General Question

mcbolden's avatar

How do I move to another state, on a budget?

Asked by mcbolden (264 points ) April 29th, 2012

I’m moving to New York state for graduate school this upcoming fall and have never moved anywhere on my own before. I’ve been looking at moving company quotes and it costs so much money! It literally depresses me to think of moving because there is so much to do. I don’t have a car either. Any advice on how to go about it on a budget?

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14 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

Do you have a place to live yet? How much stuff will you be moving? How far are you moving?

marinelife's avatar

You could consider a one-way rental where you pack and drive a rental truck. That would save some moving expenses.

You could also reduce your personal belongings to almost nothing by craigslist sales and a garage sale. Then you can take you time buying new stuff.

For those things that you must have, boxes of personal memorabilia, books or what have you, look into shipping your boxes by rail.

mcbolden's avatar

@bkcunningham: I am moving from Arkansas. It’s quite the drive up that way. I do not have a place to live yet. I was thinking of maybe flying there, shipping the bare necessities, and apartment searching for one week and hoping for the best. Hotels are freakin’ expensive. I really don’t have much. I’m moving from a dorm room. The biggest thing I have is a futon.

mcbolden's avatar

@marinelife: I like that idea of shipping some things by rail. I did look on a greyhound website and it was less expensive to send some items, I think.

JLeslie's avatar

You can box clothing up and mail through the post office, along with bed linens. And other basics you might have. I would sell the futon. Buying a new one or a day bed is probably the same price as movng the futon.

Are you going to fly there? You say you don’t have a car, but then you mention how far it is.

Are you going to be living in a dorm?

mcbolden's avatar

@JLeslie: I don’t know if I will for sure fly there yet, but that is definitely looking like the best option so far. I have no idea what I will do at this point. I would really prefer not to live in a dorm, as I will be a grad student.However, that may be a better option if at all possible b/c I would rather not fly there to apartment hunt and then fly back here and then fly back again to move-in.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It seems like the first step is to find a place to live. If you can find a furnished housing facility that fits your budget, it will save on the cost of moving some personal items. Could these items be stored in a low or no cost place in Arkansas? Check into the cost of train transportation. It might be a cheaper way to go for both you and your belongings.

There are other factors to consider when moving to a new place. Rental insurance is one. Health insurance may be another if you are not covered by a guardian. The cost-of-living changes by state can be a shocker, especially when it comes to utilities. Clothing could be another. The climate in New York is different than Arkansas.

JLeslie's avatar

@mcbolden Do they have a grad dorm? I would consider it for at least a semester. My university had a grad dorm, it was convenient to the downtown area of the town the campus was in. I think they were all singles, so they had their own rooms? There were also university apartments, but I think they were mostly married couples, not sure. The advantage of the dorm was not having to cook, and out campus life was really great where I went to school. About 70% of students lived on campus, so it really depends on the university. Have you been to visit the campus?

Arkansas is crazy long by train to NY, even western NY. I am not sure what part of NY you are going to? Driving/bus is really far also, if you can fly I would. If your near Little Rock, Southwest usually has very good fares. If you live on campus I would think it most likely to be the most convenient without a car? But, of course it really depends on the campus.

jerv's avatar

My wife and I moved from NH to WA with nothing more than what a carry-on and one piece of checked luggage could hold on a flight we bought tickets for many months in advance, and we had a friend on teh other end who had a 2-bedroom apartment and nobody to split rent with. Our move cost us pretty much just the airfare.

Futons are cheaper to replace than to ship, and there are many other things that fall into the same category. Granted, we had a few boxes of things that we dropped at my parent’s place to be shipped a little at a time, but you have to leave the big stuff behind unless you want to pay more than it may be worth to ship.

BTW, @Pied_Pfeffer raises a valid point about cost of living. What are you used to for rent? From what I see, you are coming from a place where housing can be had for about ⅔ what it costs here in Seattle or back in NH, and the other costs are likewise less. Plan on everything costing noticeably more than you are used to ;)

MollyMcGuire's avatar

I suggest that you sell what you can—start NOW. Find an extended stay place that you can rent by the month in the area you want to live. Let the innkeeper know you are going to ship some things to yourself so they will be expecting UPS/Fedex deliveries for you. Ship the stuff the day before you fly to NY. (Or have a friend do it later if possible) Where are you transferring to? They might be able to help you find a place; the Universities with which I have been associated have apartment lists they provide to students—not as a recommendation but just as information. Good luck to you. I think Fayetteville is pretty cool, myself.:)

bewailknot's avatar

I would only take essentials – no furniture. Another thing you have to remember about moving companies – some are not terribly on the up and up, sometimes the final cost is more than the original estimate, and they hold your possessions hostage until you pay. Students are expected to be struggling and have crappy furniture, I got some of my favorite pieces left in the alley for garbage pickup.

tranquilsea's avatar

We had a good friend of ours move across the country. He mailed all his things and sold anything that couldn’t be mailed.

From the sounds of your situation you should do the same thing.

bkcunningham's avatar

Have you checked out the school’s website for housing suggestions? Most have a link with information. You can rent a car for as little as $87 dollars a week. I’d grab a couple of friends to share the expenses and take a two week roadtrip up to the campus to look at the housing I found online.

I’d bring my clothes, personal belongings and sale the futon. I’d stay in New York and let the friends take the rental car back to Arkansas.

I found this. Let me know what you think.

http://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/19963-housing-and-grad-school/

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