How I Saved $7,000 for Moving Costs

By on March 13, 2014

moving boxesLast year was a really great year in terms of reaching my savings goals, and a large part of that success was due to working tons of extra hours and heavily monitoring my spending.

Just a few months ago I wrote about how I saved a $10,000 savings fund when I found out I was having twins. What I didn’t mention was that I also completed a $7,000 fund for moving costs.

My husband and I have lived all over the place the past few years. We moved from Louisiana to Virginia to the Caribbean and then back to Louisiana. In May, we will get our instructions for another move, either to Michigan or the New Jersey/New York area.

One thing I’ve learned after all of this hopping around is that moving is incredibly expensive. You think you know what it’s going to cost but then inevitably you forget about buying food along the drive or the cost of one hotel night if your apartment isn’t quite ready.

So, knowing that I would have a big move across the United States, I started saving for it a long, long time ago – almost 14 months ago! Here’s how I did it:

1. Envision the Worst Case Scenario

I know it doesn’t sound very positive, but since I’m not sure where we will be assigned in May (all of that is up to my husband’s university), I had to envision a worst case scenario. This worst case scenario is getting placed near New York city, one of the most expensive cities to live in the world. Often in New York you have to pay first and last month’s rent and a down payment. Since a basic 1 bedroom apartment in even the cheapest parts of Brooklyn can be around $1,800, I had to at least assume that in a worst case scenario I might have to pay $5,400 just to move in! That plus the cost of a rental truck and a few pieces of new furniture helped me come up with the $7,000 figure. Hopefully it won’t be that bad, but I’m ready just in case.

2. Pick Up An Extra Job

When you are saving large sums of money like $10,000 and $7,000, especially if you are doing it concurrently, there’s really only so much your budget can bend! You can try to cut down some of your spending categories, but eventually, you will hit a wall where you simply can’t save any more than you already are.

That’s where an extra job comes in.

Remember, you don’t have to work a second job forever. Just picking up a few shifts at a restaurant or at your neighbor’s warehouse unpacking boxes can give you enough of a boost to add to your savings quickly. Without my extra freelance writing jobs last year, there’s no way I could have saved $7,000 for a moving fund.

3. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

It’s easy to get discouraged with saving, especially if you have to give up so many of life’s little extras along the way. But, if you just remember why you’re doing it and keep your eyes on the prize, saving can actually become fun. Trust me, there’s no better feeling than reaching those goals and knowing you’ve secured a nice, well thought out future.

What are you saving for right now?

About Catherine Alford

Catherine Alford is a personal finance writer who received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for other websites on all topics frugal and fabulous, she enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog, Follow her on Twitter @BudgetBlonde or like Budget Blonde on Facebook.

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