So you want to move to Denver??

What you need to know BEFORE you move to Denver

Im going to briefly touch on some of the things I think are the most important considerations before moving to Denver. If you have any additional questions do not hesitate to leave them in the comments! I will get back to you! 

Housing/Employment - Denver is a really rad place to live, I wont lie to you, but moving out here with no real plan and no savings is a terrible idea. I would highly recommend taking a trip to Denver before you move, staying with friends if you have any, or maybe couch surfing if you don't. Line up some interviews and scope out some apartments ahead of time. Your best bet it probably craigslist. 

If you have a friend in Denver ask to use their address on your resume. It makes you look more stable and you will probably get more responses than if you have an out of state address.

Mark and I stayed with a friend for two days before we moved to Denver. Mark had four interviews lined up and I must have looked at a dozen apartments. On the second day Mark was offered a really good job and we put down the deposit and first months rent on an apartment. We lucked out and found a two bedroom apartment for $750 but that was June 2013. By the time we bought our house in October 2014 they had raised the rent to $900 a month and they had not upgraded a single thing in our apartment. With marijuana legalizing the housing market sky rocketed (even more) because so many people moved here and there is so much competition for housing that they can charge whatever they want, even if it's not really worth it.

Savings - This is probably the most crucial part of being able to move (and stay) in Denver. I have met some really cool people who moved to Denver without savings and had to high tail it home within 6 months. If you want to build a life in Denver this is a MUST! Lets talk numbers:

*If you have a job locked down and a general idea of where your going to live I would say you could get by with as little as $3,000. Now that will take care of your deposit for an apartment, deposit for utilities and maybe enough food and gas til your first paycheck but nothing extra.

*If you have no job yet, but a place to stay I would say $5000 is a safe amount. Your probably thinking that is a crazy amount if you already have a place to stay but unless you have a very specialized sought after skill set or degree it can be seriously hard to find a job in Denver. Im not saying they aren't out there but there is so much competition for jobs that you really have to sell yourself to get one. 

*If you have no job prospects (besides walmart or bestbuy) and nowhere to stay I would say save up at least $10,000 or stay where you are or consider moving up here with a friend who also has half of that saved. 

Now am I saying that anything outside of these perimeters is impossible? No! This is what I would consider the safe route that will guarantee you will still be here after 6 months. Anything is possible guys, but I find its best to make a solid plan and then execute it. Mark and I had about $7,000 saved up when we moved to Denver. Mark had already been offered a job that he started immediately upon arrival and I had locked down the pretty reasonably priced apartment I mentioned earlier. I was waiting for my Esthetician license to transfer so I could start working at the European Wax Center 5 minutes away from our new apartment. And let me tell you we were so grateful that we had savings because it ended up taking 4 months for my license to transfer! We were definitely not expecting that. 

Marijuana Industry - Reality check! If your moving to Denver because you like the idea of being able to smoke weed with no legal consequences (outside of driving while high of course) then great! If you think you are going to move to Denver, immediately get a job at a dispensary, and be balling out of control with no savings, I have some bad news...thats just not how it works. While I was waiting on my Esthetician License to transfer I went through the grueling process of getting my state industry badge, interviewing at tons of places and finally landing a weed job. The badge you need to work at a dispensary comes from the MMED google it there are restrictions, especially if you have a drug related record. I paid $75 for my badge and it took me 3 weeks to get it. At the time they had a ridiculous lottery system that you basically had to play through until you either a) showed up so many times that they finally just gave you an appointment or b) got your lottery number drawn. I got my badge through method (a) but I think they have changed it to a first come first serve process which makes so much more damn sense. After getting my badge I thought I would have a job within the week, I mean I was state approved, hello! Wrong. I probably went on 20 interviews before I finally just begged my interviewer to give me a chance and landed a job. It was for 40 hours a week at $10/hr which I had to negotiate because they tried to start me off at $9. I was really excited when I first started, but quickly realized it was just another bullshit retail job, just with better perks like free edible samples and a discount off my weed. The other sucky thing was that there are so many people rearing to take your job, that managers tend to treat you like shit because you are so replaceable and they know this. I don't think this is a super common occurrence, but my final straw working in the weed industry was getting robbed at gun point by two men while working alone at night right before closing. I wasn't hurt (physically) but I immediately realized that this job was not worth potentially getting shot. I think there are a lot of good dispensaries out there with way better security and policies than the one I worked at but at that moment in time I was just done. All I'm saying is have a back up plan in case working in the weed industry isn't everything you thought it would be. 

Red Card - If you are an avid marijuana smoker you will definitely want to look into getting your red card. Marijuana is available recreationally but you will be paying a very steep tax causing your purchases to be almost double what you would pay with a red card. You can also become a member with the dispensary of your choice and get even better deals!  Its as simple as becoming a Colorado resident, seeing a doctor and sending off your application through the mail! My doctors appointment cost $50 (with a coupon I got from my local dispensary) and then I had to send a $35 money order with my application. Pretty reasonable if you ask me. I will say if you have any desire to have your conceal to carry do not get a red card, you cannot have both.  

Entertainment - There is so much to do in Denver. So much in fact that even if you make pretty decent money you will still not have enough to do everything you want to! This is an easy trap for newbies to fall into! Don't do it! You will have plenty of time for entertainment once your settled and in your groove! And I promise your favorite band will come back through Denver its not your last opportunity. Food is another money devourer in Denver (and everywhere really) get in the habit of grocery shopping or you will be out of money after the first month! 

Theses are my main tips for moving to Colorado (Denver specifically)! I hope this has been helpful and if you have any other related questions please leave them in the comments and I will be sure to get back to you! 

xoxo Chelsea