Here’s How to Save Money to Move

August 12, 2021 / Posted in How-to
Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

Some people think that saving money to move is impossible or very difficult, but it’s not that complicated. From getting help from people in your inner circle to choosing a good location, you can make it happen. We have advice on how to save money to move and have a successful relocation.

a piggy bank on a box, in front of more boxes, before cross-country moving
It's possible to cut moving costs and have a happy outcome

Before even mentioning saving cash for relocation, the question becomes how much money should you save up before moving, too. We all have different reasons to move: some simply prefer to relocate to a new home. Others find that relocating during coronavirus somewhere where things seem better is a good idea. But all of us tend to think about how to move without spending our life savings the most.

Some of us immediately see the benefits of relocating, like those of us who got lucky and are relocating for a job. If you’re not sure how to get a job before you move, don’t worry – that isn’t the only easy way to do it. You can read about potential ways to save cash without having an elaborate backup plan, too.

How to Save Money to Move – Do it at the Best Time of the Year

Cross-country moving seems complex and expensive. There’s good and bad news – if you’re relocating at the last minute, it can be. You should take a chance in creating a relocation to-do list and plan out at least one part of the process before leaving. That first part could be choosing the best time to move.

Moving During the Winter Vs. in the Summer

If you think relocating during winter and a feat like relocating in the summer are the same thing, think again. Summer relocations are sometimes the very reason why relocation is stressful in the first place. People tend to pick warmer seasons to move because it seems easier – there are better temperatures, packing and shipping are easier and alike.

However, relocation is the most expensive in the summer precisely because people pick to move at that time; the competition between renting and hiring long-distance movers is higher. It turns out sometimes shorter and colder days can be a good thing. Of course, we wouldn’t recommend relocating in the dead of winter – anywhere between September and April is ideal.


Is Relocating During the Holiday Season One of the Affordable Moving Options?

While it seems wise to relocate during the holidays because you might be on your annual leave and have enough time to pack and get ready, you must consider that you wouldn’t be the only one on holiday. Most rental services and cross-country movers are closed for the holidays, too. It’s also not the easiest way to pack for a move if you’re also planning to give gifts and share the holiday spirit.

If you’re relocating during the period between Christmas and New Year’s, you may need to move in a more DIY fashion. Hiring rental trucks and driving them across the country over snow and ice may not be very safe, and if you don’t have pros by your side, it might take longer than expected. If you plan to move to another country, you should consider their holiday season, as well. It’s better to avoid those days.

a father and daughter preparing for long-distance moving by packing their car
Finding the perfect time of the year to relocate can be very economical

If You Don’t Know Where to Move, You Could Save on Location

Perhaps you’re not sure where exactly you want to move, as long as it’s possible to move out of state; maybe you’re bent on relocating from the East to the West Coast and vice versa but can’t decide where to live. A great way to reduce expenses is to find a suitable new home before doing anything else.

It may feel challenging to relocate to a new city alone, but you have a great advantage – your relocation costs are automatically lower. However, if you’re planning to move alone from a small town to a big city, that could cost a bit more. Before making that decision, maybe try to get a job in a new city.

If you feel like you need to get away from the fuss of a big city and relocate to the suburbs, you can find affordable suburban housing for the entire family with some helpful house hunting tips. You can also find the best mountain towns to raise a family if you’re sick of urban environments. Any place you pick has the option of being both cheap and expensive, depending on the state, location, distance, and the amount of cargo you pack. Choose wisely to cut costs.

a girl sitting in front of her laptop, considering long-distance moving services
Choosing the right location can be economically beneficial

Before Cross-Country Moving – Change Your Lifestyle Wherever Necessary

When you consider everything that should be done on the day of the move, it may seem like a lot of work. However, you could prepare for all the necessary actions way before you relocate. We don’t mean gathering a pile of free containers and keeping them in your house for six months, we rather mean saving cash and resources for any unpredictable outcomes.

For example, you may decide to get additional insurance or fully insure some of your more valuable items, and you’ll require some extra cash for that. There could be several unpredicted costs, which is typical for relocating and nothing to worry about. So, how can you stack up on funds before the move?

When Saving Money to Move, Plan Out Your Meals and Don’t Eat In Restaurants

Many people categorically refuse to cook their meals, but they also end up spending the majority of their funds in restaurants. For example, say you spend $10 on a meal every weekday. That’s $50 per week, $200 per month, and $2,400 per year. Maybe you eat out every day or eat more expensive meals.

