Moving to a new city? Changing jobs? Beginning or ending a relationship? All of the above at once? New life changes can be exciting, but also overwhelming. No matter where life takes you, you’ll want to stay in control of your finances.
Seeking a new home.
It’s vital to understand the cost of living when contemplating a new location – rent and home costs can vary drastically from city to city. Utility costs and car insurance premiums can also differ, as well as state and local taxes. You may decide to rent as you get to know a new area, but be sure to note if there are extra charges for parking, having a pet, on-site storage, and more. Do as much research as you can before you commit to a new home base. Don’t forget to factor in possible emotional costs of climate, access to nature, and local entertainment opportunities.
If using professional movers, get quotes from different companies to compare costs and what’s included. Having an extra person on the moving crew or going over your estimated hours could be big budget breakers. Consider if it would make better financial sense to sell current furnishings before you move and buy new or secondhand furniture at your new location.
A new job often means an increase in pay, but look at the big picture: Will you have better benefits or will you need to pay more for health insurance? Do you need a new wardrobe? Will you be spending more on commuting costs, whether taking public transportation or fueling your own vehicle?
If a job change means a pay cut, be sure to look for ways you can reduce spending so you aren’t overextending your finances and accumulating debt. Contact your financial institution, utility companies, student loan companies, etc., to explain your new situation and if you anticipate any financial hardship – it’s best to be proactive and honest than to avoid paying bills, which can damage your credit score.
Combining or separating finances.
Communication is key when you are in a new relationship or ending one. Before you decide to join finances, have a thorough discussion about your money history and current financial standing, your savings goals, and how you’re going to pay bills. Consider putting a plan in writing so it’s clear for you both.
If you’re breaking up your relationship and your finances, you’ll want to communicate clearly to make separating finances go as smoothly as possible. Your original written plan can also help provide clarity at this time. If you and your partner can’t make a firm decision or compromise, you may need to seek assistance from an unbiased financial mediator.
As you work to put together a budget to meet your changing needs, our Money Management Planner can help. This 12-page workbook will guide you through the process of creating a spending plan. It includes tips and worksheets to help you. Download your free copy to get started.
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