I’ve moved so many times in the last few years, and for some reason, the high cost of moving always surprises me. Not only is it extremely stressful and time intensive but the unexpected fees get me every time.
However, during my last move I managed so save a few hundred dollars by shopping around. I actually only had 16 days to move across the country, so even though I could have saved more with a bit more time to plan. I’m happy with the results! Here are my top tips:
1. Collect Boxes from Businesses
When I was getting ready for my big move, I collected a ton of really nice moving boxes from my mom’s place of work. They get huge shipments in every week that come in very heavy duty boxes. If I were to buy all of the boxes myself, it would have cost me hundreds of dollars.
So, before you go out and purchase boxes for a move, consider asking some local businesses or places where your family and friends work. You can always go into your local grocery store and ask, but if you want heavy duty boxes, consider asking doctors’ offices, technology companies, or any other place that likely receives regular shipments of heavy items.
2. Rent a Trailer
When I was researching my move from Louisiana to New Jersey, I knew that I could rent a truck or ship a large box for around $800-$1000. A large SUV rental would have cost about the same. However, I wanted to save as much money as possible so I kept brainstorming other options. Finally I realized I could pull a large trailer with my SUV and have about the same around of room. I spent $100 to put a trailer hitch on the SUV and $400 to rent the biggest trailer they had. This saved me $300 and made it so I didn’t have to rent an additional car or truck, so I also saved on gas.
3. Get Friends to Help
I only had one friend living in New Jersey when we made our trek, and he was kind enough to enlist the help of his high school brother and his friends to help us unload the trailer. All it took was purchasing 4 pizzas for around $50 and these high school kids helped us move in a flash. They lifted big, heavy boxes up a flight of stairs and were amazing. I could have hired movers for $100-$200 but it was much nicer to feed a couple of high school guys who were more than happy to help. If you don’t know a soul where you’re moving, you can always put an ad on Craigslist or contact a local church asking for volunteers. You’d be surprised how helpful people can be. I know we were overwhelmed with the generosity of our neighbors once we got to know them!
Ultimately, moving doesn’t have to be expensive. I can’t promise it won’t be stressful, and I can’t promise it will be easy. However, by using the tips above you can at least ensure that you don’t drain you entire emergency fund or break your budget completely.
How do you try to save money when moving to a new place?- Catherine Alford