On average, an American household spends $3,000 on restaurant meals per year. Coincidentally, you could pay $3,000 for a full-package relocation to a different state. If you plan your meals and use every single ingredient from your fridge for cooking, you’ll spend no more than $25 per week, which is half the cost of restaurant meals and up to $2,000 in the piggy bank, saved up for other purposes.

Use the 30-Day Rule for Shopping Sprees and Indulgence

While you don’t need a new guacamole bowl, a third makeup palette, or another gardening tool, there’s nothing stopping you from buying them. This is where self-control should start working its way into your daily life. Whether you’re generally an impulse buyer or not, this will challenge you, but it’s vital to refrain yourself from shopping for unnecessary stuff.

The same goes for going to hairdressers, manicures, pedicures, Uber rides to and from work, and alike. These are all small and seemingly insignificant expenses, but they pile up and create a worrisome bundle of expenses. You’ll likely wonder where all that cash went since these are things you do without sometimes even thinking about them.

You can work on that by introducing the 30-day rule. Basically, this rule says that when you see something you feel like purchasing to delay that decision for thirty days. If you still remember it or want it after that time, you can go ahead and purchase it, but if not – that’s cash saved and still in your pockets. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many things you own were bought on a whim. Over-consumption generally leads to problems, so it could be a nice lifestyle change for you.

Open a Savings Account

To avoid the temptation of spending the funds you saved by avoiding restaurants and unnecessary shopping sprees, you can open a savings account that will stay intact until relocation. This is a good idea because some banks offer added interest on a monthly basis, while most have interests after a one-year period.

Additionally, keeping your funds in a savings account will keep it away from sight, which might be helpful. Give yourself a reminder that those funds are off-limits for the time being, and only start spending it for relocation. Most ways to stack up on funds entail controlling yourself and not living the most luxurious life every single day. There’ll be time for that once you’ve moved out.

a girl preparing her meal in advance to save money for long-distance moving
Saving funds could be cooking your meals, avoiding impulse buys and opening a savings account

Use Items from Home for Packing and Declutter Before Leaving to Help Your Bank Account

One of the best ways to get organized to move and economize is to use items from home for storage and packing. Cardboard boxes from the shoes you recently bought, the large wicker basket where you’re storing old footwear, and the plastic container with all the children’s toys are all suitable containers for packaging, and they cost nothing, too. To move efficiently means to think outside the box and take advantage of everything you have at home.

Another great benefit of using things from home is the chance to declutter. When you browse and sort everything in the house, you can donate unwanted items, sell them, or take them to the nearest recycling center. However, when you declutter, ensure there aren’t any things you forget to pack because of all the mess. Create piles, sort, and organize your stuff in a way that works best for you.

How to Save Money on Moving? Ask for Free Packaging Items Elsewhere

If you want to know what is the least expensive way to move, of course, it’s getting free supplies. People think they have to pay for everything and often make this relocation mistake. However, one of the greatest relocation tips is also the most efficient way to move out on a budget – by asking friends, family, neighbors, and even restaurants and supermarkets to give you their unused boxes and other materials.

You’d be surprised how often stores and restaurants throw out perfectly usable containers. It’s OK to ask them for this favor since they don’t need those boxes anyway. Additionally, if you’re OK with a bit of digging and rummaging, watch the video below to help you in the adventure of seeking out supplies that cost nothing at all.

Ask Friends and Family for Assistance With Saving and Packaging

If you’re moving in with your significant other, they could be of the utmost assistance to your relocation process, and it’d be something that bonds you even further. Another of our relocation day tips is to ask people in your inner circle to assist you with packaging, loading the relocation truck, and taking care of other loose ends.

Most importantly, your inner circle could and should hold you accountable for spending and saving. If there’s something you consider buying, call your best friend or mom instead, and chat with them about why that’s a bad idea. The people close to you have your best interest in mind, so talking to them before making financial decisions could be of great help for your savings.

In case of an office move, you and your colleagues will come together and support each other with all the relocation necessities. There are different ways on how to save money on moving when other people are helping you, and remember that it’s always good to ask for help because that creates better relationships in the long run.

The Good – Free Babysitting and Pet Sitting While You Pack On Relocation Day

Asking family and friends to assist you on relocation day means they could do other things besides packaging. For example, if you’re relocating with pets, they can take care of your furry babies and get them out of harm’s way from heavy objects, but also out of your way while trying to pack everything.

