MOVE ON A BUDGET: 19 Tips To Save While You Move

Sharree - Staff WriterThere are few tasks as expensive and complex as moving. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving across the country or down the street, it’s annoying and can easily get pretty complicated and pricey. We may want to be young, wild, and free and move wherever our hearts desire but we must plan ahead and organize to avoid overspending during a move. Planning ahead is especially important if you’re heading back to school or starting a new job because these big transitions can easily throw your budget out of whack. Moving will require time and financial investments but here are some tips to help you along the way!


Before You Move

  1. Set up a forwarding address so you don’t miss any bills, W-2’s, or birthday cards from family.
  2. Stock up on staples like batteries, face wash, toothpaste if you’re moving to a state with higher sales tax. You’ll need these items and they won’t take up much extra space.
  3. Go on your last grocery trip two weeks before leaving, you don’t want to waste money in the form of unused groceries.
  4. Plan to keep all of your receipts. If you’re moving for a job, you may be able to write off some of your expenses come tax season.


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  1. Find free boxes from a grocery stores, big box stores like Costco, liquor store, etc.
  2. Use laundry baskets, trash bins, and suitcases as boxes.
  3. Take inventory of your things and figure out what you can toss, sell, or donate. Keep track of what you donate for tax purposes. Many thrift stores will even pick up your larger items!
  4. If you, literally, have extra baggage that you don’t want to sell, donate, or haven’t used it or worn in ages – throw it away! The less you have to move, the better.
  5. Don’t buy a ton of packing materials. You can use clothing, newspaper, or the mountain of plastic bags under the sink instead of bubble wrap, just make sure your clothes are clean.
  6. Keep your clothes in your drawer and then plastic wrap the drawer. You’ll know where your clothes are and will have fewer items to move.
  7. Pack all of your liquids in the same plastic bin, if anything spills it won’t ruin other items.



Help Moving

  1. Hire your friends. Pay them in pizza and give them first dibs on any items you may want to give away. Your next move is likely not your last move, so be organized and treat your friends well so they’ll be likely help you again.
  2. Renting a moving truck or using a moving service? Do your research to find the best price that also includes insurance. Professional movers are super efficient, but you don’t want to be on the hook if they break something of yours.
  3. Negotiate! After you’ve done your research, don’t be afraid to negotiate the price down even further.
  4. Try to move during a weekday or on the off-season if you’re hiring a service. (Peak season is May through September!)
  5. Ship your books. If you’re moving far away, it’s often cheaper to ship your books than to lug them with you.
  6. Moving across the country and not taking much? Pack all of your things in suitcases and fly to your destination. The average cost for additional baggage is around $50, much less than shipping.


Moving Day

  1. Leave time to clean up after packing all of your things, because you’ll want as much of your security deposit back as possible.
  2. Take photos of how you left your space and do the same at your new place as soon as you enter, it’s important to document any damage or just get a record of the state of things so you’re not incorrectly charged the next time you move.



Whew! That was a lot. Although having a move on your horizon may induce a ton of anxiety about your budget, with preparation you can wrap your head around how much you’ll need to get to your next destination and settle in. You can probably start packing now ;-)




See Related Post: When it Rains it Pours: The Importance of an Emergency Savings Account