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Posts tagged with: moving

Creative Ways to Save Money when Moving


If you’re anything like me, moving can be quite daunting. Besides the sheer volume of labor, there is a lot to figure out. What made our move more challenging was that our family is on a tight budget, we had some major time constraints such as only having the evening and weekends to get our packing done, and we had accumulated a lot of stuff over the years.Below are some of the major and minor saving steps we took.

Two Major Savings Steps

There were two major steps we took to move as inexpensively and efficiently as possible:

We opted for a professional moving company instead of renting a truck

There are a lot of things to take into consideration, and this definitely won’t be the case for everyone, but after running the numbers and the time saved, we opted to hire a moving company. In our case, it was North American Moving Services, but there are many options out there. Here is why opting this way saved us money.

  • First, I didn’t need to figure out how to drive a big truck across hundreds of miles of traffic and bad weather; their company would take care of all the logistics of our interstate move.
  • Second, we could do all the packing ourselves.
  • Third, we could just ask them to pack the fragile stuff.
  • Fourth, we could just ask them to do all the packing for us.

Although I was tempted to go for the full-service package, my inner cheapskate kicked in and I decided we would do our own packing. (My spouse agreed; the kids fussed.) I also decided to figure out how to pack the fragile items by doing an Internet search for packing tips.

However, when we booked our long distance move, we did take them up on their offer to help us with disassembling and assembling our furniture and getting our appliances installed. I didn’t know how, nor did I have the tools.

We decided that we didn’t need to transport all our stuff

The first thing we did was empty out the spare bedroom. Then we filled it up with all the stuff that we didn’t want anymore.

We created the following selection criteria on what to get rid of:

1. Good stuff that we had lost interest in it. Mainly, clothes, dishes, and DVDs.

2. Stuff that fallen apart that would be cheaper to buy than fix. Mainly, electronics and gadgets.

3. Stuff we had bought on a whim. Mainly, our bric-a-brac collection over the years and tchotchke baubles.

Once we had purged the house of everything we didn’t want anymore, then we sorted through the stuff in the “junk” room. We created the following piles:

1. Things to be sold.

2. Things to be donated.

3. Things to be recycled.

4. Things to be trashed.

However, we did come to a sticking point in this process–books. We love our books. Yes, we might not read them again and could get an electronic version, but we loved our books. I was pleased to discover our kids had become regular bookworms. Then my 9-year-old son asked why we didn’t just mail them to ourselves! From the mouth of babes! So that’s what we did. We used through USPS’s media mail to move our books, and save on the cost of adding the weight to our moving bill.

6 Minor Saving Steps

Figuring out how to transport our stuff and how to narrow down the weight saved us a lot of money.

Here are 6 other steps we took to save even more money:

1. We asked family, friends, and stores for boxes.

2. We borrowed or rented all the tools we needed rather than buy any.

3. We timed our utility shut down dates to get the most value.

4. We tracked everything we paid for during the move for tax deduction purposes.

5. We canceled all subscriptions ahead of time to avoid paying unnecessary membership fees.

6. We paid all our bills ahead of time so that we wouldn’t get stuck with any late payment fees.

And we have moved!


Day 1 of the rest of our lives is upon us.  We have finally made the move from our very high priced hometown to a very small town three states away.  The last two days during the move, I have woken up feeling so much hope just overflowing at what the future holds.  We will be living with my grandmother as we get the lay of the land before seeking housing of our own.

And I got a sign that we were going in the right direction during our 8 hour drive loaded down with the last our of our belongings. I got a call regarding a job, one small town away that I applied for 2 months ago!  Woot, woot!  Don’t know what will come of it, but it’s right up my alley and super close to our new town.

All of our stuff is in storage for $125 a month.  It’s in a container that we can have delivered to us for a few hundred dollars or go pick it up at no cost.  We are spending the weekend with friends in Atlanta as Gymnast will compete here for his last regular season meet with his old gym.

We will return to Virginia for one week in March for Gymnast to compete at states near DC.  We have free housing for the week and will knock out orthodontist appointments and so on that same week. He will train here locally for the next three weeks and then return to his team gym for the week before states.  We are so blessed with their flexibility and willingness to work with us.

So for the next three weeks we will be getting the lay of the land, seeking work (Sea Cadet and I at least) and trying to get the kids settled in.

Oh, and one more thing…I now have a “guaranteed” 25 hour a week job at the one I’ve been working for the past year.  So it’s not full time income, but it is steady and more than I’ve had consistently.  (Both my part time jobs have committed to keeping me on despite the move, so I continue to have regular income.)  Will do a budget and goals post in the next month or so as the dust settles from the move.

