Moving Out for the First Time Without Breaking the Bank

Posted in Moving Essentials,Planning the Move on January 5, 2022

Relocation is one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life, especially when moving out for the first time. Long-distance moving usually doesn’t come cheap, and its cost is one of the main factors impacting higher stress levels. But try not to despair just yet – we prepared a list of tips that will make the whole process more affordable.

Planning Is Necessary When You’re Moving Out for the First Time on Budget

When planning a move to another city, one of your biggest allies will be a carefully created to-do list. Making one should be a part of every relocation preparation, but it’s crucial when you are financially limited – it can provide you with a better picture of all of the expenses and show where it’s possible to save up a dollar or two. And since you’re not that familiar with organizing a relocation process, it will become one of the relocation essentials.

After seeing what you are dealing with, create a relocation budget that will fit your financial possibilities. Go through all of the tasks that lie ahead and determine how much money you’re ready to put in each of them. Consider:

  • Packing materials,
  • Cost of cross-country moving services, if you plan on using them, or cost of relocation truck or a container,
  • Travel expenses,
  • Cost of renting an apartment (or monthly payments for a home loan, if you are buying the house)

Aside from thinking about the ways to save money, you should also consider getting a job before the move. Explore the job market in the new city, use your networking skills, find companies via LinkedIn and similar platforms, and apply for desired jobs. Securing a steady income will get plenty of stress off your back.

How Much Money Should You Save Up Before You Leave Your Parents’ Home?

A move to another city, especially one across the country, doesn’t come cheap – it can go anywhere from $600 to $12,000, and that’s without housing cost, which can vary depending on the city or even neighborhood you choose. The exact cost will depend on several factors, like the size of your inventory list and the nature of things on it, time of the move, and so on. On top of that, you should also save up a certain amount, just in case. It can be a lot to take, but the financial blow can be reduced if you start saving as soon as possible.

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Set Boundaries for Yourself Now So You Can Enjoy Later

Saving plenty of money is possible if you are willing to make a few changes in your lifestyle prior to the move. According to it, consider:

  • Start eating home-cooked meals – whether your parents are making them, or you are the one in charge, eating at your place will be a lot cheaper than going out,
  • Try making a difference between needs and wishes – distinguish what’s important and what are things you can leave without,
  • Start tracking how much you are spending,
  • Forget about your vehicle – car maintenance is expensive, so if you want to save up, choose to travel by public transport (or on foot).

Limit Shopping Sprees for the New Apartment When Moving

One of the biggest mistakes first-time movers make is buying the items for the future apartment before starting to live in it. First of all, you can end up buying something that won’t fit at all, and second, you can end up purchasing much more than you actually need. That is why making a new apartment checklist should be left as one of the things to do after relocation.

Task you can put on your relocating for the first time list, however, is asking your parents for furniture and decorative pieces they won’t need. This way, you’ll furnish your future place fastly, cheaply and according to your taste.

Furniture pieces transferred to a new apartment after moving across the country
Styling your new place with items from your old home can bring you many financial benefits

Declutter and Sell Unwanted Items

Purging through your old stuff and deciding what to keep is necessary before any type of relocation, but you can even make some money out of it. There must be some clothes, shoes, jewelry, old electronics, and other similar belongings that are still usable, but you don’t want them anymore. Decide what to get rid of and create profit – make a garage sale or post your items online and wait for the buyer. Remember – the less you bring with you, the cheaper your move is going to get.

But what’s the best way to sell your items? When you have to earn money promptly, check the top apps that will help you do so:

Right Packing Materials Can Save You Plenty of Money

Spending on packing materials is unavoidable (unless you get packing services that include boxing up supplies). However, keep in mind that not all of the belongings demand the same amount of protection and, therefore, don’t need the same type of material. While bubble wrap and packing paper are the best solutions when boxing up fragile items. However, they are not necessarily the best solution for boxing toys or books.

For less demanding and delicate things, homemade materials can do the trick. Considering that they won’t break but still can get damaged, try using old clothes, towels, linens for wrapping them and padding the boxes. Newspapers are excellent replacements for packing paper, just keep in mind that that ink can leave permanent marks.

