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12 Ways to Make Moving Cheaper and Easier

12 Ways to Make Moving Cheaper and Easier

I’ve moved dozens of times within 5 cities in 3 different countries on 2 continents. Before I had mastered how to organize everything efficiently, moving was always a real hassle.  No matter of my vast nomadic experience I am always surprised that I have way more stuff than I thought!

Moving to a new place is like a journey when you let go of your past and start a new life. It encourages become minimalistic and more conscientious about what you actually want and need in your life, especially during this time where meeting a new person is often just one swipe right and buying a new thing is a click.

If spending wasted hours wondering should you throw away these tickets which remind you of your travels, should you keep that dress you used to liked 10 years ago (and other stuff you’re never going to use in the next decade), constantly driving back and forth to the new place because you didn’t prepare things properly, fearing of not being able to find anything for the next two months after moving in, sounds very familiar – my article is for you!

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These are little tips and tricks for anyone NOT using a moving service:

1. Plan ahead

When selecting your helpers for moving, give them enough notice.  Don’t procrastinate asking!  People will appreciate it (and maybe even show up!) if you give them notice.

2. Stagger your move-in day and your move-out day at least 1 week apart

If at all possible, try to stagger your move-in day and your move-out day at least 1 week apart to avoid stress. It’s easier if you can go back to your old place and finish up moving / cleaning any leftover little stuff for a few more days after you move.

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3.  Books are heavy

Magazines are even heavier.  Many SMALL boxes with 6-10 books are better than 1 big box with 60 books in it.

4. Quality matters

Do NOT buy/use cheap packing tape to seal your boxes, unless you enjoy having your pinkie toe smashed by a book that fell out the bottom of the box that was sealed with cheap packing tape. This is not the place to save money.

5. Label your boxes with a permanent marker

Some things you may want to write are: (a) Box #, (b) Where the Box is Going (ie. Bedroom, Office, etc.), (c) Contents (ie. Books, Cables, etc. ), (d) Special Handling Instructions (ie. FRAGILE, etc.)

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6. Rent a truck

It’s better to rent a moving truck and make one or two trips than to try moving using your buddies pickup truck and making 68 trips.  The gas savings alone will pay for the truck rental.

Loading a moving truck usually takes 3-4 times as long as unloading it.  Keep that in mind when planning your day, lunch for your helpers, etc.

7. Have snacks for helpers

Have water available in the fridge for your thirsty helpers.  People who are dying of thirst make very poor helpers.

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8. Pack BEFORE moving day, not the moring of.

On moving day focus your energy on MOVING, not unpacking at the new place.

9. The fewer people that help you the better

If you do solicit help packing your stuff, the fewer people that help you the better.  The more people that help out packing, the harder it will be to find something later on.  For moving, the more helpers you have the better, but for packing you don’t want too much help or you’ll go insane trying to find things after the move.

10. Get an early start.

8-9am is a good time to start, not noon.  It’s MUCH better to move the majority of your big things in one day.

11. Check it all

Here’s a quick mental reminder of moving related things that might jog your memory:  You’ll need boxes, packing tape, permanent markers, fragile stickers, packing paper for dishes, and some blankets. You’ll need to call the utility companies (cable, telephone, hydro, etc.), house alarm, change your driver’s license address, and notify post office to forward your mail.

12. Don’t forget to have fun

Indeed, moving can be a hard physical and mental activity. But don’t forget that when you plan it right, it can be a lot of fun!

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Published on September 17, 2018

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

How Being Smart With Your Money Leads to Financial Success

Achieving financial success is not something that just happens. Maybe if you win the lottery or something, but for the average person like you or me, it comes from a series of small steps you take over a long period of time.

With each step, you form a new smart money habit. And with each smart money habit, you build towards financial independence.

So what sort of habits can you form to get on that path? Let’s take a look at smart money habits you can start today to get you closer to a financially independent future.

1. Avoid being “penny wise but pound foolish”

It’s tempting to try saving a couple cents here and there when buying small items. However, that’s not where the real money is saved. You’re putting in extra effort for something that doesn’t move the needle.

You get the most bang when you’re able to cut down on your bigger bills. For example, finding a lower interest rate for your mortgage could save you $50+ per month. And cutting your transportation bill by purchasing a cheaper car or taking public transportation can provide large gains as well.

So, look at your recurring expenses such as housing, transportation, and insurance, and see where there’s wiggle room. It’s a much better use of your time than trying to pinch pennies here and there on smaller purchases.

2. When you want something big, wait

Impulsivity can get you in trouble in most aspects of life. Finances are no different.

It’s human nature to see something and want it right then and there. It starts as a kid in the checkout line at the grocery store, and it continues on through adulthood.

