Moving can be an expensive and stressful experience. With costs of an interstate move by a professional moving company averaging approximately $5,630, for many, moving on a tight budget may be the better option. Though it may not be appealing, instead of paying out thousands of dollars, you can probably move to your new home for far less, especially if it is in-state or locally. No matter the destination, whether moving across town, across state or cross country, there are ways to save money by doing-it-yourself. Here are 8 ways that you can cut expenses and save money as you plan your move.
Boxes are not cheap. If you are planning a move, start to seek out free moving boxes. You will save hundreds of dollars on moving supplies by finding your own boxes. Ask at grocery stores, local liquor stores, big-box chains, small department stores, check at the local recycling center drop-off and even ask friends if they have any boxes. There is no shame in driving behind the mall collecting boxes thrown out the back door of shops for trash removal. Online you can check for possible moving boxes on Craigslist, Freecycle, U-Haul Box Exchange, or Nextdoor.com. Put it out on Facebook—you never know how many people have boxes available.
Choose the Right Date and Time of Year to Move
Whether you are hiring a moving company or renting a moving truck, you can save money by choosing the right moving date. Peak moving season is between May and August when school is out of session. During those months demand is highest for professional movers or rental trucks. Plan your move between September and April when school is in session and demand is lower. Demand is also lower if you move mid-week during the middle of the month. Lastly, avoid moving over three day holiday weekends like Memorial Day or Labor Day.
If you are planning to move a long-distance or out-of-state, then you owe it to yourself to consider hiring a moving company. At the very least seek estimates from at least three moving companies. Estimates should be given in person not over the phone, too. The quote you receive will be determined by the weight of your things (more on that below). To get the most accurate quote, be sure that you let the estimator know what exactly will be moved. Finally, when looking to hire a mover, reputable moving companies are licensed and insured professionals.
One benefit of moving is it offers a time to assess what it is you can live without. That’s why one of the better cost-saving tips when moving is to de-clutter your home. You are wasting time and money by moving things you don’t use or need anymore. Long-distance movers charge you based on the weight of the shipment. If you don’t need it, don’t pay to move it. You may want to donate a few things to de-clutter. Depending on what you donate—you may get a healthy tax deduction.
Sell Your Unwanted Items
The more things you choose to move, the more you will pay. Another way to downsize is to sell off what you are not using. Have a yard sale, organize a neighborhood garage sale or list your goods on Craigslist. Selling what you no longer use or have outgrown can earn you some extra cash to help with the move. More importantly, if you are hiring professional movers, you can eliminate extra weight which will reduce moving costs.
Do the Packing Yourself
Packing your own belongings you can save on costs. Professional movers charge for their time and the material costs of moving. Packing rates may vary, but it will still cost you hundreds of dollars more to have the movers pack for you. Packing yourself will also speed up the process—you will only be paying for the time it takes for the movers to load the boxes you have packed.
Ask Your Friends for a DIY Move
If you are moving locally, ask friends to help you move. Even if it is only loading big items, it can save a boatload of cash instead of hiring movers. It costs an estimated $200 per hour for 4 movers to load a truck. If you’re on a tight budget, ask friends and family to help. Everyone moves, and you will be able to pay it back and pay it forward.
Save all your moving receipts! You can deduct your moving expenses from your taxes. Depending on your move, many of the expenses you entail may be tax-deductible. Eligible moving costs can be deducted from your taxable income Form 1040.
If you need some extra cash for moving expenses a personal loan could be an ideal option. Learn more about our flexible loan packages today.