How to Move on a Low-Income Budget

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Reduce moving costs.

When you make the decision to move to a new place, whether it is career-related or a personal choice, you will be faced with many options for relocating your belongings. One of the most common ways to move is to pay a moving company to pack your possessions and transport them to your new home. This can be a costly decision, however, and if you are on a low-income budget, the price of moving may seem overwhelming. There are several ways you can reduce the cost of moving to fit your budget, regardless of how much you can afford to spend on your relocation.


    • 1

      Save newspapers, flyers and catalogs to use as packing material. Bubble wrap is commonly used as packing material but is expensive when used in large quantities. Reusing papers you already have access to is one way to minimize your personal expenses while moving.

    • 2

      Reuse boxes. Save boxes that you receive in the mail to use as packing material for small trinkets or household items. Ask friends or relatives to donate their extra boxes to you for your move. Also check with local restaurants or grocery stores to see if they will give you their extra boxes. You may need to speak with the manager, but many retailers are happy to give you their spares.

    • 3

      Rent a truck. Paying a moving company to move your items, even when you packed them yourself, can be quite costly. If you do not have personal access to a large vehicle, rent one. Prices vary for renting a vehicle based on mileage, as well as the time you spend using the truck. When you make your reservation, ask for a discount. Renting companies sometimes offer discounts up to 10 percent, but only if you request it.

    • 4

      Talk to your insurance company. If you currently own a home, ask your insurance company if they cover belongings during a move. This is especially important information if you choose to use a professional moving company. Kelli B. Grant of The Wall-Street Journal notes that household items in transit are often protected by your homeowner's insurance.

    • 5

      Use a moving container. Some companies, such as ABF U-Pack Moving, offer a convenient moving container. The container is delivered to your home and you have three days to pack your belongings in the container. Some companies charge by weight, while others charge you only for the space you use inside the container. The moving company picks up the container once it is fully loaded and drives it to your new home.

    • 6

      Offer to wait for your belongings. If you choose to use a professional moving company but don't need your belongings right away, offer to wait awhile for your possessions. The Mover's Directory comments that "moving companies sometimes give significant cost reductions if they can short-term-store and consolidate your moving items with other customers' items." Moving multiple homes at the same time saves the moving company both gas and time, which results in a greater discount for you.

    • 7

      Note the move on your taxes. If your move is job-related, you may be able to deduct the cost of moving on your taxes. This deduction is only applicable toward new jobs, and you must move within one year after starting work with the company. There are only a few restrictions to claiming the deduction: you must move 50 miles or more from your current home and remain at the new job for at least 39 weeks after moving.

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  • Photo Credit woman packing/unpacking boxes during a relocation. image by T.Tulic from

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