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Pare Down the Price of a Move to a New State

May 7, 2018
Managing Money, Personal Finance
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Moving to a new state can bring opportunity, adventure — and increased financial strain. From packing boxes to settling into your new home, moving costs can add up.

But you can cut costs each step of the way, and maybe even make a little money.

1. Before you go

As you prepare to move, downsizing your possessions will allow you to earn some money as well as cut costs on packing.

Still hanging onto an old couch from college? Haven’t touched those clothes in the back of your closet in a while? Try selling them on apps like Letgo, Nextdoor and Craigslist, and you can turn old possessions into cash that’ll give you a cushion for moving.

To save money on packing, one moving tip holds up: Get free boxes wherever you can. Ask your workplace, neighbors or retailers for their unwanted boxes.

2. On the road

Transportation is one of the most expensive parts of moving, especially if you hire a moving service. But if you’re willing to do some work yourself — and shop around — you might be able to save hundreds.

Think beyond your standard rental truck. The price of rental trucks can vary greatly by city, depending on demand. In cities facing an exodus, like San Francisco, rentals of a U-Haul to move items for a one-bedroom apartment can be over $1,400. A rental minivan, on the other hand, can cost less than $300 and haul a comparable amount.

For bulkier furniture, look into budget moving companies. Some, like U-Pack or Pods, make their services more affordable by renting out packing pods that are loaded onto a shared semi truck and delivered to you. This may be a good option for longer, cross-country moves.

If you have flexibility, try to move during off-peak months. Many families move during late spring and summer as schools let out, driving up demand.

3. Upon arrival

At your new home, you now need to establish your new life. That could mean making some big purchases.

If you have good credit and a steady income, using a 0% APR credit card can allow you to buy what you need without paying interest. Using one of these can be particularly useful when buying furniture, since many retailers charge interest on their payment plans.

Take advantage of furniture store coupons the U.S. Postal Service offers when you change your address. A 10% discount can add up to big savings.

If you’re on a tight budget, get furniture and home goods from the same apps where you sold your stuff before the move. Used furniture can be inexpensive, and you might even meet a new neighbor.

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