Moving can be a stressful process, especially when you’re on a deadline. From packing and cleaning, to dealing with suspicious movers, the process of moving can take a toll. More than taking a toll on your stress and patience levels, it can also take a toll on your wallet! If you fail to plan properly, an expected budget-friendly move can quickly turn into a money-sucking move. The CGS Team is sharing 5 tips to plan a budget friendly move to help you avoid overspending.
#1 Weigh the Costs of DIY or Professional Services
It may seem more cost-effective to pack, move and ship everything yourself, but failing to take into account certain costs can make it more expensive. Research the costs of a U-Haul rental or a portable storage unit. Most U-Haul trucks are paid for by the hour, so if you are behind, it can add up!
If you are moving between states, research the costs of shipping your items through USPS and having a professional moving company drive them to your new home. You may be surprised at the deals on shipping you can get at your local post office.
If you do decide to go with a moving company, here are a few tips to follow, courtesy of LifeHacker.com:
“When considering professionals, collect at least three quotes from different companies. Despite what you might think, it is possible to negotiate with movers. Even moving companies have an off-season: if you can time your move during fall or winter, companies often lower their rates as much as 30 percent, according to moving industry consultant Vasi Atanasova.”
“Do a background check before booking by looking at Yelp reviews, asking for references from previous customers, and checking the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System. If you choose to go with the pros, be sure to deconstruct your IKEA furniture yourself; don’t give movers the satisfaction of charging you to use an Allen wrench!”
#2 You Don’t Have to Pay for Boxes
Boxes are an absolute necessity when it comes to moving, that’s why companies can charge incredibly high amounts for them. Instead of resorting to paying an insane amount of money on boxes, exhaust all options first. These box-finding options can be a much cheaper alternative:
- Look for printer paper boxes at the office. These boxes should be sturdy enough to handle personal items.
- Ask friends or family if they have any spare boxes lying around – from previous move or large purchase.
- Browse Freecylce or the free section of Craigslist to see if anyone is looking to get rid of their boxes.
- Check behind big department stores like TJ Maxx or Marshalls to see if they have any boxes lying around.
#3 Sell Stuff you Don’t Want or Need before you Move
How about bringing in some extra cash before you actually move? Since you are planning your move ahead of time, you are likely already thinking about the things that need to get moved, and those that are low priority. If you have any clothes, household supplies, or general items that you don’t want or need, sell it! Avoid lugging those items to your new home to simply sit like they were before. eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist are all great options for selling old stuff. Use the money you earn to contribute to your move.
#4 Keep Track of Your Moving Expenses
Are you moving for work? If so, you may be able to deduct most, if not all, of your moving expenses. There are certain requirements your move for work must hit, like your moving being 50 miles or further from your old home to your new place of work. Read the IRS Guidelines for deducting moving expenses to see if you may qualify.
If you don’t qualify for the moving expense deduction, but you are moving for work, be sure to ask if your employer offers any stipends or bonuses to help with move. You may even be reimbursed for some of your expenses. Regardless, it’s important to keep track of all of your moving expenses. Having them filed and handy could save you some money.
#5 Schedule Your Move Accordingly
You can save a lot of money by booking your move as early as possible and moving during an off-period time. Off-peak moving season typically runs from September-May and companies often charge 30% less during this time than the busy moving season. In addition to moving during the off-peak season, it can save you money to move on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Weekends, national holidays, and other times when most people are off work can rack up your moving expense.
There are other benefits to knowing your move date as soon as possible. Just take it from moving industry professional Pamela Smith, “knowing the date of your move way in advance will always be a win-win situation for you – you will know exactly how much time you have to get ready for the big day and, at the same time, you minimize the chance of having your moving out/moving in date rejected by your chosen moving company due to an overbooked schedule.”
Related: Top 5 Tips for Staying in Budget
Remember how we talked about how stressful moving can be? Following the tips above can save you time, stress, and money. Have you made a budget-friendly move before? What tips can you share? Have past moves really broken the bank for you? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below!