Moving is a common milestone that millions experience annually. Whether you’re relocating for a new job, marriage, divorce, a shorter commute or starting college, moving can incur many unexpected expenses. The average cost of moving in the United States is $2,600 to $4,400 and in 2015, 61 percent of moves were to another state. Whether you’re moving across the street or across the country, you’ll inevitably need cash along the way to take care of often forgotten costs of moving.
The older we get, the thought of moving an entire household by ourselves (or with friends) seems less appealing. For that reason, most of us will hire movers to handle the heavy loads. Movers commonly charge an hourly rate (especially if you’re moving within a city) and have additional fees. Although they often accept credit cards, cash is preferred. Additionally, it’s an unspoken understanding that the crew members receive cash tips as well.
Moving frozen or non-perishable food with you will probably be extremely inconvenient and not worth the trouble. But removing food from refrigerators and pantries is required for most renters in order to receive security deposits back. Although some throw away much of their leftover food, consider donating it to a food bank. In the meantime, you will likely be eating out more until you get settled. Paying in cash will help you and your family stay on budget while dining out.
Gas prices are the lowest we’ve seen in 12 years. That’s great news if your move is to another city or state. During that trip, don’t forget that many gas stations offer discounts – some as high as 30 cents a gallon – for purchasing gas with cash. It may not sound like much, but those pennies add up to big savings in the long run, and you’ll have more cash to spend on enhancements for your new living quarters.
Using cash at the pump also prevents you from worrying about temporary blockage of debit or credit card purchases, because you’re in a different city or state. As soon as you know your travel plans and new address, let your financial institution know what cities or states you’ll be driving through. Banks and credit unions are on high alert for unauthorized card use, and often deny transactions made far from the cardholder’s home address, particularly those done in a short period of time. Even if you informed your bank or credit union, as an extra precaution, take cash with you in case purchases are denied.
If you’re making a family road trip out of your move, learn other ways having cash on the road comes in handy by reading this previous post.
And because you didn’t move all your food, you’ll end up needing to restock your refrigerator and pantry when you arrive at your new home. Withdraw cash from an ATM in the grocery store before you start buying. This will help you stay on budget and give you the convenience of shopping at the same place you obtain your cash.
God forbid an emergency comes up, but having just-in-case cash will prepare you for any hiccups during your move. As the saying goes, “expect the unexpected.”
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