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Have you noticed that this has been the year of major life changes? From exciting career shifts to new homes in far cities, to even some very new, very small, very cute family members, it seems like everyone around us is going through a seismic shift in their lives. It’s clear that after the pandemic, people are rethinking their priorities—and wasting no time in making some big moves!
If you feel ready to chase your dreams, here are some of our best money tips for leveling up your life—in your career, home, and family. 💸
How to Afford a Career Change 💼
Whether you get up every day to commute and clock into work or drag yourself over to the couch to work from home, our jobs are still a central part of our lives—however different they look now. But if you’re itching for a change in your daily routine, it might be time for a job/career shift!
Here are three essential things to consider before submitting your two-week notice and saying sayonara to your job.
1. Don’t quit your day job—yet! 🛑
Okay, so you’ve decided you want a change. Please don’t quit your job immediately! The good thing about making that decision is you’re now ready to start looking for another gig.
Think about the job hunt as a side hustle—do it in your time off, and try to interview at all the companies where you’d potentially want to work. In the best-case scenario, you can line up a new job before ditching your current one.
2. Build an emergency fund of at least six months 💰
If you can’t get a new job before leaving your current one, don’t panic! This is where an emergency fund comes into play. An emergency fund is an account you create to cover unexpected expenses—in your case, it would cover any potential periods of unemployment between jobs.
Ideally, you’d save at least six months’ worth of living expenses, so you don’t have to worry about paying bills while hunting for your dream role. It’s all about thinking ahead and setting yourself up for financial success!
3. Be smart about your time off ⏳
If your job offers you PTO, use it wisely! Take time off to strategically educate yourself, explore different career paths, and attend networking events.
The more preparation you put into your job education and hunt, the happier you’ll be with the outcome. If you learn that you dislike a potential new career path, at least you know what to avoid in the future.
4. Turn your side hustle into a full-time hustle 💪
If you have a side hustle that you love, consider making it your full-time job! It’s now easier than ever for people to work remotely, freelance, and be their own boss. Plus, with a lot of planning and a little savvy, saving up to start a business can be simpler than you thought. Here’s a quick guide on transitioning to that self-employed life.
No matter what you do, keep in mind that sometimes, it’s just not realistic or necessary to monetize your hobbies. You can love knitting, baking, or making clay jewelry without trying to turn it into your main source of income. Your job doesn’t have to be your life’s passion – you can always find your happiness outside that 9-5.
How to Afford a Big Move 🏠
One of the most significant, scary, and exciting changes we can make is moving to a new location. Packing up everything you own and saying goodbye to the people you love isn’t easy, but it’s always the beginning of a brand new adventure.
Whether you’re moving to a new city, state, or even across the country, these financial tips will give you some answers to help you prepare for the smoothest move ever.
1. Budget, budget, budget 👛
Are you sensing a theme here? Unsurprisingly, moving can be $$$ if you don’t do your homework. From selling and donating old stuff to renting a moving truck yourself, there are plenty of hacks on how to move on a budget and make your wallet’s life easier!
For people moving for their jobs—check with your employers to see if they offer a relocation bonus! Often, these lump sums of money are super helpful for moving costs.
🔥 Pro Tip: How much does it cost to move out of state? According to Moving.com, the average cost of a long-distance move is $4,300, but this number can vary based on how much you’re moving and how far you’re going. You can ball out and hire a moving company, or you can do it cost-effectively with a bit of elbow grease. As always, figure out what’s best for you by doing your research! 🤓
2. Figure out your furniture 🛋️
If you’re figuring out what to do with all your big, bulky furniture, consider calling around and asking for quotes from professional movers. Once you know the general cost of hauling everything you own across the country, you’ll be more prepared to decide. This helpful moving calculator from Moving.com can give you a ballpark estimate of how having furniture changes your budget.
