Moving can be very expensive. In addition to the large expenses such as a security deposit if you are moving into a new apartment or the down payment and closing costs if you are moving into a house, there are other expenses that can quickly add up. Another large expense can be the cost of actually moving your furniture and belongings, especially if you are moving more than a few miles.
My husband and I recently moved a half mile away. Although we shopped around for a reasonably priced moving company, we still paid $345 just to have the furniture from our 2 bedroom apartment moved. This did not include the boxes of all of our belongings and clothing; we moved those load by load in our mini-van. Other companies had quoted prices as high as $600 to $700 to just move our furniture. Imagine if we had also had them move our boxes!
There are plenty of ways to save on moving costs. One of the most cost effective ways to move is to have your friends help you and then reward them with pizza and beer. Unfortunately, by the time you enter your thirties, most of your friends are too busy to help in this capacity or they have bad backs or knees.
You can also shop around to find the most reasonable moving company. We used yelp.com and read all of the reviews carefully. We also called each company and talked with the movers and got quotes for the move. We ended up going with a fairly new company that was trying to build up a good reputation, so they offered very reasonable rates.
In another two years, we plan to move again, but this time the move will be several hundred miles away. Rather than pay a thousand dollars or more to move all the items in our 1,500 square foot apartment, our plan is to sell all of our furniture. We have now had our kitchen table for 13 years (and we bought it used for $25) and our couch for nine years. Both have seen better days. The couch is just starting to become uncomfortable, but I don’t want to spend money to replace it and then spend money to move it. We plan to tolerate our less than perfect furniture for a few more years and then sell what we can and junk the rest. Ideally everything we keep will fit into a small moving truck. We plan to move those items ourselves, at a significant savings over what professional movers would charge.
This plan certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you are just starting out or have not yet purchased a house, minimizing your belongings right before the move can be worthwhile. Plus, we plan to use the thousand dollars we saved not moving our current furniture to buy furniture for our new location. Of course, to save even more money, we plan to once again buy used furniture, just in much better condition than our current furniture.
What steps have you taken to save on moving costs?
Melissa, a mom to three little ones (ages 7, 3 and 1), blogs at both Mom’s Plans where she writes about living a fulfilling life on less and paying down debt, and Fiscal Phoenix where she writes about rising from the ashes of your financial mistakes.