How Much Money Should You Save to Move to a Different State?

Rose Morrison

Sep 27, 2021


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If you plan to make an interstate move, you might want to ask yourself how much money should you save to move to a different state? Keep in mind that the amount of money you need to save varies on whether you’ve secured a position with a new company, if you have family to rely on and how far you need to move.

According to’s 2020 Moving Cost Survey, only 40.8% estimated their moving costs correctly. Most people forget minor expenses or emergencies and don’t save quite enough to get them past the first few months living in a new location.

To figure out how much money should you save to move to a different state, you should consider the following factors.

1. Cost to Hire Moving Company

The first thing you must factor in is how much moving your belongings from one place to the next might cost. The more items you have and the heavier they are, the more the move costs. If you have little furniture, you may be able to move objects in a rented trailer or even your car. 

Use a moving cost calculator to estimate how much your move might cost. You can save money by boxing items and having them ready to move. However, if you get a sudden job transfer, this isn’t always possible.

2. Fees to Turn on or Transfer Utilities

Don’t forget you’ll have fees to start utilities once you arrive in your new location. Most areas require a fee or deposit to start electricity, water, sewer and trash service. You’ll also need internet access unless the site you’re moving to provides it. 

3. Deposit and Fees if Renting

If you’re renting a place when you arrive in your new location, you’ll have a deposit and possibly other fees. Own a pet? You may have to give the landlord a hefty deposit to cover any potential damages. Some sites also require a monthly fee per pet and limit you to two pets.

Depending upon the state’s rules, you may have to pay a deposit and first and last month’s rent. Some landlords ask for an application fee to run a background check before leasing to you. If you’re buying your own home, you’ll have mortgage closing costs.

4. Storage Charges

It’s common to have a transition period during a move. You might rent a short-term space to get you through the initial change and before finding something more permanent. If you need to store items, consider storage facility charges. According to Cost Helper, the average cost for a 10 by 15-foot storage unit is around $75 to $140 per month. You’ll pay more for controlled climate storage. 

5. Restocking Pantry and Fridge

Smaller costs add up when you move to a new location. When moving to a different state, you aren’t going to drag your pantry and fridge contents with you. You’ll likely use up what you have and need to restock when you arrive. 

You’ll start from scratch, which means you’ll need absolutely everything. Expect to spend quite a bit on your first few visits. At least double or triple your normal grocery budget to allow for the empty shelves in your pantry.

6. Medical Emergencies Between Jobs

If switching jobs, you may be without insurance for a short period until the new coverage kicks in. You’ll either need to extend your coverage from your former position through Cobra or take out individual insurance. Expect to pay at least several hundred dollars a month for a policy. The cost can vary widely, though, depending upon your income and how expansive coverage is.

7. Partial Year Taxes

You may find you owe taxes in both states. Set aside enough money to cover anything you might owe at the end of the year. You don’t want to get hit with a surprise bill from the state and scramble to pay it.

8. Travel & Transportation Expenditures

Another smaller expense for your move is the cost to travel to your new home and eating along the way. You’ll need to buy fuel to get from Point A to Point B. You’ll also have the cost of at least two meals a day, snacks and beverages for everyone involved in the move.

Is It the Right Time to Move?

Before taking the leap and moving, think about how much money should you save to move to a different state and assess the situation. Is the new job secure? How much will the move cost, and will your new company cover any of the moving expenses? There may be reasons to move that have nothing to do with how much it costs, such as getting closer to an aging family member or wanting a fresh start. Weight everything and make the best decision for your personal life and finances. 

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