I am sure each one of us has dealt with some kind of change, at some point in our lives. Jobs, relationships, or even our financial status; everything changes. It brings with it different problems, experiences, and inevitable learning.
After 4 years in my first job, I was looking for better growth opportunities. I sought a different work environment and also a different job profile, something to make me a better professional.
I was looking for, yes, a “change”. As Ironic as it may sound, I didn’t realize what it actually meant until I took the leap of faith and made the change happen for myself.
My new job was based in Bengaluru. After having lived in Delhi all my life, uprooting myself and moving to Bengaluru was a really tough task. What made it tougher was, that it took a pretty huge toll on my finances. There were some expenses that I had already factored in and there were others that I just had to manage as they came along.
The change from one city to the other taught me the following lessons about what to look out from a money perspective.
#1. Save for the shift
If the shift is a pre-planned one, start saving for it at least six months in advance. It will require cutting down on your existing expenses, but it will certainly prepare you for the bulk expense at the time of shifting.
I had been careless. I didn’t account for the costs that I would incur just for moving my stuff from one city to another.
Even after disposing off half of my belongings, I spent around Rs. 20,000 at one go on packing and sending things like furniture, electronics, and kitchen utensils to Bengaluru and some to my hometown, Lucknow.
It doesn’t end here. I had to pay the airlines excess baggage charges. Honestly, no matter how much you try to cut down, there will always be too many things to move.
#2. Create an emergency fund
As clichéd as it may sound, the pennies accumulated in this fund, go a long way and provide a cushion for such sudden requirements.
My notice period of three months when I hadn’t officially started the services with the new company was the toughest as there was absolutely no income. I had to start using my savings for taking care of daily expenses.
#3. Have a financial plan for settling in the new city
If you thought that the spending ends when you reach the new city, you are mistaken.
I had again not factored in the expenses post the shift, but it’s wise to study the cost of living of the city you are moving to. Even if many will make the shift from one metro to another, each city has different expenses.
For instance, the cost of living is higher in Bengaluru as compared to Delhi. The living expenses (including rent), security deposit (which is Rs. 1 Lakh for my 2BHK house), and commuting costs are certain inevitable spends that you need to account for before making the shift.
Don’t forget that if you are taking up a new job, it will be a month before you get your first pay cheque. Keep your savings handy.
What I learned
Having mentioned all of the above, I would admit that I was not completely prepared for this shift, financially. The blame lay as much on my lack of planning for the expenses as it did on the suddenness of the move.
And you know what? I had really not realized that after the shift, it takes a minimum of 6 months for you to get back to the normal rhythm of saving and investing. You are just too busy taking care of all the prior-to-shifting expenses.
My saving grace was my saving habit and the resultant savings I had from the beginning of my career. After a couple of months of starting work, I started saving and investing a lump sum amount into Debt Mutual Funds, primarily Liquid and Ultra Short Term Mutual Funds (considering that these are relatively less risky options). Once I had created a certain corpus of my own, I took exposure into Equity Mutual Funds as well.
This change has been an intriguing one. It came with new experiences and learnings, in terms of adapting to a new city, new work environment, new people, and most importantly managing finances. Let’s see how it impacts my future. So wish me luck!