Whether it's a change in career, going off to college, or you're just looking for a change, moving can be a financial burden. It's not uncommon for the cost of moving to be several thousand dollars when all is said and done, and that's not even factoring in the cost of your new home or any new amenities you need to purchase to furnish it. Fortunately, there are several ways you can curb the cost of moving to make it fit your budget.
Ask for Moving Boxes
Cardboard boxes may not sound like a huge moving expense, but when it comes to packing a home, the sheer volume you'll need can make the cost add up quickly. Instead of running out to a store and buying what you need, try and find boxes for free. Family, friends, or even your place of work are likely to have some empty boxes lying around that they'd happy to be rid of.
Use Household Items for Packing
Similarly to moving boxes, the cost of packing material like bubble wrap can add up faster than you may think. You can bypass the cost altogether, however, by using items from your home that you were planning on packing anyway. Things like shirts, hoodies, pillows, and towels all make perfect packing alternatives to bubble wrap and will help you save on your moving costs.
Only Pack What You Need
Do you really need that shirt you haven't worn in five years or that rock collection from when you were six? The less you have to pack, the less you'll have to spend on packing materials. That's why you should declutter your life before packing. By donating or getting rid of items you're not going to use, you can help cut way back on expenses.
Sell Unwanted Items
Once you've figured out what you're packing and what you aren't, you can take your unwanted/unneeded stuff and have a yard sale. You may be surprised just how much you can make selling items at a yard sale. You can then use those extra funds to help supplement your moving budget.
Be Extra Careful with Fragile Items
Taking some extra precautions when moving your delicate or fragile items might not save you money initially, but it can prevent you from having to pay more to replace them if they break during the move. Make sure you take the time to pack your fragile valuables safely and correctly during your move.
Compare Moving Company Prices
A moving company can make the whole process go a lot smoother, but it will also cost a bit more than moving on your own. For long-distance moves, some moving companies can cost nearly $6,000. If you plan on hiring professional movers, don't just hire the first one you find. Take your time and do your research to find out which one offers the best rates for your needs. It may take a bit of time to uncover the best option but it could save you big bucks in the end.
Be Flexible on Moving Date
Like many other industries, moving has a busy season and a slow season. In fact, due to the difference in demand, moving during the summer months can be as much as 30% more expensive compared to moving during the fall or winter seasons. It's not always viable to switch around your moving date, especially if the move is career or school related, but you should be sure to consider it whenever possible.
Consider a DIY Move
Professional movers are nice to have, but they aren't always a necessity. If you're trying to move to a new town without breaking the bank, figure out whether or not it's feasible to handle the job on your own. Deciding not to hire movers will help keep your moving costs down. However, it will also require significantly more physical labor on your end.
Ask Friends or Family for Help
Even if you can't handle a move all your own, that doesn't mean you need to go out and hire a moving company. Ask friends and family to give you a hand with some of the larger items you need to transport. You may need to buy them dinner for their efforts, but that's far cheaper than hiring a moving company.
Plan Out Your Travel and Lodging Expenses
If your move is going to take more than one day's worth of travel, you should make sure to plan out the road trip ahead of time. You should figure out your lodging, expenses, and timeline before you hit the road. For most people, 500 miles is roughly what they can handle driving in one day. So, if you have 1,000 miles to go, plan your trip to take two days and find suitable lodging around the halfway point. This will help give you a realistic expectation of how much the trip will cost you. Trying to figure out the specifics of your trip on the way can significantly increase costs due to wasted gas, last-minute hotel bookings, and much more.