Top Ways to Save Money on your Next Move

There are many reasons people relocate. It might be starting a new job, a marriage, a divorce, just finishing college or simply wanting a change of scenery. With any long distance move also comes the added expense of transporting your personal belongings. This can run into a lot of extra money you might not have available. The good news is that there are many ways to reduce the overall cost. 

Hiring a moving company

All moving companies are not alike and all times of the year won’t cost the same either. If you’d rather use a professional moving company like Allied to transport your furniture and other items, the time of year, as well as the day of the week, can cost you more or considerably less. If you are able to make the move at a time of your choosing, the fall and winter months are most affordable. Also, booking the company for a date that falls during the week such as on a Tuesday or Wednesday will save you even more. Make sure that you acquire several written estimates from a few companies and do a background check before hiring.  

Deciding to rent a truck 

If you’ve decided that hiring a professional moving company isn’t something you can afford or that you’d rather transport your items yourself, the same rules still apply. For the best rates try to aim for a fall or winter move. If the choice is not in your hands, you can still book a date during the week to help reduce the cost of the rental. Again, it’s important to get a few estimates on not only the rental but also the rate per mile and other fees. 

Pack your items

Whether you choose to use a professional moving company or make the trip yourself, you can save money by supplying your own boxes and packing the items up yourself. If you are using a moving company, they often have specific quantities and sizes of boxes that you can use. Just follow the guidelines and you’ll save big on the packing. If you are doing it on your own you can pick up boxes for free at local supermarkets and retail stores. Just make sure you inquire long before you need to pack. This way even if a store only gets shipments once a week you’ll have plenty of boxes to cover what you need. In addition to the boxes, you can use towels, newspaper and coffee filters to help insulate your packages and prevent damage to delicate items while traveling. 

Bring only what you need

Moving is a wonderful time to think about downsizing.  If you haven’t cleaned out your garage, basement, attic and closets for quite some time chances are pretty good you have a lot more than you anticipated. Remember, everything you bring carries with it a price tag. There are several things you can do to reduce your load. One, you can host a yard sale. This benefits you in multiple ways. You’ll get rid of things you don’t really need or want and you’ll make money doing it, helping to reduce the cost of your move. If you have family nearby you could also give larger items away. Anything left over you can donate to charity.

Host a moving party

When you move and once the packing is complete it’s time to clean everything. This can consume a lot of time. Instead, make it fun and invite family and friends to help with the cleaning. Then once the house is clean and the boxes are loaded, it’s time to celebrate with food and drinks as a reward for their efforts. It’s a great way to say goodbye to those you love.

Forget About Early Retirement. Instead, Embrace Mini Retirements

The whole FIRE movement is endlessly fascinating, at least to me.

I agree with the first half of the acronym, which stands for Financial Independence Retire Early. Financial independence is my ultimate money goal. I’m quite looking forward to the day when I can tell my bosses to shove it. I have no intention to do so–in fact, I quite like my bosses–but I do want the option of knowing I can be fired and not have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from.

In fact, I’d argue that employees who are financially independent are some of the best at their jobs. When you don’t have to worry about being fired, it’s easier to take an unpopular opinion or stand up to your boss.

Many people have zero interest in being an employee once they hit their financial independence date. For them, the whole point of financial independence is retiring early. They want to leave their crummy job yesterday, and this is the easiest way.

I have a different version of accomplishing the same thing. Here’s why I would much rather take several “mini retirements” than one long early retirement.

We all need to refresh

From 2003 to 2009, I took exactly one week off work. Not only did I work my 40 hours per week, but I put in ample amounts of overtime and spent hours on various side hustles.

I don’t regret this for a minute. That money is still invested to this day. As I type this, it’s making me more money, which I’ll then invest in new assets which will then generate more passive income.

But at by the end of 2009, I was burnt out. I was tired of my job and all the stress it entailed. I was very close to quitting.

Instead of doing what I wanted and giving the proverbial middle finger to my boss, I negotiated some time off. It was originally slated to be a month, but the option existed to take more time. We called it “using up my unused vacation time.”

The first week off was wonderful. I was truly happy for the first time in a long while. The second week was great too, until the end. I realized I was getting bored. I missed my co-workers and customers and my old life.

I went back to work the next day. It was great. I was rejuvenated and ready to go. The break did me a world of good.

I ended up only lasting another year at that job before leaving for a better paying opportunity in the same industry, but that’s not such a bad outcome. Without that break I probably would have quit my job in disgust.

My mini retirement only lasted two weeks. You might need four weeks or eight weeks or even six months. The important part is trying out the concept with an open mind. You might figure out you don’t hate your job as much as you thought. Or it might be incentive to try something new. A mini retirement can open your eyes to all sorts of possibilities.

The cost issue

The best part of mini retirements is you can do one with a relatively small amount of money.  

It takes close to a million dollars to retire early, and many experts think that’s not enough. It really doesn’t offer much wiggle room. Someone can take a few months off and only spend $10,000, or even less.

Look at it this way. If you use Airbnb or a similar service and are selective about where you go, it costs less to rent a fully furnished apartment in many major cities for a whole month than it does to stay in a mediocre hotel for a week. Traveling to and from a location is the big cost. Accommodation doesn’t have to be.

The biggest issue of a mini retirement isn’t really the cost. It’s finding a boss that will allow you to take the time off.

Conclusion

It’s hard to tell the difference between being permanently burnt out and just needing a break. Before you hang up the proverbial skates for good, be sure to try at least one mini retirement. It just might be what the doctor ordered.