Two weeks ago, I moved clear across the country from Louisiana to New Jersey. We made the trip with our six week old twins and our dog, and it was a pretty epic journey. We tried so hard to keep costs low, but there were a lot of unexpected expenses along the way. Here’s some of the pros and cons from our trip, and hopefully it will help you to avoid some mistakes and save money all at the same time.
1. Pack snacks.
My mother in law packed a big brown bag full of awesome snacks for us to enjoy on the trip. It was more than just junk food. It was really good crackers and dip and specialty cookies and trail mix, all things we needed to stay pumped up for our big 3 day long journey. We packed the snacks in a small insulated bag with ice packs so that they stayed nice and cool. The hotels we stayed in had small refrigerators so we were able to freeze the ice packs each night to enjoy the snacks again the next day. This probably saved us a good $100 in costs in addition to the time running through fast food joints. If ever there will be some damages in the middle of the road semi truck repair charleston WV will be on the rescue.
2. Pull a trailer.
If you have an SUV or a truck, it’s far cheaper to pull a trailer than to hire movers or rent a moving truck. You still have to pay the same amount in gas as you would driving one of those big moving trucks; however, it’s about half the cost to rent the trailer itself. We rented the biggest trailer they had and it fit 3 rooms full of our belongings. It was $400 to bring it from Louisiana to New Jersey. The price for the smallest moving truck or to ship a UHaul 8×8 box was $800. We saved half of that, got to keep our belongings in our eyesight the entire time, and still had money left over for other expenses.
Our biggest mistake, though, was turning in the trailer and then having to go and rent it again the next day to pick up a huge sofa from Craigslist. It would have been cheaper to keep the trailer a few extra days and drive around picking up furniture than it was to turn it back in then re-rent it out. Plus, we had to drive 30 minutes each way to get it and turn it back in, so that took up gas and was frustrating for sure. We also really underestimated how expensive the gas would be the closer we got to New Jersey. We should have looked it up online and budgeted accordingly, but instead we used the gas prices at home in Louisiana as our target price for the whole trip.
All in all though, I think we did a great job with our move. It took us three days, we got here safely with both little babies, and we had several high school kids help us bring boxes and furniture upstairs when we got here. It would have been way more expensive to hire movers, so I’m happy with how it turned out.
How do you save money when it comes to moving? Do you get free boxes, ask friends to help out, or just go solo?