Financial Planning When Relocating for a Job
I'm a single mom and I really want to buy a house. I have a possible new job offer in another city, but I would have to move and start over again. Although it would be an increase in salary, I think my residence or my son's day care would take up all of the increase because it's in a larger city. I'm getting by now, but what would be the best thing to do long-term?
Especially as a single mom we need to make sure that you do a lot more than "get by." It sounds like you're very excited about this potential move, but you need to take into account (which you mention) that if you're eking by now and you have your housing costs and child care taken care of, any raise you'd get would disappear with these new expenses.
Housing for many folks costs 30 percent or more of their pay, and child care can take up another 10 to 20 percent—that means your raise would have to be 50 percent! The key right now is getting a grip on where you're at before you think of the what-if's ahead. Pull together all your receipts, all records of your spending (from ATM receipts to food, clothes, entertainment, etc.) for one month. Tally everything up so you see where each dollar you make is going, then decide where you can cut your spending and save. So much of managing your money is about knowing exactly where your money is going ($30 in bank fees a month? Wow!), so you can assess your savings strategy.
I'm not sure what your hours are like now, but if you can take advantage of the fact that your son currently has family members around to help with child care, and pull more hours or another job for several hours a week, even $100 to $200 a month, can be just enough to help you do more than get by.
Read more of Carmen Wong Ulrich's financial advice. GO!