3 Tips for Saving Money When Moving to California

Moving to a new home is both challenging and rewarding. It can be tough on your wallet, but certainly worth the smile on your face when you’re done settling into a new, better home. These financial tips will help alleviate some of that stress when moving to California so you can focus on the adventure ahead.

Keep, Sell, Giveaway

The less things you have, the less you have to move. Go through each of your possessions and divide them into three categories – things to keep, things to sell, and things to give away. The more liberal you are with cutting down on what you own, the less it will cost to move and the more money you’ll have in your pocket. Plus, when you move into your new home you’re likely going to want fresh decorations so it doesn’t feel like you’re still living in your old house.

Start selling items on sites like Craigslist and eBay several weeks before your packing date. For bigger items try yard sales and for clothing try consignment shops. This is an opportunity to turn as much of your stuff as possible into cash. Also, for any unwanted items, consider donating them to charity and earning a tax deduction. Clean out your closet and think of moving to California as a chance to get a fresh start.  

Do It Yourself

When it’s time to move, buckle down and have a go-getter mentality. One of the easiest ways to save money is by taking on a task yourself instead of paying someone else. Having this mindset will leave your wallet full and leave you feeling more accomplished.

The biggest decision when it comes to doing it yourself is typically transporting your belongings. When considering a moving company, collect several quotes from different companies (it’s also possible to negotiate with movers). If you’re moving in the off-season, companies are lenient to giving you a better rate than if you’re moving in the peak of summer, so keep that in mind.

After you’ve analyzed the cost, consider if your time or your money is more valuable. You’ll want to do this for every aspect of the moving process, but especially this one. Hiring professionals is a blessing if you can afford it, but if not pizza and beer will always bribe your friends. Don’t be afraid to go for it.

Plus, when you do it yourself – you’re the boss. You’ll know exactly where you put each item and in which box. You’ll be able to put the necessities (like bedding and clothes) at the top of the pile so your life goes on as quickly as possible. Small, but smart decisions are the biggest way to save money when moving to California.

Right Place, Right Time

Moving is a transition, and timing it right can make this transition a smooth move. One of the easiest ways to put this into practice is when you shut down your utilities at your previous home. Some utility companies won’t prorate your bill as of your departure date, so if your billing cycle doesn’t line up with your moving date, consider cutting your service off early. Yes, you can survive without cable for a week or two (But you should probably leave the electricity on). If you can save a month of utilities, that’s more money towards your new house. Every dollar counts.

Secondly, you can save big time by moving between September and May, which is when rates are typically the lowest. Moving companies are busiest when children are out of school and you have time for vacation – so moving when there is less demand means you’ll have more buying power.  

Also, basing your move around your career is an opportunity for a win-win. If you’re starting a new job and can justify the move because of business purposes, ask your employer to cover some of the moving costs. If the employer won’t assist in the moving costs, that’s okay – keep all of your receipts. You can deduct some of these expenses from your income tax return.

In order to come out as a winner, moving is about getting creative. Be smart. Cut corners. And follow these tips to save money when moving to California.

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