7 Tips for Moving on a Budget

Whether you are broke, thrifty, financially responsible, or a reader of our guide on How To Budget for Your Move who failed miserably at sticking to their plan — this is the article for you!

Here are 7 tips for moving on a budget:

  1. Have a budget. You want to “move on a budget”, i.e. spend less money…but do you actually have a budget set up?! Having one can save you a lot of money. Here’s that link again.

  2. Move during the fall or winter. The vast majority of all moves in the U.S. take place between May and September. Moving companies will charge much lower rates outside of these months, since demand is so low. And though you may have a harder time finding a new place in the off-peak moving seasons, if you do find a place, you will have a much better chance of negotiating a lower price or monthly rent. For more info, see our guide on when to move.

  3. Compare prices. Doinga move by yourself may not be as cheap as you think, once you factor in all the time spent packing and moving rather than working (and making money). Tally an estimated number of hours you’d spend moving by yourself, and compare the work-loss price with the price of renting a U-Haul/Budget/Ryder/Penske truck, using a service like PODS or SmartBox, or using a moving company. Check out this post to figure out if you need a moving company. We also recommend getting a flat rate when booking a mover.

  4. Get your deposits back. Don’t forget to retrieve your security deposit from when you moved in. The same goes for your utility deposits. That’s a lot of money you don’t want to leave behind!

  5. Find free packing materials. Try to get free boxes from liquor stores, grocery stores, your office, Craigslist or Freecycle, or ask friends with a post on Facebook. You can also rent used boxes from a number of different companies. For packing paper, stock up on newspapers a few weeks or months ahead your move. You can also use towels, linens, clothes, etc. to pack your fragile items, but keep in mind the many loads of laundry waiting for you on the other end!

  6. Deduct your moving expenses. If you fit the IRS’ requirements, you can deduct your travel costs, packing materials, shipping costs and utility fees. More of a long-term budgetary move, but it could save you a lot of money.For more information, make sure to check out our guide on the subject here.

  7. Get rid of your stuff. Craigslist and Ebay are great places to make some cash, and of course there’s always an old fashioned garage sale. Check out our guide for more help selling your things. Even if you simply give stuff away, you’ll be saving money by having less stuff to pack! That means less time away from work for you, and/or a smaller, lighter, cheaper load for your moving company or rental truck.

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