The following post was sponsored by the GM BuyPower Card from Capital One®. All opinions are my own and not directed by Capital One. To learn more about the GM BuyPower Card, click here.
When Mandy and I built our “dream home” many years ago, we thought we would stay there forever.
But we all know how life changes unexpectedly at times – often when we don’t see it coming.
Crazily enough, Mandy and I made the bold and exciting decision to move a few hours away to Nashville, Tennessee a few months ago.
This was a big move for us because, the last time we moved, it was only two miles from our old house.
This time, we were moving 3.5 hours away – and we had four kids!
It’s hard enough to move kids across the country, but the amount of stuff you acquire after being married for 12+ years is absolutely insane. And since I’m self-employed and don’t have a company paying me to relocate, the costs of moving our family and our “stuff” fell directly on us.
While I’m happy to report that we’re settled in our Nashville rental home until our new home is built, I wanted to share some of the ways we saved money during our epic move.
Here are the top savings strategies we used as we moved our family from Illinois to Nashville, Tennessee:
#1: Purge all the things.
Did I mention how much stuff we have? While we’re not hoarders and don’t spend a ton, it’s only natural to accumulate more stuff as your house gets bigger and you start having kids.
And trust me, you may not even notice how much stuff you have until you’re moving and find every drawer, closet and cupboard bursting with belongings. At that point, you have a choice. You can pack it all up and take it with you, or you can get rid of stuff you don’t really want.
Once we realized we were moving, we started the dreaded task of getting rid of clothes, toys, games, furniture and other extra belongings we no longer wanted.
This was great because it helped us make a valuable charitable contribution to the community, and because it helped us pare down our belongings for the move. And, as we all know, the less stuff you have to move, the less you need to pay movers to do their job.
#2: We shopped around among moving companies for the best value.
Speaking of movers, we absolutely had to hire professional help for this move. The last time we moved, we rented a moving truck and made several trips ourselves. Because of the distance of this move – and the fact we have four kids and a lot more stuff – there was no way to go the DIY route this time.
Since we didn’t want to spend too much, we shopped around to find the best deal. Not only did we call national moving companies, but we called local and regional companies, too.
Since the difference between the highest quote and the lowest was more than $3,000, I’m so glad I took the time to compare companies and options. If we hadn’t, we could easily have been out $3,000 or more!
#3: Leverage rewards credit cards.
Earlier this year, my family upgraded to a new GMC SUV. I have been thrilled with the purchase because my family finally fits into a single vehicle with all of our gear.
You might not cash in your rewards until a ways down the road, but 5% Earnings on the first $5,000 (which restarts every year), and then 2% unlimited Earnings for use on your next new SUV is one heck of a deal.
#4: Do your own packing.
Moving companies give you the option to pack all your stuff yourself or to pay them to do the job. The price will vary, but we were quoted around $40 a box to have all our possessions packed and sealed for us. The crazy thing is, the price didn’t budge regardless of whether they were packing breakable dishes or our kid’s stuffed animals.
Believe it or not, our packing skills even helped us earn more amazing discounts. When the moving company we hired arrived at our home, they were blown away with the progress we made.
Since they realized that most of the work was already done, they gave us a $1,200 discount from what was already the lowest quote we received.
#5: Look for deals on moving boxes.
If you’re going to pack your possessions yourself, you’re going to need moving boxes. You can buy storage boxes at hardware stores for about $3 apiece. However, you may also find there are plenty of free sources for boxes if you look hard enough.
For example, our local grocery store had a ton of boxes to spare. After having a quick conversation with the checkout clerk, the store was happy to let us take dozens of high-quality boxes they were planning to throw out.
#6: Use social media to connect with new neighbors.
Once we made the decision to move, we quickly found out that our new neighborhood had its own Facebook group. A few weeks before our move, we were able to connect with a lot of people who gave us the lowdown on what satellite service to use, what gyms were the best and the best places to eat. We even had several families bring us a meal our first week. Talk about southern hospitality.
Another big saving that we got from this group was the connection to our temporary rental home. While we thought we had our rental situation figured out, we found the property owner wasn’t willing to help out that much.
The rent was going to be $3,500 per month for a short-term lease, but they wanted us to start paying two months before we moved.
Fortunately, Facebook saved the day! Through our neighborhood Facebook group, we were able to connect with a couple that was moving out two weeks before we were moving to Nashville. Amazingly, they were willing to do a short-term lease.
The Big Move
The next time your family decides to make a big move, make sure to think through all the different ways you could save. By shopping around, connecting with your new community, and leveraging rewards, you could save hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars.