Owning homes in more than one state brings challenges as well as advantages. There are things you can do to save money and simplify your life. If you own a pet, there will be additional responsibilities and choices to make. There are ways to make the situation work for both you and your pet.

Saving money

If you spend about fifty percent of your time in one state, and fifty percent in the other, You can compare prices and register your car in the less expensive state, as well as purchasing car insurance in the area where it is cheaper. When making big purchases, such as a car, the same is true, although factoring in delivery costs, it may be more economical to buy major appliances near to the home where they will be used.

You may find that health insurance options are more economical in one state, and if you have a pet, health insurance for your pet may be a better deal in one area over another. If you watch a good amount of TV, you may find that a streaming service is a better buy than a cable package. You can watch a streaming service no matter which home you’re in. Even if you spend equal amounts of time in each home, you’ll need to designate one as your primary residence, so investigate the tax situations before making this decision.

Making it all work

Some experts suggest creating a spreadsheet that lists items and their locations, with three options: items that transition between homes; items that generally stay in home one; and items that stay in home two. This makes it easy to locate things when you can’t find what you need. Both homes should be stocked with the basic toiletries and medications you use, to reduce the need to pack and haul these items back and forth.

Set up automatic payment for your bills, so you won’t have the worry of being in the right place to receive and pay them on time. Make plans for both places to take care of seasonal upkeep, such as snow removal, leaf raking, and mowing, as well as having garbage and recycling picked up. Make sure both homes are well stocked with nonperishable foods, bed and bath linens, phone chargers, and a first aid kit.

Keeping your pet happy and healthy

If your pet lives indoors and doesn’t mind traveling, it may be possible for it to go back and forth with you between homes. If you have a pet that travels with you between homes, for example, in Maine and California, you’ll need to have a veterinarian in both locations. Make the time to take your pet in for checkups and vaccine maintenance in both locations.

Before you buy pet health insurance, compare costs for the two areas. Getting the policy in California may be more reasonable over time, so be sure to check policy costs, what is covered, and the reputations of the providers before you buy. There are ways to easily compare costs and benefits of various policies online, so be sure to check out your options for California pet insurance as well as those in the other state.

Keep both homes stocked with flea and tick treatments, pet treats (some can be frozen), canned food for your pet, as well as toys, and a comfy place to sleep. Be sure to find a reliable pet sitter in both areas, as there will be times when your pet can’t go with you.

Living in two different states can bring some challenges, certainly, but it is possible to make it work. Organization and planning will help you make the transitions back and forth more easily. Be sure to make plans for the travel and care of your pet as you transition between homes. And devote some time to researching the most economical place to buy health, car, and pet insurance, pay taxes, and register your vehicle. You may find that the two state lifestyle helps you eliminate clutter and focus on the things that matter most to you.

Contributing Author – Lucy Reed can be reached at