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Tips for Moving on a Budget

budget jar with coins

The excitement of moving into a new place is energizing. Settling into a new space can be inspiring, stepping out of your door and wandering through a new neighborhood. The new energy of fresh space and the feeling of starting anew is an exciting time.

It’s also an expensive time. Rental deposits, moving supplies… the costs can add up. Especially since you’ll want to have some cash available to enjoy your new surroundings. So how do you keep your expenses to a minimum?

We’ve put together some tips for moving on a budget, to help you arrive with money to spare.

woman budgeting at the computer

Know Your Budget

The obvious but often overlooked first step is to know what your budget is. Sure, you can approach your move with the idea of saving money – and that’s certainly part of it. But by looking at your finances and budgetary needs, you’ll be better able to plan your move to fit. Even a loose idea of your overall financial availability can go a long way in planning your move on a budget.

Take Your Time

Many times, expenses arise when you run out of time to make decisions. Pushed to the last moment, you’ll end up spending money on getting things done or making the easiest choice rather than the most affordable.

Giving yourself plenty of time to make arrangements and find the best solutions will help you stay within your budget.

Plan Ahead

moving day on calendar

Being proactive is a perfect – and easy – way to save money. Planning ahead will help you coordinate your move within your budgetary parameters. Make some checklists, and consider the things that potentially have costs associated with them so you can address those as early as possible.

Organize and Downsize

Be honest – when is the last time you watched those DVDs? Revisited your magazine collection? How many of your pairs of shoes do you actually wear? Take an objective look at the things you own as you begin to prepare your move.

Movers often charge by the number of people it will take to move your things, and the amount of time they spend moving your things. By downsizing your belongings you’ll save time and money.

Make piles to separate the things you’ll keep, the things you’ll toss or donate, and the things you’ll sell. Consider whether you can sell things at a yard sale, consignment shop, or online markets such as Facebook Marketplace or eBay. Making money before you spend it will help you start off on a good foot.

Get Free Moving Supplies

One of the easiest ways to save money while moving is on supplies. Why buy brand new boxes when you can collect unused ones and repurpose them? There are lots of places to get free moving supplies.

Once you’ve pared down your stuff, you’ll have a good idea of just how much you need to pack. Then you can begin checking around for boxes that still have some life in them. Liquor stores, bookshops, and grocery stores are great places to check. Try anywhere that receives regular deliveries to see if you can snag some of those shipping boxes before they’re crushed.

wall of shipping boxes

Newspaper, rags, clothes, and other clothes are great options for padding your breakable items. Not only will you save on all of that bubble wrap, but you won’t have to dispose of anything on the other side.

Move in the Off-Season

The cost of moving fluctuates with the weather. Well, not quite that frequently, but they do shift with the seasons. Planning your move in the off-season will help you save on costs.

Inspired to move during those long, warm summer days? So is everyone else. With the increase in demand comes a rise in prices. You likely don’t want to move in the heart of winter, but spring and autumn can be more financially appealing. Not to mention, you’ll be more likely to be able to choose your date and time, and movers are more likely to have equipment and trucks available.

Even if you have to move in one of the peak periods, you can still save. Weekends and holidays tend to cost more, so try moving mid-week if you can help it. You’ll even save yourself battling traffic if you move while everyone is at their 9-5!

Pull in Some Favors

Getting a bit of extra help will definitely save you money – and time. Try calling in some favors with local friends and family to see if they’ll help you out along the way. Why not have a packing party? Order some pizzas, open a bottle of wine, and invite a few close friends to reminisce over sweet memories while putting everything into boxes. You’ll take a lot of burden off your shoulders so you can address the other parts of your move, and make the process fun at the same time!

Do What You Can, Then Hire Pros

Saving money may be of paramount importance in your move, but consider the time and energy investment as well. You may manage to cut some of the financial burdens, but at what cost?

professional movers loading a truck

We recommend factoring movers into your budget. Packing your own boxes and disassembling your furniture will save you on hiring full-service movers. Consider hiring professionals to do the heavy lifting and hauling for you. Not only will you save the time and sweat, but they’ll bring their expertise to make sure your things are safe and are insured in case of any unforeseen circumstances. When you’re moving your precious things, you can’t put a price on peace of mind.

About the author

Unpakt Team