How to Save Money to Move Within Chicago: The Best Tips

If you want to live in one of the better Chicago neighborhoods that’s more expensive than your current one, start learning how to save money to move right away. While the road to the new place won’t be an easy one, reducing some of your living and relocation expenses will allow you to set aside all the necessary resources reasonably quickly.

While you can easily cut relocation costs by covering some of the preparations yourself, you probably aren’t an expert on everything. You’ll have to pack all sorts of things, load and unload the truck, all of which are not easy to do. There’s no need to burden yourself with all the hard work, as finding an affordable moving company in Chicago is not that difficult. All you have to do is book a move early and out of season, and your relocation will become almost cheaper than DIY.

How Much Money Should You Save up Before Moving to a Better Chicago Neighborhood?

If you want to live in one of the best Chicago neighborhoods, it’s crucial to find out how much money you’ll need when relocating. Most would agree that it’s good to set aside enough resources to last you at least three months, which will cover all your potential living and relocation expenses, including:

  • Rent – This is going to be the most significant factor on your checklist, as you’ll need to secure enough resources for three months worth of rent and the security deposit.
  • Utilities – A basic utility package covering electricity, water, heating, and garbage disposal costs around $150 a month, with the price rising by between $40-$60 when including the internet.
  • Relocation expenses – You’ll need to buy supplies, organize transportation, or hire one of the local Chicago moving companies.
  • Food – It’s also necessary to prepare enough funds for food that will last you at least through the first month.
  • Transportation – Calculate how much you’ll be spending on transportation once you move.
  • Emergency fund – Setting aside about $1,000 to $2,000 will help you cover any unexpected costs that might occur in the first few months after relocating.
  • Insurance – If you haven’t already bought renters insurance, we highly recommend you do so before your next move. An average policy that costs about $185 a year offers $20,000 personal property coverage, plus an additional $100,000 liability coverage.

How Much Will You Need to Spend on Rent in One of the Better Chicago Neighborhoods?

Like other big US cities like LA and NYC, you’ll find that living in some of Chicago’s top communities can be significantly more expensive than the city overall. For example, Printers Row, the Loop, and River North all have a median rent price of over $2,000. Greektown, the best neighborhood for families, is particularly expensive, with a median rent of about $2,500 a month. To put these prices into perspective, Chicago as a whole has a median rent cost of $1,100, or roughly half the value of these neighborhoods. Fortunately, not all of the best places to live in are this expensive. Old Town and West Town cost about $1,750 and $1,650 a month, respectively, while you can find a solid place in Hyde Park for about $1,300.

Calculating your relocation budget will take a lot of time and effort

Get Your Finances in Order and Make Some Adjustments to Your Current Lifestyle

Now that you have a better picture of just how much it costs to relocate to a better Chicago neighborhood, it’s time to take a closer look at your current financial situation. Firstly, you want to be completely sure that your income can allow you to live comfortably. If you go by the 50/20/30 budgeting rule, half of your income should be enough to cover all living expenses, with the rest of your income going on savings and non-essential expenses. Rent costs shouldn’t exceed 30% of your monthly gross income, or you’ll have trouble making ends meet. In that case, you might have to make some necessary lifestyle changes and cost of living adjustments.

Tips on How to Reduce Your Overall Costs of Living

If you can’t meet all the requirements we just mentioned, it might be necessary to make some adjustments to your current living situation. While this might feel like you’ll be giving up all the things you’ve enjoyed in life, remember that you only have to do it until you’ve saved up enough to move. If you’re adamant about living in one of the better neighborhoods, you shouldn’t have a problem cutting some costs here and there. Here are some excellent tips that will allow you to do just that:

  • Keep track of what you’re spending,
  • Get out of debt,
  • Stop dining out,
  • Cancel unnecessary services and subscriptions,
  • Stop driving and switch to using public transportation,
  • Take good care of yourself and your belongings,
  • Look for discounts on everything,
  • Reduce your relocation costs.

Ask Around if Anyone Is Looking for a Roommate

While sharing a place with someone might not be ideal, finding a roommate will cut your renting costs in half, finally allowing you to get that apartment you could only dream of. If you’re keen on living in one of the better neighborhoods that are way over your budget, ask the people you know if anyone might need a roommate soon. You can also look for one on social media or post an ad on one of the roommate finder websites like SpareRoom, Diggz, and Roomies.

Although it might be awkward to move in with someone you don’t know, having someone to split the bills with will make even the best Chicago suburbs cost as little as some of the more affordable neighborhoods in the city. To be sure that you’ve picked the right person from the get-go, check out some tips on how to find the perfect roommate.

Declutter Your Home and Sell the Items You Don’t Use Often

If you’re having trouble reaching your planned relocation budget, the easiest way to earn some extra cash is to declutter your home and sell all the things you don’t need. People tend to hoard pretty much everything, so you’ll probably come across an item you rarely use as soon as you start going through the inventory. You certainly won’t miss belongings you even forgot you had, so anything that hasn’t been used in a year is fair game. The entire process will also help you deal with some of the most commonly forgotten things to pack and the items movers won’t move, so it should undoubtedly be one of the first tasks on your to-do list.

