Moving to Escape Soaring Rent? 3 Ways to Slash Your Costs

The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool

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If you're struggling to keep up with the cost of rent, you're no doubt in good company. Apartment List reports that over the course of 2021, the national median rent increased 17.8%. By contrast, annual rent growth averaged only 2.3% between 2017 and 2019.

A big reason rent prices are up so much is the demand for rentals soared last year. Plus, some landlords may be raising rents in an effort to compensate for the financial losses they incurred earlier on in the pandemic, when eviction bans were in place.

If you can't keep up with your rent costs and your lease is coming to an end, it may be time to look at moving to a less expensive home. But to save money on rent month after month, you might first have to dip into your savings account to cover the cost of an actual move. If you're going that route, here are three steps you can take to make your move cheaper.

1. Do a clean-out first

Chances are, there are belongings you have that you don't necessarily need. The less you have to transport, the less your move will cost you, so take inventory well ahead of your moving date and start separating things into categories -- items you'll keep versus toss or donate.

Furthermore, if the layout of your new home is different from your current home and you think you'll be replacing some larger items, like furniture, sell those pieces now -- before you move. Not only might that save you money, but getting a little cash for those items could make your move easier to pay for.

2. Do your own packing

If you work full-time, you may only have so many hours in the day to pack up your home. But tempting as it may be to hire movers to not only haul your belongings to your new abode, but also, pack them up, doing so could cause your costs to skyrocket.

A better bet is to carve out the time to do your own packing. Figure out how long it'll take to pack up each room in your home and map out a schedule so you're able to get the job done on time.

3. Shop around for quotes

Some movers charge an hourly rate for the work they do, while other companies might charge a single fee for the job at hand. It's hard to say which will end up being the better option for you, because while a flat rate may seem more expensive initially, you at least get the benefit of having your cost capped at a certain point. With an hourly rate, you could end up busting your budget if your move takes longer than expected.

Either way, make sure to get quotes from a few different movers before making your choice. And also, be sure to read customer reviews, because the last thing you want is a bad experience when moving is stressful enough in its own right.

If your rent is going up and you can no longer comfortably afford it, it may be time to seek out a new home. Use these tips to shave some money off of your moving costs and give yourself more flexibility as you settle into your new digs.

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