We get an idea in our head of something we want, and it’s hard not to go out and get it right then.

A good example is wanting a new car. Perhaps you’ve had your car for several years. It’s crossed the 100k mile mark. Maybe maintenance is due, and you’re annoyed that you need to replace the timing belt or purchase new tires.

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So, you get the itch.

You start digging around online, and you realize you could trade in your current car for something newer and more exciting… all for a few hundred bucks a month. Then you get obsessed.

Here’s where you have to take a step back.

Your newfound obsession is clouding your judgement. Rather than giving into the impulse, wait it out.

Set a timeframe for yourself. Maybe you come back to the decision three months down the road. See if the obsession lasts.

It might, but often, a funny thing happens. Often, you forget about it. And often, you find that the new car wasn’t a need at all.

The impulse faded. And you just saved yourself a ton of money.

3. Live smaller than you can afford

You finally get that big raise. And you want to celebrate – and why not?

You’ve been looking forward to this forever. And after all, it was all due to your hard work.

That’s fine, splurge a little. However, make it a one-time deal and be done.

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Don’t get caught in the trap that just because you’re now making more money, you should spend more.

Too often, people get more money and feel like they that gives them the means to buy a bigger house, a bigger car… you know the drill. Resist.

The fact is that living smaller than what you can afford is one of the fastest ways to build savings.

But if you constantly upgrade as you begin to make more, then you’ll never get ahead. You’ll just build up more debt along the way and have just as little wiggle room as before.

4. Practice smart grocery shopping

Food… it’s one of the biggest portions of any budget. And if you’re not careful, it can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet.

But luckily, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay smart with your money when buying groceries.

Create a grocery budget

Set a strict weekly grocery budget. When you know how much you can spend on groceries, you can then plan your weekly menu around it.

Once you know what all you need, you can go shopping and keep a running tally as you shop to ensure you’re on track.

I tend to do this in my head, rounding for each item. However, writing it down as you go would probably work best for most people.

Make a list… and never deviate

Never go to the grocery store without a list. If you go to the store with a ballpark idea in mind, you don’t have a true ide of what you need.

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You’re not well-researched. You don’t know what the sales are. As a result, you’re going to make decisions on the fly.

These impulse decisions will lead to overspending, which will derail your grocery budget.

Eat before going grocery shopping

It’s also important to eat prior to going to the grocery store. Hunger is a powerful force.

If you’re shopping on an empty stomach, everything is going to look good. In particular, you may find a lot of ready-made, processed snacks will look enticing.

After all, you’re hungry now and that food is easily available. So subconsciously, you may lean towards those items.

Unfortunately, not only are those items typically less healthy, but they’re likely more expensive. You pay for convenience.

However, when you eat prior to shopping, then you’ll shop with a clear mind. Your hunger won’t cloud your judgement, influencing you to make poor decisions like a cartoon devil resting on your shoulder whispering in your ear.

This makes it much easier to stick to your grocery plan.

5. Cancel your gym membership

Now that you’re all set on your food, it’s time to get smart about managing your budget in terms of physical fitness. And let’s begin by avoiding the gym. The gym bill, that is.

The average gym membership costs around $60 per month. That’s $720 a year.

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Yet, two out of three gym memberships go unused. That means two-thirds of people who have a gym membership are literally giving away almost a thousand bucks a year. It’s crazy!

I recommend seeking an alternative. One good alternative is to look into fitness streaming services.

Streaming services allow you to stream hundreds of workouts like Insanity and p90x, right in your own home for around $10-20 a month. That’s $40-50 less a month than the average gym membership.

Of course, then there’s the free option. The internet is full of free workouts that you can do on your own with minimal or no equipment.

For example, there’s the Couch to 5K program, that I personally used a decade ago to ease myself from couch potato to running my first 5K race. If I could do it, anyone could.

Then there are free resources like reddit that have limitless information on workouts. The Fitness subreddit has done all the research for you, populating workout tips and detailed workout routines for anyone to use in their wiki.

There are several routines that require no equipment. And you can join in on the subreddit to become part of the community, making it easier for those seeking comraderie and encouragement in their fitness goals. All for free.

It’s baby steps… And baby steps can start now!

I’ve never met anyone that can’t stand to be a bit smarter with their money. And on the flip side, anyone can get smarter with their money. But remember, it doesn’t happen all at once.

Begin by fighting your impulses. Prepare for the week and be smart at the store. And cut monthly expenses like gym memberships that are overpriced and you probably aren’t getting your money’s worth out of anyway.

The devil is in the details. And the details can change your lifestyle and prep you for a financially independent future.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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