Staying on Budget When You Move

Photo credit: Nicholas Huk via Flickr

Purchasing a new home in a new state is exciting. You get to explore a new environment, start a new job and make new friends. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a plan in place you may forget to take care of things on the receiving end that can make the first couple of weeks stressful. It’s also important to stay on your budget so that you have the money in place to cover all the hidden expenses that come with a long-distance move.

Hiring reliable movers

This should be at the top of your list for obvious reasons. You need to know that your furnishings and personal belongings are in good hands. While there are no guarantees, doing due diligence and researching moving companies ahead of time can save you heartache down the road. If someone you know recently moved and they rave about how the move went so smoothly find out who they used. If you don’t know of anyone who has moved recently you can take the good old-fashioned approach and jot down several names and then research their history. After you’ve done that and you narrow your search, contact those on your list to get a written quote.

Keep out essentials

A long-distance move is much more involved than a local one where you simply travel across town. Generally, the moving company you hire will arrive at the new location a week after they collect your things, sometimes even longer. This means that you won’t have access to anything when you first arrive in your home. Make sure that you pack an essentials bag with toiletries, towels, your razor, blow dryer and a few days’ worth of clothing. You want to pack pretty much like you’re going on vacation for a few days.

Saving on the move itself

A written quote from a moving company is basically an estimate of their fees. Luckily, there are several ways to reduce it. You can save a few hundred dollars right off the bat by packing up your own supplies and then having them ready for pick up. Another way to cut the bill down is to use your own boxes. You can choose to purchase them from a local hardware store or even better, go to a department store or grocer in your area and ask them to put away some boxes for you. This results in free boxes. Just make sure that the boxes you use are the required size. Also, if after you got the estimate from the mover, you’ve decided that several large pieces of furniture aren’t worth the price tag to move, you can remove them and lower your bill even more. 

Yard sale

Most anyone who moves ends up with a collection of items that they don’t want to bring but are still in good condition. Moving offers an excellent way to lighten the load and turn a profit in the process. The money you make you can use towards the hotel expense on the receiving end until your furniture arrives. 

Turning on the utilities

Since you don’t live there, finding the right company for your utilities and cable service can become overwhelming. This is where your Realtor can really come in handy. They live in the area and have a place of their own so they are very familiar with who is better than the next. You can contact your realtor and get the information and then make your calls. Since you haven’t lived there before, more than likely you will need to put down an initial deposit on your gas, electric and water. Getting this information as early as possible will allow you to factor these additional costs into your budget. 

Take advantage of an empty home

You will arrive several days before the movers. While the house is still empty you have the opportunity to add a fresh coat of paint, make a few repairs or shop for furnishings you decided to replace. Take advantage of this luxury since once the moving company arrives you no longer have unrestricted access. 

Moving to a new home is a time of joy and celebration. While it’s sad to leave familiar landmarks and cherished friends, you’ll have the chance to discover new places and make new friends.  If you make a thorough list of the things you need to take care of and cross everything off as you go along the move will go a lot smoother.