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How to Keep Moving Expenses Low


My wife and I are getting ready to move back to the great state of Michigan next week, so naturally, we have begun to plan our trip and make decisions on what we are going to trash, donate, and take with us. Since I’m not overly sentimental, I’m not too attached to any of our possessions. If it were up to me, we would get rid of nearly everything we owned in order to make the move as simple as possible. Well, my wife didn’t like that idea too much, and quite honestly, it wouldn’t be a wise financial move either. After further review of our stuff, I came up with some great solutions on how to keep moving expenses low.

Currently, my wife and I own only one car, which we plan on driving to our Michigan destination. With all of our stuff (which includes a couch, love seat, end tables, lamps, dining room table, chairs, and a complete bedroom set), we would most definitely need to rent a moving truck as well. Do you have any idea what one of those trucks costs one-way? I recently looked at the U-Haul website, and the smallest truck (a ten-footer) will cost $895, plus the $105 insurance, not to mention the extra gas it would take to drive this truck with our Jeep in tow behind it. So, it’s at least $1,000 to move everything (and I think there may be a fee per mile as well)!

Instead of hauling all of that furniture, we decided to put it up for sale on Craigslist. We received $550 for our bedroom set (which cost us about $800 brand new over a year ago) and we got $600 for our living and dining room set (which, altogether only cost us about $850 because most of it was used from Craigslist). So, now we’ve got $1050 in our pockets for road expenses; plus, we can get by with a small U-Haul trailer that we can pull behind our Jeep! That trailer only costs $300 (that includes a ball, pin, and electric hook-up that we needed to buy anyway) and we can save a ton of gas because we’re not pulling as much weight! $700 saved. 🙂

Since we are so excited about moving back home, I figure we’re going to drive it straight. That means there will be no need for a hotel; so we can forget about that expense as well. Now, for those of you that are concerned for our safety, don’t worry, we’ll stop and take a few breaks – maybe catch a cat nap here and there. If I get tired, I’ll definitely let my hunny know, and then she can take over while I rest.

Some of you may be asking, “But what about furniture? You’ll need to buy some when you get there!” You are partially right. But, when we arrive, we’ll most likely be staying with friends for a while, and they obviously have furniture already. Plus, when we start looking for an apartment, we can try to get one that’s already furnished!

And, with every move, one needs moving boxes. Thankfully, I work for a company that has boxes all over the place, so this potential large expense is costing us zero dollars. For those of you that don’t work for a company with loads of boxes, try to talk to your local supply retail store. I have friends that have called up a retail store and asked them to save their boxes, and they were happy to! It’s a big money-saver.

Condense your stuff as much as possible! We recently purchased one of those “Space Saver” packs, with a few bags that you can suck the air out of. I think we’ll actually be able to fit all of our clothes within these bags (and if you’ve ever seen my wife’s closet, that is amazing! If my wife is reading this, I meant that in the most loving way possible), and we don’t have to use boxes or totes now! Plus, we can rent a smaller trailer! I think we got our money’s worth out of that purchase.

Finally, it’s important to get your vehicle looked over for any mechanical problems. We just paid for this service and now our Jeep is good to go! It may cost some money up-front, but it’s sure worth paying $30 to ensure that you don’t strand yourself on the highway. The tow alone will easily cost you over $100.

Do you have any fun stories about moving? What were your experiences? Flat tire maybe? Toppled furniture in the back? Don’t worry, your stories won’t freak me out.

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My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Good luck on your move! It’s definitely the right decision to sell your big items. Uhaul trucks has a pretty hefty per mile charge and I think it usually cost more than the actual rental.
    The Mrs. hates moving with a passion and she’s never moving again. 😉

    • Yep yep! I’m glad we sold it all. Now we just have to pack the little stuff, and it really shouldn’t take that long. You may be getting a report soon that says otherwise though…. 😉

  2. And Watch Out if you are using a moving company…one of my adult kids had a really bad experience with the one they used. They were given an “estimated” cost; then at the end they weighed the contents and said it was $1500 more and their things would not be released until it was paid. What a Bummer this was…

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