How much to save for moving/graduation?

The good news: In December I'll be graduating with a Masters in Library and Information Science!

The scary news: I'm not sure what's next. I'm hoping for an entry level position in a university or museum archive (usually term positions, 1-3 years).

The situation: I've been saving for moving expenses/interview expenses/setting up an emergency fund buffer (x amount of months of expenses...not sure how many), and had an original goal in mind of $4,000. I'm not sure how far that will get me but am kind of at a loss for estimating how much moving will cost and how many months of expenses I should save for.

I currently have almost $5,000 saved towards this goal.

I currently make $47,500 a year and have $24k in student loan debt. I live with my parents and my expenses are low. I have four-ish months until I gradate and am guessing it'll take 6 months to a year to find my first job, so I'll be operating under the same income and living expenses for a while. 

Does anyone have any advice on how much I should be saving and how much I should be putting towards my student loans? 

Some anticipated costs that I have in mind for this transition are:

  • Travel to interviews (assuming it isn't covered)
  • Security deposit/first (and last?)'s month's rent
  • Moving expenses (potentially across the country)
  • New furniture (starting almost from scratch)
  • etc?

What I'm most concerned about is setting up a comfortable emergency buffer. I have a feeling that I'll be taking a pay cut with this first job and want to make sure I have a solid security net.

22replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Moving, especially across country, is not cheap.

    Can you load all your stuff in a car and drive anywhere? Will you need to rent a trailer or a truck? Can you put it all in a couple suitcases and fly?

    Housing costs will vary depending on where you end up. Unless you have excellent credit and a pretty good-length history of on-time monthly payments or the place you live includes utilities, you'll probably have deposits on all of your utilities.

    I'd recommend at least $10k for moving.

    You'll also need to think about transportation when you're there. Parking costs or transit costs, etc.

    State taxes and/or city taxes depending on where you live that will also have an impact.

    Like 3
      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      I forgot another one related to transportation. If you are moving states and you own a car, you'll need to re-register your vehicle, get a new drivers license, and some states have property tax on vehicles in a addition to registration fees.

      Also you'll be buying groceries more or less from scratch when you get there, including more expensive things like spices.

      Like 1
    • nolesrule Thanks for all of the good questions to think about! I'm imagining that I will probably be driving and having a family member follow with a small UHaul truck. A lot of this is really hard to predict, especially because I don't know how long I will have to save (depends on when I get a new job) and may or may not be traveling very far. 

      The other part of this that is hard to figure out are my student loans. It seems like I'll need to have a lot saved to both be prepared to move but also to feel secure with a sturdy emergency fund (still figuirng out how much that should be). I'm able to save about half of my income right now, so roughly $1000-$1200 a month, and I could also be taking out a substantial chunk of my student loans. It's kind of a challenge figuring out what money to put where. 

      Like
      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Colleen Cirocco Are you saving for retirement in tax advantaged accounts? That space is use it or lose it.

      Like
    • nolesrule I am saving towards a 401k at 13%--we get a max so I'm trying to take advantage of that while I'm at my current job. 

      Like 1
  • Congrats on your accomplishments!
    With so many unknowns, it is difficult to budget for this kind of thing.

    The one thing I've learned over the years of 3 major house moves (including the most recent of moving an entire FARM), plus 4 1/2 office moves, is that it ALWAYS costs more than you think it will. It doesn't matter how well you plan or prepare, there are going to be expenses that you just can't anticipate for many reasons, so don't beat yourself up when it happens. Just expect it, and when they show up you'll be able to say ah-ha, here it is, and keep rolling.
    nolesrule has given you some great questions to ask and explore, it would be a good thing to just start looking at what's out there.

    In my area in the mid-atlantic of the US, renting an apartment is going to cost an average of $1500 for a 1-2 bedroom space, and that may or may not include any parking or other amenities. That is also not in the heart of the big city, either. It is very expensive to rent an apartment here. But there are also creative ways to work around that. You can search for people who are renting out rooms or "in-law suites" in their homes, and other options like that, which may be cheaper and/or have other perks to living in an apartment. In the beginning you can also make do with a lot of make shift furniture and adaptable options. Searching Facebook marketplace, craigslist, and nextdoor.com are great places to find furniture easily. Additionally, nextdoor.com is a great local resource that can really help you tap into things in the area you choose to live.
    Good luck, and enjoy the ride!

    Like 1
      • nolesrule
      • Been waiting 5 years for the Stealing From the Future fix...
      • nolesrule
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      farfromtheusual 

      farfromtheusual said:
      nolesrule has given you some great questions to ask and explore, it would be a good thing to just start looking at what's out there.

       nolesrule is literally in the middle of a 600 mile move. We're in a temporary apartment for a month right now in beautiful uptown Charlotte having moved from New Jersey at the end of July. We close on a house in 16 days.

      Granted, a corporate relocation is a bit more luxurious than a barebones move, but there are definitely tons of unanticipated expenses.

      Like 1
    • nolesrule hey, you're moving to my home town! Or where I grew up anyway. Enjoy Charlotte, there's lots of lovely things about the city.

      Like
    • farfromtheusual Thank you! These are all really great tips. I've lived on my own for many years before going back to grad school, but I've never paid as much as rent as what I'm seeing the averages to be. Not really looking forward to it but looking forward to being independent again nonetheless. 

