How to Prepare to Move into a New Home on a Budget

How to Prepare to Move into a New Home on a Budget

Moving to a new home is an exciting event — but this excitement can quickly turn to stress if you don’t plan and budget for moving expenses beforehand.

Fortunately, you can take several measures to make your move smoother for less. These budget-friendly tips will help you save money as you prepare to step into this new phase of your life.

Make a Budget and Set Aside a Savings Fund

Setting a financial goal is an essential first step in moving. You’ll have several expenses related to the move itself, as well as getting settled into your new home. Follow these tips to set realistic financial goals for your move.

  1. Review your account statements and a list of monthly expenses to determine how much you can afford to spend during the move.
  2. Make a list of all the things you need to move, along with items you’ll need in your new home — such as moving vans and boxes, new furniture, and appliances. Remember to create an “emergency” section on your list for any unexpected expenses that might arise. These could include items such as moving-related injuries, or a temporary hotel room in case your new home isn’t ready for you, but you have to be out of your current one.
  3. Divide the money you’re willing to spend on both your move and furnishing your new home into must-have and nice-to-have expense categories. 
  4. Once you’ve determined how much money you need for each item, set the funds aside in a separate savings account. If you find you don’t have enough money for everything you want, consider which items on your nice-to-have list you should postpone until you can save up the money for them.

Declutter and Sell Unused Items

Do you have a closet full of clothes you haven’t worn in years or can’t fit into anymore? Or a pile of toys your child no longer plays with? Unused items don’t just contribute to the craziness of moving to a new house — they also require more time to pack and unpack, which can cost you money.

Host a yard sale before your move to earn some extra cash while you declutter, or use an online marketplace to sell items you no longer need or want. You’ll make your move easier while also adding to your moving budget. Then, donate any unsold items to a local charity.

Repurpose Current Home Decor 

You might be tempted to rush to your nearest home store and stuff your cart full of artwork, end tables, and other accessories to liven up your new space. But these costs can quickly add up, causing you to spend a portion of your budget on unnecessary items.

Instead, try to repurpose your current home decor and furniture where you can. You can always begin saving to purchase the items you want for your new home after you move in. During the time period before the move, use the 30-day rule to control your spending.

Save on Movers

Hiring a moving company can be a significant expense. Fortunately, you can find several ways to save money on moving your belongings:

  • Move during the off-season: Since summer is real estate’s busy season, movers don’t get as much business during other times of the year. You might find significant deals for moving during the off-season.
  • Shop around: The cheapest moving company might not necessarily be your best option. Take the time to compare prices, read reviews, and analyze the services each mover is offering.
  • Recruit friends and family: Perhaps the best — and most fun — way to save money on your move is to drop the idea of hiring professional movers altogether. Instead, get a group of friends and family together to help. It can save you up to thousands of dollars, and you’ll have much more fun moving with the people you’re closest to.

Find Used Boxes

One of the biggest budget-busting mistakes any new homeowner can make is to buy new boxes and packing materials. Free boxes are everywhere you look — all you have to do is ask. Ask your employer if you can use empty boxes you find around the office, or ask friends and family who’ve also recently moved if you can reuse their boxes. You can also check with your local grocery and home improvement stores for any free empty boxes they might have on hand.

Be Smart When Packing and Transporting

If you aren’t packing smart, you’re wasting valuable time, money, and resources. Group your belongings together by room, and then based on size and shape. By fitting more things in fewer boxes, you can use fewer resources, manpower, and trips to and from your new home. Remember to label each box so you can distribute them strategically throughout your new home as you unpack. 

Also, even if you’re only moving a few blocks away, try to move several boxes at once to minimize the number of small trips you take. If you’ve recruited a friend with a truck to help you move, they’ll appreciate taking two full loads rather than making five or six trips with fewer boxes. Plus, you’ll be saving money by using less gas to get back and forth each time.

Start Saving with a PSECU Savings Share

Whether you’re saving to move down the street or across the country, we’re here to help. Start saving for your move today with a PSECU Savings share, or download the PSECU Savings App for a fun way to save.

The content provided in this publication is for informational purposes only. Nothing stated is to be construed as financial or legal advice. Some products not offered by PSECU. PSECU does not endorse any third parties, including, but not limited to, referenced individuals, companies, organizations, products, blogs, or websites. PSECU does not warrant any advice provided by third parties. PSECU does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided by third parties. PSECU recommends that you seek the advice of a qualified financial, tax, legal, or other professional if you have questions.