It’s been a minute since I last posted! Our brief California winter has suddenly turned to spring– a beautiful, high pollen count spring– and along with it, Moving Season!
I’m just getting settled into a new place, and now that I have a better sense of my own financial health I’m able to afford a bit more apartment– we’ve got a swimming pool, onsite laundry, covered parking with storage, AIR CONDITIONING. Y’all. I moved on up to a decidedly unhip neighborhood, and was able to find this place at about 30% below market rate. It’s still within walking distance of public transit, libraries, shops, and parks.
Now. You might be wondering, “Erin, how did you make this move without blowing all of your savings,” and I say to you: I did! I saved up about $4,000.00 over the course of several months to make this happen. I knew it was likely I’d need to cover two rents for my moving month, along with a security deposit and moving expenses. Since L.A. landlords are totally bonkers and often don’t provide them, I also knew it was likely I’d need to buy a fridge….
That gets at my number one frugal moving tip, and the only one you really need: You gotta plan ahead!
I know sometimes unexpected circumstances get in the way of planning ahead, but you’ll probably know a few months ahead of time that you’ll need to get the finances together. While you’re at it, start collecting boxes and extra tape off friends and family– you probably know all the tricks about getting boxes from grocery or liquor stores, so I won’t repeat that advice. But also think about what sorts of furniture or household items you’ll need for your new place.
For example! I looked at smaller units knowing they would be more affordable. That also meant I was looking at places with very little storage. To compensate, I started looking for little boxes and shelving units at Goodwill or (mom, look away!) by dumpsters. I actually found a great little table for my balcony in a trash heap. It still had the Marshall’s tag on it! Who does that?
The fridge was a little more difficult…. I started looking at Craigslist and LetGo to see what was available secondhand, but I just could not find a used fridge that I was willing to risk money on. I also checked around to see if there were home appliance consignment or outlet stores in the area. I had some luck finding certified refurbished units at the Sears Outlet store, but then when I compared delivery prices (because this lady is not willing to ask friends for help moving fridge!) I determined it was less expensive to buy a new unit from Sears proper.
The other frugally questionable thing I did was hiring movers. I know I could have rented a van and thrown some pizza and beer at a couple of friends to help, but that would have taken so much time and energy. I also accept that I’m not a professional mover. There’s a reason I had to replace a bunch of stuff the other six times I packed up and moved! I went with a company I’ve used two other times because their rates are clear and their estimate process is entirely online so I never have to wait around for some creeper to come look through my stuff give me an inflated cost for moving it.
I guess it goes to show that obsessive comparison shopping doesn’t stop. Always. Be. Comparing. Amirite?
Note: this post isn’t sponsored by any of the companies mentioned.