      Like 1
    • Colleen Cirocco You're welcome. Yes, rent is outrageous right now. We just ended up buying a house a year ago because it was SO much more to rent than the cost of the mortgage for something equivalent! I feel for anyone who is stuck renting for a prolonged period of time. Glad you were able to take advantage of the support of your parents, that's a huge help. And now you're in a position to be able to handle the shift in expenses, especially with YNAB on board! (and start saving those Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons now... you're gonna need them!)

      Like
  • Congrats! Check into college career center fast. My dad just retired early from this field, go thing you're open to moving. Don't overlook civil positions, like on usajobs.gov at bases or installations for base historian or archieves, they don't pop up often, but good to check.

    On moving, almost all of my coworkers who have moved across country said next time they'll just take what fits in their car and buy everything else new. I feel like their average cost has been 3,000 for a household move, family of like 3. 

    My dad had a pure library science degree, hopefully your add of information systems opens up more opportunities.

    Like 1
    • Khaki Storm Thank you! I'm hoping my degree will take me somewhere interesting in my career, that was the plan all along. I just hope that I'll be able to support myself on a single income--YNAB has been really helpful in figuring things like this out. 

      Like
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Colleen Cirocco  If you want a better estimate of the cost to move, just take your example:

      Uhaul truck, say 30 a day (med size) for a week (load, drive, unload), 1,000 mile trip at .60 a mile (thinks that what they still charge), fuel for truck say 50 gallons at 3.60 a gal, the extra insurance they have you get at about 60, cost of added equipment (like a dolly) all of that is getting close to 1,000. Then add gas for your car to follow, meals, hotel (maybe 2 nights) packing supplies (just buy new boxes.from a Lowe's or home Depot, so much easier to pack with standard sizes), tolls for any roads, all might come to account 1,000 (just guessing). 

      That gets you to 2,000 for a 1,000 mile move. You'll also have move in costs, like deposits on utilities, deposit on rent, new license, new plates, food to stock up new place. 

      You could also get a quote from the moving pods. Those are really easy to load, at ground level. 

      Like
  • I would not pay anything extra towards student loans right now. You will need cash in this next phase, so accumulate as much as possible until the uncertainty decreases. If there's anything left over after the dust settles, then make a larger payment towards debt at that point. 

    Like 4
  • I agree that you shouldn't pay anything to the student loans right now. If you have ever heard of Dave Ramsey, he always says to "pile up cash" for these types of situations. Similar situations would be a pregnancy, job loss, etc. Pile it high and then after you've moved and know you have a job and a place to live, then take any money remaining in the pile and throw it at the student loans.

    I also agree with not taking everything with you. Especially since you live with your parents. I am sure they will let you leave stuff there for now. Depending on where you live, you may not want/need all of that stuff. And if you do, you can go get it later or have it shipped.

    @khakistorm has a great list. What I would suggest is to create a category group called Move and then create categories for each segment outlined. eg. gas, 1st and last months rent, etc. Then create funding goals for each category based on suggestions like those above. You can move $$$ around within that category group but it will help you visualize the pieces of everything. And you could add notes to each category with your assumptions so you know why you thought you needed that amount.

     

    Oh, and good job on graduating!

    Like 1
  • MXMOM said:
    has a great list.

     Thank you. Just wanted to reiterate my coworkers who moved last wouldn't take everything if they had a long trip to make again. They'd sell the big stuff (couch, fridge, stove, washer, dryer) and the hard to move stuff (pottery wheel, exercise equipment), and buy new or used when they arrived. Of course, they'd take Grandma's hutch, electronics, clothes...

    Like 1
  • MXMOM Khaki Storm dakinemaui All such great advice--I really appreciate it! I'm grateful to this community because I grew up with parents who were really bad with money and have had to teach myself good personal finance skills on my own.

    Like 1
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Colleen Cirocco aww, thanks. Also you could become a minimalist, sleep in the floor, only have banana leaf woven footstools/things for guests to sit on if they are not comfortable sitting on the floor, eat dinner sitting on the floor at a coffee table. Just an idea. I've seen it more lately on YouTube and like sites, smaller carbon footprint and all. 

      Like 1
    • Khaki Storm Haha honestly that probably won't be too far off from what actually ends up happening!

      Like 1
    • We went for about a year after buying our first house watching movies on a 55" TV (large at the time) while sitting on the living room pillows. Know thine own priorities. :-P

      Like 5
  • I love this site:

    ApartmentTherapy.Com

    For lovely pics of how real people on various budgets are being creative (and frugal) in decorating their apartments.  It will likely stop you from overspending on new, cheap-end furnishings you can't wait to replace later.

    Like 2
  • We have a home reserve sectional. https://www.homereserve.com while it more than we'd ever paid for a couch, it's survived 1 move and about 6 years. The nice thing is you can disable it all back the flat pieces if needed to move. Also, there is some storage under each seat. I mean, could could start with the chair (really 1 seat and 2 arms), then later order another seat and have a love seat, and later order another seat and have a couch. If needed you could work your way back down too (later move, smaller space). I'll note they are soft, but stiff, like waiting room furniture. There's no springs, just foam and wood, with a little netting.

    Like
Like1 Follow
  • 1 Likes
  • 1 yr agoLast active
  • 22Replies
  • 180Views
  • 8 Following