The prospect of a new career can be an exciting one. You have the chance to get a fresh start, and possibly even earn more money. However, there are times when you might be required to move in order to take a new job.

Deciding whether or not to move for a new job can be a tough decision. Here’s how to decide if you should move for your job:

Cost of Living

The first thing to consider is the cost of living in your new town. Depending on where you move, a larger salary might not help you as much as you would like. A cost of living calculator can help you figure out whether or not it makes sense to move.

My husband is applying for university jobs around the country, and, using the cost of living calculator, we can see that it would cost about $12,000 more per year to take one of the jobs he’s interviewed for. However, since I am the primary breadwinner with my freelance income, all we really need to do is make sure that he can cover the difference, and, if gets this job, he could cover the difference.

This would be a completely different situation if he got a job in San Francisco, though. I would have to make substantially more to support a similar lifestyle in that city, and it might not be worth moving for a job, since a university professor wouldn’t make enough to close the cost of living gap.

Consider the real cost of living in the new city. If it’s significantly higher, even a higher salary might not be enough to make up for that increased cost. You could find yourself struggling to get by, and the new job might not be worth it.

Quality of Life

Don’t forget to consider the quality of life in the new town. I like living in my current situation. The town has good restaurants and, for its size, it also has a surprising number of cultural experiences, thanks to the university in town. It’s not too far to take the train to a larger city, and that can be a lot of fun. As a result, the quality of life is high.

One of the concerns I’ve had about some of the places where my husband has applied is that they are kind of in the middle of nowhere. We’d have to live in a different town in order to see a quality of life that’s even close to what we enjoy here, and my husband might have a 30-minute commute. It’s not bad, but not ideal. Of course, the cost of living in these little towns is much, much lower than what we have here. But does that outweigh the lower quality of life?

The town with the higher cost has a great quality of life with it. Since we could afford the increased cost of living, having that quality of life would compensate us somewhat for the higher cost. We would still be able to do most of what we want in this town, and we could handle the higher cost of living, so it wouldn’t be much of a problem.

Making Trade Offs

As you consider whether or not moving makes sense, you can consider other trade offs. If the new job is close enough that your could commute in 30 to 90 minutes, you might want to stay put if your family is established in your current town. Unfortunately, you would have commuting costs, and you would have to deal with seeing your family less.

Deciding whether or not to move for a job should be approached as a family decisions. If you are single, the calculations are a little easier. When you have a life partner and children, though, things change. You have to consider the quality of life and cost of living associated with uprooting the whole family. It’s a tough decision to make, and you should consider all angles and trade offs to make sure that you really are doing what’s best for your family.



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.