The trend of young people moving to cities is increasing each year. However, no matter the age, there are factors everyone should consider when moving to an urban area. Even if this is not your first time moving to a city, these tips apply for changing cities as well.
If you have never lived in a city before, or are moving to a new one, you’re most likely going to have to shake up your budget a bit. Cities are pricey, and depending on which one you’re in, they can be painfully expensive (check out CBS’s list of the 10 most expensive cities in the US). Do some research on the cost of living in your destination city, including your new estimated rent (which will help you determine whether or not you will need to find roommates), transportation costs, food, and other social/personal costs you may have and try to lay those next to your old budget. Going in with a plan will make you a lot more likely to stay accountable with your spending and saving.
Start with some heavy research on how the city is laid out and the different sections/districts it has. Try to pinpoint the not-so-nice areas, and how you can avoid them. Safety is something to be conscientious of always, but especially more so in a city where everything is new and you are not yet fully aware of which areas tend to be sketchier than others. Then, try to find the nicer/safer areas and see if they fit within your budget. Try to figure out the logistics of where you’re going to buy your groceries and how you’re going to get them up to your apartment. In addition, research health care providers in the area, and other places you may need to shop.
If you already have a job, amazing! Look in to whether or not your company offers any benefits or stipends for relocation. If you are moving without a job, first be sure you have at least three months’ worth of savings based on your new budget to get you through to (hopefully) finding a job in that time. See if your field has opportunity for hiring and growth in the city. For example, there are probably more opportunities for designers in NYC rather than DC, and more policy jobs in DC rather than NYC.
The best way to make a new place feel like home is to find places that make you feel excited, inspired, and more comfortable. Explore and find that new ‘go-to’ restaurant or coffee shop. Set out in search of your new favorite running path or nearby park to walk your dog. Discover the bar with the best live music, or happy hour prices. Make this new city home, and try to find other people that share your interests by joining organizations or volunteering.
If you moved for your job, which is pretty probable, make it worthwhile and set some realistic goals on advancing your career. It would be helpful to set these goals, then ask to sit down with your manager/supervisor to ensure you have the same vision for your career and get advice on how to get there.
Every city has its’ reputation, but you can easily make yourself happy wherever you are with the right attitude and mindset. Keep checking back for advice on how to move like a pro, and all the things you should be doing to keep yourself on track post-move!