Penny Packers: How to Move on a Budget

By Eileen O'Shanassy

January 18, 2017   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

how to move on a budget

Whether you’ve relocating out of your parents’ home, across town, or across the country, moving can be a challenge. With a few steps, you can make this life journey less stressful and the start of the exciting new adventure it should be. A significant consideration of moving is cost. Let’s face facts, it’s expensive. Here we’ll look at some money-saving tips to make the transition easier.

A significant consideration of moving is cost. Let’s face facts, it’s expensive. Here we’ll look at some money-saving tips to make the transition easier.

Make a Budget

The key to saving money is making a budget. Start planning your move well in advance and decide how much you’re willing to spend.

For a short or local move, start by calling companies to get quotes on truck rentals. Make sure the truck you’re renting can accommodate your belongings. It doesn’t make sense to save money by renting a small truck, or one that’s too large, only to find that your belongings won’t fit properly. Remember to factor fuel costs into the moving equation since this can also add up.


budget moving

Enlist the help of dependable friends and family in advance of the move so everyone has the date scheduled on their calendars. You don’t want to find yourself stranded on the big day because someone did not show up.

See Also: 5 Smart Tips to Get More Organized For Your Moving Day

Budget the Distance

For long distances, make some calls to reputable moving companies and get quotes. Try to get price quotes from at least three moving companies. Talk to friends, neighbors, and family about movers they have used in the past. Check reviews online. Research about hidden fees, such as extra costs for moving to a building without an elevator. 

You may find yourself in the situation of having to ship a car. Again, do your homework. There are specialized shippers for this. Costs are determined by distance, make of car, time of year, whether your car ships covered or uncovered. It can take up to a month for your car to be delivered so plan well in advance.


Ask about insurance for the protection of your valuables. Most moving companies offer some basic coverage against damage. If you have very valuable possessions, you may want to consider adding some additional insurance to cover potential damages.

Look for Help

If you’re moving because of a company relocation, ask your employer about recommendations. In this scenario, your new employer may pick up some of your costs. You might also be able to get a break on your taxes because of the move.

Clean Your (Old) House

Moving is a great chance to clear out all the old stuff you no longer use, things that are worn or broken, or things you have outgrown. You’ll have less to pack and make room for all the new things in store for you. You may want to sell some things. Better yet, give them away to a local charity. At the end of the year, you’ll get some tax credit for your in-kind donations.



This is also the time to begin collecting packing materials such as boxes and bubble wrap. Scour local stores for boxes and wrap. It’s cheaper to find packing supplies yourself rather than buying them from a moving company.

Use blankets and sweaters to wrap delicate items. Allow yourself plenty of time to pack so when the day of the move comes you’re ready to go. Many movers will pack for you, but you’ll end up paying for this service. You’ll save time and money by doing the job yourself. 

See Also: Protect Your Breakable Items By Following These Packing Tips

Moving does not have to be stressful with ample preplanning. With some advance work, you can make the transition smoother and easier on yourself, your family, and your budget. 



Eileen O'Shanassy

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check here for more information on getting better home technology and security. Check out Eileen's Twitter @eileenoshanassy.

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