Moving to a new residence is exciting! However, there can be hidden costs and to be well prepared, here are seven suggestions for moving on a budget:
1. Plan ahead: Avoid cost overruns by researching and budgeting for the expenses you’ll face. In addition to transportation, you may need packing materials, temporary storage or lodgings, child or even pet care. Don’t forget about the costs of getting your new residence up and running, such as restocking your pantry, utility hook-ups, and food and drinks for volunteer helpers!
2. Pack your own stuff: Save a bundle by not hiring a professional packing service. Check your workplace and grocery stores for boxes for packing or buy or borrow plastic storage containers. Rather than packing belongings in styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap, use old newspapers, shredded paperwork, or towels, linens and clothes as padding. Stock up on essentials such as tape, labels and markers. Use a loyalty credit card such as PC Financial Mastercard to earn points you can redeem to help offset moving costs (or purchase some initial items you need for your new home).
3. Move your own stuff: Renting a truck and recruiting volunteers is typically the cheapest way to move. Calculate how much space you need to avoid overspending on a too-large truck and understand what extra charges may apply, such as for gas, mileage, accessories like straps, moving blankets or a dolly. If renting a truck isn’t feasible, a less expensive alternative to a full-service mover is hiring a container-moving company that drops off a storage bin for you to pack and then transports it to your new residence when you’re ready to move.
4. Hire professionals: If you lack the time and energy required or have specialty items such as a piano or antiques that need expert handling, a DIY move might not be for you. But hiring the wrong full-service mover could cost you time, damages and worry. Get multiple quotes and ask around for referrals and reviews that consider the firm’s reputation, availability and responsiveness. Ask about and negotiate extra fees that may apply, such as for unpacking, elevator reservations, extra stops at storage facilities, or long-distance and cross-border moves. Booking far in advance may save you money, as will moving mid-week or mid-month.
5. Shed some pounds: Donate, sell or dispose of unneeded belongings before you move. Both weight and space cost money in a move and selling things earns cash to help pay for costs.
6. Shut down services early: Some utilities won’t prorate your bill, meaning you’ll pay for a whole month of service no matter how many days you use it. Keep the lights on, but do you really need cable TV when you should be packing?
7. Claim a deduction: Ask a tax specialist about moving expenses that you may be able to claim on your income tax return and how to maximize these deductions. In the meantime, keep receipts for everything move-related.