Moving can take a hit on the budget, but there are ways to keep our costs down. Here are some of our top tips for keeping the seemingly endless costs under control:
1. Plan ahead. It’s a simple fact of life: The more rushed you are, the more you will have to pay. If you have the luxury of planning out your move, you can choose the time of year and even day of week that you will move (weekends and summer are more expensive; weekdays and colder weather are slower times for moving companies).
By planning, you can also build in time to shop around and compare prices on everything from grocery stores to UHauls. Get at least three quotes on everything, and don’t assume that the lowest price is the biggest bargain. Examine line items to ensure you’re comparing apples to apples.
Planning will also keep you from making costly mistakes, like forgetting to find a sitter for your pet or to give 30 days’ notice on your gym membership to avoid paying for an additional month. These small fees and expenses add up — and most can be avoided with proper notice.
2. Negotiate or barter. Just because your new landlord quotes you $100 for an extra parking space doesn’t mean you have to pay $100. Always, always, ALWAYS ask for a better deal. You won’t lose anything by asking, and you could just score a lower price. The same goes for your moving company, the furniture store, and your new gym. 30 seconds now can save you hundreds of dollars.
Think about bartering for services, too. If you have mad graphic design skillz, maybe you can swap your talents for a break on your moving expenses. Swap personal training services for a haircut. Whatever your skills and talents, someone else wants them!
3. Look for discounts. Many communities welcome newcomers with open arms — and plenty of discounts. Check in with the post office, your real estate or rental agent, the city’s newcomers club, or the Chamber of Commerce for a welcome packet. A typical haul might include coupons to local restaurants, a discount at the housewares store, and more. Ask for discounts when approaching membership-type organizations like gyms, kids’ programs, and the like. They may be dying for members and be willing to cut you a deal.
The key here is to ask. Ask to barter, ask for a discount, ask for a better price. You won’t always get one, but it’ll work enough to make it worth the effort.