10 Ways To Save Money When Moving Out of State
Written by Alyssa Howard, Moveboxer.com
1. Design your move
The key to any move is planning. Essentially, long-distance moving involves three phases: packing and preparing, travel, and setting up your new home. For the packing phase, you will need to have an idea of your items that need to be moved. For the move, you either need to plan to move yourself, or choose a mover and make plans to get yourself and your family to your new home. Be sure to think about the things you will need to do post-move before you leave. This will prevent unforeseen costs when you unpack and settle in. For an example, you can use suitcases from the basement or extra boxes from Amazon orders to reduce some of the costs of the packaging materials. You can also schedule your move during an off-peak time, like during the week or during the months of September through March. But it takes lots of planning so you will want to start now.
2. Budget, budget, budget!
Start putting together a budget for all three stages of your move (packing and preparing, travel, and setting up your new home). You can use Moveboxer's tool or an Excel sheet. Make two columns to track estimated expenses and actual expenses. That way, if one area is a lot more expensive than you thought, you can compensate by choosing a cheaper option in another area. Planning ahead for little things like travel costs, incidentals, and repairs will save you money in the long run.
3. Lose the clutter
Whether you choose a self-service container moving option or a full-service mover, you will be charged for the amount of things that you are moving. Keep this in mind. When you are packing up your things, really ask yourself whether or not you have used that particular item in the past year, two years, or even five years. Try to sell, donate, or throw away as much as possible. If your couch won’t fit in your new living room, sell it. If you have parachute pants you haven’t worn in decades, donate them to charity. Hosting a garage sale or selling smaller items on Ebay (like purses, artwork, jewelry or sunglasses) can even help you to recoup some of your moving costs.
4. Keep track of the small stuff
If you aren’t careful, the little things will pile up. Be sure to budget for little things like food, packing materials, and repairs for your new home. These could mean the difference between an affordable move and one that breaks the bank. Be extra careful of the last two weeks before your move date. Try to use all of the groceries in your cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer so you aren't wasting any food up until move time. Another tip is to put together moving shopping lists for before and after your move. You can find discounted gift cards at the stores where you know you'll need to shop in order to save money.
5. Think outside the cardboard box
Use your network of family and friends to reduce costs. Ask around for packing materials, help packing and planning, and advice. Planning something like a big move is not a one-person job, so reach out! One idea is to host a packing party. You can ask friends and family to come over and make it fun while you pack up the boxes.
6. Make your complaints known
If your mover damages any of your goods, don’t just sit back and soak up the cost, be sure to say something. It helps to have a general idea of your belongings, especially those that are worth more. You will want to schedule your time so that you are there when the movers come and load up, and also when they arrive and unload. That way you can inspect your items as they are coming in the door.
7. Write it off
Many of your moving costs can be written off of your taxes. Be sure to check IRS Publication 521 for details and keep a record of the costs that you incurred throughout the entire process of moving. Also, when you donate your items, be sure to take pictures of the items you are donating, make a list of the approximate depreciated value, and get a receipt. Use all of this at tax time to save money on your move.
8. Look for hidden fees and insurance
If you do use a mover, or even if you rent a van, be sure to thoroughly research the costs before committing. Most movers have the best intentions but you don’t want to get nickel-and-dimed. Be sure to get at least three estimates and ask questions to eliminate any confusion.
9. Research all modes of travel
If you choose a moving company, ensure that moving yourself and your family won’t break the bank. Check travel sites for cheap airfare, and compare this to driving or taking a train. Travel deals are out there, you just need to find them. If you are flying while your items are being moved to your new home, you can coordinate car transport through Moveboxer with a special discount. If you are driving, don't forget about the extra space in your car. You can put some of your items in your car to reduce the cost of the movers.
10. Know your new neighborhood
Before you move, be sure to locate “essentials” in your new neighborhood. Know where the grocery store, drugstore and gas station are before you arrive to make your arrival smooth. This will prevent any emergency trips for supplies where you could spend too much.