5 Ways to Save Money When Moving on a Budget
Moving can be exciting, especially if it’s for a new job, to make room for a growing family or the beginning of an adventure in a new place. But moving comes with an abundance of expenses. When you add the cost of the actual move to other expenses, like a down payment or security deposit, that initial excitement may quickly be tempered by thoughts about the financial implications. Luckily, moving with a budget in mind is possible with a little planning. Follow these helpful tips for creating a plan for moving that works with your budget.
1. Fund Your Move With What You Don’t Need
As you start packing, figure out what you don’t use or need, says The Spruce. Consider selling any unneeded items that are in good condition. You may make some money by having a garage sale or taking items to a consignment shop, and you’ll avoid moving items you don’t need. There are a number of websites where you can easily sell things from the comfort of your couch, notes The Spruce. (If you do sell items online, though, make sure to always follow safety precautions, says the Better Business Bureau.)
You can donate your unsold items and get some money back later in the form of a tax deduction — follow these tips from the IRS. Anything you can make off of items you won’t use anyway can help cover some of your relocation costs.
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2. Choose the Right Mover
Hiring a moving company may take some of the stress out of relocating, but how do you pick one that will do a great job at a reasonable rate? You may want to ask friends and family if they have any recommendations. Consumer Reports suggests checking customer reviews and Better Business Bureau reports online. You should also get written estimates from three different moving companies, says Consumer Reports, and be wary of low estimates or companies that only provide estimates by phone.
Before you sign anything, The Spruce recommends asking about any potential additional fees so you don’t end up paying more than you expect. Moving companies sometimes charge for “extras,” such as assembling and disassembling furniture, moving items up and down stairs or or moving major appliances, says The Spruce. Special pricing may be available, so be sure to ask about promotions or, when appropriate, a discount for military members or students, says MarketWatch.
3. Pick a More Affordable Time
When you choose to move can have an impact on prices. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the busiest times to move are weekends and at the end of the month, and peak moving season is in the summer. If you have some flexibility, you may be able to get a lower rate by scheduling your move for midweek, midmonth or outside of peak season.
4. DIY All or Some of the Move
Perhaps the easiest and most obvious way to save money when moving is by doing as much as you can yourself. For relatively local moves, The Spruce notes that you may want to consider renting a truck and moving your stuff with the help of family and friends. Container moving could be another money-saving option, says The Spruce. A service will drop off a moving container or crate, you load it with your belongings and the company then drives it to your new home — saving you the cost of a moving crew.
5. Pack Efficiently
Packing can have cost associated with it, whether you hire movers to do it or do it yourself. Having a mover pack (and unpack) your boxes may add up to an additional $400 or more in fees, according to HomeAdvisor. You may be able to cut costs by packing and unpacking yourself. Using things like towels or clothing to pad boxes instead of buying packing paper or foam may help you save even more money. Avoid paying for new boxes and find gently used ones from a local store or from someone offering them online, says The Spruce — just be sure they are clean and still in good shape.
A little preparation can help you make your move more affordable. Follow these simple tips for more affordable moving, you may be able to help keep that relocating within budget.
Originally published on March 5, 2015.