Taking a step in the right direction with your career is always exciting, but financial worries can put a dampener on the whole situation. Relocating to a new city for a brand new role can be a costly business, but it’s certainly possible to make the move on a tight budget.

Discover how to keep your initial moving costs down by taking a look at our handy relocation tips. From clever planning to price-busting tricks, our guide will help you to manage your move and keep on top of your finances.

Calculate initial moving costs

Moving costs can build up quickly and problems may arise if unexpected expenses keep cropping up. Planning ahead is absolutely vital and it’s important to take some time to consider every potential cost you may encounter during the big move.

Create a defined budget by making a list of everything you will need to relocate. Assign a price to each item on the list and separate it into two categories: the absolute essentials and things you can do without until a later date. For example, the move won’t be able to continue if you’re unable to pay rent upfront, but it’s possible to wait until your next pay cheque to buy curtains or a new sofa. It may not be an ideal scenario, but it will help you to successfully settle into your new home without creating major debts.

What you can and can’t afford will depend on your own financial circumstances, but here are a handful of the most vital relocation costs everyone will have to consider:

  • A moving van or fuel for your car
  • Food to last until pay day
  • Transport costs to and from work
  • When renting, a deposit and usually at least one month’s rent upfront and
    agent fees.
  • Money to pay existing direct debits, bills or credit card debts

Knowing how much money you have available and what it needs to cover will place you in a great position for your move. With a checklist on hand, you can take control and stick to your budget knowing nothing important has been forgotten.

Pack wisely

Whether you plan on using your own vehicle to transport your possessions or require a moving van to help you with the move, packing wisely can save you both time and money. Moving is the perfect excuse to declutter, so sell or donate any unwanted or unused items instead of bringing them with you. If you choose to sell, you can add the additional money onto your moving budget.

There’s no need to set aside cash for packing materials either. If you have time, start collecting cardboard boxes and buy storage boxes second hand. Ask family and friends if they have any spare moving equipment and check with supermarkets too, some will be happy for you to take them off their hands.

Recycle bubble wrap and give towels, sheets and other soft furnishings a new purpose by using them as padding. Newspapers also work well to protect delicate items you don’t want to break or scratch during transportation.

Buy household items second-hand

Depending on your current accommodation, you may need to purchase items you’ve never had to buy before. If you’re moving from a furnished to an unfurnished apartment, living essentials such as a bed, fridge and washing machine will need to be added to your initial budget. Similarly, if you already own furniture don’t forget to check the dimensions. You may need to downsize if your sofa or freezer will not fit into your new place.

Items like this can really increase the cost of your move, but there are many ways to keep costs as low as possible. Shopping second-hand is the best way to cut prices in half, so asked loved ones if they have any spare furniture and visit second-hand shops in person or online. Websites such as Gumtree and Freecycle are great places to start looking for discounted, or even free, furniture and appliances. You can even sell your own unwanted goods on here too and add money made from sales onto your moving budget.

If you do plan to buy from websites like Gumtree, remember to look for items in your new city instead of your current home. This way, you can collect your purchase at your new location, freeing up vital space in your car or moving van.

Check if your new company offers a relocation package

Some employers may offer to fund all, or part of, your move. Relocation incentives are likely to be mentioned prior to you accepting the role or within your contract, so it’s important to ask about this in advance. If nothing has been mentioned, there’s no harm in politely asking if relocation help is available.

Companies may offer to cover the entire cost of your move or pay for particular expenses such as a moving van and packing materials. Alternatively, your employer may provide a fixed sum towards your move, or offer to cover a percentage of your initial moving costs.

It’s also worth researching company benefits. If your new employer provides additional perks, make sure you take advantage of them. Incentives such as staff parking, a free gym membership and exclusive discounts can all be deduced from your own monthly budget and added to your moving budget. It might not be much, but each small saving adds up to make a huge difference.

Once your move is complete, you can relax and make any additional preparations required to start your new job – don’t forget to take some time to explore your new home too! To discover more money-saving tips, don’t forget to take a look at the rest of the 118 118 Money blog. We have an entire collection of helpful articles waiting to be read, each designed to help you take control of your finances.