Sunday, June 9, 2013

So you're moving to the big city: how to break the news and being prepared.

That's it. You've decided you're moving to the big city. You visited (or read up on) the city and like what you see, and you think it will be a good decision and a great experience. Living in the city has many opportunities and can be pretty exciting.

What will your family and friends say? Well one thing I can tell you is that you will be drilled on how you will do this, after all, it is a BIG move we are talking about here. Just "visiting" a city and actually living in one is a HUGE difference, believe me, I know. Here are some questions to think about that you should be prepared to answer yourself and that overly concerned parent, sibling, friend, etc:

Where will you work? This question will for sure come up because let's face it, living in the city isn't cheap, and you will need a job to pay for expenses. It's a good idea to start job searching at this point if you haven't already. Sometimes it's a good idea to get that job first and then make that announcement, whatever you are more comfortable with. Kind of a no brainer if you ask me, but when you get excited about something, we usually don't think about these things right away. It's easy to fantasize wanting to live somewhere without really stopping to think about how we are going to fund this new lifestyle of ours.

In the mean time save, save, save so you can at least have 6 months worth of savings for expenses. You will need this money especially for that security deposit and one month's rent that apartments require. You may get some backlash from others that living in the city means bills, bills, bills (duh!) but be prepared to have an action plan on how you are going to budget so you will be financially secure in this department. You don't have to spell it out at this point but just mentioning that you will be working on a budget plan so you can afford to live out there within your means may put that worried parent or friend at ease.

Chicago in the summertime.

Where will you live? Check your local paper and local apartment searching sites when looking for an apartment. In my case here in Chicago, I've used Chicago Reader and Chicago Craig's List. Also Domu is another excellent resource out here for apartment searching that I have used. Ideally, you want something close to your job. However, you may want to move to a neighborhood that has good public transportation if possible where the rent may be cheaper. Consider having a room mate which can help cut the expenses down. Also, apartments that include gas, heat, and water in the rent are your best bet and can cut down on expenses too. Even better, visit your desired city and check out the different neighborhoods and jot down which apartments appeal to you and give the landlord a call for prices.

Why? Why not? Try to stay positive and focused and don't let others try to change your mind. I had coworkers and relatives before I made my move who were such naysayers. These are the type of people you want to just shut out and not listen to. Many people are very comfortable living in their small towns and when they hear someone wanting to move to a large urban setting, it can make them feel uncomfortable and insecure for whatever reason. It IS different, and you will be dealing with a diverse population compare to where you are living now. But this is why you are moving out there right? You want to experience a new environment, and you prefer the fast pace lifestyle that gives you variety. Bigger cities offer many things to do, restaurants, great shopping, challenges and more.

So this post was just in a nutshell how to be prepared to make that announcement and how to answer those hard pressed questions when making a move to the city. Look out for future posts as I get into more detail on job searching, apartment searching, and much much more. Good luck!

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