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I’ve run into folks who feel stuck at home wanting desperately to make an escape. If you want to move out, I have some tips to share.
I’m proud to be from a small town in Pennsylvania with a population under 10,000 people. The biggest store in our town is (you guessed it) Walmart.
For college, I packed up my bags and moved to Philadelphia and never moved back home. Over the course of the next seven years, I’ve lived in Northern Virginia, D.C., Maryland, Atlanta and right now I’m based outside of Baltimore.
Here’s what I’ve learned throughout my moves and how you can also move out of your hometown if you’re feeling stuck.
Money Tip: Need help saving up for the move? Digit is an awesome app that can help you stash away cash. It connects to your checking account and helps you save up small sums automatically and it adds up! I’ve saved hundreds in the account and use it for a travel fund. Click this link to sign up and to get a special $5 bonus.
Set Yourself Up in the Right Kind of Job If Relocating
If you’re relocating to a new place, you should really get a job first.
You’re probably thinking, “Duh. If I could do that I wouldn’t be reading this,” and you’re absolutely right.
Here’s the thing, I may be a free spirit but having a source of income before I move is a rule that I will never, ever break.
So how can you go about getting a job where you’re going?
Getting an offer before you move is very tough if you don’t already have a connection to the new place or a degree/skill that a company wants to relocate you for.
Employers, rightfully so, will wonder if you’re serious about relocating. They also won’t pay for you to relocate unless you’re worth investing in.
If you’re currently in a dead-end job or position where relocation opportunities are slim, here’s my hack:
Consider working in the hospitality industry to move out of your hometown.
Basic retail or customer service experience can get you in the door in hotels. And once you’ve been trained on the policies of a hotel brand, your options for relocating with that brand (if you have the chops, of course) are pretty much endless.
It may take a few years, but if you stick with hotels you can even move up the ranks of management where the real money is. This is the approach that I took right out of college.
It’s also an approach many of my friends have taken successfully. They bounce around from here to there across the U.S. for promotions. The move may not always be paid for, but a guaranteed job at the destination is sweet.
Choose Your Priorities
Life is all about deciding what is most important to you at any given moment. If you believe something is impossible it’s because you have priorities in another area or fear. Maybe you don’t have much money for the move because you prioritize going out to bars with friends. Or you’re responsible for paying your parent’s bills, and that keeps you stuck.
Or you fear the unknown.
To move out of your hometown, you have to figure out if a new experience is important enough to you that you’re willing to do what’s necessary even if it’s uncomfortable. This can mean cutting down on time with friends, coming up with a new arrangement for your parents, or taking a risk.
In no way shape or form is this easy. But then again nothing great comes easily. I can say one of the worst times in life was the first six months living in D.C. It was the first time I was away from most of my family and friends.
I had maybe less than $200 in my bank account after the move. It was very lonely.
However, I eventually learned the city and started getting paid from the new job. The rest of my five years in the D.C. metro area were fun as hell, I made some of my favorite friends and have great memories. Ultimately, it was all worth it.
Cut Back on Spending and Then Cut Back Some More
There’s no way around it, moving is expensive.
You may need $1,000 to $2,000 depending on where you move. Look for a moving truck far enough in advance to get a deal.
Don’t buy any boxes, they’re super expensive. Instead go to a store and ask for the boxes they get from stock deliveries. These boxes are usually veeeeeeerry sturdy.
Ask friends and family for help moving to avoid having to hire movers. Work on your credit score! Your credit score will determine whether you need to put down a security deposit for utilities. It will also determine how much you need to put down for a security deposit. (Here’s how to negotiate your security deposit.)
A great credit score will mean you need to pay less upfront. That’s more money saved for your first month’s rent and the actual move.
Get a Good Bank / Savings Account
You need to put your money somewhere. Hopefully, it’s not underneath your bed. Shop around for bank accounts and savings accounts to see what options are available. Online banks and financial institutions often have better interest rates than typical brick and mortar banks. You may want to check there. Here are some options below:
If you’re looking for tips for saving money ahead of the move, check out these posts:
- How to Save Money When You’re Broke as Hell
- How to Repay a Massive Amount of Debt With a Zero-Sum Budget
- 107 Things to Do Instead of Spending Money
- How to Cut the Crap and Start Saving Money Now
Remember — saving up is something that my not happen overnight or even in a few months/years, which is where some people get discouraged and feel stuck at their parent’s house.
Here’s the thing: Being stuck or stagnant is a state where you have no plans or prospects. You’re not stuck if you have a plan in motion. Viewing it this way may give you some more motivation.
You can do this!
“Thoughts Become Things”
I love this quote from Charlamagne The God. I don’t want to get all woo, woo on you, but what you think about does come true. If you harp on being stuck at home and being stuck there forever it’s probably going to happen.
If you open up yourself to possibilities opportunities can come your way.