Relocating can be a big change in your life, especially when it involves moving across the country. Whether you’ve been reassigned at work, promoted, or you’ve found a new job altogether, what seems like an exciting time can end up causing undue stress both emotionally and financially.
While relocating across the country can be taxing on your nerves and your wallet, there are some things you can do to minimize some of the expenses. Ultimately this will lower some of the stress that comes with moving.
Meals on the Road
You may be spending anywhere from three to five days on the road depending on how many hours you take each day driving and the total miles you have to cover on your destination. That’s a lot of eating out! An easy way to cut costs in your meals is by packing a lot of food.
Pack a cooler full of water and some of your other favorite beverages. Bring a grocery bag of all those feel-good snacks (now’s not the time to worry about calories). And, pack a few initial meals to help reduce costs. This will decrease how much you spend at the gas station on overpriced snacks and bottles of water. It’s a good idea to keep your cooler going the entire trip. This means stopping at grocery stores at different towns you hit along the way for ice and more sandwich fixings.
If you’re staying in hotels, choose the ones that include complimentary breakfast if the room rate is still a good deal. By limiting restaurant bills for breakfast and lunch, you’ll only need to pay for dinner each night. This will save anywhere between $60 and $300 for two people depending how far your trip is.
Purge Before Packing
There’s no need to pay movers extra cash, or renting a larger truck if half the stuff you’re packing isn’t worth taking anyway. Take the time to give your home’s contents an honest assessment. What’s your sofa worth? Can you find a comparable one on the other side of the move for about the same price you could sell your current one for?
Treat all of your non-sentimental items the same way, and you may find there’s a lot less furniture you absolutely have to take with you. Now, if you can’t fetch a fair price for key pieces, then it may be worth hanging on to them. All non-furniture items you don’t want or need can be sold at yard sales, online via Facebook or Craigslist, or donated to a local charity. The more you can sell, the more you’ll save in moving costs.
Six months or more prior to when you plan on moving is a great time to get rid of items like duplicates, china you don’t use, excess christmas decorations and lights, your kids old clothes, clothes you don’t wear anymore, sporting equipment that’s no longer used, tools that you have no use for, and home decor that you’ve outgrown.
Pick a Reliable Moving Company
If you’re going to be hiring movers to get your stuff from one end of the country to the other, do your homework. While it may seem like the best bet is to find a mover with the lowest rates, you may get exactly what you pay for. A mover that does the job a little too quickly at a very low cost may cut corners. Cutting corners could result in damaged goods along the journey, and little chance of being compensated for your items.
You’ll save more money in the long run by investigating which movers in your area are the best. Avoid months that are in high demand for movers. If you can, move before May or after September. Also consider moving on a weekday. Avoid weekends and holidays at all cost since weekday moves are the cheapest. Use only movers that have been reviewed by reputable sources, and check with the Better Business Bureau for good standing.
Move it All Yourself
If you are packing up and moving yourself, there are ways to cut down on packing supplies. Visit local stores or ask friends for boxes so you don’t have to buy them new. Use towels, shirts, and socks to pack belongings. Bind books together instead of packing them into heavy boxes. Ask people you know to save up bubble wrap they receive from online shopping so that you don’t need to add the extra expense of buying some of your own.
When renting a truck, make sure you are renting from a reputable source, just like what you would do when investigating a moving company. Don’t trust the rental company’s word that your truck is in cross-country shape. Ask them for a quality assurance report that shows the truck’s service record. Instead, check the truck out yourself or ask someone knowledgeable whom you trust to take a look. Using a quality truck means no wasting time or money during a breakdown halfway across the country.
If you’re moving more than one car with your house load, don’t waste money and time driving that one too. Look into renting a trailer to hitch behind the moving truck to tow your car on, which is cheaper than driving that vehicle too. Not to mention, it saves the wear and tear your extra vehicle would encounter with a cross country drive. Also worth a look is hiring a shipping company to ship your vehicle to your final destination. But, just like moving and rental companies, make sure you do your homework first.
Embarking on a cross country move can be a very exciting, and a sometimes stressful experience. Add children and pets into the mix, and the emotional toll can be a big one. Make sure you lower levels of stress by employing the best cost savings strategies for the trip.
Plan ahead, purge what you don’t want or need, look into low cost eating options, and pack with recycled materials. You’re wallet won’t feel so depleted when you get to where you’re going. And your mental health will be that much more intact when you’ve completed your adventure.