I love to have guest bloggers on The Rustic Willow to showcase more insight for you beautiful readers… insight that maybe I couldn’t provide, or didn’t think about providing. When guest blogger Victoria approached me about writing about moving to another city with a family, I knew it was perfect for TRW since we did just that about 2.5 years ago. We trekked from New Orleans to Denver in our RV with one of our kiddos, Aurora, before Stephen was awarded custody of his other two. Luckily, with Stephen being in the Marine Corps at the time, they took care of a lot of the packing and finances of moving. However, even still it was a stressful and expensive process. Victoria provides tips & tricks to make a potentially stressful time be bearable. And as a side note… if you’re thinking about moving your family to a new city, but are afraid of the process, don’t be. It’ll be worth it when you get there. Don’t live your life in constant what if’s.
Alright, take it away Victoria…
Moving, even under the best of circumstances, is often stressful and expensive. It’s a very time-consuming process, and it requires a lot of planning in order to manage it successfully. Whether your move is for work, family, or other reasons, there are numerous ways that you can make the move go as smoothly as possible, particularly with finances.
Know Your Finances
It’s important to know where you stand financially, before even considering a move. Know how much money you have available to spend on relocation, and determine whether it’s financially realistic to move to another city. Once you’ve determined that you can indeed afford to move, compare the costs of living between your current location and your destination. Don’t forget to budget for things like insurance, the cost of transportation, and utilities, in addition to the cost of housing.
Do Your Research for Housing
Housing is almost always the biggest monthly expense for most people, so it’s important to research housing options very carefully. Figure out what your maximum budget for housing is, and stick to that budget. Whether you’re going to lease or buy a house is another decision that will have to be considered. Different people have different needs with housing.
You should also study the neighborhood where you plan to move. Make sure it’s a safe area, and since you have a family, it should also be close to schools, playgrounds, and things like restaurants and museums. If you’ll be relying on mass transportation, make sure that is also easily accessible from your neighborhood.
Make a Schedule and Adhere to It
A schedule will do two things: keep you on time with tasks, and help keep costs under control. It’s so important to plan out your move in advance. You’ll have more time to prepare, and you’ll be able to take advantage of lower moving costs, if you’re hiring professionals to help you move, rather than waiting until the last minute (which is often much more expensive). Involve your children in the planning portion, too, so that they feel like they have some control over the situation.
Budget for the Moving Process
Figure out exactly how much it will cost for the actual moving process, and decide whether you’ll be hiring professional movers or moving your household property yourselves. If you’re going to use professional movers, make sure you get at least three estimates from reputable movers. Always check their references and compare prices, to make sure you’re getting a good deal for your money.
If you’re going to do the actual move yourselves, then you still need to budget for a moving truck and moving supplies, such as boxes, plastic wrap, furniture blankets, tape, and packing paper to keep your household goods safe and secure. Rather than purchasing boxes for storing your household goods, you may be able to get boxes from friends who have recently moved, from work, from retail stores, and even from websites like Craigslist. You should also recruit friends and family to help. Maybe your friend has a big truck that can be used for moving, or maybe they can just help with the loading or unloading, but it’s much easier than trying to do it all yourself.
Pare Down Your Belongings
It’s always a good idea to go through your household goods before the actual move. Decide what will make the move with you, and what should be thrown out, donated, or sold, depending on the condition of the items. You may be able to take a tax deduction for goods that you donate, and if you’re willing to put in the time for a yard sale, you can make some money off the household items or clothing that you no longer use.
Do at Least Some Packing Yourself
This is a great way to save some money on a move. Pack at least some, if not all, of your belongings yourself. This is the most time-consuming part of any move, and if you can do at least some of it yourself, that’s less time that professional movers have to pack, and that’s less money that you have to spend! Using affordable mobile storage services is a good way to have some assistance on your move, without the full expense.
Moving is almost always a difficult, stressful process. However, there are some things that you can do to make the process a little easier, and not destroy your finances during your relocation.