With the average wedding costing upwards of $30,000, starting your new life together takes a lot of careful budgeting.
After you've finished paying for the flowers, reception hall, caterer, photographer and everything else related to your big day, you may not have much money left over when it comes time to move into a new home together. However, managing your move can be your first big DIY home project together, and it's one that's very doable on a budget.
Whether you're moving in together for the first time or moving up from a smaller apartment to the home where you'll start your married life, you can save money and make your move go smoothly with a few tips:
If you were both living on your own before marriage, you probably have duplicate items you won't need, such as two sets of pots and pans, dishes, glassware and furniture. You also likely received some wedding gifts that can replace old stuff. Don't take things you don't need with you to your new home. Instead, streamline by selling or donating excess stuff. Selling unneeded items can put some money in your pocket when you need it most. Or, donating goods can help you get a tax credit for charitable contributions when you file your taxes next year.
If you received gift cards for your wedding, you might be tempted to spend them right away. However, every item you buy before the move is one more thing you'll have to pack and haul. Put off using gift cards until after the move, when you can use them to help decorate or furnish your new home.
Renting a truck and doing your own packing and driving are great ways to save money on your move. If you're moving from a small apartment or condo into a larger home, you probably have less stuff, and a smaller vehicle – such as a 12- or 16-foot rental truck, according to Penske, should be big enough. Generally, moving experts recommend you plan for 150 cubic feet of space for every furnished room you'll be moving. Be sure to reserve your truck at least two weeks in advance, and ask about discounts.
You'll need multiple sizes of sturdy boxes to pack and protect your belongings for the move. Your local truck rental store will have all the packing supplies you need. Start early and pack over time so the job doesn't feel overwhelming. Label each box with the contents and the room where it will go in your new house, tape it securely and it's all ready to go onto the truck on moving day.
Moving day is a great excuse for a party! Ask friends over to help, and when the job is done treat everyone to take-out in your new home. For particularly heavy or fragile items, like an antique armoire or big sectional, it may make sense to hire professionals to help you pack and load those items.
Loading the truck well maximizes the use of the space and helps protect your belongings while they're in transit. Load the heaviest boxes and items first, placing them on the bottom of the truck. Next, load lighter items and boxes on top.