Things are looking up.  I am filled with HOPE for what this move could mean for us…lower cost of living, more work and who knows what else.

T minus 1 week


We move in one week from today.  Everything that is going to storage has gone.  Everything we don’t use every day but needs to be with us on our Glamping Adventure is in big plastic bins, labeled and stacked and the last few things that we’ve listed for sale are on their last few days before I just donate them.  Every one of us has our clothing in those small plastic drawer sets which can be tucked in closets and corners in the trailer/RV combo we are moving in to.  And school is over.

All that’s left to do, is throw out the furniture that is not going, clean the apartment and load the car (probably a few times) and move stuff over.  I think/hope this next week will be an easy one.  The little kids are just ready for us to be there already.

Now, I feel like I can turn my attention back to the big task at hand…work and money.

I was able to borrow a truck to move a couple of items that I couldn’t move in my car and take them to storage and the RV.  That was such a big help.  Essentially all this move is costing is a bit extra gas money since we received all our boxes for free and borrowed the truck.  So grateful for small favors!

Tips for Moving on a Budget


moving company truck

By Noel Finley

I’ve moved a lot in my life and one thing I learned early on is that moving costs can turn out to be a nasty surprise. It’s unbelievable how many homeowners, including myself, fail to take the cost of moving into account. Then when the bill comes, not only is it a surprise, it’s a struggle to pay it. If you are moving on a budget, here are some of the money saving tips I have learned over the years.

Shop Around

All moving companies weren’t made equal. Shop around and find the best price you can get. There are often huge differences in what a company will charge. Take into account any added extras along the way. These ‘extra services’ can really hit your wallet.

Provide Your Own Packing Materials

Packing doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Instead of leaving this to the professionals, gather boxes and bubble wrap yourself. If you really want to reduce your costs, use the boxes left over from Christmas or get them from a store that’s throwing them out. You can also use layers and layers of newspaper instead of bubble wrap.

Take Smaller Items Yourself

Moving companies will charge by the size of the vehicle or the number of vehicles they need to move your life to the next neighborhood. Take smaller items by yourself. In other words, pack any smaller items you can into your own car during the move. You would be surprised at how much you can get into a car, and doing so will ensure you minimize the price you pay to the moving company.

Choose the Moving Date Wisely

The vast majority of moves occur between the months of May and September. This is where moving companies can really charge a premium for their time, and they most definitely don’t turn down the opportunity. If you move during the peak moving times when trucks and crews are already fully booked, you’re going to have to pay a premium price for your move. If you have the option, pick a moving date in the wintertime when many movers are desperate for the business. This will give you the power to negotiate a much better deal and save a lot of money.

Take What You Need Only

Before you begin packing, edit the household items that you own. Don’t waste time trying to take absolutely everything to your next residence. The extra cost of moving stuff you aren’t going to be using or will only end up in storage simply isn’t worth it. Instead, plan ahead and make some money from them. Sell them for cash months before and use this cash to fund the move and to purchase items you may need when you arrive at your new home.

(Photo courtesy of Jeremy Rempel)

Move = Complete


Hi friends!

I hope you had a great weekend! We arrived back in Tucson yesterday after a whirlwind of a trip and I have never been more thankful to sleep in my own bed!

Initially, my brother was going to go assist my Dad with loading a moving truck a month or so ago but, due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, that didn’t happen. My sister and I were both unable to go for the originally scheduled move date but I decided to go over my Thanksgiving break since I had a few days off from work (though one is never really “off” in academia – I monitored my email daily).  At first I had booked a flight to go alone:  fly out on Monday, load on Tuesday, then fly back on Wednesday so I could spend Thanksgiving with my own family. But after some thought and discussion, we decided to make a family trip of it. I’m so grateful it worked out that way because I really needed the emotional support of having someone else there with me. Moves are stressful enough (one of the top 5 life stressors according to here), but I think things were exacerbated a bit being that this move was not exactly a happy, exciting, or even desired thing. It was more a chore of necessity to get my Dad somewhere closer to family where he can be helped and watched over better.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t leave town until Wednesday because hubs’ work had him busy all the way through Tuesday evening (he worked late to finish up on time). So we made a 14-hour drive on Wednesday (some of it in snow driving only 20 mph). It was nice that we got to spend all day Thursday hanging out, enjoying good food, and visiting with extended family that I don’t get to see too often. On Friday we had movers, so we fortunately didn’t have to do any heavy lifting, but we still had to direct things which was rife with stress given that not everything could go (my Dad is downsizing), and this was quite troubling for him to see things get left behind.

