How to move on a budget.
My husband and I have had plenty of practice moving! We have been married 17 years and in that time we have moved 9 different times. This includes 6 different cities and 4 moves across the state border. We have made many mistakes along the way, and over time have learned a few tricks about how to save money when moving.
I wanted to share a few of the tips and tricks we have learned a long the way to help you on any upcoming moves.
How To Save Money When Moving
1. Set A Budget
The moment you know you will be moving, make a plan. Set a budget of how much money you will be able to spend on this move. Once the budget is made, stick to it.
It’s so easy to allow small expenses to creep in while moving, don’t let that happen. Sticking to the budget will most likely be hard work, but it is essential to helping you save money on your move.
- Related: How to Make a Zero Based Budget
2. Make a Sinking Fund
After you have your moving budget, you will want to set up a sinking fund. This sinking fund will help you slowly save up cash for your upcoming move. This way when the time comes to move, you will already have money saved and set aside to cover the costs.
If you know of the move months in advance this should give you plenty of time to contribute to your sinking fund. If the move is quicker and you will only have a few weeks, still make your sinking fund and try to save as much as you can each day. You want this sinking fund to be able to cover the cost of your move.
3. Skip the Moving Company
You can do this! It won’t be easy, and it won’t be fun, but you can move without a moving company! I PROMISE.
Begin packing and organizing the MINUTE you find out you will be needing to move. Enlist a few friends to spend a Saturday helping you pack boxes and another Saturday loading and unloading the moving trucks.
Make sure to buy these amazing friends some pizza or donuts to let them know you appreciate their time and service. You will save so much money simply by doing the work yourself.
4. Shop Around
I get that DIYing the move isn’t the best option for everyone. Maybe there is a reason you feel you will need to hire someone to help you move. There is nothing wrong with that! Just make sure to always shop around before hiring anyone.
Get quotes from a wide variety of moving companies and check referrals to find the best company for you.
You could even do half the work yourself and then hire a moving company to do the other half. Don’t be afraid to barter a little and ask them to beat competitors prices or give you a discount. The worst thing they could say is no. My rule is, “It never hurts to ask.”
- Related: 5 Bills You Should Negotiate
5. Do Not Buy Boxes
From the very first minute you find out you’re moving be on the lookout for free boxes. There are free boxes everywhere, you just need to know where to look! And I can help you with that! 😉
The first step to free boxes is to start saving any boxes you get from Amazon, or any store you shop at online. Also, ask all of your friends and family to give you all of the boxes they get in the mail. Usually a simple Facebook post will do.
The next place to find free boxes is at the grocery store. Keep an eye open for grocery carts full of empty boxes as employees stock shelves. If you can’t find anyone ask an employee and they can tell you the best time to come for boxes.
Another great place to look is Lowes. This was always the jackpot for us! Some employees were happy to hand out big boxes, but others weren’t so sure….so don’t be shy to ask a few different people!
If you decide to move yourself, make sure to stay organized! This will help the move go more smoothly, and also reduce the amount of broken or lost boxes.
One of the most important parts of organizing when moving is labeling your boxes. When labeling always include the box contents, the room it needs to go in, and whether it contains fragile items. Pack items together that will need to go to the same room. This will save you a ton of time when you start unpacking.
7. Find Packing Filler at Home
Save money on moving by not buying any packing filler. Instead try to find free items around your home you can use. I’m betting you have tons of items that will work as filler!
A few things I have used for packing filler is:
- Dish Cloths
It’s all free and needed to be moved anyways, might as well give it a job to do at the same time!
8. Sell or Donate
Moving is the BEST time to donate or sell items that you don’t use. The less stuff you have to pack means the less boxes, tape, moving power, etc. you will need. It WILL save you money! AND, if you are selling items, you can even EARN money at the same time! (double win!)
9. Shop Utilities
With moving comes cancelling/setting up utilities, and these costs can get expensive quickly.
Make sure to shop around and be choosy before setting up internet, cable, phone, or dish.. Many of these companies will give a good discount to new customers, but you have to ask. This could also be the perfect time to change habits and ditch the cable all together. It’s a big money saver, just sayin!
- Related: 5 Bills You Should Negotiate
10. Be Flexible
Moving is STRESSFUL, expensive and hard! Give yourself grace and try to be flexible with all of the ups and downs that will come your way.
Remember that the hard moments will be temporary, and one of the only ways to get through it is just to grin and bear it. Be true to yourself and your budget, but also be willing to go with the flow once the time comes. You got this!