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7 Simple Hacks We Used To Move on a Tight Budget

In December 2017, my husband and I made the move across Washington state from one city in rural Eastern Washington to the next city in urban Western Washington. We were freshly out of college, broke, and newly weds.

We didn’t have much money to spare, and knew we’d have to move on a tight budget in order to save our precious, small savings we’d accumulated. The good news is, we totally pulled it off!

We moved on a tight budget and were able to save hundreds by cutting costs in 7 different ways. Fortunately for you, I’m going to share those hacks with you so you can move on a tight budget too.

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Let’s take a look at the 7 hacks we used to move on a tight budget:

1. Declutter and Sell Items Before Moving

This was HUGE for us when it came to moving on a tight budget. We were able to sell many items on apps like OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace before moving. This actually ended up earning us more money on our move than we spent! If you declutter and organize your possessions weeks before your move, you’ll be able to sell items for cash, as well as pay for a smaller moving truck because you won’t have excess stuff that you don’t need or use.

2. Get Free Moving Boxes

If you’re moving on a tight budget, don’t ever pay for boxes. You can find free boxes of all different sizes for moving from the places below:

  • Craigslist (search in the “free” section)
  • Bookstores
  • Target, Walmart, etc
  • Grocery Stores (where we got ours!)
  • Starbucks
  • Office Depot
  • U-haul Box Exchange

3. Pack Yourself

We were able to move on a tight budget by packing up our apartment ourselves and foregoing the cost of movers. While it did take more time, it saved us money and gave us a good workout! It’s even better when friends offer to help, which we were fortunate enough to have happen for both packing and unpacking! Offer delicious snacks and drinks to make the moving party more fun and to say thank you for the extra help.

4. Use a Budget Moving Truck

Comparing prices of moving trucks in our area helped us to move on a tight budget because we were able to choose the cheapest possible truck for our needs. It’s wise to compare prices for moving trucks in your area and choose the best value for quality. You can use this website to compare prices for a moving truck/van based on the amount of stuff you’ll be moving, the distance you’ll be moving, and more. 



5. Sleep in an Inexpensive Airbnb when Moving

If you have to spend the night or multiple nights when moving, opt to sleep in an inexpensive Airbnb instead of a hotel. It will save you hundreds over the course of a few nights and will help you successfully move on a tight budget. Look for a private room in a home for a cheaper option. Just make sure the place you choose to stay at has available parking for your moving van or truck. If you’ve never stayed in an Airbnb before, click here to earn $40 off your stay. That could equal a free night for your move!

6. Move in the Off Season

When we moved from one side of the state to the other, we moved in December (the worst time of year to move when you live in 2 feet of snow). While it wasn’t easy, it saved us a good chunk of money because less people like to move in the cold, damp, snowy months, so our moving truck was discounted! If you can manage it, try to move in the off season which is any time between October and April.

7. Do NOT Pay to Put Items in Storage

This is the KILLER when it comes to spending too much money on moving. Moving stuff into a storage unit and paying monthly to store items that you can’t fit into your new home is the BIGGEST money waster. Unless you have a very good reason to store items in a storage unit, please don’t pay monthly to store stuff. It’s just that, stuff. Nothing you’ll be able to bring with you into the next life, and probably not worth keeping if you’re storing it in a unit and not in a place where you can easily use it. To solve this problem, declutter, sell, and donate items you don’t use before you move!

And That’s a Wrap Friends!

I hope you’ve found these 7 hacks to move on a tight budget helpful for your upcoming move! Let me know in the comments below which tips you found most valuable. I, as well as my readers, would love to hear from you if you have any other helping budget moving tips!

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Frugal Living Resources That I Love:


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