How to Save Money and Budget When Moving

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A big move is exciting — perhaps you're upgrading to a larger condo, have found your dream home or are relocating for a new job. But it can also be a little pricey. In fact, if you're not prepared, the cost of moving can surprise you, especially if you're distracted with the details of buying or leasing a new place. Budget accordingly, though, and your move will go easy on your wallet — and your sanity!

Basic Costs to Expect

Gone are the days when a truck and a few friends were all you needed to move. The average cost of an in-state move is around $2,300, while an out-of-state move costs an average of $4,300, according to the American Moving & Storage Organization. You'll also need to purchase boxes, tape and other packing materials, which can cost $100 to $200 or more, depending on the size of your home. An organized, professional mover helps protect your furniture and valued possessions, but comes at a higher price. 

Look Out for Hidden Costs, Too

Not all moving costs are obvious; hidden costs add up, too. Watch out for fees associated with disconnecting utilities at your old address, advises Joanne Cleaver at USRealty.com. "In the recession, many communities that depended on property taxes had a big drop in revenue and so they raised fees for a lot of services,” says Cleaver. “If you haven’t moved in a while, you might not be aware of these new fees." 

You might also have to pay for cleaning services at your old place, parking permits for your moving van and recycling fees for used boxes after you unpack. Cleaver also recommends budgeting in advance for any necessary landscaping at your new place, like cutting down old trees.

Budget for Your Move

The best way to keep your bank account — and your peace of mind — intact is to start saving for your move early, before you close on your new place or sign a new lease. Once you have an estimated cost for your move, use budget software like Quicken Deluxe to start planning.

Quicken Deluxe can automatically import transactions from your bank accounts to help identify where to curb spending. You can also automatically create a savings plan to build up enough funds to cover your move. And because you can update your budget from anywhere using a mobile device, you can keep track of your spending anytime during your move — even if your home office and computer are already packed up. 

Try These Money-Savers

Of course, budgeting for a move is much easier if you can save a bit of dough by avoiding needless expenses. Harrine Freeman, financial expert and CEO at H.E. Freeman Enterprises, shares these tips:

  • Shop Around: Contact at least three moving companies for an estimate to get the best prices. Ask these companies if they offer packages on van rentals and storage. 
  • Don't be Afraid to DIY: Use your own blankets and linens to pad furniture, do the packing yourself and pitch in on moving day to cut the size and cost of your moving crew.
  • Reuse Supplies: Ask friends and family for boxes to cut down on packing costs and check out classified ads for second-hand moving supplies. 
  • Check for Coupons: Scour savings sites like Groupon for coupons to save money on moving or cleaning services.

Whatever strategies you choose, cutting costs and saving money early will help you focus on what's most important — settling in and making your new place feel like home!