It might be cheaper to replace your chairs and tables rather than ship them somewhere else. Or, if you’re selling your home, you can leave it behind—a furnished apartment can help speed up your sale.
3. Check your credit 📈
Having good credit is arguably the most important aspect of moving. No matter where you go, your credit score will determine whether you get approved for a mortgage or if your lease application goes through.
Remember to pay all your bills on time, track your credit score, and get free copies of your credit reports from the three credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. If your credit could use a little boost, Chime’s Credit Builder card is a fast, free, and easy way to build credit with everyday purchases.
4. Affording your first house 🏡
So you’ve decided to leave behind the renting life and get on that #homeowner life—congratulations! It’s a big move, and it can seem very unapproachable, but with hard work, strategic planning, and a bit of luck, it’s definitely within your reach.
Good news: we’re here with resources to help demystify this very intimidating process!
- Interested in getting your homeowner journey started? Check out these four essential steps to prepare to be a homeowner.
- Confused about saving for a down payment? Determining the budget for your new home is the first step of your homeowner journey!
- To learn from someone who’s done this before, here are 5 things a new homeowner wishes they’d known before buying their first house.
- Having a good credit score is non-negotiable in house buying. Learn all about why credit scores are important and what your credit score should be to buy a house.
How to Financially Prepare for a Baby👪
Planning on growing your family with your partner is one of the most exciting, joyful, and overwhelming decisions two people can make. Luckily, it’s possible to set yourself up for success financially.
Here are some smart financial moves to make while preparing to welcome a whole new member of your family!
1. Let’s talk about money, baby! 👶
They say it takes a village to raise a child. No matter if you’re relying on your entire extended family, raising a child with a partner, or parenting solo, you will definitely want to make some financial preparations for the little one.
- Are both parents continuing to work? If not, who will cut back hours or take care of the baby while the other is working? If you are the only parent, what options are available for childcare?
- Will you pay for some, all, or none of the baby’s future college tuition? What about setting up a college fund?
- What do you want to do with your child when they’re young? What school will they attend? Do you want to travel with them?
Knowing the answer to these questions will ensure that all caregivers are on the same team when it comes to the baby.
2. Create a New Budget + Emergency Fund 💵
Let’s be real — having a child is expensive. From the hospital labor cost to the diapers, baby clothes, and car seat… you get the idea. It’s a completely new, ever-changing expense that will take some adjustment.
It’s time to create a new budget and start saving up for these expected (and some unexpected) baby costs! You’ll find that you’ll probably be going out less with a new baby, which is where you can find some extra cash.
3. Look into life and disability insurance 🤒
Insurance is the kind of thing that you never think about, but when you need it, it’s too late. As exciting and beautiful as welcoming a child is, remind yourself that your baby will be dependent on you and your partner for the next 20 years or more.
Now is the perfect time to look into life and disability insurance. As much as we hope for the best, insurance can give you and your partner the peace of mind that your growing family will be taken care of if anything happens.
4. Get a fur baby instead 🐱🐶
If you’re thinking, “A human baby? In this economy?” Trust us, we got you. Getting a new pet isn’t exactly like having a kid, but it’s close enough. Plus, growing your family is always exciting—no matter how much fur your new baby has!
However, adopting a new pet isn’t cheap. CNET Money reports that you can expect to pay around $1,500 to $2,000 for all the miscellaneous pet-related fees and purchases in the first year of adoption. And that doesn’t include recurring charges like pet insurance, pet food, and toys and treats for your new best friend!
The Year Of Dreams 💥 💭
It’s not every year that we make major life changes, but it’s equal parts challenging and rewarding when we do. No matter what goals you and your loved ones are pursuing, know that smart financial preparation and a sprinkle of luck can make all the difference. Need some extra motivation? Get inspired by our Chime family, and see what dreams you can unlock with great credit!
Whether you’re chasing a brand new career, growing your credit to buy your first home, or welcoming a new member of your family, we’re cheering you on with everything we got! 💚