After the truck was all packed, my family went and checked into a hotel (there was still a guest bedroom set that was left behind in my Dad’s house so he still had someplace to sleep but his other bedroom set was packed). We all took a long family nap, and then met back up with my Dad that evening to go see the Christmas lights at Temple Square. Besides it being the coldest weather the girls had ever experienced (bundled up in 4+ layers and still complaining of the cold in 23 degrees), they really enjoyed seeing all the lights! I can’t wait for Christmas this year – it’s going to be such a fun holiday with them!

We left town on Saturday morning, but split the return drive into two days so it wasn’t quite as grueling. Still not what I would consider pleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but far preferable to our 14-hour one-day drive. Plus – the girls got to see and play in snow!!! They’re obsessed with Frozen (they were late to the Frozen game because we didn’t let them watch movies until just relatively recently), and they kept pointing at the snowy mountains saying, “Look!!! Elsa’s ice castle!!!” Pretty adorable!

Financially speaking, the trip didn’t cost us anything since my Dad covered our costs for gasoline, lodging, and food (all of which was pretty minimal. It actually saved my Dad money for us to all drive compared to what my plane ticket had cost). The only other cost incurred was that of missed work for hubs. Yes, no one really works on Thanksgiving Day, but he could have worked over the weekend and was unable to since we were out of town.

Speaking of….I’ll be posting a debt update later today. I have to maintain a positive attitude and realize and acknowledge that November is always a relatively down month for hubs’ business. But, of course, it’s a bit disappointing to not have earned as much as we would have liked/needed in order to make our astronomically large planned debt payment (we’d planned for a $4500 debt payment and didn’t come anywhere near that). Those numbers will be up later.

But to end on a happy note, I’m so thankful that the first phase of this move is complete. My sister will be meeting the movers in Texas and overseeing as things are unloaded. She will also be the person to help actually set things up once they come off the truck. And, just like that, the burden has shifted off my shoulders and onto hers. I’ll still be primarily responsible for paying my Dad’s bills, but all the day-to-day things will surely fall to my sister now that he’s close to her.

Right now my Dad does NOT want to sell his old Utah house. We’re trying to take things in baby steps so, rather than pushing him too far, we decided it could just sit for now. I’ll be hiring a lawn-care company, his brother (my uncle) will check up on it regularly, and we will revisit the issue in the Spring or Summer. It’s likely we’ll make another family trip up there at that time so hubs can do some general handyman work around the house and we can finish clearing it out of its leftover contents.

I have to say – my Mom has been caring for her aging mother (my grandmother) for a half decade. My grandmother did not do a great job at planning for retirement so the financial burden of her care has fallen directly to my Mom as the only child. It pains me to see the stress it has caused my mother and the financial toll is not trivial (over $4,000/month). I hate that my siblings and I are in the caregiver role for our father, especially at such a young age. That being said, I am beyond grateful that my father took better precautions than my grandmother had, and that he actually has assets (both liquid and real estate) to help pay for his care. As stressful as the situation has been for us, I cannot begin to fathom how much worse it could be if all of these costs were falling directly onto our shoulders. My heart goes out to anyone who has had to financially take over caring for their parents. This has definitely been a lesson to me to get our financial house in order so we never leave our children with the burden that’s been placed on my mother in financially caring for my grandmother. It’s hard enough to take over as caregiver. The least we can do is make sure that we have ample money available to pay for whatever care we may need as aging adults.

Food for thought on this Monday morning. Have a good one!

The Next Step


It’s been exactly a week since we left my parents today and three days since I broke the news to the kids.  In exactly 7 weeks to the day, we must be out of our home.

My biggest fear in all of this was that I would make an unwise move both emotionally for the kids (like moving them away from their comfort area so unexpectedly,) logically (moving so far out that the time spent in the car commuting to activities would be counter to any savings,) or financially (committing to too much because of the rush, just to have the security.)  My friends continued to send me an overwhelming number of places that they thought would work for us…often times they were comic relief!

  1. Sending me a 3 bedroom, $500/month rental sounded great until you read the fine print that they were only renting a room for that amount.
  2. A beautiful piece of land, super cheap that had an existing building on the premises…it was a church and the land was zoned as a commercial property.

It was stressful and nerve racking, but some amazing things began to happen.

First, my kids immediately began to embrace what was coming.  They rested assured in my promises and began to share the news that we were moving.

Second, my heart full of anger and hurt opened. This curse was truly a blessing in disguise, immediately relieving me of my debt to my dad as the selling price for the home will surely before more than that total.  The weight of that debt was enormous emotionally. And I began to open myself to the possibilities of truly going anywhere after this promised year.