In case you’re relocating while pregnant or have small children, you can save money for relocation and on babysitting, too. If you have to prepare your home for sale, the children will be safe with the people that love them, and you can peacefully get ready for the move. Paying for babysitting services should be the last thing you do when you’re tight on funds or trying to keep as much cash on you as possible.

The Bad – the Possibility of Changing Your Mind

It’s never easy going away from friends and family, but they’re the first on everyone’s list of who to notify when relocating. For example, if you need to pack for college, it’s obvious that your parents would be the first to help. Still, since that may be the first time you’re relocating, it could be difficult and emotional, making the process longer and more complicated next to that.

Everyone can make friends in another city when they move. There’s no doubt that you’ll stay in touch with the people you care about and meet new ones along the way. Saying goodbye to friends is hard, but don’t let that discourage you from your decision.

a group of friends eating together and toasting to their cross-country moving trip
The people in your life can make it harder to move but also provide assistance and support

Renting a Relocation Truck Could Be a Saving Grace for Your Wallet

Among many affordable moving options, there’s the obvious relocation hack of renting a relocation truck for all your needs. There are different sizes of trucks, depending on the amount of cargo you have. This reduces the costs of interstate relocation by a lot, but we recommend you not try shoving as many containers as possible into a vehicle that’s not big enough. That will significantly damage your cargo and cost you infinitely more than you could imagine. Designate what not to pack when relocating to avoid a mess.

When trying to relocate with a car, you can contact a car shipping company. They will ship your vehicle and deliver it to the destination since driving the rental truck and the car you have wouldn’t be possible. It’s best for your interstate relocation if you hire professional help for at least one aspect of it since driving long distances can quickly become too big of a challenge. Additionally, it’s much easier to ship the vehicle you already have than to purchase another one at your destination. This isn’t only a waste of cash, but a waste of time, too, since cars and every service they require are equally costly.

a relocation truck from long-distance movers, filled with boxes
There are relocation trucks of various sizes, so ensure you get the one that suits you the most

Hire Cross-Country Movers for Professional Long-Distance Moving Services

Contacting a relocation company and paying for long-distance moving services is sometimes the cheapest way to move out of state. How is that? Well, some of the benefits of hiring movers are:

  • With the standard relocation cost, you get a packing service, optional use of storage units and mandatory relocation insurance,
  • No matter how many items you have, the relocation team knows how to pack all of them,
  • There’s no need to worry about acquiring boxes and other supplies,
  • You can focus on yourself and your mental health during the move,

These benefits seem reasonable considering how tough the process can be. The communication between you and your relocation company can be honest and transparent, and if it’s not, be wary of a potential relocation scam. You’re involved without working too hard. Well, you can work on figuring out how to tip the movers afterward.

How to Use the Help of Long-Distance Movers and Car Shipping Company to Lower Your Costs

If you prefer not to let a relocation company do everything for you, ask an auto transport company to take your car or perhaps prepare for movers by packing all the boxes and just letting them load the relocation truck. You can also write down questions to ask movers if you feel they’d give you clarity about pricing, storage, the service itself, and their business. Use their assistance in ways that could cut your costs and losses.

 two cross-country movers smiling
Hiring a relocation team to assist you is one of the most common tips that could turn out to be good

You Can Be Economical and Have a Great Long-Distance Moving Experience

We all want a stress-free relocation, potentially with an ideal long-distance moving company, which can become a reality. However, suppose your goal is to learn how to economize, become more efficient and effective in many life situations. In that case, your best option is to follow tips, pat yourself on the back whenever necessary, and never lose faith. You can practice how well you became organized during the move with all the things to do after relocating.

Whether you take advantage of at least one or all of the tips we listed on how to be frugal in times of need, remember that asking for assistance is never a bad idea. It can come in the form of your closest friends or one of your local relocation companies, but there’s always a solution that can keep everyone happy and the move perfect.


What Are Some Ways to Save Money When Moving?

