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You’re young, smart, and up for a challenge. Maybe it’s time to graduate high school, college, or grad school and you’re thinking about taking the leap and moving to a new location. If this sounds like you, then we understand your excitement and your drive. There’s a lot to consider before taking the plunge and moving to your new “Paradice”. Here are some things that helped us go from Wisconsin Cheeseheads to regular Texas Longhorns at such a young age.
As with all young people, budgets are tight when deciding to move out and especially across the country. Our number one tip is not to rely on anyone else. Only commit to what you can afford personally. That way, if anything goes wrong, you can handle it. Going over budget right off the bat increases your chances of ending up back at home. Working at a new job is stressful enough, don’t add to it by stretching your paycheck.
Consider everything you’ll have to pay for. It helps to make a list of monthly expenses. Shoot for the high end and keep that number in your mind. If you have extra left over, it will be like rewarding yourself rather than scraping things together to make ends meet.
On Our List:
- Home Internet
- Car Payment
- Cell Phone
- Weekend Fun
One Time Expenses
- Kitchen Pots and Pans
- Cleaning Equipment and Supplies (Vacuum, Mop, Iron)
Moving Truck/ Taking Less
Trucks are expensive! Also, depending on your age, you may not even be approved for one. Companies require verification of address, possibly credit, and more. You may not have these things PRIOR to moving. Personally, we skipped the truck and literally just packed some suitcases. Looking back, we can’t believe we did this, but it’s all part of making things work.
Chances are you don’t have large furniture or things you need to be transported to your home right away. Just take what you need to get you through and worry about the rest later. If you have family that plans to visit you, ask if they can bring some things over when they come. It’s best to get accustomed to the fact that you may be starting over with some of your belongings. For us, this felt more like a fresh start.
Getting Familiar With The Area
When we decided to move, we barely knew anything about where we were going. All we knew was that it was going to be warmer weather and there were sure to be more activities than the dairyland we grew up in. Having said this, we should have done more research prior to going. Our expectation was pretty far off from reality, but we still love Texas.
Upon arrival, we quickly found out why TX is voted the number one state for allergies. We were not accustomed to the climate at all. This brought unexpected bouts of puffy eyes, runny noses, and endless sneezing. We couldn’t figure out what was going on and we thought we were just getting sick more than usual. Going through something like this can make you doubt your choices. When we found out the real cause, we were so relieved. Unfortunately, this was just a reminder that we should have looked into things more. There are a lot of resources out there to help you understand the demographics of your new area and common issues people experience when relocating. It’s better to be informed than surprised.
You’ll have a lot to learn when you get there. Top of the list would be to research grocery stores, gas stations, and other places your frequently go. (Salon services, Car Wash, Laundry). Our tip is to look for places you spend your monthly budget. You’ll want to know where to go when you get there. Starting out, every penny counts. Don’t go overboard just because you don’t know the area well, that’s a rookie mistake.
Nowadays, nearly everything has reviews on google, making life much easier. However, it’s important to realize that a lot of what you see may be paid reviews. That means companies pay website services to promote their establishment. If a property has a lot of 5-star reviews on top, and you find just as many one-star ratings underneath, this may be a sign that you are getting a false reading. Do your research!
Make sure you know what you’re getting in to and don’t get overwhelmed by all of the excitement. Take into consideration all of the details of the place you choose. Ask those important questions about how much the utilities will be and where the laundry is located. Think about your daily tasks and imagine doing them in the space before you commit.
One of the most frustrating things I found out before signing my lease is that no one can give you real estimates about exactly how much things cost. As a type A person, I like to be in control and know exactly how much things will be and exactly when they will be due. We found out that life does not operate like this, and that we need to be ready for unexpected expenses. I can’t stress the importance of remaining under budget.
Like many other people relocating to a major city, we found out that the surrounding area is just as big. There were so many neighborhoods and cities to choose from, we ended up choosing an area closest to the airport which I needed for work. It was only later that we found out we made the wrong choice.
Even though the city was big and seemed nice at first glance, we found out that there are two parts to the city and that we chose the wrong one. Not only was it a bad location, but it was dangerous. The crime rate was significantly higher than just a few miles away. A few miles can make all the difference.
To ensure you stay in a good location, check the areas school and crime ratings online. This will give you a better look into what you may be getting yourself into. When you don’t grow up in an area, you lack the knowledge of the locals. Things are always much more difficult to do at a distance, but this is a tip I would stick to.
If you’re coming from a small town like us, traffic may not be something you’re used to. Down here the rule of thumb is 10 miles = 30 minutes of driving time. This was drastically different from up north. This info is especially important for your commute to work and even more important if you plan on making the move without a car.
An inevitable background and credit check will most likely be part of the process when making a move. When we first left home we were so young, we didn’t have credit histories. To compensate for this we charged a non-refundable $500 fee. This was a big deal to a young couple.
Our recommendation is to get approved as an authorized user on your parent’s credit card prior to moving out. Doing this, your credit history will start and when your parents make their payments, you will get credited. This doesn’t mean you even need to have the card in your possession or make any purchases with it. All they have to do is add your name. Simple, right?
We had to rely on just ourselves to get through, and we took hits like this along the way. The earlier you educate yourself and start preparing for what’s out there, the better. If you’re anything like us, you know they don’t teach you these things in school and it seemed to us like we couldn’t squeeze much information out of anyone else either. Our goal is to help you prepare.
When crossing state lines, you’ll have to update your mailing address with the post office as well as your driver’s license with the DMV. In addition to this, make sure you bring all your important documents with you. Prior to leaving, I would also suggest making multiple photocopies of each document so that when you go to the post office and DMV, you have extra.
Our List Included:
- Social Security Cards
- Birth Certificates
- Mail with your name on it
Being Away from Home
The move may feel exciting at first, with so many new things to do and explore. After a while, you may feel you miss being back home where things are familiar. To avoid this, keep in contact with your family often. Texts, phone calls, and pictures will make a difference. Invite people to come down often. Every few months or so is ideal. Not only is it nice to show off what you have done, but it will be nice for them to get away too. Learn how you can save money on their flights. Moving away makes you realize how proud you are of where you grew up. It’s nice to have both aspects, and it’s such a feeling of accomplishment to realize how much you’ve grown.
We really hope you enjoy your version of Paradice and we hope to have made an impact on the experience you will have. We’d love to hear what you experienced your first time around.
Feel free to ask us questions we didn’t answer in this article. We’d love to hear from you!