Free Boxes Can Do Wonders for Your Budget – but Where to Find Them?

Yes, there is such a thing as free boxes. Moreover, there are several ways of getting them, so choose the one that suits you or combine them all for the best (and the cheapest) result:

  • Search the storage spaces – usable boxes can often be found in the basement or garage of your parents’ house.
  • Ask friends and family – the same goes for them, whether it is a box from old electronics or a simple shoebox.
  • Check an online marketplace, like Freecycle – people who don’t want to waste good and reusable boxes sometimes tend to give them up to others who can utilize them,
  • Visit local stores, bars, and restaurants around the area where you live – they get cardboard daily and frequently end up just throwing it, so it shouldn’t be that much of a problem for the clerks.

However, remember to reserve the used cardboard for less fragile items because it could never be as strong as the new one.

Boxes piled up before cross-country moving
Packing materials don’t have to be expensive, but you must know where to look for

Consider a DIY Option (but Count on Risks of Relocating Without Professional Movers )

A DIY move is the most obvious choice of saving up on relocation costs. After all, if you’ve researched how much movers cost, you’ll see that their services are not exactly cheap. However, it’s not necessarily the best option. Relocation to another state is a challenging process and a lot more complex than a move inside of the same city or even between cities in the same state. It’s always better to leave cross-country movers to deal with such complicated and lengthy moves, no matter that it’s not the most affordable option.

Keep in mind that renting a relocation truck has its own price, though smaller than what you would get with getting professional assistance. On the other hand, that means that you’ll have to learn packing tips to use when boxing up, but also how to (un)load the truck, so everything stays safe. Note that, without movers, you won’t be able to get moving insurance, so you won’t be compensated in any way in the case some damage occurs.

Can You Save Up While Hiring Long-Distance Movers for the Relocation Day?

If you decide not to push your luck and want to hire a relocation company, you’ll be happy to know that there are ways to reduce the company’s cost. For example, don’t pick summertime to move, if you have the freedom of choosing, because it’s the peak of the relocation season. You’ll meet much smaller pieces after deciding to move in winter, when there is lower demand.

Also, if you choose a relocation company that can provide additional services, combining them may come with a significant discount. For instance, if you have to transport a car, opting for professional auto transport alongside standard relocation services may even come cheaper than transporting the vehicle by yourself. Also, keep in mind that some of the most reputable companies offer storage services for free for a certain period. If you have to use storage facilities after the move, like many others, you won’t have to worry about additional costs.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Assistance, If You Need It

If you’ve opted against hiring professional help, don’t be too shy to ask for a friendly one. Whether you think about packing, loading and unloading the truck or carrying heavy furniture, having an additional set of hands to assist you is one of the best ways to move efficiently. It won’t cost you a dime, but it can have a crucial role in saving your physical health. As a bonus, it would mean added time spent with your loved ones before you move to another home.

You shouldn’t also be ashamed of asking for financial assistance if your parents can provide it. If that doesn’t sit well with you, think of it as a type of loan. It doesn’t have to be a gift but rather loaned money that you’ll be returning as soon as you get on your feet.

Friends Can Assist You During Your Trip, Too

Moving out on your own for the first time budget must include travel expenses. If you decide to drive your vehicle all the way to your future place, there will be expenses like gas, snacks, meals, and, frequently, hotels. Well, if some of your friends live on the road, contact them and ask if they can accept a short-term visitor. If so, be grateful for having such good friends – they will help you save a lot of money.

Two girls having a sleepover when moving cross country
Having your friends’ assistance in any way will not be only helpful but fun, too

Having a Cross-Country Move and Not Go Broke Is Possible but Demands a Lot of Work

Relocation is demanding and stressful, even if it’s not your first move. Having to worry about the financial part of it, however, can become an absolute nightmare. It is especially true for younger generations that are not yet financially stable.

Every person who wants to relocate on the budget must be prepared for hard work ahead of them. But, if you are ready to put your effort into saving up and reducing costs, it’s not only a possible but achievable goal. We presented you with the best ways of doing so, but it’s on you to apply them. Just follow our tips – and you are good to go.

Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

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