Moving on a Budget

Moving can be more costly than you think. In fact, the average local move costs $1,250, while the average long-distance costs about $4,890.

The good news is there are several ways that you can cut a big chunk out of moving costs. In fact, with the right planning, you can cut those moving costs in half.


10 Top Ways That You Can Move on a Budget

    1. Plan ahead
      Planning will help you get organized. When you are organized, you are better positioned to keep your costs down and avoid paying for last-minute assistance that can blow your budget. Here are some great ways that you can plan.
      • Set a moving date well in advance
      • Have a date that you will start to pack items
      • Know weeks beforehand when you will move items
      • Give yourself time to unpack and set up your new home
    2. Estimate your moving costs
      You will want to know your budget before you get started. That way, you will not get caught short during your move. A total moving budget will have lots of different costs. Here is a look at where you may be spending money: 
      • Packing Supplies.
      • Movers or moving truck.
      • Disposal cost of unwanted bulk items.
      • Utility activations costs.
      • Transportation costs for yourself.
      • Hotel costs if driving a long-distance move.
    3. Consider a DIY move
      One way to save money is to simply move everything yourself. With a DIY move, you will be responsible for the packing, moving, unpacking, and set-up of your own items. Here are some tips on how to handle a DIY move.
      • Shop around for the best price on a rental truck.
      • Look for a great deal on a storage unit.
      • Give yourself extra time to move everything yourself.
      • Buy your packing items in bulk.
      • Have friends help with the move and pay them with drinks or food, or offer them some of the items you will not bring on the move.
      Because you do not move often, you will want to pace yourself when performing a DIY move. Be sure not to do too much one in a day. Also, give your body time to recover after your move.

    4. Sell, donate or throw away things that you do not need
      You can turn some of your unwanted items into cash that can help you finance your move. Make a list of all the items that you will not be bringing on your move. From there, have a big yard sale or offer the items for sale online.

      You can also give away your items. In many cases, charities will take your items, and you may be able to write off the donation on your taxes. Some charities will even come and pick up your oversized items like furniture or appliances.

    5. Shop around
      It is a good idea to shop around as much as possible. That is because you can find some incredible discounts on everything from moving trucks to storage boxes. Be sure to look for items in unusual places. For instance, you may find significant deals at your local discount store or online.

    6. Do not buy boxes
      You are probably going to need lots of boxes. Many moving companies charge a premium for boxes. The good news is that there are several places where you can find some free boxes. Here are some places where you can look:
      • Craigslist - People who have just moved will give away their moving boxes rather than throw them away.
      • Freecycle - This is a network that offers free recycled items such as moving boxes.
      • UHaul - Has a "Leave a box, take a box" bin for its customers.
    7. Pack items on your own
      Moving companies will charge a premium for packing your moving items. However, you can do your packing on your own and save big. To ensure that you pack your items correctly, follow these helpful tips:
      • Label all boxes on the top and the sides.
      • When labeling items, document the room that the items will be placed.
      • Use newspaper or bubble wrap to protect fragile items.
      • Use strong packaging tape
      • Make sure you do not pack the boxes too heavy for your to carry.
    8. Avoid moving season
      80% of all moves take place between April and September. During this time, movers, rental truck companies, and other moving-related companies may inflate their prices. Therefore, you will want to consider moving after September or before April to get better prices.

    9. Look into creative financing
      If you do not have all the money you need for your move, you will want to consider some creative ways to finance your move. Here are some of the top ways that you can quickly   get the money you need to handle your move:
      • Have a yard sale.
      • Consider an online lender.
      • Use a low-interest credit card.
      • Ask friends or family for financial assistance.
    10. Time your utility planning
      One of the hidden costs of moving is the utilities. Be sure to time when you will no longer need the utilities at your old address and when you will need the utilities at your new address. Doing this will help you avoid having to pay for two utility bills at one time.

Saving big on your next move

Your next big move can be more affordable than you think. Consider doing much of the packing and moving yourself. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. With the right planning, you might be able to save big on your next move.

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