Moving on a Budget? 7 Ways to Save on Moving Costs
“I love moving!” said no one, ever. Let’s be real—moves can be a major pain in the neck and put a massive strain on your wallet. That’s why every life-simplifying, money-saving tip makes a difference, especially if you’re moving on a budget. Check out these often-overlooked ways to save money on moving expenses.
- Snag-free moving boxes (and other packing supplies).
Sure, you could head to Home Depot or Lowes to stock up on moving boxes, but that’ll cost you. Instead, call a few local businesses to see if they have any cardboard boxes you can take off their hands for free. Liquor stores and grocery stores can typically help you out. Keep your eyes peeled for unused boxes at your workplace, too. Start preparing for your move early, and you’ll have plenty of time to scavenge for free materials that will come in handy.
- Compare prices and crunch numbers.
Most people assume the cheapest way to move is by doing everything yourself, but you may be surprised when you compare numbers. For example, hiring professional movers may end up being cheaper than renting a moving van, especially if you’ve done your research and found an affordable moving service. There are other advantages to professional movers as well, like efficiency and reliability (and, unlike your friends and family, they likely won’t break anything, and you don’t need to buy them pizza).
- Use movers wisely.
If you choose to use professional movers, make sure you’re aware of how they charge—and then strategize accordingly. If they charge by the hour, do as much “prep work” beforehand as possible. Closing and taping boxes, disassembling bulky furniture, and having everything arranged methodically when the movers arrive can save time and therefore cut costs. Other moving services will charge you by the weight of the items they’re moving, so consider selling heavy pieces or packing all of your book boxes in your car.
- Don’t wait to change your address.
There are several important things you should do as soon as you move into a new home. One of the first items of business is to notify the Post Office of a change of address. You can easily set up your forwarding address via the USPS website, and this will help ensure you don’t miss essential mailings due to relocation. Even better, the Post Office offers dozens of coupons and discounts for movers, stores, and companies you’ll likely use during a move. The sooner you submit your Change of Address form, the sooner you’ll have access to these money-saving offers.
While you’re changing your address with the Post Office, go ahead and change your address with other crucial services as well. You’ll need to let your insurance company know that your address will be changing (and you may need to update your insurance coverage, as well). If you’re moving states, you might even be eligible for different car insurance discounts!
- Consider selling things that won’t fit in your new space or you don’t use.
You’ll be kicking yourself if you haul that cheap bookshelf across the country, only to discover it doesn’t work in your new space (or you don’t need it). Think long and hard about which items are worth transporting, and which items you can either live without or repurchase cheaply. Then, post items you no longer want on LetGo, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or another similar service.
- Cancel your utilities to avoid being charged for an additional month.
Many utility companies will pro-rate your bill for the length of time you use the service, but not all of them. In other words, you may only use one week of their service in a new billing cycle, but you’ll be charged for the entire month. No thanks! Before moving day, look into how each company operates. If a company doesn’t pro-rate, consider canceling at the end of a billing cycle instead of on your actual moving day. Of course, this only works for non-essential services like cable and Internet. Don’t deprive yourself of water or electricity!
- Move during the off-season, or at least on an off day.
There are peak times to move, and moving companies use this to their advantage. Peak moving season is mid-May through August, so avoiding moving during summer may help you score savings. If that’s not possible, you may be able to save by merely avoiding peak days. Most people will move when their lease is officially up (often the end of the month) and on the weekends. If you can use a random Wednesday earlier in the month to move, do it!
We’re here to help you live your most affordable life, whether that’s in Alabama, Texas, or elsewhere! You handle the moving part and let us take care of the affordable car insurance. Call, click, or come into a Direct Auto Insurance near you to learn more!