If you are wondering if you should relocate for a lower cost of living, keep in mind that it has become prevalent, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though frugal living in NYC or any other big city is possible, millions of Americans have moved to more affordable areas to focus on getting more financially secure.

If you are unsure if relocation to a lower-cost place, whether in the same state or a different one, could be worthwhile for you too, keep on reading this article. We’ve enlisted things you should consider before making your choice. Hopefully, they’ll be able to steer your decision in the right direction.

Relocate for a lower cost of living – what to keep in mind?

Before you decide on moving to an area with a lower cost of living, you should consider certain financial and non-financial aspects. Further in this article, you can find out which.

Financial factors

Financial aspects of your decision should be the first thing to think about. After all, you are moving to save money. However, if you relocate for a lower cost of living, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be saving.

Employment and income

One of the most important financial factors to consider is your income which is directly connected to your employment. Remember that jobs in areas with lower costs of living tend to come with lower salaries.

Given that you might be earning less, you’ll need to thoroughly analyze if what you’re saving is enough to offset your salary decrease. Also, you need to do your research and find out about the job market in the town or state you are thinking of moving to. You need to make sure you’ll be able to find a job once you move there.

Things are much different if you are self-employed or have the option to work remotely from any location you choose. If you’re able to earn the same money while spending less on your living costs, you’ve hit the jackpot.


When you check for the costs of living in a specific area, taxes are usually factored in. However, you should still do your research and find factual information about the location you’re looking to move to.

A person sitting on the floor and calculating taxes on their phone
Make sure to do your research and determine which taxes you’ll have to pay if you decide to move to a new, cheaper area.

If you choose a state with minimal or no state income at all, you can save thousands of dollars each year. However, this is not the only tax you will have to consider. Consider all types of taxes you’ll potentially need to pay, such as municipality tax, property tax, sales tax, federal taxes, inheritance tax, and gas tax.

Moving expenses

Moving can be expensive. Even if you use simple ways to save on packing materials and similar, you’ll still need to factor in different costs that are related to your move:

  • Costs of selling – If you are selling your property, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay selling costs. They are usually 5-8% of your home’s selling price.
  • Closing costs or security deposit – Even if you buy a much cheaper place in your new area, you’ll still need to pay closing costs. They are usually 2-5% of the purchase price. On the other hand, if you plan to rent, you’ll need to pay for the security deposit, which is usually equal to one month’s rent.
  • Moving company – Whether you’re moving to another town or a completely different state, you’ll need to hire reliable movers. As the guys from Teddy Moving and Storage, only professionals can help you make your relocation smooth and stress-free. However, you still need to factor in these costs when making your final decision.

Therefore, as you’ll probably be spending several thousand dollars on your move, make sure to compare moving expenses with your potential savings from moving to a cheaper area. If the costs are much higher than you can handle or save, maybe you shouldn’t rush into making this decision.

Non-financial factors

Moving to a different town, let alone another state, can be very emotional and overwhelming. You are moving your entire life, and you are making a significant change. Therefore, you need to consider some non-financial factors, too.

Impact on your family

If you are single and planning on moving alone, the relocation process is pretty straightforward. However, if you are moving with your family, you’ll need to consider their opinions. And the moving process is that much more complicated when you have to think about more people.

For instance, if you are moving with your family, relying on professionals is a must and choosing the right movers becomes all the more important. So, if you are one of many New Yorkers who want to live in NJ and you are planning to relocate with your kids, be prepared for a stressful event that will take a lot of your energy. You will want to simplify the process and make it stress-free. Therefore, the best thing to do is research moving companies as the right movers can make all the difference and make your relocation as smooth as possible.

Dad in a black t-shirt with his daughter who is sitting in a moving box
If you have family, deciding whether to move or not becomes a much more challenging decision.

First of all, you need to make sure your partner is on board with the move. Together with you, they’ll need to uproot their life and potentially even change their career. Therefore, before you start looking for your new home, make sure to discuss everything with your spouse.

Another thing to think about is how a change like this can influence your kids. If they already go to school, they’ll have to change it, fit in, and find new friends. Also, if they have any special needs, you’d need to find a place where they can get the support they need.

Attachment to your current area

Before moving to a new area, you need to be sure it offers the same benefits as your current one but at a much lower price. Only in that case can you be sure that moving is the right decision for you. 

Think about the reasons you love your current neighborhood and why you’ve chosen it in the first place. For example, if you moved there because you enjoy exciting nightlife, eating out, or being able to walk anywhere, saving money by moving to the countryside or a small town will only make you unhappy.

On the other hand, if you are not thrilled about your current neighborhood and you were considering moving anyway, then it absolutely makes sense to move to a cheaper area

Location and climate

When moving to a lower cost of living area, it’s important to have location and climate in mind, too. Think about what climate you want to avoid and what is the one you really want to live in.

Not only because of weather conditions but because of your wallet, too. Climate can influence your budget. For instance, if you move to a town where it snows for seven months, you’re bound to spend a small fortune on heating. 

A large house with a white deck on a beach during the day
Moving to a lower-cost living area could be a perfect opportunity to move to a location you always wanted to.

Location is critical, too. For example, if you always wanted to live in a small coastal town, close to the beach, it’s a perfect opportunity to do this. Therefore, do your research and find a coastal town in a state with lower costs of living

So, will you relocate for a lower cost of living?

Whether you should relocate for a lower cost of living is a subjective decision, and at the end of the day, you’ll have to wage your options and make it by yourself. Hopefully, we were able to make it that much easier for you with our tips and advice. Whatever you choose, we wish you the best of luck.