Relocating can be challenging on many levels, but the hardest part of many moves is managing the cost. From scouting trips to packing supplies, the expenses add up quickly and it’s hard to watch your savings shrink in the middle of a big life change. Here are some tips to keep your finances healthy when you’re relocating.
Lighten the Load
Don’t pay to pack and move things that you don’t really use. Use moving day as a motivator to streamline your possessions. Have a yard sale, hire an auctioneer, run ads on Craigslist, or schedule a pickup from a charity. If you find yourself standing in the basement or garage paralyzed by indecision, ask a friend to come over and help you be ruthless. The fewer things you have to move, the less expensive your relocation will be. Unpacking will also be easier, and you’ll love having open space in your closets and cupboards.
Budget for Your Move
Know what expenses you’ll be faced with before the move begins, so you won’t have to make costly last-minute decisions. Gather a list of your expenses, exploring different packing, moving, and transportation options. If you’re renting a truck, calculate your mileage expenses and include them in your budget. Don’t forget to consider insurance, short-term lodging, storage, and packing supply expenses.
Research Your New Location
Learn as much as you can about your new city. Delve into the neighborhoods, schools, and shopping areas and learn all you can about home prices, taxes, and other expenses. Cost-of-living calculators are very helpful. Search for city guide websites written especially for new movers, like this one from a home builder in Dallas, TX. Also, pay attention to websites aimed at budget travelers; they will help you find ways to save money on public transportation, local attractions, and entertainment.
Consider a Mover
If your employer isn’t picking up the tab for a professional move, you might be tempted to rent a truck and do it yourself. Sometimes that’s a wise financial choice, but when you’re moving long-distance that’s not always the case. The cost of mileage, moving supplies, insurance for all your worldly goods during the move, and time off work to pack and drive can add up quickly. Research the expenses of doing it yourself versus getting professional help, and if the costs are close, consider splurging to save your energy for unpacking and starting a new job. Get quotes from several movers, and consider trying to negotiate the price a bit as well.
Ask for Help
If you decide not to use a moving company, your friends and family might be willing to come over and help with the packing and loading. You might also be able to recycle boxes and packing supplies from a friend who has recently moved. Use social media to get the word out that you’re looking for supplies. Make moving day seem more appealing by offering pizza or potluck and creating a Facebook event to invite everyone.
In short, compare costs, make a budget, and trim expenses where you can. Getting control over the costs of the move will help give you the best start to your new adventure.