Moving on a budget is a difficult task. The trade-offs associated with a frugal move might be a necessary evil depending on your finances, but, let’s be honest with ourselves, there is no such thing as a ‘cheap move’. The added stress of extra preparation, time and effort might not be a dollar sign, but it will tax you mentally. If you are able to do so, consider setting a later move-out date to allow yourself a larger budget. The good news? There are lots of areas you can save money in, which is why I’ve come up with some helpful saving tips when moving.


Let’s Talk About Finances…

Moving costs are always a bit more expensive than people’s estimations predict. Because of this, consider having some back-up cash if things get tight. When you’re finalizing your budget for the big move, add an extra 15-30% to combat any margin for error. This means that if your budget for moving is $500, adding an extra $150 to the pot will cover any extra costs incurred. If this pushes your budget too far into the red, you might have to decrease your budget. Dipping into your savings account might be necessary if there’s no affordable way for you to move on a tight budget.

Think of what services you’ll need when moving. Are you downsizing? Is stuff going into storage? Is stuff going to the dump? Do you have a big enough vehicle to transport your furniture? Do you have friends who’ll help you move, or will you be using movers? And so on… The areas in which you save are dependent on the assets you can make use of. If your are using movers, companies will often provide free estimates for their services. Shop around to find one that suits your budgetary needs.


Cutting Costs

Getting a jump on things is important for your budgeting needs. Start as early as possible in order to develop a rough estimate on how much your things will cost you. At first, pack the things you won’t need till later. Seasonal wear, sports equipment, and holiday decorations are easy things to get out of the way early.

As the weeks go on and you pack up more things, look for things to get rid of. Think of it this way: the less stuff to move, the less it could cost you. There’s no point in spending time or money transporting clutter to your new house or apartment. Read our article on ‘Cutting Clutter’ for more information on this topic.


Save Money on Packing Supplies

And by that I mean don’t pay for them. There are plenty of businesses that will provide you with remains of whatever boxes had shipped with their product. Your local grocery store is a great place to start looking, especially if you’re looking for larger sized compartments to pack dishes or books. Liquor stores are also a good place to look. The slotted inserts used to transport bottles are useful for packing cups and wine glasses, but the boxes you get from there will typically be smaller.

Packing material can be easily substituted with sheets and towels. These items are effective for protecting larger fragile items like bowls or sound systems. Newspaper is also an effective means of wrapping cups and glasses. Be sure to rinse or clean whatever items you choose to wrap with newsprint, as the ink can rub off easily.


Where to Eat

At some point during the move you’ll find yourself in between houses with nothing but packed-up food. If you live in the greater Victoria area there are plenty of low-cost options for eating out. If you’re looking for something to snack on, a bag of mixed nuts from the bulk section of your local grocery store is a great option. Canned soup is a great alternative to eating out for dinner if you have access to a stove or microwave. Whichever the case, make sure your meal won’t bog you down the next day when you’re lugging things in and out of your new home!


Going it Alone?

It’s hardly advisable to put the task of moving on your shoulders alone but understandable that sometimes when moving you’re flying solo. Try to get things done at your leisure and enlist help whenever you can. Portable shipping containers are a great investment if you want to get your packing out of the way sooner, without cluttering your space. Victoria has a number of different companies that offer this service.

Of course, getting professional help might run up against your budget, but the time you save on moving day could make up the difference in cost. Request an estimate today and become one step closer to moving out.