When you’re having a baby with someone, long distance is probably the wrong distance. But there are a few things you miiight want to think about before you decide where to settle down together.
For Audrey, a 29-year-old copywriter, proximity to family and cost of living were big ones. Both Audrey and her partner have family in Atlanta, which is why she ended up there after finding out she was expecting. Leaving New York and heading south gave her a support network. And discounted childcare. Big win. Care.com says most parents spend at least $10,000 a year on that. Audrey pays her mom $350-$700 a month for babysitting help.
Pro tip for other parents: see if your job offers access to a dependent-care FSA. That’s a type of flexible spending account where you can contribute thousands in pre-tax money to help cover daycare and nanny bills.
That’s a nice arrangement. How else has her budget changed?
Audrey went from paying more than $900 a month to share a two-bedroom, fourth-floor walk-up in New York to paying less than $650 a month for a three-bedroom home. She spends a lot less on groceries and nights out, too.
Related: How to Make Your Grocery Runs Count
Even the new expenses related to having a car (hi, monthly payments, gas, insurance, and maintenance) don’t throw her off track. Audrey still manages to save more now than she did before having a baby.
I want to save more, too.
Audrey worked with a financial advisor. A pro could help you find ways to save more, manage your debt, plan for tax season, and invest for the future. (You can also DIY these moves.) Just make sure you understand their fees and qualifications. And whether they’re a fiduciary (aka someone who’s required to give advice that’s in your best interest).
If you're willing to move like Audrey, check out The Bureau of Economic Analysis’s chart to see how every state stacks up to the avg cost of living in America. It’s based on prices for goods, services, and housing.
Doesn’t moving cost money?
For sure. Audrey paid $150 for a one-way flight and $1,100 for movers. We’ve got some tips that can help you save if you’re packing up to head somewhere new:
Shop around. Get quotes from multiple movers, so you have a baseline for negotiation.
Move on an off-peak day. If you can spare the PTO, moving on a weekday in the middle of the month usually means there’s less demand. Less demand can = a better deal.
Declutter first. You’ll probably pay your movers by the hour, so don’t move stuff you don’t need. Sell or donate your castoffs.
Make the most of “Media Mail.” The USPS charges lower shipping rates for books and DVDs. The price is based only on weight vs. weight and distance. If you've got a big collection, it could be cheaper than paying movers to transport them.
Get your bills in sync. Schedule the end of your old utilities, Internet, and cable services the same day you switch your new ones on to avoid overlapping bills.
Where you live plays a big part in how much you spend. And sometimes a move really is the best move – for your wallet, family, career, happiness, etc. Seeing what other people save in their new hometowns can help you weigh the pros and cons so you make the best decision for you.
Asking for a Friend videos highlight one woman's story. They do not necessarily reflect theSkimm's point of view.
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