Whether it’s your first apartment or your dream home, there are tons of ways to save a little extra money while moving. It’s hard to imagine moving as an expensive endeavour, right up until you actually have to move and you see where your money winds up going.
It’s easy to keep moving costs low as long as you know how to set yourself up for success. We collected five factors to think about to help keep moving expenses to a minimum.
Fix up your old place before you go
Before you get into your new place, it doesn’t hurt to do a little (or a lot) to your old place. Making sure the home you’re leaving is in tip-top shape might cost you a little extra now, but will help save you a lot more in the long run and might even wind up making you a little bit of money.
If you’re renting, nothing feels better than getting back your damage deposit (if your province has damage deposits). Some landlords can be picky and even a messy house or apartment can mean losing a few hundred dollars for a clean up. If you want to guarantee your deposit’s return, it may be worth it to hire out to a cleaning crew. And when you get that deposit back, you can use that money towards any unexpected expenses while moving (we’ll look at some of those later on in this blog) or put it away and grow some savings rewards.
If you own your current home, even the lightest renovations can mean big returns on your home investment. Something as simple as a fresh coat of paint can boost the perceived value of your home. Other larger renovations like updating your kitchen can mean thousands of dollars in return once you sell your home.
Downsize, downsize, downsize
We’ve talked about the financial benefits of downsizing before on this blog. But did you know downsizing could also help you save money on your move? If you’re hiring out to a moving company, they normally charge by the hour or even by weight if you’re moving longer distances. Reducing your overall stuff means reducing the amount of time that you need help from a moving company, reducing the amount of weight you have to move and reducing the amount of money you ultimately need to pay them.
If you’re moving everything yourself, downsizing still can help. Having less to move means not having to rent as large of a vehicle, or not even renting a vehicle at all. It also means fewer trips between your old and your new place, so less time and less fuel spent hauling items you may not even necessarily need to take with you.
Donating to thrift shops and community-based organizations can also be a great place to start when downsizing. For a lot of items, though, you could also hold a garage sale or sell some of them through local buy and sell social media pages and websites such as Kijiji, Letgo and Bunz (if you’re in the greater Toronto area). This way, you’re earning some extra money for your move, which might come in handy.
Save for the unexpected
As with any change, there are always unexpected or hidden expenses. Did you save enough to have your old place professionally cleaned? Do you need to pay for a couple of extra hours for the moving company you hired? Are you on top of all fees and deposits for your new place?
Planning ahead with your savings can help prevent a lot of the headaches that come with unforeseen expenditures. Motive Financial offers savings accounts like its Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) and Savvy Savings Account to help you put a little extra money away to help with the unexpected.
Research is an important part of making any big decision. Moving is no exception. It’s always important to be cautious of potential scams and be alert to what to watch out for.
For instance, “hostage loading” is where movers hide some of your belongings and demand more money before delivering your things to your new home. This is one of the most common scams that can occur while moving, but there are ways to avoid fraudsters and protect yourself.
The Canadian Association of Movers keeps a list of reputable moving businesses and collects data on reports of moving companies scamming people. According to a Global News report, even online reviews for companies can be misleading as fake reviews can be easily drafted and published. Thankfully, Global News also provides a list of what to spot to make sure the moving company you hire is legitimate.
There is nothing worse than finishing your move only to find out that some of your valuables broke during transit. Small trinkets and decorations usually aren’t that big of a deal to lose, but if your couch or bed ends up at your new home totally unusable you could be out hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Having all of your belongings insured before you move is a good way to protect yourself in case anything valuable is damaged or destroyed during your move. Most major insurers provide coverage as part of a move with their homeowner or tenant insurance policies. Moving companies also offer this additional coverage.