Getting Rid of Unwanted Belongings Will Also Help You Save Some Cash on Supplies

While you might not be able to sell everything, you still shouldn’t pack clothes, shoes, or any other item you’re not planning on using. If they are in good condition, see if any of your friends would be willing to take them or try donating them to one of the local charities and thrift stores. Chicago Furniture Bank, Salvation Army, and Brown Elephant accept all sorts of goods and large items, so you might want to give them a call and check if they can take your donation. Not having to pack furniture you’re planning to replace anyway will reduce the cost of the entire relocation, as you won’t have to pay for too many packing supplies. If all else fails, remember that you can always get rid of the item.

Remember to Clear Out Your Storage Before Moving

Selling some of the things you have in storage is another great way to cover most of your relocation expenses. A lot of these belongings have already been collecting dust for a while, so it’s better to get rid of them than keep them sitting there for nothing. Last but not least, clearing out some of the stuff before relocating means you won’t have to spend as much on storage fees, which could be just the thing you needed.

Try selling all the things you don’t need before moving to the new home

Find Some Free Packing Supplies in Chicago With These Excellent Tips

Once you decide what to keep and what to get rid of, you’ll know exactly which supplies to buy. However, although some materials might be cheaper than others, these costs can quickly pile up, so it’s best to try and find some packing supplies for free. Besides asking friends and family, stop by some of the local supermarkets and see if they have leftover packaging you could use. Try looking at your nearest Jewel-Osco, Whole Foods, or South Loop market, or check out if the family-owned Cermak Produce has something they are willing to give away. This is one of the best relocation hacks for saving money to move, as you can easily acquire a lot of paper and boxes for free. For other supplies and materials, we recommend you check out Freecycle, Craigslist, or some other websites that focus on exchanging goods.

Learn How to Use Home Alternatives to Pack Most of Your Items

If the search for free supplies doesn’t prove fruitful, you can still save some cash on supplies by using alternatives you have at home. While everybody knows that you can pack plates and similar fragile items with towels and clothes, did you know that you can use socks to pack glasses and other hollow objects? You can also pack books and other heavier belongings in suitcases, allowing you to transport them to the new apartment a lot more quickly. Clothes can be secured in large trash bags without being taken off of hangers or left in the closet drawers. Instead of using boxes, most smaller stuff can be stored in drawers and hollow objects, which of course, should be padded first. Last but not least, old newspapers are solid alternatives to brand new paper. Just be careful when using them, as they can leave stains that are hard to remove.

You don’t have to buy brand new boxes and paper for packing

Get Some Friends to Assist You With All the Relocation Tasks

You might be wondering, “What is the least expensive way to move?” Although there are many ways to cut relocation costs, none are as efficient as getting friends to assist you with all packing and other day-to-day tasks. Considering you won’t be officially paying them for the service they provide, throwing an exciting going away party is an excellent way to thank them for everything. However, be aware that your friends are probably not the best movers in Chicago. While it’s good to have some assistance when you’re relocating in a hurry, friends certainly won’t be able to help you move a piano. They might know how to pack a computer, but are you ready to risk it? You’ll still need to rent a truck or a trailer as well, so it’s a lot simpler to just hire one of the local moving companies in Chicago, IL.

Friends will help you pack and move boxes more quickly

Check Out How to Save Money on Moving With Professional Movers in Chicago

When it comes down to it, there’s no better way to move efficiently than with professional Chicago movers. These companies have a highly trained staff that knows how to handle all your belongings, meaning you won’t have to worry about anything getting broken or damaged during transport. While it might feel odd to hear, you can still save some cash when hiring a professional mover in Chicago, IL. First and foremost, get a quote from at least three different companies, as this will allow you to find services for a fairly reasonable price. However, if you come across an offer that just seems too good to be true, it probably is. Low-bid estimates are one of the most common relocation scams out there, so it’s best to avoid anything that’s significantly cheaper than what the other companies are offering.

When Is the Best Time to Book Movers if You Don’t Want to Spend a Lot on Relocation?

Picking the right time to move is another good way to reduce your relocation costs. For starters, you can find many more affordable moving options when relocating out of season. A vast majority of people choose to move from April to September, meaning you’ll have a hard time finding a company that’s within your budget. You’ll also want to book some services a few months in advance, as there won’t be as many offers a few weeks before the relocation. Lastly, no matter how complicated it might be, try to move on a weekday instead of the weekend, and you’ll have a much better chance of finding an affordable mover to hire.

There are several ways to reduce relocation costs while still getting professional services

Now That You Know How to Save Money to Move to a Better Neighborhood, Hire Our Local Movers in Chicago to Assist You

As you can see, saving up for relocation is not that difficult. All you have to do is cut some expenses here and there, and it won’t be long before you have all the necessary resources to get a place in one of Chicago’s better neighborhoods. However, there are still many things to do before relocating, so you’ll undoubtedly want to get a professional to assist you. This will allow you to focus your efforts on other tasks like changing your address and learning how to organize important documents, reducing much of your relocation stress as a result.

If you’re interested in getting professional residential moving services in Chicago, Legit Movers is just the company you’ve been looking for. You won’t have to worry about spending too much of your hard-earned cash just to get a high-quality service, as we have some of the most affordable movers and packers in Chicago. We also offer inexpensive commercial relocations, allowing small business owners to quickly move their company to a new location in the city. To learn how much you’ll need to get all of our services, contact our customer support and request a free quote.

Posted in: Moving Hacks

Written by: Michael Vaughan