I know myself well enough to know that I don't always think through decisions. I’m impulsive with a wanderlust streak and it's definitely not a healthy habit for my bank account. So I made the conscious choice to cut back on smaller expenses and essentially hoard money for travel and eventually...a cross country move.
Every antsy almost-grad knows how hard it is to apply for jobs locally, let alone in a different state. Each application takes 45 minutes, a small questionnaire, a perfectly humble cover letter, and a virgin sacrifice. It's awful and exhausting and the second they see your out-of-state address, you get the cookie cutter reject email.
If you're anything like me, your field of study is broad and there are millions of opportunities. How do you even begin to pick an industry? Like, hello, I'm about to graduate and idk what you do, but plz hire me.
And then how do you pick a city to move to? What about the neighborhood? Or an apartment? Will you need a car? What about your health insurance?
Just a few of the moving pieces you need to strategically tack down in order for your move to run smoothly, right? It's enough stress and anxiety to drive anyone back to the comfort zone of cube life in their hometown.
So, after a few automatic reject emails, visits to cities I absolutely hated, and a downward spiral of pointless research; someone finally said something that clicked.
"Nothing says commitment like showing up."
Remember the impulsiveness? Everything inside of me wanted to quit my job, get in my car, and drive. Irrational, right? Not if you plan for it.
I decided if I could take out at least one of the moving pieces, it would make the process that much easier. But what are the logistics of moving across the country with no job lined up? How many months of expenses do you need to have saved up? How much will you spend on moving costs? What if you can't find a job? You need a safety net.
I track my transactions meticulously so it was easy enough to calculate my monthly fixed costs and whatever else it would cost me to live. This is the point where you need to be transparent with yourself. If you normally spend $200 on alcohol a month, don't think you'll cut that expense just because you move to a different state. You refuse to give up your Hulu, Netflix, and Spotify? Fine, put it in the budget.
Grandma always said "Shit or get off the pot."
Wise woman, obviously we're both elegant with our words.
Pick a number that you would be comfortable with. You know your expenses, you know your habits. But when you hit that number, I advise you to dive head first into your dream. You can't just sit around and hoard money with no purpose; you'll end up with 85 cats and a lot of regrets.
As a few of you know, I hit my number and I am diving head first into Colorado with a murky plan and one hell of a parachute sitting in my bank account.
Is it irrational to move across the country with no job officially lined up? Yes. But if you want it bad enough, you'll find a way to make it work. Predict your irrational behavior.