You know that moving can be expensive, but did you know you can actually make money during the process? Yup, it’s true. Moving can add a little something back in the family budget if you follow some of these cash-generating strategies:
Get your rental deposit back. If you’ve been renting, you’re entitled to your security deposit — plus interest! — provided that you leave the property in the agreed-upon state. Check your lease for details, and if you have trouble getting your landlord to cooperate, contact your city’s or state’s tenant advocacy board.
See if you’re entitled to other deposits or balances. If you pre-paid your gym and are unable to continue with your membership due to your move, you may be entitled to a refund of the balance. The same is true for classes, programs, and other pre-paid memberships. You’ll need to check your membership agreement for details, but it’s worth a call.
Think about short-term sublets or house-sitting. If you have a few weeks left on your rent and your apartment will be vacant, think about subletting it. Someone who needs a short-term place to crash may be willing to pay you a few hundred dollars just to have a place to call home. Likewise, if you are looking for a place to stay, consider hiring yourself out as a house-sitter. You get all the benefits of home AND a paycheck!
Purge, purge, purge… and sell! Get rid of everything you can before you move. Not only will it make the move itself less expensive, it can bring in quite a bit of spending cash. If you have enough time, hold a garage sale. Make sure to market it as a “moving sale” so people know to expect large and small items. Let go of furniture, clothing past its prime, and toys and games for the kids. Books are also great yard sale sellers. If you have just a few large items, list them on Craigslist.com. Designer or name-brand clothing will go well on eBay. Put all your cash into a moving fund and use it to splurge on dinner out on the arrival end.
Offer your courier services. Sometimes cars, animals, or important documents need to be transported from Point A to Point B. Offer your courier services if you have the flexibility or room in your suitcase. You may even be able to offer a ride to someone looking to travel in your direction. Colleges and universities usually have a “rides needed” bulletin board. Warning: Make sure you know exactly who — and what! — you’re transporting.
Sell your packing materials. Many moving companies use second-hand materials — and charge for them! Undercut them by selling all your discarded materials at a bargain-basement price once you’ve unpacked. You won’t make a mint, but why throw that potential cash in the recycling bin?
Look for cash bonuses for sign-up. Banks, gyms, credit unions… many establishments will give you a cash bonus just for opening an account. Look for these types of deals when in search of service providers at your new locale. You need a new bank anyway; might as well get paid for it!
Keep selling. Even when you think you purged before you moved, you will find additional items on the far end of your move that you will need to dispose of. If you’ve got more time, try a consignment service for home furnishings and furniture. Find out if your new area has a kids’ resale event, and start saving those outgrown clothes and baby items.
The key to making money when you move is to question everything, and see how you can turn your expense into a profit-center. The ideas are out there, if you think outside the box.