The Moving Life

How to move on a budget: 13 tips to save time and money

March 28, 2023|

Moving is mostly regarded as an expensive action to carry out. While it is not a complete misconception, there are plenty of things that can be done to save money while moving, as well as time. Let’s take a look.

13 Tips for moving on a budget

Plan ahead your whole move

Before you even start working on the move, you must make sure that you plan everything. From the items to be moved out to the utilities to be transferred. While you do this, bear in mind how much time each of the parts might take. This will help you organize yourself a lot better.

2. Try to move at the cheapest time: Between October to April is the best time!

If you have no need to make an urgent move, make sure to plan your move between the months of October and April. These are usually low demand months, so prices may drop compared to the rest of the year. If you want to save money, this is an intelligent way to start.

3. Try packing your own belongings

As stressful as it can be, packing your own items will save you a lot of money. Moving companies charge whopping amounts of money to get the job done for you. While they can do this a lot quicker than you and prevent you from getting too stressed, that has a big extra cost. If you can get it done yourself, you are saving a lot!

4. Don’t buy boxes: Ask for them -for free- at your local supermarket

When thinking about packing, the first thing that usually comes to mind is going to the shops to buy moving boxes. However… have you ever thought about asking at your local supermarket/grocery store/shops? They usually need to get rid of them, so in most cases, they will gladly give them away for free.

5. Classify your stuff in 4 groups: Keep, sell, donate or throw it 

As part of the organization of the move, as you list all the items you have, make sure to divide them in different categories, according to what you want to do with them. The ones you want to keep, those which could be sold, and the ones that need to be donated or thrown away. By doing this, you will know what stuff you don’t need to move, reducing the volume and therefore the cost.

6. Don’t hold on: throw away what you don’t need

Once you have classified all your items, make sure that you get rid of the ones that you don’t want anymore and can’t be sold or donated as soon as possible. There is no need to hold on to that stuff. Getting it out of the way will help you get everything better organized.

7. Ask for help to your friends and family

If you want to make the move extremely cheap, one way of reducing costs is to ask friends and family for help. They could help in various ways, but the ones that would save you the most money would be by helping you pack and move your stuff to your new place.

8. Pack ahead: Save time and energy

When you make the planning, make sure that you accurately decide how much time you’ll need to pack everything. Ideally, leave some margin, so that you can do it with time, and not spend all your energy on that. If you do it little by little, with a lot of time, you will avoid having to call a moving company at the last minute to help you get everything done.

9. Shop around: Try to catch the best prices for your move

If you have done everything with time, you will have time to shop around and seek for the best prices. You won’t be in need of getting things sorted out immediately. So if you have time, make sure you go around and check where the best prices for markers, wrapping paper and tags are.

10. Transfer your utilities wisely

Transferring your utilities will require some extra planning. Make sure that you do all the research in advance, in order to transfer them in a way that you can save as much money as possible. It is key that you do this with time, as in most cases, transferring utilities at the last minute will be more expensive.

If you want a complete breakdown and tips, check our article on how to transfer utilities when moving.

10.1 How do you close utilities?

Getting your utilities shut down will require a call to your providing company, as well as filling some paperwork with your information. This being said, this process takes time, so make sure that you get it started enough time prior to the move to save as much as possible.

11. Consider the cheapest option: Do it yourself vs hire a company

It is very important that at the time of planning, you assess all the options and choose the most convenient according to your budget and time. Sometimes, it will be more convenient to hire a service for a cost, so that you can devote your time to other things. 

12. Avoid overbuying for your new house

Not everything you can do to cut costs during your move has to do with packing. Also, take into account the stuff you will need for your new house. While it is very tempting, avoid buying things that you won’t actually need at your new place. If you want to save as much as possible during the move, avoid falling into that temptation.

13. Don’t limit yourself and use your imagination

We have given you a handful of tips that will probably come in very handy. However, don’t limit yourself to these. Think wisely and come up with other alternatives that might be better for your specific case.

How to plan a budget for moving out?

As mentioned above, moving can be a very costly process. For this reason, it is very important that you accurately plan your budget prior to the move, so that you don’t end up spending more than you should. Divide your budget into the different parts of the moving process, and decide which are the ones you are more willing to spend on. Always remember that most of the process can be done by yourself, but hiring a service will gain you time for other things.

Some important questions to ask yourself when moving is if is it worth to hire movers?, and when is the best time to move? On the links, you will find two articles that will help you make up your mind on those aspects.

How much money should you have saved before moving out?

Before you even consider moving out, you must make sure that you have enough money to pay the rent or buy your new place, and enough money to live there, that is to say, to acquire the essential goods that you will need on a daily basis. Then, you will have to think about the moving process costs, and decide whether you want to hire someone to help you out with that or not. We recommend reading the 13 tips above if you want to spend as little as possible.


1. What is the first thing to do when moving?

The first thing to do when considering moving out should always be planning. Starting by making an inventory of all the items you need to move is a good idea. Also, make sure you identify those that you will no longer need, and decide whether you want to sell them, donate them, or just throw them away. Having everything planned in advance will help you have your move fully organized to avoid stress later on.

2. What month is the cheapest to move?

Between October and April. If you have the possibility, schedule your move during these months. This window avoids peak moving season, so there is less demand, and therefore, better rates. If you don’t want to move during Winter, Spring is another good alternative, with better weather conditions, and still avoiding peak summer season.

3. What is the easiest way to move to another state?

Hiring professional movers is the easiest way to move to another state. Although it can be expensive, having other people packing, transferring and unloading your stuff for you definitely avoids a lot of stress. Alternatively, consider moving by road which is an easy and affordable option by using your own vehicle.

4. How can I save money to move out fast?

You can try to sell all those items that you won’t need anymore to make some extra money. Also, you can try with a side hustle, but this will require your time.

5. What day is cheapest to hire movers?

Monday and Thursday are the cheapest days to hire movers. This is when they offer the best rates, as they are not as busy as during the weekend.

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