5 Tips for Moving on a Low Budget to Another Country

Posted Moving Tips and Tricks / June 22, 2018
Michael Vaughan

Moving through the Bay Area, Michael works as a freelance writer in the moving and transportation industry.

When you find a good recipe for moving on a low budget, keep it in a fireproof home safe, with all your valuables, because no relocation process is an exciting ordeal when you have no money to carry it through successfully. Believe us. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of the transition questioning your relocation dream.

#1 Prepare for Packing Well in Advance and Simplify Your Move

No matter how many times you’ve moved abroad already, there’s always something new to think about to make it more efficient. Especially now, when traveling during Covid-19. Having a good plan every step of the way will make it much easier to stay on track without losing your mind. The only thing you’re going to need is a relocating abroad checklist with a detailed schedule of money-saving tasks.

Get Rid of Unnecessary Items

Sure, we know how challenging moving internationally can be, particularly when you’re relocating with kids. Thinking about what to pack over and over, from the needed documents to their favorite toys, doesn’t leave you much space to think about other things. However, one simple task could affect your finances drastically and make it all easier for you.

By downsizing your home and limiting your cargo, you are changing the size of the move and saving some big bucks, but you’re also setting yourself free from redundant things in your life. There’s wise advice coming from relocation experts saying that you should ditch all that stuff that has not been used in over a year.

Moving on a Budget: Donate and Sell the Stuff That’s in Good Condition

When moving on a very low budget, earning some extra money will do you good. Identify all the items that do not bring any value to your life anymore but are still usable. Pay special attention to bulky stuff, such as furniture pieces, that could weigh you down. Divide all those household items that you wouldn’t mind forgetting and leaving behind—or buying again once you are settled in your new place.

With a casual yard sale or you’ll probably manage to get rid of them all. Keep in mind that selling some of the best pieces online is always an option. Listing them on eBay will do the trick.

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Find Free Packing Supplies

When relocating to another country, packing supplies sometimes become some of the major relocation expenses. Believe it or not, purchasing dozens of different-size cardboard boxes, special packs for more delicate items, tons of bubbles, paper, and high-quality tape is not the only way to pack safely. There are many ways to find all of these for free, or at least for a minimal fee. OK, sure, getting a bit more creative than usual might also be something you’ll have to tackle, but it will be fun, and it will be worth it.

Do not forget all your neighbors and friends who might have moved recently because they usually have lots of boxes and stuff left – and no idea what to do with them. Furthermore, check around your neighborhood. You’ll be surprised what you can get without spending a dime. Liquor stores, supermarkets, bookstores, and office supply stores have storage spaces full of quality boxes waiting to be thrown out.

Alternatively, you can use all sorts of old things you find in your home, from old towels, sheets, clothes, and pillows to blankets for larger items that have to be protected.

To learn more about where to find free cardboard boxes, check out the video below.

#2 Don’t Even Start the Relocation Process Without Planning a Moving Budget

When relocating across the world, one of the most vital things is to have a clear financial picture before you embark on the relocation process, at least if you want to deal with it successfully. Deciding to go with the flow – without pre-move calculations and an approximate figure you need to pull through – could only lead to stretching your finances so much that you’re left penniless in the middle of the process. And that’s certainly not something that would reduce the already enormous relocating stress.

Understanding the upcoming expenses better will not only help you personalize your budget but also learn how much you’ll have to set aside to cover the moving services needed, cut these down, and earn some money along the way. A proper strategy will give you peace of mind and a sense of control, even though you are dealing with one of the most intimidating life events.

Eliminate All Unnecessary Expenses

Now that you know what the figure you are going to need to achieve one of the highest financial goals you’ve ever set is, well, it’s a perfect moment to change some of your bad spending habits. Although it’s not possible to save some big bucks in such a short time, cutting down on unnecessary expenses will undoubtedly boost your budget and enable you to reach your goals more quickly.

By dividing your daily expenditures into categories, you can quickly figure out how and where to reduce your spendings. You regularly pay certain expenses, from month to month, such as your rent, mortgage, insurance, etc. Although these are known as fixed expenses, they could be easily changed by finding a roommate or a smaller place.

The rest of the expenditures are based on your habits and needs only and are considered variable and nonessential. With some modest lifestyle adjustments, making your saving goals a reality will be a piece of cake.

Here’s a spending habits calculator you can use as a guide and an easy way to itemize your living expenses.

#3 Compare the Costs of a DIY Move vs. Professional Services

Although it’s almost impossible to lift the burden of so many things going on at once, it’s perfectly normal to try to relieve some of it. Being worried about questions concerning adjusting to a new country and figuring out how to keep in touch with friends doesn’t leave you with much time to think about other important aspects of the move, which could make this journey more enjoyable. So doing everything by yourself has its toll, right? Maybe it would help to reconsider the cost you are paying – nerves and energy – just so you can save up some money.

Looking for reputable overseas moving companies would certainly save you a lot of headaches. Not to mention that hiring these services doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose a small fortune. On the contrary, many affordable companies near you could provide you with all the assistance needed for the move to go without a hitch. Whether it’s about shipping a car overseas or something else entirely, all you have to do is be efficient and choose wisely.

Do the Packing on Your Own When Moving on a Low Budget – Hire Movers Only for the Basic Services

Yes, we’re all aware that packing can be nerve-wracking, especially when it comes to packing fragile things, but if you’re on a budgeting mission, then you have to stick to the things you’re capable of doing on your own. Hiring packing services would be a big luxury, leaving you with a much lower amount of money to work with.

So here’s the deal: have experienced movers help you with all the tasks you can’t possibly do yourself. As for the others, being extra patient and super careful when wrapping and packing your belongings will keep you on the safe side. So be brave and dive right into the pile awaiting.

Ask Friends and Family for Help

You already know that going abroad alone does not have to mean boxing up your home all alone. Family and close friends surround you, and this is the perfect moment to remind you to reach out to them. Just make sure you organize the tasks for them in advance. Trust our word, the last thing you need right now is to deal with your dad’s back spasm caused by heavy lifting or valuable items damaged because your little cousins didn’t wrap them properly.

And remember, it is not a sin to have some fun, although you may not feel like it. These are your last few days with the people you love, and a memory of having a good time with them will be even more precious once you finally settle in.

#4 Find Free Storage Space

When transitioning to a new home from one country to another, many unplanned situations pop up, particularly when you find yourself “between houses”. Since time is of crucial importance here, having a storage space nearby saves your day. For free, as it happens. When choosing an international moving company, top-rated ones will offer you their storage services for free for a whole month.

#5 Be Strategic When It Comes to the Relocation Date

Whatever your reasons to move are, whether you are relocating to another country for love or you are just curious about how to get a job in Europe as an American, choosing the relocation date wisely should be a top priority on your relocation checklist. The reason behind this is pretty simple – relocating between October and April is a smart move because winter months are always 30-40% cheaper than summer ones, when it’s the busiest time of the season.

Also, thinking strategically, be wise to think about more specific determinants, such as choosing any other day rather than the weekend, or any day and week other than the first and the last of the month, because they will cost you way more.

Moving on a Low Budget Doesn’t Have to Be Mission Impossible When You Know How to Do It

Maybe you decided to buy your dream home in Barcelona, so you are planning on relocating to Spain sometime soon. Or you were always curious about the cost of living in Canada and what living in Toronto is like. Or maybe you suddenly figured it all out and decided to relocate to South Korea or some other Asian country you’ve always wanted to live in. Wherever you choose to set foot, learning to save money doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. By following our tips, you’ll be able to create the best possible relocation experience.

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