How to Save Money to Move – Best Tips and Tricks on Pre-Relocation Budgeting

Posted in How-to,Moving Tips & Tricks on August 10, 2021

By Eleanor Stewart

Relocating to another state brings a lot of stress and expenditures. But if you learn how to save money to move, not only will you have less stress while relocating, but you will be able to have a smooth and professional move. If you calculate everything right, make a solid plan, and implement some new life choices, you will save enough money both for relocation and other expenditures too.

As you can see, cross-country moving demands a lot of planning and organizing, and if you wish to have stress-free relocation and the most efficient move possible, you will have to decide on allocating your expenditures. Will you invest in professional cross-country movers, or will you try to rent a truck and do everything alone? You may think the DIY method is cheaper, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. To use another example, is it better to buy cheap shoes that will be destroyed in a couple of months or buy expensive ones that will last for years? Every time you are shopping, you probably have this dilemma and decide depending on your current budget. It is the same when it comes to moving across the country. Therefore, if you plan everything, you will have enough cash for all your relocating needs.

Keep Track of Your Expenditures and Save Money

The best way to salvage some capital on the side is to keep track of your expenditures for one month and see where your salary goes. Write down everything you paid in cash and take your monthly credit card balance. You will be amazed at how much we spend on some things that are not necessary. And if you wish to save money, you will have to make some spending cuts. Of course, if you are relocating for the first time and don’t have a stable income, it would be advisable to get a job before relocating. Still, even if you don’t have a job, you can calculate your expenses and plan your relocation budget and savings accordingly.

Find Cheap Apartment and Save Money for the Rent

Once you figure out where you should move, start making living arrangements. First, you have to decide – will you rent or buy? And will it be a house or apartment? And depending on your choice, you can start saving for your new place. Go online and visit Numbeo.com. You can see the comparison of living costs in every city on that website, so type a current city and your city of choice and see the difference. This way, you will know the approximate amount of capital you need to put on the side. But, if you’re wondering how much money should you save up before moving, the golden rule and the best financial advice for moving cross country is to save up enough funds for at least three months of rent and living expenses. You can also consider buying a tiny house, your monthly expenditures will be much less, and you will lead a healthier life. If you are willing to sacrifice some commodities of modern life.

To help you with that, we made a list of the best sites where you can check prices of renting or buying a home in your city of choice:

Put Your Belongings in Storage and Find a Home on Your Own Pace

Even if you gather all the necessary information about your city of choice and housing options in the neighborhood you picked, you should know that both renting and buying a place to live can last from one to a couple of months. It would be best if you can go to your city of choice and pick this in person. Not only that you will see the place you are taking but the process might finish sooner. Furthermore, if you have to leave your old place and don’t have a new one, which can easily happen. Consider hiring a long-distance mover that offers free of charge storage facilities. You can put your belongings in your movers’ storage units and do all the necessary preparations. And don’t worry most reputable companies offers this service free of charge for the whole month.

Open a Savings Account

Once you have an initial estimate of how much you need to keep, it is time to open a savings account. Do this couple of months before your relocation. Not only will you have more capital, but it will not be that much of a burden on your budget. Put at least 10% of your salary on this account each month, and do not forget to calculate relocation expenses. You will need money to hire movers for packing, car chipping, and loading and unloading of your belongings if you wish to move without any stress.

Don’t Buy Coffee Outside

Try as much as you can to avoid drinking coffee outside. It may seem like not that big of expenditure, but you will be amazed how much you’ll keep in your pocket by just not drinking coffee on your way to work. The same goes for the bars – try to keep going out to a minimum.

Cook Your Meals

If your salary doesn’t allow you to put some larger amount of funds on the side, you can always cut some expenditures by cooking your meals and avoiding eating out. Prepare meals for a couple of days and bring lunch to work. Also, as the relocation day approaches, you probably won’t have time to cook. So, to avoid ordering food, prepare meals in advance as well. You probably have a lot of food in your cabinet and refrigerator that you can not bring with you since food is one of the things that movers won’t move. Eat your food stock before relocation day, and you will both declutter and cut your expenses.

Check out this video for some more clever ways to prepare a meal for a couple of days.

Go Green and Save Some Money

If you followed our advice, you probably know how much money you spend on gas and transportation. If you implement some new life choices, not only that you will save some money but the planet and your health too. Invest in a scooter or bike and go to work like that. If this is not an option, you can consider making a carpooling plan with your colleagues. This is an excellent way of saving money. Some states even have a carpooling fast lane so your commuting to work will be much easier.

