Let’s face it – moving is stressful. You’re leaving behind the old for something new. Although stressful as you go through the process, moving can be one of the best times to rethink, and capitalize on, investments. Here are three strategies to take advantage of a moving opportunity for yourself, or someone you know:
1. Use the difference in housing cost to invest. If you are expected to pay less in your housing cost, then you have investment opportunity. Let’s say you were paying $3,000 in housing costs, and now move to a place that costs $2,000. [SIDE NOTE – you must realize that my reference points are NYC and Chicago, so for all of you paying much less, good for you.] Assuming your income is the same or greater, take the $1,000 difference and put it to the side for your investment opportunity. Now, your investment opportunity may take the form of stocks, bonds, real estate, a child’s education, your own education, or something else. The point is that if you downsize and pay less in housing costs, consider investing the money you would have paid in housing costs.
And, if you now live with a partner or spouse who is still employed when you move, you now can leverage your combined incomes. Common logic might suggest that you should pay more in housing with more incomes, but perhaps you can keep your housing costs the same (or less), and bank that money in an investment vehicle. Even if you implement this strategy for a year, you will be astonished by how much money you can invest for the future. This will take discipline on your part, but I guarantee that it will be worth it.
2. Sell stuff to make room for investing. Most people HATE the stress of moving, and I am no different. For me, it’s the last 10% of whatever I have to move that really makes me tired. I balance this stress with the positive opportunity that comes from selling stuff that can give me extra cash to invest.
I suggest checking in with your network to see if your family and friends want first dibs on your stuff. A simple email or text with pictures usually does the trick and is faster than the telephone. Now, I’m sure you’ll be fair with a price or even consider donating your items with family and friends. But, for things you cannot get rid of, put them on Craigslist, Ebay, or even a local university’s marketplace, like the University of Chicago marketplace near me. If you’re selling big ticket items like a car, these local marketplaces can be great resources to off-load your goods for quality prices. If you are not directly affiliated with the institution, find someone in your network who is, and have them put the listing up for you.
For you clothes hogs, donate what you haven’t worn in at least 6 months. If you cannot donate to friends, donate to a charitable organization and keep the donation receipts to get a tax deduction for your charitable contribution at tax time. If you’ve been holding onto clothes for sentimental value, take a picture and keep it moving.
And, if you do not need these funds for moving costs, consider putting them in an investment vehicle for the future.
3. Keep your eyes out for new businesses. Whether your moving between cities in the United States or internationally, you now will have a unique perspective on new businesses. Find out what industries drive local businesses and employment. There might be a new venture opportunity or investment opportunity lurking in the winds in your new home.
One of the greatest ways to get plugged into your new community is through developing a new network. If you have at least one friend in your new city, chances are that he or she will give you a hook up to their networks. She or he might not realize that this is a goal of yours, so let them know that you want to meet some new people and I’m sure they will oblige. If that doesn’t work, then you might have bigger problems. If you do not one anyone in your new home, perhaps there are local government meetings, churches, or organizations for which you can volunteer and get better acquainted.
Either way, new city equals new investment opportunity. You are bringing a fresh perspective while also enjoying a new perspective. Perhaps your next big investment is waiting for you – go out and get it!
Feel free to share any tips you have on moving!!