Get a Move On! 5 Ways to Move on the Cheap

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How to Move on a Budget

How to Move on a Budget

By: Matthew Bacon

It’s no secret that moving is terribly expensive. Even moves that take place within the same town or neighborhood have a way of racking up astronomical costs. People often complain about the cost of moving from one city or state to another but the truth is, there are enormous expenses associated with moving no matter where you do it. The cost of first month’s rent, last month’s rent and security deposits, not to mention broker’s fees, costs of shipping, movers, renting vans and purchasing moving supplies all add up and can stress out even the calmest person in the world.

Because moving can be so stressful and emotionally traumatic, most people avoid doing it as much as possible. Moving is sometimes necessary though. If you are faced with a move, you are very likely feeling worried about the financial burden, the arduous task of packing all of your possessions and transporting them, and having to sleep in a strange, disordered place that may take a good amount of time to make comfortable before you can settle in and feel truly at home.

There is very little that can be done to make many of these concerns go away. The annoyance of having to move your possessions can’t really be depleted, even if you do outsource almost all of the labor associated with the move. However, some things can be done to ease the burden on your budget. Generally speaking, there are going to be some costs associated with a move, but there are ways to defray them:

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Begin planning now. Grab boxes, newspaper, tape, bubble wrap and other packing items from places that no longer need them, rather than buying new items. Liquor stores, electronic stores and hardware stores very often have discarded boxes, bubble wrap and other similar items that can be used for moving. This can save you a tremendous amount of money and can also allow you begin to pack your items earlier, which can help alleviate some of the stress.

Consider whether you really do want to hire movers. You may have the budget for it, but hiring movers is a lot more expensive than renting a van or truck and making the move yourself.  If you can convince some friends to help you, you can get a whole moving crew for just the cost of a good dinner and some beers.  If you are set on hiring movers, however, do plenty of research beforehand to ensure that you can get the absolute best movers possible and that you can get a price that is reasonable.  This is most generally only feasible when you reserve the service ahead of time. Last minute movers often get away with charging a tremendous amount for their services, but those who reserve early can usually get a good deal.

Have a garage sale. During a move, so many items are thrown away or discarded, so why not at least get something out of them to help you out with the cost of your move? Garage sales may not pay for all of it, but it’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone: getting rid of unnecessary items while putting some money in your pocket.

Give to good will. Like a garage sale, this eliminates unnecessary items while doing a good deed for the community. This will lighten your load and allow you to invest less money in movers if you choose to go that route.

Lastly, don’t underestimate yourself. You and your family clearly can’t do it all. But look at it this way: moving day is only one day of your entire life and once it’s over, it’s a thing of the past. It may lead to several trips and a few aches and pains, but it’s all worth it once you’re in the comfort of your new home with extra cash to spend.

Matthew Bacon is a freelance writer and blogger. He’s worked with long distance moving companies and considers himself an expert at helping readers understand how to move on a budget.

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