Follow these 10 cash-saving tips to stay on a budget during your next move.

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Move Your Money with You

How to Save Money Moving When You're on a Budget

Moving and money. Anxiety skyrockets when these two concepts are paired together.

In 2014 alone, 16% of Americans were on their way to a new residence. It makes the conversation about moving trucks and security deposits almost unavoidable. We understand expenses can add up fast on a move, so we’re here to help with 10 ways to keep money in your bank account before you reach your next doorstep.

1. Trim and Win

You can actually make profits on a move. You just need to know where to begin. A good place to start is by looking at what items you can get rid of to gain some extra change. Think hard about what you have and if it’s worth the time and cost to move these items.
Some decisions are easier than others, like disposing old toys, unused personal care products, broken or outdated electronics, etc. Then, there are judgment calls that are more difficult. You may love the piano you grew up learning to play on, but if you rarely spend time playing it, it may make sense to sell.

Once you’ve made a mental note of all the items you’re not going to be packing, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get rid of these pieces.

Some ways you can sell your unwanted goods include:

  • Having a garage sale or estate sale.
  • Selling online using apps like Wallapop or OfferUp.
  • Listing on a neighborhood Facebook community or a site like Nextdoor.
  • Bartering – a good way to settle odds with family and friends!

2. Don’t Overbuy

It’s easy to start clicking “Add to Cart” for everything you see on Wayfair, but hold that mouse…think of all the downsizing you are going through for this move. Strive to buy only what you need at your new place, especially if you are upgrading to a space with more square footage. Because you’ll start to visualize what you think you need in each room, you’ll be more prone to impulse buys in the short-term.

3. Donate

It’s important to have an itemized receipt so you can write off the donation on your income taxes.
Take what you can’t sell and donate it. The thrift shop, Savers, is ideal for quick and effortless donating. Many of their stores have drive-up garage access. You drive through the doors into an enclosed hallway, unload your items, and someone will be waiting there to give you a receipt. Savers will accept most items and will re-sell the nicer stuff in their store and transfer the rest to other sites.

It’s important to have an itemized receipt so you can write off the donation on your income taxes. Other donation options include Goodwill or Salvation Army.

4. Measure Twice, Sit Once

We’ve all heard stories of the sectional couch that couldn’t quite make it through the doorway. Don’t make the mistake of eye-balling size.

Make sure to measure your larger fixtures – tables, sofas, custom pieces, etc. – and evaluate how they will fit into your new footprint. One simple way to do this is to make sure you measure dimensions of each room in your new living space, and even consider the width and heights of door frames, stairwells and hallways. Live too far away to do this? See if your new landlord or current seller can give you this information in advance.

Once you determine what won’t fit, the easier it will be to determine what has to go and what can stay.

5. Pack Items With What’s Around You

Packing materials can be costly. Instead of buying an oversized roll of bubble wrap, look to use household items as packing material for household goods.

Believe it or not, socks can be used to wrap glassware. Kitchen towels are a great way to separate plates. And, remember all those boxes you kept in the attic from goods purchased over the years? Leverage the original packaging to transfer what originally came in them, or find a way to use these materials to protect finer goods.

Back to boxes – if possible, avoid buying them altogether. Try sites like Craigslist to search for people who are willing to give them away. However, if you are packing boxes to put into storage, do not – we repeat, do not – use boxes from the grocery store or liquor store or anything that could have been exposed to open food or beverage. The smell will remain in the cardboard and attract unwanted little critters into the storage space.

6. Ask Your Boss to Reimburse You

If your company won’t compensate you, then your moving expenses may be tax-deductible.
Before you accept that job offer two states over, ask your company if they will pay for moving expenses or offer compensation for relocation. If your company won’t compensate you, then your moving expenses may be tax-deductible. Talk to your accountant or tax advisor to see if you are eligible for a write-off.

7. Movers vs. Friends: The Dilemma

Finding help on a move is always one of the biggest decisions you will make. While you may be quick to bribe your friends with pizza and beer, it’s sometimes better to call the professionals. Here are a few things to consider before making this decision:

  • Are your friends capable of moving heavy furniture?
  • How much do I have to move?
  • Am I moving far away or relocating?
  • How much money will I save by asking friends?
  • Do I have any valuable furniture pieces to move?
  • Do I have a piano, pool table or otherwise complicated pieces to move?
  • Ever watch professional movers in action? They make moving a loveseat down 10 flights of a narrow stairwell seem like an Olympic sport. Yes, they come with a cost, but they can save you a lot of headaches with speediness and efficiency.

8. Don’t Move During Peak Season or Rush Hour

While this may be out of your control, try to avoid moving during the peak season (May through September). Not only are off-season rates lower, but you will have an easier time scheduling the move.

9. Better TV and Internet are Out There

Be wary of any deal that seems too good to be true, but find a cable or satellite provider that offers a 12-month special for movers like you. You’ll need to know how much the plan will cost after the special expires and what the terms of the contract are to compare offers against each other.

Don’t forget, it is 2016. There is a gauntlet of internet-TV streaming devices, like Amazon Fire TV, that may work for you instead of traditional plans.

In the period before you move, you might consider cancelling TV or Internet services early. Surviving on your phone’s Wi-Fi – if possible – can help out your budget before you even begin to pack.

10. Self-Storage is Helpful

If your move is temporary or you have a gap between when you need to leave your old place and when your new home is ready, renting a self-storage unit may be your only option. If that’s the case, find a storage company, like Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, that offers a free moving truck, which helps eliminate an additional expense.

We hope you enjoyed our Top 10. Do you have any tips you’d like to share that saved you time or money? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Kendall Ryder

    Self-storage is a great idea for moving! Especially if you don’t have access to your new home yet. It gives you the space you need while allowing you to get stuff out of your home. That way, you have a third area to use during the transition. Hopefully that makes the move a little bit easier!

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