How to Budget for Your Move to LA

Moving is expensive. Moving to LA (whether it’s for the weather or the opportunities) is certainly no exception. Still, even with high housing costs and home prices, Los Angeles can rely on having more people moving in than moving out.

If you’re one of the many people hoping to call Los Angeles “home” in the next several months, here are a few ways you can cut down on moving costs and give yourself a little financial cushion (and peace of mind).

#1: Don’t Pay for Boxes

Truck rental companies like UHaul count on you being disorganized or in a rush, which is why they mark up their box prices so high. The fact is, you can get more than enough boxes for free if you know where to look. The best place to start is at your office. Your workplace likely has a bunch of empty boxes lying around. Your employer will more than likely be grateful to clear up office space.

Another easy way to get boxes is through social media. Most people have at least a few empty cardboard boxes lying around (especially in the age of online shopping). Post a couple times asking your followers or friends for empty boxes, and you should be good to go.

#2: Move Out of Season

Summer, the most popular moving season, means all the moving companies are booked, the trucks are rented out, and the boxes are selling at a premium. During the summer, it’s a seller’s market for the moving industry. What’s more, but your friends will likely be helping other people move, which means it’ll be harder to get an extra pair of hands for free.

While summer has some benefits (warm weather, predictability, longer daylight hours), moving in the winter offers financial benefits. For one, people are more likely to offload their boxes for free, your friends should be free to help you move, and moving companies won’t be nearly as busy, which means you’ll be able to shop around.

Which brings us to our third tip…

#3: Shop Around for Quotes!

Moving is a major endeavor, so why would you stick with your very first option? Give yourself enough time to do your research. Look up moving companies, then find the ones with the best reputations and the best value. Moving companies offer free quotes, but not all free quotes are created equal. Our advice? Don’t trust a quote that’s given over the phone. Real moving quotes are based on the project, and a mover can’t quote a project if they haven’t seen your home or your stuff.

If you’re just looking for a deal on renting a truck, then shop around for that too. There’s no reason to go with the most well-known rental truck company if there’s a smaller business that offers better value.

#4: Throw Away Junk Before You Move

Let’s face it: we all have a lot of stuff we don’t use or need. But moving that stuff still costs time, money, and effort. So it’s just math: if we get rid of stuff now, it will save us money when we move. You’re probably already thinking of things to let go of, right?

The barbecue you used once.

The stationary bike you promised you’d start using.

A box of videos you can’t play anymore because your VCR died 15 years ago.

You’d be surprised at how much space and money you can save with some spring cleaning and self-directed honesty.

#5: Turn Off Utilities as Early as Possible

This one sounds a little radical, but hear us out. There may be a few days of cable, Internet, or gas service you can save by turning off utilities early. Can you cook using electrical appliances for a couple days? Can you go to a local Starbucks if you need to work at night? Can you live without TV for a week or two?

All of those services could save you a nice chunk of change—at least enough to pad your savings a little. And who knows? Maybe you’ll enjoy living in an Internet-less world for a few nights.

#6: Get a Zero-Interest Credit Card for Emergencies

Moving across state lines or into new cities always comes with complications. Maybe your home isn’t ready and you need to take a few nights in a motel. Maybe your stuff doesn’t arrive on time and you end up needing to buy some clothes. Whatever it is, having some extra spending power provides peace of mind.

Credit card companies are always offering promotions for opening new lines of credit—cash bonuses, zero percent interest for 12 months. Consider getting a card just for emergencies. That way, you have a little extra padding and you can pay it back within a few months interest-free.

#7: Hire a Professional Moving Team

Hiring a professional moving company may not sound like something you’d do to ‘save’ money, but believe it or not, hiring a moving company isn’t much more expensive than moving by yourself. Once you factor in the cost of renting a truck, returning a truck, getting boxes, renting dollies, and the damage amateur movers cause to their most fragile and valuable items, the cost of moving by yourself isn’t so cheap after all.

Additionally, the benefits of hiring a professional mover like AQMS includes:

All of these things offer the peace of mind that money can’t buy.

At Affordable Quality Moving & Storage, our professional movers are experienced with logistics, transportation, storage, and packing. We’re insured, so any damage that occurs during the move will be covered. And if you have a problem with your service, we’re a real company subject to real accountability. A lot of ‘moving companies’ in the Internet age can’t say that; in a lot of cases, they’re just guys with a truck.

AQMS is a genuine service with a rock-solid reputation. If you want to save time and effort on your move, call us at (818) 960-1988 for a free in-home consultation. We abide by all necessary COVID-19 precautions to keep your family safe.