Man holding a scooter
Electric scooters are excellent way of commuting and cutting some losses

Make a Plan of Your Move and Explore Affordable Moving Options

Before you hire movers, you will have to do some research about how much movers cost. Go online and search for companies, sift through reviews and rates people left and pick at least five candidates. Once you made your choice, ask for a free online quote from each one, and then pick three companies that fit your budget best and contact them to give you an in-home estimation. Also, ask the company how it makes its price. The most affordable are the ones that base the price of cross-country moving services on your household inventory list and not the weight of your belongings. And don’t worry if movers you choose are not available you will have enough money saved to book someone else for a similar price. Just be on alert for scammers.

If a company refuses to give you an in-home estimation, consider that as a huge red flag for relocation scammers. Also, check if the company has a USDOT number. And once the company’s agent is in your home, do not hesitate to ask all the questions you have. Like, will they disassemble and assemble your furniture? Will they bring all necessary protective materials for your fragile items? What kind of packing service do they offer? And last but not least, do they provide car shipping? The best way to cut some expenses is if you find all the services you need at one company since you may get some benefits and discounts.

Hire Movers Out of the Season

If you wonder what is the least expensive way to move, the answer would be “out of season.” Therefore, relocation in the wintertime is the best option, and if you wish to put aside even more, avoid relocating during holidays as well. The reasons why movers are more affordable during the winter are that demand is less and people prefer to organize their move during the summer. Also, your choice of long-distance moving companies will be wider in winter as well. So you will get the best service for less cash.

Packed boxes for moving across the country
Relocation in winter is the cheapest option

Don’t Use Expensive Materials for Your Items

If you decide to pack everything alone and keep your savings for something else, you will have to implement some packing tips. The first rule of an inexpensive move is to pack everything correctly to avoid damages during transportation. And you don’t need expensive materials to do so – a lot of household items can be used instead of bubble wraps and packing paper. For example, newspapers are good for packing glasses, plates, and other fragile belongings. Use sheets to protect your furniture and towels when packing electronics.

Pack Your Items in Garbage Bags or Ask Local Stores for Free Boxes

Use strong garbage bags to pack your clothes, sheets, pillows, and other belongings that can not be broken. One of the best relocation hacks is to go to the nearest grocery store and ask them to give you free boxes. They throw away a bunch of boxes so they will not have a problem giving you some. But in the end, if you cut some losses and save some money you can hire movers for packing service and they will provide you with some of the best packing materials.

Man putting boxes for cross-country moving in a van
Get free boxes at the nearest store

How to Save Money to Move – Best Tips and Tricks

No matter if you hire a company that will base its price on weight or inventory list, you will have to declutter and downsize your home before relocating to a new state if you wish to cut some losses. Go through your belongings and put aside all the things you haven’t used in more than two years. When you start packing your kitchen items, bring only pots and pans that you use. The good thing about relocating to a new home is that you can get rid of all the things that are broken and damaged and buy new ones, if necessary. You do not want to take with you heavy dishes that take so much space, but you never use them.

Toss, Sell or Donate Unwanted Items Before Moving Day

Once you went through all your belongings and decided what you will bring with you, it is time to sort everything out again. Create piles of things you can sell or donate and things you must throw away. You can organize a yard sale and sell items you don’t need, or you can take a picture of your belongings and put them on eBay or Facebook and sell them this way. Do so, and your saving money to move quest will earn you more income.

Should You Rent a Truck or Hire Movers?

When people talk about how to save money on moving they usually consider renting a truck themselves and move alone. And yes, this may pay off if you are relocating down the street, but it might prove to be not so affordable when it comes to long-distance moving. You will have to pay for gas, labor, and driver. Also, your items will not be insured and protected in any way.

Men putting a couch in a long-distance moving van
Calculate whether it'll pay off to rent a truck yourself

Prepare Your Essentials

One of the most common relocation mistakes people make is forgetting to bring their necessities with them on relocation day. Packing your moving essentials will not only make your life easier once you move to your new place, but it will reduce unnecessary expenses. For example, if you have your essentials, you won’t have to run to a store to buy cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and toiletries – you will already have everything. Also, if you are relocating with a newborn, put their necessities there too. The same goes if you are relocating with pets.

As you can see, relocating to another state is not an easy job, and you will have to spend some cash if you wish everything to go smoothly. But in the end, with the help of professionals, you will not only save your health but some cash too.

Eleanor Stewart