Moving On the Cheap

How to Spend as Little as Possible on Your Next Move

Moving is a big step for anyone. It doesn’t happen very often, and when it does happen, it takes a lot of work. It seems there’s always something to do. It can also cost a lot of money, but it doesn’t have to. Some people pay hundreds, or even thousands of dollars to move all of their belongings to their new residence. Of course, this money buys convenience and a little extra comfort, but it certainly doesn’t have to be that expensive. It may never be free, but it is definitely possible, if not easy, to move on a relatively low budget. There are plenty of other aspects of the relocation process that will drain your wallet. Don’t let the move itself be one of them. Here are a few thoughts and tips to help you keep your moving budget low.

Organize before you pack

No matter how you move, taking more things will always cost more. Before you do anything else, organize everything you own. In addition to making the entire process easier, from packing to unpacking, getting organized will allow you to rid yourself of anything you don’t need. Sell it, donate it, or throw it away, but if you don’t need it, it’d be a waste to bring it with you. Every pound and every box you can get rid of will save you some money, not to mention a lot of lifting.

Travel by train

If you’ve never traveled by train, you might be missing out. Train travel is an adventure that everyone should experience at least once, but it can also assist you with your move. In addition to getting you to where you’re going, Amtrak has a very liberal baggage policy. In most cases, each passenger can bring as many as six bags for free, and two more at $20 a piece. This space adds up quickly, especially considering that multiple travelers each get this allotment. Depending on how much you are moving, you may be able to move most or all of your belongings on the train, especially if one family member is also traveling by car. Of course, you should always check the policies before you book, but you might be surprised by the comfort and convenience of moving by train. And if train travel isn’t your thing, most bus lines allow at least a couple of bags before they start charging fees.


Although shipping isn’t likely to be the least expensive option, it might be worth it to check, especially if you’re moving across the country. While renting a truck or hiring a moving company will cost more for longer distances, shipping will be roughly the same price. If you decide to ship your belongings, be open to the slower options, as these will be considerably cheaper.

Rent your own truck

If you have too many belongings to fit on the train and shipping is too expensive, you may have no choice but to use a truck, but before you pay a moving company, consider renting your own truck. This will cost considerably less than the alternative, and you won’t have to deal with the moving company’s schedule and quirks. If you’re looking for help, order some pizzas and invite a few friends.

Why pay when you can get it for free?

There are a lot of moving costs that can’t be avoided, but there are exceptions. For example, there’s no reason to pay for boxes and other containers. Instead, ask around your workplace, or other businesses in the area. You can also find other supplies around, sometimes even in your own house. Why pay for it when you don’t have to?

Avoid overnight stays

It can sometimes take more than a day to move everything you own, especially if you are traveling a long distance. If possible, avoid spending multiple nights traveling, because this can get expensive quickly. Make sure everything is packed by the night before you leave so that you can pull out as early as possible, and consider packing everything you need for the first couple of nights separately, so that you can get set up as soon as you arrive. If spending a night or two on the road isn’t avoidable, there are several options that will cost less than staying in a hotel. Do you have any friends or family on the way that might be willing to put you up for the night? If not, you can try a hostel, or check out Airbnb (get $40 in travel credit when you sign up).

Moving can be a very expensive endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, if you know what you’re doing and you’re willing to deal with a few minor inconveniences, it can be almost free. Try out a few of these tips. The money you save could pay for your first meal out, and then some.

Use Moving Coupons

There’s not a lot of moving coupons out there, but the one that Pods offers is a good one. Use this promo code to save 5% off local or long distance moves using their convenient moving containers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *