Last July, our family moved 2,000 miles, from the suburbs of Chicago to Tucson, Arizona. I thought the most challenging part would be purging our stuff, packing up our remaining stuff, living in a vacation rental for a month while we searched for a house, buying a house, and unpacking. Those activities took about three months total and were challenging, but there was another challenge after we got settled physically—settling financially.
Turns out, there is a lot of busy but important work to settle financially in a new location. Here are some things you may want to consider:
Changing Banks. Our old bank wasn’t national, so I needed to find a new bank. Finding a bank wasn’t bad, but I found that there was a lot of behind the scenes work required when it comes to setting up a new account.
As a blogger, I have many of my payments for income directly deposited in my bank account. I had to try to remember every account and change all of the direct deposit information. In addition, I had many automatic withdrawals for things like student loan, credit card, and life insurance payments. We got our life insurance 10 years ago, and it’s been set to automatic deposit since then, so I had to do a lot of digging to find the information to change the electronic payment.
Setting up utilities. I was not prepared for this expense! When I was in college setting up utilities, I understood that I would need to pay a deposit. After all, I was little more than a kid with no credit score.
Surely, I wouldn’t have to deal with deposits at my age, with an excellent credit score, right? Wrong!
Our water company let me get out of the $75 deposit if I signed up for automatic payment withdrawal, which I did. Our new electric company, though, was a different story. For the first five months, they tacked an extra $50 on each electric bill. Considering we were in Tucson in August, those first few bills were pretty high thanks to the air conditioning AND the deposit. The only good part is that after 14 months of on-time payments, I will get my $250 deposit back as a credit on my bill. Still, I would have thought a deposit would have been a non-issue.
Transferring auto/driver information. We had a limited time (I believe it was 90 days) to get our vehicle registered in Arizona after our move. That meant new plates, new tabs, and new drivers’ licenses. Luckily, the process was fairly painless, especially after coming from a big city like Chicago where most DMV workers are rude and the place is always packed. These expenses ran us roughly $150.
Transferring car insurance. I thought, since Tucson is much smaller than Chicago, that our already fairly low car insurance would get even lower. I was wrong. In fact, our annual premium increased by about $80. Changing insurance was another important thing to do because Arizona has a law that if your car is registered here, you must also have your insurance through Arizona.
Setting up cable/internet. Since I work from home, as does my husband sometimes, home internet is essential. We also signed up for cable because we got a good bundle deal, but when our year is over, cable is getting the ax. Setting up cable and internet ran us over $100 in installation fees.
My Question for You
Have you moved recently? If so, was your experience handling the finances when moving roughly the same? Were there any expenses you incurred that surprised you? Did you have other expenses I didn’t mention?