When you decide to move to a new place, you have to figure out the answer to a lot of questions, such as how you’ll move all your belongings and when the move will take place. However, the biggest question you need to answer is how you’ll pay for the move. After all, moving has a lot of expenses, including renting a truck or hiring a moving company, buying moving supplies and potentially even renting a storage unit to store any items that won’t fit in your new place.
Fortunately, you don’t have to drain your savings account or max out your credit card in order to fund your move. If you take a few steps to prepare yourself financially, you can move to a new home without having to go into debt.
Start Planning Early
When it comes to big-ticket expenses like moving, the more time you have to prepare, the better off you’ll be. Moving experts recommend you start planning your move between 3-6 months in advance, but the earlier you start planning the more you’ll be able to start saving for your move and get the best deals from moving companies and storage facilities.
Treat Moving as a Financial Goal
Most people treat moving as a giant project. However, it’s also a financial goal, since you’ll be spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars to complete the task.
That means your first concrete step in preparing financially for moving is to treat it like any other financial goal and make it a S.M.A.R.T. goal—Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound.
By figuring out these issues you’ll have a better grasp of how much money you’ll need to save, how much time you’ll need to save that money and figure out where that money will come from in the budget.
Download our free S.M.A.R.T. goals worksheet here to help you plan for your moving goals.
Make a Moving Budget
So how do you figure out how much money you’ll need for your move? The best way is to make a moving budget.
Making a moving budget isn’t hard, but it does take a bit of research. You’ll want to figure out what moving companies will charge to move you (or how much renting a truck will cost), take an inventory of your home to figure out how much you’ll need to move and factor in everyday expenses, like groceries and cleaning supplies.
When you’re finished, you’ll have a good idea of how much your move will cost.
Save in Advance
Once you know how much your move is going to cost, the next step is figuring out where you’ll get the money. If you have a budget, create a new category for moving expenses and look for extra money in your budget that you can divert to that category. You may even want to put in money you usually spend on “luxury” items like entertainment or activities.
Many people ask “how much money should I save before moving?” To be honest, there’s no one right answer. Just keep in mind that the more money you save for your move, the less you’ll have to dip into your savings or use your credit card.
Get a Personal Line of Credit
If you can’t save up enough money to cover the total cost of your move, you might want to look into getting a personal line of credit. Personal lines of credit are similar to credit cards, but their higher credit limits are ideal for fluctuating expenses like moving. Also, since you can quickly draw funds when you need to and only make payments when you have a balance, they’re ideal tools that can help you cover all the small and larger expenses that don’t have a fixed cost during your move.
Prepare for Your Move With First Alliance Credit Union
Moving can be expensive. If you can prepare for it, however, you should be able to get through your move without having to run up a massive credit card debt.
You can also get help preparing financially for a move when you become a First Alliance Credit Union member today. You can download a free moving budget calculator in our resource center, save money for you move in a traditional savings account and even get a personal line of credit to help cover any additional moving costs.