How to make a move without breaking the bank
Moving house is notoriously expensive — not to say stressful! But the average person will probably have to move house a good few times in their life, so it's worth learning how to save money — and maybe even make some! — with these top relocation tips.
It begins right at the beginning, before you've even found that dream home. If you follow these failproof steps, you'll find the move ever so smooth:
- Pay as big a deposit as possible on your new home. This will reduce your monthly instalments and save you money every month.
- Apply for your home loan through a reputable bond originator like BetterBond, and make sure you're getting the best interest rate. A reduction of just 0.5% on a R1m loan could save you as much as R80 000 over the life of your loan.
- If you need to sell an existing home first, work with an experienced agent and find out what changes or improvements, if any, you need to make to give your home maximum 'curb appeal' for buyers. This is probably not a good time to install a new kitchen, but a fresh lick of paint, some minor repairs, and a thorough declutter will usually add huge value without a hefty layout of cash.
- Do your homework and take the advice of your agent on pricing the property correctly so that it will resell quickly. This will save you money on holding costs like municipal rates, electricity and water charges, insurance, and monthly levies if you live in a sectional title complex or an estate.
- Start planning your move early so you can sort out exactly which furniture, books, appliances, clothes, toys, tools, glassware, linen, sporting equipment and electronics you really want to take with you and which you no longer need — before you even start packing. It's a waste of money to transport unwanted goods to your new home or to pay for storage. So, curb your inner hoarder and let go!
- Offload your surplus belongings. Hold a garage sale or moving sale; list items for sale online or sell them to a 'cash for goods' outlet. If you start early enough, you could make some lovely money to cover those moving costs.
- If you'd prefer to benefit a worthy cause, there are dozens of charity shops around the country that would be delighted to accept your donations of clothes, toys and household goods. Let go of your goods and do good!
- Collect free boxes or hire reusable crates. Sturdy cardboard boxes are expensive to buy, but you can often get them from your local grocery or liquor store if you ask. Alternatively, some moving companies have reusable plastic crates you can hire, which they'll collect a few days after your move — a good incentive to unpack! Look online for recycled boxes, and once you've moved, list your boxes for sale.
- Pick a cheaper moving day. Many moving companies charge less for mid-month or mid-week moves.
- Don't waste food. Plan ahead so you aren't left with a lot of food in the fridge or freezer on the day of your move. Order a delivery of groceries and fresh food to your new address soon after your move, so you don't have to spend cash on costly meals out or takeaways.
And once you've done all this, keep up the good work! Keep saving money after your move by doing all you can to lower your home energy and water consumption costs. Simple things like setting your geyser to 55 degrees, installing LED globes, and using ceiling fans instead of air-conditioning can make a real difference. Other eco- and wallet-friendly practices include drying your laundry outside whenever possible, fixing leaking taps or pipes immediately, and plugging all your electronics into multiplugs so that they can easily be switched off and won't consume power while on standby.
Small steps — and huge savings — can make your move a smooth one!