Apr 15, 2022 by Wendy Hoke

Keep Your Moving Expenses Within Budget

Moving can be expensive, especially if you don’t prepare a budget in advance. The farther you move, the more expensive it can be. If you are moving across the country on a tight budget, we have pulled together some tips for staying within your financial limits. 

  • Get organized. Make to-do lists, supplies lists, and create a master calendar. Not only will you save money by not buying more supplies than you need, but you’ll also save money by being ready for the movers. You’ll also save on time and stress. 
  • Gather multiple estimates and compare them carefully. That way you can see a range of prices. Be sure to clarify that the services you want are included in all estimates. If you have a low bid, ask other agents if they’ll price match or negotiate. You can also ask if there’s a discount for paying with a cashier’s check instead of with a credit card. They might say no, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. 
  • Pare down your belongings and declutter. The more stuff you move, the more your move will cost, so cut as much as possible from your move. Declutter first. Gid rid of things that are broken, haven’t been used in over a year or has become outdated. Disposed of these items either by selling them or donating them. Sell items in good condition in a moving sale or through an online site to earn some additional cash. 
  • Do Your Own Packing and Unpacking. This is a major undertaking, but if you have the time and the ability to do so, it can save you money upfront. Just be sure you do a good job of packing; broken or damaged items that need to be replaced may end up costing you more. However, keep in mind that professional packers will be quicker, more efficient, and more careful with packing. Hiring professional packers could actually save you time and money. 
  • Reduce the weight of your belongings. Moving a lot of heavy stuff will also make your long-distance move more expensive. It’s worth considering whether selling heavy items like home gyms, weight sets, large grills, and appliances, then replacing them after you move, is less expensive than moving the items. If you have a high and low weight estimate for your move, add up the weight of your bulkiest items, then subtract it from the high estimate. If it puts you closer to the weight of the low estimate, and the cost of the replacement items is covered, it may be worth it. 
  • Don’t ship your car if you can avoid it. Shipping a car will add a significant amount to the cost of your move; driving will cost you the cost of gas one way. If you have a car that you’re thinking of replacing, it might make sense to sell before moving and replace it afterward. And if you’re moving into a city with good transportation, consider whether you’ll need a car at all. 
  • Recoup a Portion of Your Moving Expenses. Keep track of everything you donate, and get receipts from the charities you donate to. You may be able to deduct the value of the donations on your taxes, along with your moving expenses. 

With forethought and care, you can cut back on the expense of moving. Remember that sometimes, it’s better to pay someone else in order to save time, or not have to do everything yourself. So as you set about creating and meeting your budget, include your own time and labor as part of the equation, and figure out which items are worth splurging on. 


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