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How to Save Money When Moving Out of State

Moving to a different state can be very stressful. Luckily, you can make the experience a bit easier if you plan ahead. Check out these simple tips that can help you save money when moving out of state!

Last summer, we packed our belongings in a tiny cargo trailer and moved our family over 1,000 miles away. Although we knew a couple of months in advance that the move was going to happen, I was still overwhelmed with the entire process.

Moving to a new place can be very exciting. But toss in the added expenses that creep up along the way, and you might find yourself wondering where things went south. Since we were getting rid of a lot of things in order to make the move easier, I needed to keep our moving costs as low as possible to have the funds to replace our things.

1. Start early

If you know exactly when you’re moving, book movers or reserve a moving truck or pod as early as possible. Booking early gives you some time to shop around and if you find a better deal, you can usually cancel without losing any money.

I booked our cargo trailer a few months ahead, and when I found a better deal with the same company but at a different location, I was able to change our reservations with no issue. We also saved a ton of money on our new place because the development we moved to was running a special at that time. We signed our paperwork a couple of months ahead and paid no security deposit nor application fees. Cha-ching.

2. Purge everything

Did I already mention we moved our things in a 5×8 trailer? Yup! And I was very determined to only move essentials – important paperwork, clothes, sentimental items, and a few items we would need for our first day.

We had no choice but to make it work, so I had to get rid of the majority of our stuff. Furniture, clothes, toys, household items, it ALL was sold or donated. And anything that was broken or damaged, got trashed. It’s funny how efficient we are when faced with a looming deadline!

3. Do it yourself

We decided very early on that we would move everything ourselves instead of hiring help. Why? Because we already had plans to get rid of the majority of our stuff. None of it had much value, so I knew it wouldn’t be worth spending thousands of dollars to move things we could buy brand new for less.

The stuff we did keep could easily fit inside a moving pod or a cargo trailer. We compared the moving costs between the two, and the cargo trailer was a lot cheaper even with the added gas and hotel stay. We packed everything ourselves and hauled the trailer with our minivan with no issues. We truly don’t regret going this route especially since we saved a ton of money (well over $1,000!) and we had access to our things right away.

4. Get creative

There are so many ways to move your things without having to rent a big truck or hire help. If you have a larger vehicle, and not a lot of stuff to move, take advantage of your car space and haul as much as you can yourself. We packed our clothes in several suitcases we already owned and loaded them in our minivan.

If you’re moving to a state that has a train route, you also have the option to ship your things via train. Amtrak allows individual pallets of up to 500 lbs! There’s a flat fee for the first 100 lbs and the remainder is charged a per pound fee. You do have to pick it up at the station within 48 hours, but this might work if you don’t want to move your own things and need an alternative to moving pods.

5. Change your address

I thought I did a decent job of updating our information with recurring bills and changing our address at the post office. I was wrong. Apparently there are some agencies, including the DMV, that will NOT allow mail to be forwarded. And although I had obtained a new driver’s license once we moved, the DMV continued to send mail to my old address despite being notified by my new home state.

Several months later, I received huge bills for toll charges for an old license plate from a vehicle I no longer owned. Yes, it was not my responsibility since it was stolen, but I had no clue it was even an issue because the state would not allow those letters to be forwarded to my new address. I assumed that me updating my information in my new home state was sufficient, but apparently they don’t automatically change things even if they DO know you moved.

So save yourself the money, and potential headache, and leave no stone unturned. Change your address with the post office, but also directly with government agencies, medical offices, and utility companies that might need to send you correspondence by mail. Don’t just assume that your mail will get forwarded.

Have you ever moved out of state? I’d love to hear some of your tips and tricks!

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