How to Budget for the Big Move

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by PSECU, a Pennsylvania-based credit union.

Moving day drives many people into a frenzied state, as they rush about trying to make sure nothing is forgotten or overlooked. But moving need not cause major headaches, even for those managing the packing, transport and unpacking themselves. Making the move go smoothly requires a bit of planning well ahead of the big day.

 

Moving even once will help you become a bit of an authority on the matter. Your first move will teach you quite a bit about what to do and what not to do. The remaining moves helped you hone your techniques for making the big day easier, so give these tips a try to take the headache out of loading the U-haul.

1. Make a List

The internet holds a host of checklists that people can use to plan for the big day, and these serve as excellent starting points. Take advantage of online checklists as reminders of what not to overlook.

However, as much as most moves have in common, every family is unique. Those with pets, for example, will need to make arrangements for transportation and care while you're carrying furniture and boxes in and out. Those on medications or anyone who has children on certain meds will want to arrange for doctors visits to get sufficient refills of needed medications to allow time to establish new care.

Planning a move means always thinking of something else you need to do. Hang a whiteboard on the fridge to jot down to-dos as the thoughts arise.

2. Research Housing Options

Whether you're buying or renting a new home, considering housing options forms a huge part of pre-move planning. Those moving for work may inquire with their future employers as to whether they can recommend suitable nearby places to look. Those renting do well to compare different deposit requirements, as well as rent price.

Those buying a home — especially those buying sight-unseen — benefit from hiring a local property inspector to go over every inch of the house before signing the contract. Ask realtors and any locals in the area about considerations like traffic density and school quality.

3. Check Your Credit

Whether buying or renting, the higher the credit score, the better the interest rate or the lower the requisite deposit requirements. To home buyers who have yet to close, avoid putting furniture or any other large items on credit before getting the keys. New purchases can push the debt-to-income ratio beyond what the mortgage company will allow, and the investment may fall through. Wait to buy that couch to avoid heartbreak!

4. Set Up Utilities and Mail

Home buyers will need to make sure all utilities are on and running upon arrival to avoid frustration. Renters can use utilities as a negotiation tool — for example, those who want to minimize their number of monthly bills can ask their landlord to pay certain utilities in exchange for higher rent.

5. Call the Grocer for Boxes

Moving boxes cost an arm and a leg, only to end up in the recycling bin or on the curb alert section of Craigslist. Why spend money (and cause more trees to be cut down) when any grocery store will set aside cardboard boxes for free? Some stores have a policy of not littering up the back room with too many boxes, so call ahead and ask them to set a few aside for you to pick up.

6. Sell Unnecessary Items

The less furniture and other bulky items you pack, the smaller the rental truck you need — and the lower the price. Do you really need to pay more to cart around that flat, stained futon from your undergrad days?

Moving makes the perfect time to downsize and clear clutter. Have a yard or garage sale for smaller items and list larger items on social media like Facebook Marketplace or in local online swap sites. The extra money comes very much in handy!

7. Gather the Troops

Anyone moving on their own would do well to get by with a little help from their friends. The more hands on deck, the faster and easier the move will go. Remember, these peeps are doing you a huge favor, so reward them with food, drink and — if the budget permits — a nice chair massage to relax their sore muscles after lifting heavy objects.

8. Budget for the Unexpected

When moving, you may encounter anything from almost going over a cliff (always double check the tow hitch when pulling a vehicle behind the moving truck), getting a flat in the middle of a remote highway reminiscent of The Hills Have Eyes (check the tire pressure before a cross country trip) and arriving at new condo only to find it lacks air conditioning when the temperatures are in the triple digits.
 
When moving, remember Murphy's Law. If something can go wrong, assume that it will. Make sure you have plenty of cash on-hand — not just cards. You never know what could happen on the road.

Enjoy Your New Home

Moving is quite the adventure, but planning can take much of the worry and stress away. Even those choosing to DIY for budget reasons can make the big move with minimal head and backaches. Once you're finally relaxing in your new pad, all the hard work will feel more than worth it!
 

 

 
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"Fear is something to be moved through, not something to be turned from."
 
Peter McWilliams 
 

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