So as I started really evaluating what was to come I knew three things:

  1. I need less stress in my life.
  2. I need less financial obligations in my life.
  3. No matter where we go, we will be alright, the kids will be alright.

So as of an hour ago, I received the call.  We have been approved for a 2 bedroom apartment, literally just 3 miles away from our home.  They will take our big dogs. They are right next door to our favorite playground, across the street from some fun stores to visit and have a dog bark park across the street from our soon to be apartment home.

Not only will my monthly financial obligation drop by several hundred dollars every month between lower rent and less utilities, but because we are moving in the fall when fewer people move…we got a fabulous move in special.

This concludes today’s housing drama.  I hope I have been clear and attempted to be as forthright and transparent as I could without compromising my dad’s privacy.  I took my younger two to see our new apartment yesterday…they are ecstatic.  I think this new chapter in our lives with be a positive thing for us all.  The twins are very happy that if we have to move, at least we are moving somewhere that they can still walk to visit their neighborhood friends, not to mention, there’s a Gamestop within a stone’s there.  I know there will still be some emotional fall out for all of us.  It will be very hard to say goodbye to this home where our family was built, but I am certain that we are moving in the right direction for our financial freedom!  Thanks for your patience with me.

Debt update coming in the next couple of days….


Three years, Six moves – we are home.


My marriage failed six years ago this summer.  You can read that story on my personal blog if you are curious, but it does not belong here.  At the time, my business was just two years old and I did not make enough to support us. We ended up moving in with my parents.

Now if you have ever moved in with your parents after being independent for over 10 years, you can imagine how hard that was.  Of course, I was grateful to them, but it was hard.  Over the next few months I worked hard at my business and was able to begin pulling in a full time work load and salary.  I found a rental house.

The kids and I moved out in November that year. We had been with my parents for five months. I loved my new house. It was a rental, but I could choose to buy it if I liked down the road, I had five acres, in the middle of nowhere, the kids could play outside, it was perfect. In the meantime, my husband did a spousal buy out of our marital home, which he kept by choice, and I was able to buy some new furniture to get started in my new life. One month later, it fell apart.

The owners who had moved states away, lost the job they had moved for and asked if they could have their house back. Of course, I gave it back. But I didn’t have anywhere to go.  I went back to my husband. I just felt that maybe it was God’s way of telling me that I needed to give my marriage another chance.

Six months later it was his dad who told him to get his hands off me. I was leaving and this time, really for good. I moved into yet another rental house and signed an 18 month lease, hoping that would give us time to settle a divorce. At 12 months into the lease, while the kids and I were away at a family reunion, my landlords came in, packed up some of my belongings, painted the walls and did some repairs and called to tell me that I would need to live in a staged home while they attempted to sell it. (Oh, and did I mention that right before I left town, I mentioned to them that I may want to extend my lease.)

Now living in a staged home would not be a problem if I was single with no kids. But as an entrepreneur who worked from home, homeschooled her two kids (then 4 and 5,) and had just gotten certified as  foster family (with their permission to bring other kids into the home,) this was overwhelming.  I told them that this would not work for me and I moved out.

The problem was, I had nowhere to go.  All this back and forth, two failed rentals and no savings to put toward a purchase (and my divorce was still not final.)  I sold or donated most everything big, put everything in a POD and the three of us became homeless.

My dad stepped in then. He saw me trying. I was completely independent and self sufficient. He offered to help me get into a home, purchase a home, give us some stability. The kids and I traveled for about 3 months as nomads, which was actually a lot of fun as we found the perfect home. That was 3 1/2 years ago now. We are home.

But now I need to get my home in my name.  I’ve been paying the rent, the taxes, the insurance, but my dad put a sizable amount of money down so I didn’t have to pay PMI, but my name is not on the title or the financing. As far as I have been able to tell, this will be just like any other purchase. If anyone knows of any other way, I would LOVE to hear about it.

Needless to say, without a significant down payment, which I don’ t have, and stellar credit, which I don’t have, but am working on, my payment is going to go up.  I HAVE to get this debt journey in firm hand, because the clock is ticking on this goal for both myself and my dad.  As he says, he didn’t want to be my landlord, just my dad, and he’s perfectly right.

So this is yet another motivator and a place where ANY guidance or suggestions you might have would be so greatly appreciated.

Two things I want to be clear on:
First, purchasing my house will only come to fruition when I’ve got a firm handle on my debt load, hopefully within months of paying it off.
Second, moving so often is very expensive, but I was blessed that in both cases where my rental fell through the landlords were gracious enough to give me my full deposit in a very quick time frame and the first one even moved me out themselves.