It is no secret that moving can be tremendously expensive. If you are buying a home for the first time then you will have just had to put down a rather sizable down payment in order to get a mortgage, which could be anywhere from $10,000-$30,000 depending on the price of the home, and this will be coming out of pocket and not offset by the sale of a previous home.
Even if you are simply moving from one rental property to another you will incur costs before the move even begins. For starters you will have to put down a deposit, which in some states means you will have to pay first and last month’s rent as well as a security deposit. Considering that you will not be getting your security deposit back from the place you are currently renting until you move out and do a walk through, this means that you could possibly have thousands of dollars tied up for a month or so. Not to mention that if you are moving into a rental community there could be ancillary fees, such as background checks, pet deposits, and other application fees. All of this stuff adds up and once again all of these expenditures occur before you have even started to take into account the cost of the physical move.
For the most part the cheapest way to move long distance and local is almost always going to be renting a moving truck and doing the move yourself, but with that said there are a number of different ways to keep costs down during a move that in the long run can save you hundreds of dollars.
How Much Will It Cost Me To Move?
Depending on how far you are going the cost of your move will vary dramatically. However, the average local move for a 2 or 3 bedroom home in the United States costs around $1,250 and an out of state move costs on average $4,890. These numbers are what you can expect to spend if you are using a moving company and as you can tell they are rather expensive. For most people having to come up with an additional $1,250 to $5,000 is not a particularly easy task and that is why often times people choose to attempt to do the move on their own.
If you decide to just rent a moving truck and do the entirety of the move yourself then your costs will go down dramatically. Granted if you are moving across the country then between gas prices and mileage surcharges for the rental you will still spend thousands of dollars but it should cost you still be less then if you are using a moving company. If you are moving locally then you can expect to maybe spend $100 to $200 in total on your move. This all depends on how large of a truck you need but considering the fact that most moving truck rentals are not expensive at all, $200 is really going to be the ceiling for what you spend on a self-move.
Although there is a big price differential between the cheapest way to move long distance and local, there are still certain aspects of the move that you can control which will bring the price.
Cheapest Way to Move Long Distance
Although there have been a number of innovations in the way that individuals move, at this current point in time it is still cheaper to rent a moving truck and move your possessions yourself long distance. If you are planning on doing this then you can expect to spend between $900 to $1000 for the truck rental, another few hundred for gas, and a few hundred on top of that for the various fees that come along with driving a rental truck across the country or to another state. Even though it may cost you $2000 or so to move yourself, it is still the cheapest way to move long distance.
However, if you use a moving pod in order to perform your long distance move it can still be relatively cheap. If you are moving cross country it will cost you around $3000 between the rental of the moving pod and transportation costs. Many people have chosen to use this option when it comes to moving, because they can leisurely pack up their belongings as if they were moving themselves, but they don’t have to worry about transporting all of their stuff interstate or long distances.
With all of that said, a great way to keep costs down and therefore adding to the cheapest way to move long distance is by not spending an inordinate amount of money on the supplies you will need in order to perform your move. These are costs that are often times overlooked by individuals who moving and at the last minute they are stuck scrambling having to find boxes, tape, packing material and a number of other items in order to successfully complete their move.
We go into great detail about how to accomplish getting these moving supplies for cheap here, but it is worth reiterating, so that you can get a full picture of the cheapest way to move long distance.
One of the best ways to keep down costs when it comes to a long distance move is to go to your local big box retailer and inquire about getting some of their boxes for free. This is usually best accomplished if you go to the store early in the morning right after they are done receiving in the delivery from the night before. At this time the boxes that they have opened have no been put into the bailer and they are usually just sitting in the backroom waiting to be destroyed. If you speak to customer service or if you ask to speak to manager about getting these boxes, they will usually oblige you in your request because it means less work for them and free boxes for you. Considering that moving boxes are one of the more expensive moving supplies that you will need to get, by getting them for free you save yourself a ton of money.
Cheapest Way to Move Local
When it comes to the cheapest way to move local there is really only one answer to this and that is renting a moving truck and doing the move yourself. If you hire a local moving company you can expect to spend anywhere from $300-$500 for a one bedroom home to around $1,500 for a four bedroom home. Whereas if you are moving a one-bedroom apartment yourself, you will probably only need a 15’ truck which you can expect to spend around $30 on for the rental. If you are planning on moving a four bedroom home then you will need to rent a 26’ truck, which at the very most will cost around $60. As you can see the price variance between moving yourself and hiring a mover is dramatic and so if you are looking for the cheapest way to move local then renting a truck and doing it yourself is really the way to go.
The issue here and why many people choose to go the route of hiring a moving company is because they do not have the time to do the move themselves, or they simply have no desire to move their furniture from one place to another. However, if you can get a couple of friends together in order to help you accomplish the move you will be able to finish the task in a few hours and in the process you will have saved yourself a few hundred dollars.
It should be noted that if you are moving locally, meaning you are moving within a 50 mile radius of where you currently live then getting a moving pod is not really going to be cost effective in any way. For starters you usually have to rent the moving pod for a month, which oftentimes is not necessary for a local move and then you also have to pay the transportation fees which will not monetarily make sense if the move is local.
Beyond simply renting a moving truck rather than hiring a moving company another way that you can keep your costs down on a local move is by getting yourself a bunch of magazines and newspapers so that you do not have to purchase packing material. While packing material is not incredibly expensive, the cost can add up rather quickly if you have a bunch of boxes that you need to pack up. Considering that the rule of thumb for packing up boxes is that you should use more packing material then you think you need, it is very easy to go through a few rolls of packing material on just 10 boxes or so. By asking friends or family for magazines and for old newspapers you will be able to get together enough packing material that you will probably not need to purchase any.
When it comes to the cheapest way to move long distance and local you truly cannot beat renting a truck and doing the move yourself. If you do some research on where you can get the cheapest gas along your route (if you are moving long distance) you will be able to further save. And if you follow our guide on getting cheap supplies you will be able to keep your costs down so that you can enjoy your move and your new place without having to break the bank.