8 Creative Ways to Save Money When You Move

By Chonce Maddox
May 30, 2019

Let’s face it: Moving can be exciting but it can also be a hassle. Sometimes you’re on a strict timeline when you move and other times, you can spend months planning for the big day.

Either way, you’ll likely have to deal with a slew of out-of-pocket costs, including paying for movers, renting a truck, purchasing packing materials, and even paying for hidden expenses like food or tips for the moving crew.

We’re here to tell you that you don’t have to overspend. Here are eight creative ways to save money when you move.

1. Declutter Your Home First

Minimizing what you own can make the move much smoother.

If you’re overwhelmed with packing, it may be because you have a ton of stuff. So, take some time to declutter your home during the weeks leading up to your move.

Instead of just throwing everything in a box, actually go through each section of your home and sort through items to see what you need to keep and what you can get rid of. If you find an item you haven’t seen in a while as you’re cleaning up, you may not need to take it with you unless, of course, it’s valuable to you.

2. Get Boxes From Local Businesses

This is one of my favorite ways to save money on moving. Why pay for boxes when there are so many ways to get them for free?

If a store tries to charge you for empty boxes, move on. There are plenty of grocery stores and restaurants that will give you boxes for free. They receive a ton of inventory each day and once everything is unpacked, the boxes are usually just thrown away or recycled.

Be sure to coordinate with the store to see what time of day you can come by to pick up boxes so they have them ready for you.

3. Sell Items Online First

Once you declutter your home, you may find that you have quite a few items that can be sold to help you pay for your move. While you may not have time to set up a garage sale before you move, you can list some things on Facebook Marketplace or OfferUp.

4. Use What You Have on Hand to Pack Delicate Items

Keep your spending on packing materials to a minimum. Once you have your free boxes, you probably won’t need special protective moving blankets and stretch wrapper.

Instead, wrap dishes in old newspaper. Disassemble large furniture and place the screws and bolts in plastic bags. Use clean trash bags to transport clothing. Wrap your mirrors and glass items in spare blankets. You get the point.

Also, be sure to mark fragile boxes or transport them yourself in your car to ensure everything remains in good shape.

5. Track Your Spending

Preparing for a move can make your life super busy. And, when you’re busy, it’s easy to overspend.

While tracking your spending isn’t the most creative idea, it’s necessary if you want to control your moving costs and stick to a budget.

For starters, track every moving-related purchase you make and figure out how much you’re spending. This can help you determine when you’re nearing your spending limit so you can plan your cash flow more efficiently.

If you use Chime, you can take advantage of daily bank account balance notifications and you’ll receive an alert each time your debit card is used to make a transaction.

6. Avoid Moving on Weekends

Believe it or not, the timing of your move can play a big role in how much you spend on truck rentals, moving companies, and other related purchases. So, try to avoid moving on peak days and during busy times when costs are inflated.

If you have the availability, it’s definitely worth it to schedule your move on a random weekday and just request time off from work. You’ll avoid traffic and unnecessary costs.

7. Incentivize Friends and Family to Help You Move

If you’re moving locally, you can expect to spend around $450 or more. If you’re hiring movers for a relocation, your costs could run you well over $1,000.

Why not save the money and ask friends and family to help you move? Offer to provide drinks and meals in exchange for their help. Or, consider paying them a small fee. You can send money easily and quickly with Chime Bank’s Pay Friends app feature.

8. Plan Meals and Snacks

It’s common to get overwhelmed with the whole moving process and either forget to eat or splurge on a ton of bad takeout food. So, plan out your meals and snacks in advance so you don’t overspend on food when moving.

Brainstorm some easy meals that you can prep and store in your fridge or freezer. Even if you’ve packed up most of your cooking supplies and utensils, you can keep a single pan out and prepare a few one-pan meals in bulk.

Or, consider buying snacks at your local warehouse club just in case you or your movers get hungry throughout the day. And, if you’re going to order food, make sure you compare different options and save up in advance.

Lastly, create a moving budget that includes food, and set up automatic transfers to your savings account to make sure you can comfortably cover all your expenses when moving day arrives.

Plan Your Move Without Overspending

While things may seem hectic when you plan a move, your budget doesn’t have to go out the window.

If you follow these guidelines, you can control your spending, track your transactions, and use some of our other suggestion to save money on your move.

Choncé is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, personal finance freelance writer, and blogger who focuses on helping other manage their money better in order to live a life with more possibilities and fewer limitations. Her work has been featured on Business Insider, LendingTree, Credit Sesame, Barclaycard.

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