credit check. No, landlords and rental agencies aren't going to foot the bill for this. This is an expense you may be expected to pay, with rates that could run you upwards of $200.

cost of moving expenses

COST OF MOVING EXPENSES

Moving isn't always as easy as the TV and movies make it seem. You don't just get fair moving quotes from the first company and have those big, burly, humorous moving men lug your stuff for you. In reality, you may have to check with multiple locations to find a fair quote. For some people, renting their own moving truck may be the best way to save money.

Oz Moving worked with Streeteasy to run the rates of what the average person paid when moving to New York City in 2016. Please, keep in mind that 2016 New York City has nothing compared to post-COVID, inflation New York City, or America in general. So, whatever these average prices suggest, don't forget to adjust for inflation.

• Average Studio Moving Cost - $420 - $700
• Average 1 Bedroom Moving Cost - $700 - $1100
• Average 2 Bedroom Moving Cost - $1100 - $1500
• Average 3 Bedroom Moving Cost - $1500 AND UP

Again, keep in mind these are in-city numbers from six years ago. Once inflation is taken into account, as well as potential long-distance moves or big moves that require bigger trucks, etc., these rates are certainly subject to change on the plus side. Some people want professional packing services and want their movers to arrange and stage the items, etc. These services would also add to the costs.

 

DOING THE PRE-MOVE CALCULATIONS

As touched on above, we're going to side with Luke Demaria and his four-month number on this. Pre-inflation and pandemic, three months would have likely been the magic number, even for New York. We're no longer living in that world, however. Utilities, groceries, fuel, and other expenses can shoot up instantly, and your landlord could always try to raise that rent pre-lease or between leases.

A moving truck, your first and last months' rent, security deposit payment, and buying packing materials, along with other expenses you incur, will require you to do some saving. Four months is likely what you will be safe with. Calculate your rent, average utilities, food, and other expenses for a month. Save that amount four times over.

  

ADDITIONAL COSTS TO CONSIDER

It's not all just the rent. We touched on some additional expenses briefly throughout the prose, but here are some of your additional expenses itemized so you can prepare accordingly.

• Furnishings: Especially if you're going bigger, with more rooms, you may find yourself spending more on furniture, appliances, etc.

• HOA/Community fees: Homeowners' associations and some apartment complexes will require communal fees, so be sure to check.

• Utilities: Different locations charge more per kilowatt-hour of electricity, and any new appliances you have might leave you paying more.

• Food: For instance, if the only store you can get to is a Whole Foods, you're going to be paying a lot more than if you were shopping at a rural Piggly Wiggly.

• Loans/credit: If you had to take out loans to afford the move or run up your credit, you might end up with larger interest payments that increase your expenses.

• Transportation: In New York, a 30-day unlimited use MTA MetroCard costs $121 and LA Metro’s offers a $100 30-day pass for those in that area. The bottom line: It's an increased expense you may not have calculated for.

How much do I need to save before moving?

 

 

TIPS FOR SAVING MONEY BEFORE MOVING OUT

Keep in mind that saving money is no picnic, to begin with. To help you get this job done, here are some money-saving tips you can implement.

• Live a more frugal lifestyle. Cancel those streaming services. Try coffee you brew at home. Walk instead of Uber. Shop secondhand from thrift stores. These things will help you save money.

• Get a good credit card that isn't going to gouge you on interest rates. You might just need it.

• Open a bank account. Having a checking account, and especially a savings account is going to help you save more money and be responsible with your spending. Walking around with cash in your pocket or a digital wallet makes it too tempting to spend, especially for young adults.

• If you're planning to move out in a few months, you might want to think about adding roommates now to help burden the existing costs, making it easier for you to save and plan.

• Make a spreadsheet of your current expenses and go down it like a politician with a line-item vote and see what you need to keep, what you can cut back on, and what you can eliminate entirely.

• Try a part-time second job. Many people stop going out to clubs and such when they're saving money, so their nights are free. If you started a decent part-time job, you could add hundreds of extra dollars a week to your savings and quit once your goal is reached.

• Sell what you don't need and think about downgrading, at least until you get back on your feet and settle in. It might not net you a lot, but every little bit will help.

 

ARE YOU READY FOR THE MOVE?

As you have likely gleaned from this page, moving isn't as simple as popular culture makes it seem, and it certainly isn't cheap. You're going to have to save; you're going to have to do some calculations to see exactly what you can afford. And that's just the start. Packing, moving, furnishings, figuring out transportation, etc.; it's all a lot to handle. So, if you're thinking about a move, the idea is to really, really think about that move. Put the proper planning into it.

When you are ready to move, you can get your free quote from Oz Moving & Storage today.

Note: Post updated 4/24/2019 to include most recent information.


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