6 Money-Saving Tips to Help You Move on a Budget

by | Mar 24, 2020

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Every single year, about 10 percent of the population moves. That’s 32,252,000 people who relocate annually!

85 percent of residents move within the same state, and 15 percent move to another state. While your move may be entirely unique to you and your household, there’s one thing all movers have in common—the desire to save money.

Are you wondering how to move on a budget? How much are the average moving costs, and is there any way to lower them?

Here, we answer your moving-related questions so you can settle into your new home without going broke. Keep reading!

How Much Are Moving Costs? Plus, Other FAQ About Moving

Of course, every person’s move will cost something different based on several factors, such as whether you DIY or hire a moving company, how many personal belongings you have to move, and where you’re moving (to name a few).

In general, however, the average cost of a local move is $1,250. The average price of a long-distance move comes out to about $4,890 per 1,000 miles away. These estimates are concerning 2-3 bedroom moves that consist of about 7,500 pounds of belongings.

So, if you’re wondering how to estimate moving costs, you can start by comparing your move to these generalities. If you’re moving from a 1-bedroom apartment, and you’re staying in the same city, you can likely expect to pay even less than $1,250. But if you’re moving a 4-bedroom home cross-country, just know you may pay even more than the typical $4,890.

Factors that will affect the price of your move include:

  • Travel fees (like fuel for a truck rental, labor, etc.)
  • Size of your belongings
  • Whether you hire packing services
  • Add-ons, such as disassembling/reassembling furniture, for example
  • Whether you need a storage unit
  • If you buy moving supplies or packing materials from a company, such as bubble wrap or boxes 
  • The date of your move (for example, moving on the weekend typically costs more money)
  • Whether you hire professional movers

Knowing what factors affect your moving costs will help you figure out how you can lower those costs.

Are Moving Costs Tax-Deductible?

Moving costs are, in fact, tax-deductible if you’re moving for work.

The IRS allows those who relocate for their jobs to deduct any eligible moving costs from their taxable income reported on their Form 1040. There are no limits to these deductions, either, so be sure to claim all your qualified moving costs. Take advantage of this amazing tax deduction opportunity! 

If your employer reimburses you for any moving costs, then those costs are not tax-deductible. 

There are some exceptions, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the IRS’s guidelines for deductions. 

Does Renters Insurance Cover Moving Costs?

The short answer is: not really.

If personal property damage occurs during the move, your renters’ insurance policy may cover that damage. But, it must be a ‘covered peril,’ meaning that not everything is included.

If that peril makes your apartment uninhabitable, the ‘loss-of-use’ provision should pay for you to move and stay elsewhere. 

Renters insurance is most helpful when you’re inhabiting the place, rather than in-between places.

How to Save on Moving Costs: 6 Tips to Help You Move on a Budget

Now that you have a good idea of what factors affect the cost of a move, let’s see how you can lower those costs.

1. Minimize Your Belongings

The more items you have to move, the more expensive your move will be—there’s no getting around that fact.

So, it makes sense that the fewer things you have to move, and the less weight, the more affordable your move (especially if you hire moving services).

Before you start packing, go through everything and begin donating or throwing things away. Sell items on Craigslist or consider having a garage sale. You may even earn a lot of money through these avenues!

Whatever you don’t need or want any longer, get rid of now, so that you don’t have to move it only to get rid of it later. 

2. Pack Your Own Stuff

Rather than enlisting the help of a packing service, pack all your own belongings. If you have multiple people in your family, get each person to pack up their own room. Then, you can tackle rooms like the living room as a group. 

This tip will save you money and also offer you more privacy. You can even organize things precisely as you’d like, rather than relying on packers to choose for you (or continue asking questions like, “Where do you want this?”).

3. Limit Add-Ons

Sure, it may be more inconvenient to DIY these things, but if you’re concerned about moving on a budget, you’ll limit add-ons.

Disassemble and reassemble your own furniture; try to move your own specialty items, if possible (or enlist a friend that owns a moving truck); and use your personal moving supplies, such as blankets, boxes, and bags. 

4. Compare Quotes for Storage Units

Some moving companies offer a flat moving fee, while others don’t. Similarly, moving costs vary between companies.

Do your research and take advantage of free quotes. Compare different quotes (including any add-ons you may need) and choose the one that’s most affordable and accommodating. 

5. Try to Move During the Week or the Off-Season

Many family members have weekends off, so it makes sense that most families choose to move on weekends when they can do it all together. 

Peak moving season is between April and September—that’s when 80 percent of people move.

So, if you can arrange to move during the off-season and the weekday, you’ll save a significant amount of money.

6. Gather Your Own Moving Supplies

Boxes, for example, cost more when you buy them from a moving or storage company. Why? Because they can!

So, if possible, try to gather all your supplies on your own.

Speak with your local grocery store and see if you can have their boxes on unloading days. Peruse the backs of restaurants and acquire what you can from them. Save Amazon or subscription boxes in the upcoming weeks. Ask friends and family members if they have boxes, or ask your boss at work.

Be thrifty about it!

Home Sweet Home

Now that you know how to move on a budget, we hope you get settled in happily while saving as much money as you can.

To unlock more money-saving resources like this, subscribe to our LMB (lower my bills) newsletter. While you await your first email from us, we have more ideas for earning money to make the transition even smoother.

Click here for the most creative ways to make money online in 2020.

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