Whether it is a new job or an educational opportunity, a chance to be closer to loved ones or just a much-needed change of scenery, moving can be a very exciting time. Before you start packing up and shipping out, it is important to realize the reality of relocation. Prepare to use your calculator – and your wallet. Get educated on how you should be preparing to move and how much it will really cost you. Check out the below tips to reduce your moving costs.
1. Unload What You Don’t Need
How much you have to move is a big factor in determining the price of your move. Try to find items you can recycle, donate, give to friends, or throw away. It’s a good idea to measure ahead of time what will fit into your new space, then go through each room in your current house and downsize accordingly. Also if you hold a garage sale or sell to a thrift store, you can use these incoming funds to buy new items for your new home.
2. Be Flexible
Weekends at the beginning or end of the month are prime moving time for families across America, but you can save big if you are willing and able to be flexible on the dates you want to be packed and moved. Consider moving on a weekday and working with the company to find an opening in their schedule that doesn’t require paying a premium. It’s important to get multiple quotes to ensure you are getting a fair price.
3. Create a Budget
The costs of moving will add up if you are not prepared, so begin saving and estimating expenses if you know you will be moving soon. If you are hiring movers, the budget will be much more fixed whereas moving yourself can be harder to estimate. Regardless, try to keep track of everything to get an accurate picture. Consider rental vehicle, gas, and mover cost as well as replacement cost of anything you may be getting new once you arrive to your next home. The more you have prepared in your relocation budget, the less you will have to cut into other expenses to fund your move.
4. Collect Packing Materials
Start collecting useful items as soon as you know about an upcoming move. Ask for old boxes at work or stores that you frequent and see if friends or neighbors have extra packing materials they don’t need anymore.
5. Do It Yourself
Although moving companies do offer a level of ease and speed, these services are rarely cheap. Consider asking (or bribing!) your friends and family to help you get moving with beer, pizza or even some cold hard cash (though less than you would give a professional). You can rent a U-Haul or other moving truck and pack things yourself. It will definitely take some effort, coordination and heavy lifting, but is almost always the cheaper way to move if you don’t have access to a car/truck already.
Whether buying a new home or finding a new rental, when you are facing high moving expenses, it’s a good idea to look into every possible option before making a decision. Most importantly, plan ahead – planning can be the difference between an affordable move and a major setback. Going into debt over a move can affect your credit, so it’s best to minimize your costs as best as you can. If you take on additional debt to move, you can see how that debt is affecting your credit by checking your free credit report summary on Credit.com.