Movin’ on up (and not into debt)

first-time home buyersIs there any more dreaded task than moving? And when you consider the costs that are associated with moving, it’s even more dreadful.

If you’re planning a move, here are some tips to simplify your life- and to leave some cash in your account for other things after you move.

Do you have a budget?

If you’ve been house or apartment hunting, you’ve planned your expenses out in order to be able to afford your rent or mortgage payment. Somehow, because moving is one of those one-time expenses, you sort of plan to pay what it costs- and hope for the best.

Like with every other spending activity you undertake, you should anticipate expenses and build a budget around it in order to keep a lid on the spending. Remember extra costs around the move- like child and pet care, eating out and extra parking.

The moving company

If you are lucky enough to be able to have other folks do your move for you, awesome. You’ve instantly cut down on your stress level. However, your blood pressure may be set to rise again once you see the costs as they ramp up when you hire a moving company.

Shop around. You’ll be surprised at the huge (I mean huge) difference in quotes given by moving companies to do the very same job. Get at least three quotes. Five is better. Make sure to inquire about what is included (hourly rate, packing materials, surcharges, fuel charges, extra costs for fragile items, etc.). What kind of truck do they use?(you may get a lower rate, but realize that their small truck will only take a portion of your stuff, meaning several trips, meaning more hours- and more cost).

You can also save some money by packing and unpacking your own goods, but having them actually move them.

DIY move

If you’re lucky enough to have a friend with a truck and a good back, DIY moving may be the way to go. A few weeks in advance, start hoarding newspapers. Ask at your local grocers and LCBO if you could take some of their boxes off of their hands (offer to make a donation to one of their promoted charity). And don’t forget money for beer and pizza to help feed your friends moving crew.