The United States Census Bureau estimates that the average person moves 11.7 times in their lifetime. Even if you only choose to move once, the average cost of a local move is $1,250. As you can see, moving can be expensive – which is why we’ve compiled some best practices and recommendations for moving on a budget that can help you keep more money in your own pockets, and to reduce the stress associated with your next big move.
Whether you’re a person who likes to stay settled for extensive periods of time or a person who enjoys to be constantly on the move, knowing how to cut your moving costs can end up saving you a lot of money and stress!
12 Cost-Saving Tips for Moving on a Budget
Every person’s moving situation and reasoning is different, so the following is a broad list of ideas.
See which are applicable to you, and give them a try to see how much you can save while moving on a budget!
1) Be Flexible
If you’re able to choose when you move, try to select a month that is not considered to be a peak period. For reference, the demand for moving is highest during the summer because children aren’t in school and parents hope to settle in before the next academic year begins. Additionally, if you’re moving to a college town, then the demand will be high around the beginning and end of September, when college students are arriving in droves. If you don’t have much flexibility in terms of the month you move, then definitely be sure to avoid holidays and weekends.
Rather than hiring a moving company, it could save you money to rent your own moving truck and DIY (do it yourself). When choosing this route, keep in mind what time you hit the road. It’s advisable to avoid rush hour traffic so you can maximize your fuel range (and, of course, time). Also, this would be a good time to call in a favor from your closest friends or family members who can save you time by helping you pack and transport items.
3) Hire Movers Directly
Perhaps doing it yourself is too much hassle or may open the door to other undesirable issues. If this is the case, then hire movers directly rather than going through a sourcing company that connects you to movers. By removing the middleman, you cut the additional overhead costs involved and help lower overall costs, which is essential for moving on a budget.
4) Perform Research
Use the rule of three and get quotes from at least three different moving companies. To ensure you’re receiving accurate quotes, allow the movers to either conduct an in-person inspection or send over a video of what you expect to be moved. Keep in mind that when moving to a different state or long distance, the cost of moving is typically calculated based on the weight of your belongings.
Given moving companies provide a service, their rates are not always set in stone, which is why it’s always recommended to try your luck at negotiating. No matter what kind of negotiating skills you may or may not possess, you have nothing to lose by asking for a lower price. In fact, you can use the research you performed to let your preferred moving company of choice know the lowest bid you got. In many instances, they will be willing to match the rate as opposed to losing your business to a competitor.
6) Free Boxes
Buying packing boxes can quickly add up on your moving tab. Rather than purchasing boxes, try to get free boxes. You can recycle old boxes from packages you’ve received, or instead, you can visit your local grocery store, office supplies store, or liquor store to see if they are willing to give any away to you. If all else fails, reach out to your network of friends and colleagues to see if anyone has extra boxes laying around.
7) Keep Receipts
For any costs associated with your move, hang on to your receipts. Under certain circumstances, your moving costs may be tax deductible. For example, if you have to relocate for work then you’ll be able to claim deductions when you file your taxes. Here’s an IRS resource that explains more about the qualifiers.
8) Lighten the Load
The old adage of “less is more” is a powerful motivator when it comes to moving. If you haven’t used certain appliances or worn that shirt that your ex-girlfriend bought you three years ago by now, then you probably never will. It literally pays to go through your belongings and get rid of the things you don’t need. You can host a garage sale, post items for sale on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or even give away these items as donations (donations also can count towards tax deductions).
9) Consider Shared Load Moving
You can also consider shared load moving, which is basically like the Uber Pool for moving. When moving on a budget long distances, you can use a shared load moving company that transports the belongings of multiple households in close proximity to one another. While it could delay the time it takes for you to receive your items, this method can potentially cut your moving costs in half.
10) Inspect Your Place
Before you move out and shut the door for the final time on your current place of residence, perform a cohesive inspection. This is especially necessary if you’ve been renting and wish to receive your deposit back. For any minor scratches or holes in the walls, use spackle and paint to cover them up. If carpets are dirty, rent a carpet steamer or hire professionals to clean them up. If there are bigger problems, consult with your leasing office to see what you’re responsible for taking care of versus what will be resolved on their end.
11) Label Your Boxes
Although it adds an extra step to your moving process, labeling your boxes could end up saving you money. It may happen that when you arrive at your new location, you won’t have time to unpack everything all at once. Rather than having to go buy the same items a second time, you can unpack your essentials quickly if you have labeled your boxes properly.
12) Drive Yourself
Depending on where you’re moving, it can save you money if you pack as much as you can into your own car and drive some of your belongings over yourself. This could mean the difference between renting a small versus medium-sized truck, which will impact pricing.
Moving on a budget can undoubtedly create a sense of stress and urgency, but with proper planning and these cost-cutting tips, you can make it work without struggle and with savings. Remember to do as much as you can yourself, label your boxes, and get rid of any junk that you won’t need at your next destination.
Even with these financial-focused tips, you may still be short of the funds you need to get your move completed. If you’re looking for a loan to provide you with a small amount of cash (generally $100 to $1,000) quickly, you may be able to receive cash fast from Cash Factory USA.* Fill out an application today to find out.
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