Moving on a budget

Key Takeaway
Everything residents need to know to keep costs down when they move.

One of the biggest costs that come when you move is the actual cost of moving. If you don’t take a thoughtful approach to moving or wait until the last minute, you might break the bank. To make sure you don’t do that, we’ve got a few tips to help.

Know how much you’re willing to spend

Since this post is about moving on a budget, let’s assume that you don’t want to spend a lot. Currently, the average cost to move if you’re just renting a truck and doing the moving yourself is around $400. That number increases to approximately $1200 when you hire two movers. Keep in mind that movers cost between $25-$50 an hour, so if you want to utilize movers, pack everything up yourself and have it organized so the movers can pick up the boxes and put them in the truck as quickly as possible.

These numbers are for a shorter move. If you plan on moving out of state, you should budget at least $5,000 (maybe more) because the costs increase significantly the further you move.

Have a moving sale

If you’re having trouble pulling enough cash to get the moving process started, a good way to drum up funds is by having a moving sale. The benefits are twofold. First, it will help you come up with the money needed to finance your move, and second, it will help you reduce the amount of stuff you have to move. Once the sale is over, take whatever is left over and donate it to Goodwill or some other charitable organization.

Find free boxes

Another tried and true method to keep costs down is utilizing free moving supplies. Whether that be getting them from a friend who recently moved or from the liquor store or grocery store, finding free boxes is typically pretty easy.

Get help from family and friends

If the costs above for movers are too much for you to swallow, there’s an even harder pill for you to swallow that could help keep you within your budget—asking friends and family to help. Nothing’s cheaper than free labor and most of the time they’ll be willing to help you out (so long as you don’t move very often).

Do your due diligence 

Give yourself enough time to price out the best options, so you can get the best deal. One thing to consider is moving during the offseason (September to April) to keep cost downs because there’s less demand for moving services. Also, take the time to take stock of your possessions and measure your new place to make sure everything will fit. This will also help you determine what size of moving truck/trailer you’ll need.

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