Moving takes a bite out of the budget of any professional, no matter how much margin you had for that bite in the first place. Some people move for family reasons, or to chase a new job, or to get away from a bad situation. No matter what your reason is, moving doesn't always come at a financially convenient time. If you don't have a lot of savings, it can be a serious burden and risk putting you into debt to complete the process.
Today, we're here to share eight smart tips to reduce and even cover the costs of your upcoming move.
1) Collect Free Boxes
Buying a collection of sturdy packing boxes can cost $50 to $200 depending on how many boxes you need. However, buying boxes is hardly necessary considering how many sturdy cardboard boxes are used and flattened every day. E-Commerce deliveries are one reliable source of boxes to pack in. For everything else, you can ask local stores and schools that go through dozens of boxes each day.
2) Try for a Relocation Package
If you're moving to work a new job, that employer might be willing to help you defray the costs by offering a relocation package. Relo packages are built to cover the costs of a move, usually to incentivize a new employee to take the job and commit to the new location. The best time to negotiate a relo package is before you agree to take the job, or immediately afterward.
If you are moving to a new location for a current employer, enquire to see if a relocation package is an option to smooth over your transition.
3) Sell What You Don't Need
Every household builds up some excess. In the process of packing up your home, there will be many things that you don't feel are worth packing. Even if they are in good condition, you never use it and don't really want to take it with you. These items are ripe for selling. Especially anything that you never opened from the original packaging.
Selling old items about to be purged is the purpose of eBay and follower sites. Not to mention a great way to make a few extra dollars to offset the cost of your move.
4) Start Saving an Emergency Fund
Moves have a funny way of bringing out the unexpected. In the event of an emergency, you want to have a backup plan in place to fall back on. An emergency fund is the perfect multi-purpose backup plan because it can pay for everything else that you might need. But building an emergency fund takes effort, so it's always best to start early.
5) Collect Your Rightful Unemployment
If you are between jobs during this move, the costs of moving can hit particularly hard. But they don't have to. Many people don't realize that unemployment is a fund you've already paid into and it is your right to claim for the short period of time you need to settle in and get a new job. Unemployment is not welfare because you've already paid it out of each paycheck, which is also why unemployment can 'run out' over long periods.
Unemployment was designed to help people maintain income during gaps from two weeks to a few months in length. You have every right to your unemployment as supplementary income during the move.
6) Compare Moving Truck Prices
The deals for moving trucks and moving services vary wildly from one company to another. One service might offer to let you drive your own rented truck for a daily fee, another may ask a flat fee in addition to gas and mileage. The square footage and package features for renting the truck also matter. Then there are moving services that may each give you a different quote.
Weigh your options carefully before choosing your moving truck solution.
7) Throw a Moving Party with Friends
Speaking of movers, you don't have to pay a bunch of strangers by the hour to lift your boxes. Even if you live alone and can't wrangle your own furniture. That's what friends are for.
Call up your friends and friendliest coworkers to help you move all your boxes and furniture into the truck. When the day is done, you can all relax on the empty floor and share a stack of pizzas.
8) Plan Every Detail of Your Moving Trip
Finally, don't let yourself get surprised on the road. Surprises while traveling is a very common source of accidental overspending. Instead, plan your entire moving trip with absolute precision. If you're driving the moving truck, figure out exactly how far can go between gas stops and then plot station stops at about 80% of the gas-tank distance.
Figure out where you're going to stop for the night while on the road and book a room at conveniently placed hotels. You can even plan where you'll stop for each meal. This way, you're never at risk of going too far or not knowing where you'll sleep, eat, or stop for gas. And you can plan the whole trip with your budget in mind.
Moving can be a huge burden on your budget, but it doesn't have to be. With forward planning and seizing your opportunities, you might even come out of a necessary move on top with money to spare. For more tips on everyday financial concerns, contact us today!