Imagine you got a job offer for a position in a new city that pays $10,000 more than a similar position in your current location. The company seems great, you like the CEO and the job’s in a city you’ve always wanted to live in. Seems like an easy decision, right?
Moving to make more money can seem like a no-brainer, but salary is one small aspect you have to consider. Read below for the other reasons staying put may be your best decision.
Moving can be as simple as loading up your car and driving a few miles. Or it can require driving multiple days, renting a U-Haul and spending hundreds on gas.
Before you accept the job, see if they’ll offer to pay your moving expenses. These can help offset the costs of getting to your new place. You will most likely have to pay a security deposit for an apartment or spend time searching for a house. If you have to break your lease, you might have to pay a few month’s rent or extra fees. Make sure to factor these costs into your budget.
Too often people move to a new city and realize that their salary does not translate the same way it did back home. Before accepting a new job, you should look up local and state taxes to see how much of your paycheck will go into your wallet. If the new job comes with a hefty pay raise, see if you’ll be pushed into a higher tax bracket.
You should also compare property and sales taxes. These can make another huge difference in how far your paycheck goes. You can project your salary here.
Cities like New York and Chicago make it easy for residents to eschew driving and use public transportation. But cities with great public transit are few and far between. If you currently live somewhere you don’t need a car, moving elsewhere may require you to buy a vehicle. Often, the annual costs of owning a car, between $5,000 and $11,000, can wipe out any salary increase you’ll see.
Another scenario? Maybe you’ll have to live far away from work to afford rent, so you’ll spend more money on gas. Gas costs vary in different states and cities; depending on how far you drive, this can make a big difference in your budget.
Other Costs to Consider
A friend of mine once got a job offer in Detroit. While preparing to move, she realized that her car insurance rates were about to skyrocket. The quotes she got were as much as her car payments. Fortunately, she was able to find a better rate by living outside the city.
Expenses like utilities, insurance and even groceries are all dependent on where you live. Some cities are known for high car theft so companies pass on the risk to consumers. Others have access to fresh produce year round, so you can eat healthy and cheap. You can compare the cost of living from your current city to your prospective one online.
Deciding whether you should move to make more money can require a lot of research, but ultimately it comes down to where you want to live and what’s the best decision for your career. These intangibles can be hard to calculate, so ask your friends, family and mentors what they think of your new opportunity.