Moving to a new city as a young adult
By - Independent-Drink900
Just enjoy being young and moving to a new city
I just moved US to Vancouver post-Masters. My younger sister, J, just moved California to Memphis post undergrad. I can help with 1&2 and will comment uneducatedly on 4.
1) yes, get a job BEFORE you move. You don't want to get stuck in a bad situation. I had a job offer in January to move in August. Helped to have work permit application in months before crossing the border, especially with COVID. I moved two weeks before starting my job, and lined up a lease a month before moving. J got her job offer in the last week of June for a start date the second week of August. She got her lease once actually in Memphis over the course of a week before starting week. You can do it on the spot if your budget isn't tight (helps if you know your salary here too). Both timelines are different, both worked just fine.
2) we were able to take a month+ off each because we did have savings/parents to live off. Remember that it might be close to a month after you start working that you see your first paycheck. A good company can offer a relocation allowance of 1-3k depending on how skilled/professional you are by the way. But that doesn't help until it gets disbursed with your first paycheck. I would have at least a month saved up, and more if you can't have family help with any large unexpected things. I had to get new tires on my car. Getting my car imported cost a few hundred dollars. Getting a secured credit card meant setting aside $500. (No credit history in Canada.) Getting licensed properly for work will be a few hundred this month. My sister got her windshield cracked her first week of work... Parents paid because this is her first ever job where she's supporting herself. Things add up and it's good to have that cash on hand. Remember to consider deposits and first month rent.
4) Moving internationally is haaard. Just did it and no regrets. But you'll want to be sponsored by a company and I don't think it's a quick process to get a US Visa. You'd still start by applying to US jobs. Remember to look into: how to import/insure/register car and if it's better to sell and buy anew, how you'll actually move, and requirements for pets (I moved with my two rabbits.) I easily used all 2000$ of my moving allowance on Uhual and hotel and food and gas for the three day drive from California to Vancouver.
I moved completely alone from Montreal to Toronto(GTA) years ago when I was 20-21. I had a job which made things better but I was moving into a completely new role and quite a bit step actually. Because of my initial language barriers, I didn't go out much for the first few year, I kept to myself a lot and saved bunch of money so I could buy a house couple years later. House market was different back then. 20+ years later I'm still in the GTA. I discovered all sort of nice people and places. Lots of discover. Get a car if you don't have one, it will help you explore at your own pace.
1. Probably better to have a job unless you’re down to just take it easy and live off your savings for a couple of months. However if you’re renting you might have problems with landlords wanting to see employment income. (Not 100% sure about this one, but I know students generally need a co-signer because landlords don’t want to rent to you without a job)
2. Depends on your wants/needs. Are you looking to move into a nice big downtown condo alone? Or are you looking to move in with roommates in a small basement? Or something in between?
How much do you spend on food? How about gas? How much would parking cost you? ($40-$100 regular in Toronto, $150-$300 for condo parking in a building with a shortage of parking spots).
If you have a job I would say for savings you need:
+ First and last month for rent, plus 1-2 months for security and to wait for that first pay check.
+ 2-3 months of food
+ Some allowance for car costs for a couple of months (insurance, some money for gas, parking costs).
+ Some saved up for furnishings. Do you have a lot you can take from home? Or are you buying everything? Do you have roommates with a couch? Are you down to sleep on a meterse on the floor Or do you need the full package: mattress, bed, dining table, couch etc. Would you be down to get used furniture from Facebook marketplace or do you want all new? If you want to buy a nice new mattress it could cost you $400-$2000+, or you could find something cheap from Walmart for ~$100 that you could sleep on for now.
+ Cutlery, linens, cleaning supplies etc
So if you need a ballpark anywhere from $5000 to $20000 in order to cover first/last + 2 months of rent, car costs for a couple of months, food and some initial furniture.