Picking up and moving from one place to another is stressful no matter how far you’re going, and it’s a task that can drain your wallet if you aren’t careful. Use these moving tips and tricks to make sure your move is as effortless (and inexpensive!) as possible.
A little preparation and a lot of effort can decrease your moving costs substantially. Start by getting ready for your move as far in advance as possible and ready yourself for some flexibility.
Decrease your stuff
The less stuff you have, the less stuff you have to move. Take stock of what you need and what you can do without. Whether you sell them or give them away, purging some of your possessions will make moving easier and less expensive. To declutter:
- Consider leaving bigger items behind. Is that eighteen-year-old fridge really worth hauling across the country, or would it better to sell and pocket the profit?
- Donate clothes and other items to a local charity. Be sure to get a receipt for a potential tax deduction.
Take a hard look at everything you own and decide what’s worth packing up and taking with you and what’s ready to be sold or given away. Use any money you get in selling your unneeded items toward your moving expenses.
Don’t be shy
Ask for help from family and friends. If you’re moving locally, offer to provide pizza and drinks to anyone who will come help you haul everything, load, and unload. Ask for empty moving boxes around the office and see if you can borrow your friend’s truck. Stay at the houses of friends and family if you’re on the road to a new city. Whatever help people can give you will save you money in the long run.
Do it yourself (at least some of it)
If you’re planning on hiring movers, you’ll save some money if you pack everything up yourself instead of paying for movers to do it for you. As a bonus, you’ll know that all of your stuff is packed by someone who genuinely respects your property: you!
Compare the costs between renting a truck yourself or hiring movers to take everything to your new home. Factor in the cost of your time and your frustration level – if you know that driving a huge truck across three states is going to give you massive anxiety, it may be worth it to pay someone else to do it even if it costs a little more.
If you’re hiring a moving company, find a way to lower the cost. Do they offer a military discount? Will they drop the fees a little if you pay cash instead of using a credit card? Maybe they’ll give you a discount simply because you ask for one. It never hurts to try.
If your move is to relocate to a job at another company, include moving expenses as a part of your negotiations when accepting the position. Some companies are happy to pay some – or all – of those expenses in order to recruit talent. If your new employer won’t pay for moving expenses, you may be able to deduct some of them on your taxes. See if you meet the requirements, and track your expenses carefully.
While using these moving tips and tricks, don’t forget to sit down and create a budget for the move. Think about how much the move will cost and stick to the budget so moving doesn’t take a big bite out of your wallet.
Don’t forget to include moving expenses in your monthly budget! Check out SAC FCU’s free Monthly Budget Worksheet to track it.