When to Splurge (And When to Save) On Moving Related Expenses
You’ve found a new home. It’s perfect. It has a bedroom with a view, space for a garden out back, and the kitchen of your dreams. Whether you’re renting or buying, the process of seeking out (and actually landing) a place to live is equal parts exhausting and rewarding. It’s also expensive...oh man, is it expensive! From deposits to setting up the utilities to buying new furniture, transitioning to a new apartment or house can empty your wallet big time. Just when you’ve pinched your last penny, you realize there’s one big expense you’ve got to deal with: Moving.
According to Zillow, people spend an average of $475 on professional movers for local moves. If you’re moving to another city or state, that price goes up (and up and up and up). Professional movers aren’t the only moving-related expense, of course—so where does it end?
While you don’t want to cheap out on every moving-related expense, there are places where you can save your money. Here’s a look at when to splurge and when to save on moving-related expenses:
Splurge: Professional Movers
Once you’ve decided to hire professional movers (a decision your back will thank you for, trust us), you have to choose the best ones. Here’s a tip: Best does not equal cheapest. A great moving company will take great care of your stuff; it’s that simple. Hiring licensed, insured, and well-reviewed movers is an investment in your belongings. A cheap mover may cost less in the short term, but you’ll lose money if your items are damaged. Go with the highest-rated movers, even if they cost more than the 1-star company.
Save: Hotel Rooms
If your move involves an overnight stay or two, skip the Ritz Carlton and stay at a Motel 6. That amazing hotel with the spa and restaurant may sound tempting, but after a long day of packing and driving, you’re just going to want to crash. Book a budget hotel—and book it in advance so you can price compare options to find the cheapest stay. Save the fancy-schmancy stay for an actual vacation.
Splurge: Moving Supplies
Moving supplies, much like professional movers, are an investment in your stuff. When purchasing boxes, tape, bubble wrap, and more, buy quality items (Pro tip: Your storage facility has a great selection at a great price). Don’t reuse cardboard boxes that might not be sturdy anymore and don’t stuff your items in trash bags either. Some moving supplies—like good-quality plastic storage containers—can even be reused, saving you money in the long run.
A lot of people end up dining out for meals during a move. It’s understandable. You don’t have access to your kitchen. You might be moving across the country. Still, dining out can cost you hundreds of dollars when all is said and done. Pack a cooler and a bag with snacks and pre-made meals, stay in hotels with kitchenettes and purchase food from the grocery store, or at least opt for a sandwich joint over a steakhouse.
Splurge: Self Storage
Okay, so we’re not saying self storage is expensive or that it should be (it’s not!), just that this is something you should spend money on if you need a place to keep your items during the moving process. It is 100 percent better than keeping your precious belongings in your buddy Steve’s garage. Why? Two reasons: climate control and security. Self storage helps with moving by giving you a safe, secure place for your belongings. If you’re storing everything in your home, splurge on a bigger storage unit to avoid stacking and stuffing items. And get EZ Drive-Thru access to make self storage the least stressful part of your move.