Tips for a Budget-Friendly Move

Moving is a costly expenditure, but if you know from the get-go that your budget is low, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you don’t overspend or accrue a large amount of debt. Adhere to the following tips and tricks to keep your costs low and your wallet full.

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Build Up a Savings Account/Emergency Fund

Oftentimes, moving expenses will be 10-20% more than you planned and for this reason, it is important that you have some money set aside to take care of these unforeseen expenses.  If you don’t have that additional money available, you will want to look for ways to decrease the anticipated costs, so that the excess can serve as back-up funds if your budget is surpassed.  The other option is to save up more money before the move by selling items you no longer need and don’t wish to unnecessarily relocate.  You could hold a garage sale for some fast cash, or list items on eBay, craigslist, or utilize certain mobile apps for local selling, such as Close5 or OfferUp.

Review Mover Contract with a Fine-Tooth Comb

If you are hiring professional movers, which is emphatically suggested if you can afford it, make sure to check the contract closely before committing. Most movers will include a clause that allows for additional charges to be added if certain obstacles are presented.  For example, if there are stairs at either your old or new place that were not initially disclosed, additional fees can be imposed.  Also, if a walkway or driveway is too narrow for a truck, the movers could be presented with a longer walk carrying your heavy items which can also accrue more charges.  Make sure to have the moving company properly assess the origination and destination of your move, so that these costs will be included from the beginning and you will not be hit with any unfortunate surprises.

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Begin the Moving Process/Preparation Early

By starting your packing well in advance, you will have plenty of time to determine how many items actually need to be moved, so you can consider whether or not professional help will actually be required.  If you are making a short-distance move and have the ability to transfer items to your new location immediately, take a little at a time, and you could possibly save yourself the cost of a large truck when your big moving day comes around.

Get Rid of Items That Do Not Need to be Moved

Many people wait until the last minute, and end up throwing all their possessions into moving boxes haphazardly, which leads to relocating many things that did not need to be moved in the first place.  Sell, donate, or give away anything you don’t plan on using at your final destination, and save yourself the added expense of moving these items unnecessarily.  Don’t procrastinate and you won’t find yourself as stressed and more prone to making poor financial decisions when moving day comes along.

Look for Free Moving Supplies and Labor

Don’t be afraid to ask your friends, neighbors, and family members for spare boxes and packing materials.  Many people either have these hanging around the house or even work in an industry where they can procure these items for you free of charge.  The FREE section on craigslist is often chock-full of people volunteering up moving boxes when they’re done with them.  As for labor, if your move is short-distance, ask your close friends or family members for some assistance either packing, loading, or unloading.  If it is long-distance, you may just want to ask for aid at the beginning, and possibly hire professionals to meet you at your final destination.  Make sure to express your gratitude if you do receive free labor, and show how thankful you are by providing cold beverages and food when the process is complete.

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