Buying or renting a new home is expensive enough — between the security deposit or down payment, first and last month’s rent, and the cost of movers, it’s easy to wonder how anyone can afford it.
But everyone has to move at one time or another. So we asked for some budget-friendly moving tips from a few of the top financial experts at Manilla.com, the award-winning, free and secure service that lets you manage your bills and accounts in one place online and via mobile apps. Here’s what they said.
1. Lighten the load.
Get rid of stuff! Packing up and moving is so much easier when you have less stuff. The best part? You might be able to earn some extra cash in the process, said Linda Descano, women and money expert from Citibank’s Women & Co.
“Take your upcoming move as an opportunity to make a little extra spending money when you’re decluttering your home,” Descano said. “As you start packing up, think about the usefulness of each item, whether it’s a piece of clothing that’s been hiding in the back of your closet, or a kitchen gadget that’s been sitting in your garage since your wedding day.”
If it’s the latter, Descano said, it’s time to toss it. Put it in the “sell” pile and, before you move, sell it at a garage sale or on an auction site, such as eBay.
2. Ask a professional.
A professional mover can quickly point out to you easy ways to save money on your moving endeavor, says Sam Burgoon of financial website CreditSeason.com. “Ask a local mover for tips on how to pack items more efficiently to avoid damage and save time,” Sam said, adding that it’s important to consider using shrink-wrap or even disassembling items to save space and money.
3. Don’t break your existing lease.
If you’re currently renting and your lease hasn’t ended, avoid breaking it early, says Adrian Nazari, CEO of credit and loan website CreditSesame.com. “There are many financial consequences of breaking your lease,” he said, “from losing your deposit, to having to pay rent for the months remaining on the lease after you move out. If you can wait to move until your lease is up, it can save you a lot of money.”
4. Explore the tax benefits of your move.
If you’re moving more than 50 miles away, save your receipts for a tax deduction, Nazari said, adding that there are a few restrictions to keep in mind. For starters, your reason for moving must be related to your job, and accepting that job would have had to increase your commute by more than 50 miles if you had decided not to move. Another requirement, Nazari said, is that you must be employed full-time for at least 39 weeks during the 12 months after you move, and it must be true that your employer is not covering your moving expenses.
5. Don’t settle.
Shop around when you’re moving, because you’ll regret it if you don’t, said Brandhyze Stanley, editor of frugal-living website Frugal-Nomics.com. “Moving is not the time to make yourself settle on a place you don’t absolutely love,” Stanley said. “Yes, we have to be realistic with our expectations, but you don’t want to have to funnel tons of money into a place in an attempt to fix it up and make repairs to make it look like your ideal home.”