An interstate move can be an expensive process, but there are several ways to save money and make the process more affordable. Here are some tips:

  • Plan ahead – start planning your move well in advance to allow time to find the best deals on relocation services, supplies, and housing,
  • Get multiple quotes – contact several companies to compare rates and services,
  • Purge and sell unwanted items – donate or sell items that you no longer need, as this will reduce the number of items you need to move,
  • Pack yourself – packing your own belongings can save you money on packing services.
  • Consider a do-it-yourself move – if you have access to a vehicle, a do-it-yourself move can save you money on services (just keep in mind that it’s not the safest way to move),
  • Take advantage of off-peak relocation discounts – planning a move during the off-peak season can result in lower costs for a  professional relocation and auto transport company.

How Can I Reduce the Cost of Hiring a Moving Company?

Start looking for a long-distance moving company several months in advance to allow time to compare rates and services, and make sure you contact multiple companies to compare rates and services. Also, be flexible with your move date, since relocating during the off-peak season can result in lower rates from companies. You can also consider downsizing your belongings – the less you have to move, the lower the cost of hiring a  company will be.

What Expenses Should I Budget for When Moving?

When planning a move, it’s important to budget for expenses such as the cost of hiring a relocation and car shipping company, packing supplies, transportation costs, storage fees, utilities set up and deposit fees, cleaning services, and possibly temporary housing. It’s also important to keep in mind any miscellaneous expenses such as new furniture, decor, and food costs during the transition period. To ensure a successful and stress-free move, it’s recommended to create a detailed budget and keep track of all expenses incurred.

How Can I Save Money on Packing Materials?

To save money on packing materials, you can reuse boxes and containers from stores, ask friends or family for extra boxes they may have, and use towels, linens, and clothing as cushioning material instead of bubble wrap. Also, utilize drawers and dressers as boxes by removing the drawers and wrapping them for transport. Another option is to purchase used packing materials from online marketplaces. Additionally, consider opting for a minimalist approach when packing and getting rid of items you no longer need or use, which can also help reduce the number of materials required.

Can I Save Money by Moving During an Off-Peak Season?

Yes, organizing a move during an off-peak season can help you save money. Long-distance movers often have lower demand for their services during the fall and winter months and may offer discounts or special promotions during these times. Additionally, the cost of rental trucks and storage units may also be lower during off-peak times. However, it’s important to consider the weather and potential hazards it may pose during the winter months and to plan accordingly.

What Expenses Can I Eliminate or Reduce When Moving?

You can save money on hiring professional cross-country movers by doing a part of the packing yourself, or by having friends or family help. You can also reduce the cost of packing materials by reusing boxes and containers and utilizing items like towels and linens as cushioning. Additionally, your expenses will be reduced by selling or donating items you no longer need or use instead of paying to move them.

Can I Save Money by Renting a Moving Truck Instead of Hiring a Moving Company?

Yes, you can save money by renting a relocating truck instead of hiring long-distance movers. Renting a truck and doing the move yourself can be a cost-effective option However, it’s important to consider the time and effort required to pack and load the truck, as well as the cost of fuel and insurance. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in the cost of any necessary equipment, such as furniture dollies and packing supplies. Before making a decision, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits and consider factors such as your physical abilities, time constraints, and the value of your belongings. In some cases, the convenience and peace of mind offered by professionals may be worth the extra cost.

How Can I Save Money on My Utility and Service Deposits When Moving?

To save money on utility and service deposits when relocating, it’s important to research and compare options before choosing a provider. Consider reaching out to multiple companies to compare rates, deposit amounts, and any special promotions or discounts that may be available. You can also inquire about any opportunities to have a deposit waived or reduced by setting up automatic payments or having a good credit history. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that you cancel your previous utility and service accounts in a timely manner to receive any applicable refunds or credits

Can I Save Money on Food Costs During a Move?

Yes, you can save money on food costs during a move by planning ahead and being mindful of your expenses. Instead of eating out, consider preparing and packing meals to bring with you or eating non-perishable items. You can also save money by shopping for groceries in bulk and taking advantage of any sales or discounts. By being mindful of your food costs and making smart choices, you can effectively reduce your expenses during a move and still maintain a healthy and satisfying diet.

How Can I Minimize the Costs Associated With Moving Long-Distance?

To minimize the costs associated with long-distance moving, it’s important to plan ahead and make smart choices. You can save money on transportation costs by comparison shopping for cross-country moving services, and by consolidating your belongings to reduce the amount of space needed. You can also save money on housing costs by choosing to rent a home or apartment instead of staying in a hotel. Additionally, you can reduce expenses by having a yard sale to get rid of items you no longer need or use, and by utilizing free or affordable boxes and packing materials.

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