How Much Money Do You Need to Move Out? A Simple Guide to Moving

June 25, 2019

Your time to move out is finally here. Or is it? These days, moving out can be quite the hassle, especially if it’s your first time. Whether you’re living at home or still in a dorm, the simplest solution to making any move easy is planning it well in advance.

Planning your move is one thing, but planning your finances? That’s got to happen before all else. If you want to know how much it will cost you to move out for the first time, you’re need to consider the following 3 expenses of your move and what you’ll have to pay for them.


1.    Rent

One of the biggest steps in any move is finding a new place to live. If you’re looking for your first apartment, you may not know which kind of unit to pick, especially in terms of its affordability. Should you go for a studio and fly solo? Or apply for a two-bedroom with another friend?

A simple way to estimate your ideal rent is by multiplying your net income by 0.3. This equation comes from the U.S. Housing Department, which defines affordable housing as less than 30% of your annual salary. Since landlords will typically charge rent on a month-to-month basis, it makes more sense to factor this percentage in with your net monthly, rather than yearly, earnings.

In an imaginary scenario where you work in Chicago and make $36,000 a year, $3,000 a month before tax, and around $2,250 a month after tax, an affordable rent for you will be approximately $675.

If that’s too much math, think of it this way: don’t spend more than 1/3 of what you earn post-tax on your rent. And if you’re not happy with the final numbers in your rent calculation, you might want to think about getting a roommate.


2.    Moving Out Itself

You knew it was going to cost you to buy your own place, but you may have forgotten the costs you’ll incur just to get you there. Often times, moving expenses will be more than you initially expect.

In the instance of a local move from Gurnee to Lincoln Park, you hire professional movers to transport your things to your newly leased 1-bedroom apartment. Their help could charge you as little as $700 for a standard move or as much as $1600 for a full-service move. As for long-distance moves, you can count on this price to keep on rising.

The cost of your move will vary depending on a number of factors. In addition to the move itself, which includes fuel and labor fees, the size, date, and type of move will all contribute to the final amount you end up paying. Other moving add-ons requested will impact this total as well.

One way to limit these expenses is by moving all your belongings yourself. Getting a truck rental such as a U-Haul for a day or two can reduce the total cost it takes to move locally. In a move from Gurnee to Lincoln Park, a U-Haul could cost close to $150, provided that you opted out of a number of additional services.

You could even try moving everything with a car for extra cheap, but making that trip is quite ambitious and not without its own challenges.


3.    Initial Living Expenses

So, you’ve found a place and you’ve recently moved into it. Just when your spending seems to have stopped, you’ll come to find that there are still more payments, some of which you may have already had to make.

Prior to moving in, you’ll have to put down a security deposit for your new apartment. This is usually the equivalent of one month’s rent. Prospective tenants also have to pay for application fees and background checks; these specific costs tend to vary by location.

Either before or after your move, you may have to pay connection fees to have your electricity, cable, and/or WiFi installed in your unit. Other utilities may need routine inspections, too, so be prepared to keep your wallet at the ready.

If you didn’t bring a lot of furniture or amenities to fill your unit with, you’re probably going to have to buy some to make your space more livable. There’s no use in trying to estimate these costs, however; the amount of stuff you’ll feel comfortable getting may differ from other first-time movers. Additionally, and depending on where you choose to live, you may even have to purchase your own appliances.

Don’t forget that bringing pets along is going to use up even more of your available funds. Living with one or multiple means you may have to make another deposit on their behalf. While no building’s pet policy is the same, don’t be surprised if you also find that a pet rent makes up another part of your lease.

Hypotheticals can only go so far: there is no precise amount of money you’ll need to move out, and total costs for the expenses listed above will likely differ from what you’ll actually need. If you suspect your time to move out is drawing near, the best thing that you can do for yourself is prepare as much as possible.

Continue researching what you don’t know, pose plenty of questions to landlords, movers, and other service providers, and start budgeting and saving for your future now. Learning what to do ahead of time will help you ease into your move that much more effectively.

Sure, moving out is daunting, but don’t sweat it. Why? Because moving into a new place is usually a step in the right direction.


Want some extra help with moving out?

We’re here to help. Applying for a loan can take the stress out of managing your finances for your future and your future move. Since we know how important calculating costs is, our loan payment calculator can help you estimate and compare loan payments. Start using it today.

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