Moving brings with it unimaginable possibilities and hopes.

You start to dream about what your new life would look like, where your favorite hang-out spots would be, what you would do for fun, what kind of new people you would meet. The possibilities are endless.

However, with every bit of fun comes responsibility, and perhaps, the biggest strain on our heads is the budgeting and feasibility of the whole endeavor. If you are moving, you are most likely looking to save up on many things as you start your life anew in an unknown city.

Fortunately, there are many smart moves you can make to ensure no penny is wasted. You might have thought moving would be costly and you just have to accept it. That’s not the case, however. Expenditure should be smartly planned and assessed so that your budget is kept in check and your worries kept at bay.

Here are some tried and tested hacks to make your life easier.

  1. Sell as much as you can before moving. Sell the dirty rug, the old recliner, the coffee table that isn’t as big as you need it to be. Sell anything you’re not sure you want around anymore. Not only will you get money off of these little treasures, but you’ll also spend less on boxing and moving – and might not even need professional movers!
  2. When you finally get rid of anything extraneous, pack all your furnishings and belongings yourself – or get a couple of friends to help you out. This will reduce any cost of hiring people to do the work for you. Another tip – while you’re at it, try looking for good ‘packing’ boxes lying around near you. Check in your office spaces, outside your neighbors’ houses, schools, your grocery store– anything that looks like it isn’t being used by someone else! This way you won’t even have to spend on boxes. If there’s no luck there, buy lightly used, but recyclable boxes that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
  3. While you’re packing, use old materials to help cushion valuables. Instead of bubble wrap and packing peanuts, go for old socks, vests, newspapers or magazines to wrap whatever you need.
  4. Weight equals money. If you have heavy stuff lying around, such as fitness equipment or a pool table, try selling it off instead of packing it. Often, replacing bulky gear when you move in can actually be cheaper than packing up the whole thing and moving
  5. If you finally decide to hire professional movers, ensure that they do not cost you extra money. Fraudulent companies can trick you into buying their services with hidden costs.
  6. It’s always okay to negotiate prices. Pick up the phone, call your mover and ask him how much he’s willing to drop the prices. Don’t be afraid of asking – you’ll regret it if you find out you could have had it 20% cheaper!
  7. Rent your own moving truck – especially if your new home is within a reasonable driving distance.
  8. Keep as many coupons as you can to buy household items. Pick up essential household items from the dollar store once you move in. Stuff like toilet paper, detergent, dishwasher soap and paper plates can be picked up cheaply and in bulk.
  9. Use USPS to ship heavy books (that actually weigh a lot when all are put together).
  10. Research storage spaces and moving vehicles before you select one. Compare prices and services, and hitting two birds with one stone is the best way – find a company that offers storage plus shipping.
  11. Keep track of everything you need to buy, sell, or pack. Keep a log of your duties – who are you hiring, if you do? How many boxes do you need? What are you selling off? How much will you earn? What’s your budget and how flexible is it? Remember to only spend when you have to – it’s always best to conserve as much money as you can while moving.
  12. Plan your moving during the off-season, which is roughly from September to May. Prices tend to be at their lowest during these months.
  13. Plan your move with your utility bill payments. Avoid paying for an extra month of utilities when you’re not even using them.
  14. Once you finally move in, try not to go crazy decorating your new crib. It may be super tempting, but you need to first prioritize what you actually need. Buying a chair is more important than buying an expensive wall painting. Discipline your expenditures and slowly build up your budget so you can afford the pretty little things.
  15. Try doing most of the work yourself, even if you are hiring movers. Most get paid on an hourly basis, so the more work they have to do, the more you will have to pay. Pack the light stuff and easily accessible things yourself.

While moving can be difficult and stressful, it is also one of the most exciting things to do. Organizing, planning and executing your ideas in a disciplined manner can benefit you significantly when it comes to time and money. Believe me, you don’t want to be searching for your watch when the whole house is empty, and you’re on a strict time schedule.

The most important part of any endeavor is to act smart about it. Researching different things such as off-season prices and moving companies may sound a little dull, but it is necessary to stay on top of things. You don’t want to be paying too much money to anyone, considering moving is has its own costs.

Try buying cheaper alternatives to everything, whether they’re groceries and moving boxes, or professional movers and trucks. Never be afraid to ask for negotiations and explore services – reliable moving companies are out there to aid you. And last, make it a learning experience and just enjoy the ride!