6 Foolproof Tips for Saving Money on Your Move
Unless you’re living in a tiny house, moving can be a real nightmare. How do you get all your stuff out of your current home and into your new place without dropping a ton of cash in the process?
Check out these tricks and strategies for moving on a tight budget.
1. Research the Costs of DIY vs. Professional Services
Don’t automatically assume that hiring movers will be more expensive than moving yourself. While that rental truck looks like a good deal, too many do-it-yourselfers put a lot of sweat into a move, only to realize they’ve spent more on a U-Haul than they would’ve on professional movers. When considering professionals, collect at least three quotes from different companies. Despite what you might think, it is possible to negotiate with movers.
If you’re looking for something between the two extremes of hiring professionals or bribing your friends with beer and pizza, it’s worth looking into portable storage units. A number of companies offer this option, though PODS is perhaps the most well-known. You load the unit yourself, the company moves it to your new place, and you unload it.
2. Don’t Pay for Boxes
Why pay for boxes when you can get them for free? Many stores have boxes they get rid of after receiving inventory in them. Consider furniture stores, pet stores, super markets, liquor stores, book stores, etc. Give them a call at least a week in advance and ask if they have any to give away. It’s also worth checking Craigslist, Freecycle and your workplace for free or cheap boxes.
Once you have your boxes, it only takes a few seconds and a cutting tool to make small triangle holes at both sides. This makes the boxes much easier to carry, especially if they contain heavy items like books or dishes. Figure out how many boxes you’ll need with this box calculator.
3. Optimize Your Utility Shut-Down Dates
Some utility companies won’t prorate your bill as of your departure date, so if your billing cycle doesn’t line up with your moving date, consider cutting off your service early so you’re not paying for an extra month. Yes, you can survive without cable or Internet for a week or two. No, you probably don’t want to try this with electricity.
4. Find Affordable Utilities at Your New Location
There’s not much to choosing an electric provider, but most of us are pretty concerned about getting the right Internet access. To save money with an ISP that you plan to stay with for a few years, considering buying your own modem and router instead of renting. Many providers charge $10 to $15 per month to rent their equipment. If you stay with that company for two years, the total rental costs would be $240 to $360. You can buy a top-rated modem and router for less than $200.
While this won’t work as well for hardcore streamers or gamers, you can also consider reducing your Internet speed. Dropping to a lower, more appropriate speed could reduce your monthly bill by $35 or more, depending on your carrier.
- 10-15 Mbps: Ideal for small households with basic Internet needs, such as emailing, web browsing and some music or video streaming.
- 35-40 Mbps: Great for multi-user households that will be downloading and streaming. Also typically sufficient for working from home.
- 75+ Mbps: Best for heavy use of downloading, streaming and online gaming.
When you know how much bandwidth you want, shop for the best deal on your new plan.
5. Ditch Some (or All) of Your Stuff
Selling or donating some of your belongings can earn you some cash (or a tax deduction) and eliminate extra weight, a metric that some movers use to partly estimate their cost. And as many people have discovered while unpacking after a move, you don’t actually need everything you think you do.
6. Let USPS Move Your Books
Boxes containing books are among the heaviest ones to move. Once you’ve gone through your personal library and identified books to donate or sell, box up the keepers and send them via Media Mail through the U.S. Postal Service.
While they might take a little longer to arrive at their destination, you can’t beat the price: a 20-pound box of books only costs $11.55 to ship. Your savings on moving your books may take some of the sting off other expenses.
Moving will never be easy, but these strategies should help you stick to your budget and minimize the dent in your bank account.
You might also be interested in: 9 Sure Fire Tips to Improve Your Move.
This tips were partially compiled from Lifehacker.