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How to Save Money When Moving


Moving is one of the worst experiences people have to go through semi-regularly. Between packing, the manual labor of loading up your belongings into a truck, and then the effort of unpacking once you are at your new place, it’s a lot to take on. That’s why moving is one of the most stressful life events, alongside divorce, and serious injuries.

So let’s reduce one of the more stressful parts about moving: the cost. While, yes, you still have to pack everything up and do a lot of work, your wallet won’t be hurting quite as much.

Getting Movers vs Doing it Yourself

family packing up boxesThe biggest question is if you’ll go with a moving company or handle it yourself. The cheapest might not always be the most efficient. 

While working with movers, it’s typically an all in one purchase. Rather than having to rent a truck, buy boxes, and take all the time to do the work, the movers handle it all. The national average for paying for movers is around $15-25 an hour per mover, plus travel distance for the truck. So, if you have two movers, that’s around $50 on the higher end. That might seem like a steep cost, but most moving companies move quickly, maybe only taking a few hours to move you if you have everything packed up already. 

Doing the work yourself saves you on the costs of paying movers, but takes up much more time. Alongside packing up boxes, you’ll do all the effort of loading and unloading your moving truck. Depending on how many people are helping you, this can take a long time. If you have a lot of stuff and not a lot of help, you might have to take a day or two off from work to move. If you don’t have paid time off, that’s money lost that could have covered paying for movers.

Moving yourself is not always the cheapest option. Be sure to analyze your situation and get a cost estimate from a local moving company to see which choice might result in more money in your wallet. If you can pay for movers to take care of everything in a couple of hours that would take you all day to handle, and costs less than what you would make at work, then let someone else do the work!

Renting a Truck

man and woman packing boxes and looking at papersWhen moving, most people rent a moving truck. Yeah, if you have some friends with trucks, you could go back and forth a couple times to move everything over, but generally, you rent a big moving truck.

One of the biggest expenses for moving is the truck. Depending on the timeframe, size of truck, and demand, renting a truck could be a small expense to something truly budget ruining. Whether you go with a U-Haul or a local truck company, there are some ways to minimize your costs.

  • Get the right size: Especially if you are moving locally, feel free to get a smaller truck and make two trips if necessary. Get a larger truck for longer moves to make sure you have enough space
  • Insurance: The truck company will try to sell you insurance. Skip it for a short trip, but consider it for a long move.
  • Know how much gas you need to fill up: Commonly, moving truck companies require you to return the truck with the same amount of gas you left with. Don’t overfill and lose money, get it as close as it was before.
  • Check the truck for damages: Before you leave, take pictures of any damages to the truck and make sure the company is aware of them. Don’t let them try to charge you for damages you didn’t cause.
  • Don’t buy supplies at the truck company: Don’t buy straps, locks, blankets, or boxes at the moving truck store. You can find all of these cheaper at other retailers.

Sell What You Don’t Want to Take with You

woman with an ipad and man holding a boxMoving is the perfect time to downsize and sell unwanted items. Got a chair you don’t want to bring to the new place? Have boxes full of old baseball cards? Did you find a stack of DVDs you haven’t touched in ages? Sell them!

Selling the old stuff you don’t want comes with two major benefits. First, you get extra cash in your pocket. Second, you don’t have to go through the effort of moving it! If you downsize enough, you might be able to fit everything into a smaller truck, saving some money, and have some to help pay for the move.

Borrow Supplies Rather Than Buy

When moving, there are a few tools you need that you likely won’t use again till you move once more. Things like tie-down straps, blankets to protect furniture, bed covers, boxes, and an appliance dolly for larger items. Sure, you can buy those items, or rent them from the moving truck company, or better, see if you can borrow them. 

Many people likely have the items you need and are more than willing to let you borrow them. In today’s world, lots of people have a hoard of cardboard Amazon boxes in their home, ask if you can pick them up. Others have the more permanent items like straps and dollies that you can borrow and return once finished. It might take a little extra effort to pick it up, but it can save you some money on supplies you won’t use again, hopefully for a long time.

Get Money Back When Spending

man signing for something while woman holds a boxUnavoidably, you are going to spend money when you move. Renting a truck, paying for movers, or even just having to eat out for a few meals because all your silverware is packed up, is an expense.

Since spending money is inevitable, get something back each time you swipe your card. Use a credit card and earn points. Especially on the larger, more expensive payments, you can earn quite a bit back in points. The average cost for moving is around $1000 for a short move and can be around $4000 for a long move, like leaving the state. Since you’re spending money anyways, get something back in return.

The Pioneer Platinum VISA Credit Card earns you Reward points with every purchase, with a 1 point for every $1 spent. So, if you spend $1000, you’ll get 1000 points back, which is enough to redeem for a $100 gift card. Just another way to save money during your move. 

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