How to move when you have absolutely no money

How to move when you have absolutely no money…This is the exact statement I looked up when we first found out we had to move. We had 3 months to look for a place to live pay our monthly bills at our current residence while saving money to move into a new place. How to move when you absolutely have no money?

How to move when you have absolutely no money

How are you to move when you absolutely have no money? Some places want first last and security that could be about 3000. Then you have to factor in water, electricity and the internet. Don’t forget a rental truck if you want to do it in one swoop. It could easily be another 1000 on top of getting the green light the place is yours to move into.

How to move when you have absolutely no money

It’s a valid question. However, the answers can vary by situation. Everyone’s situation is different. Only you really know what you can afford, where the cheaper places maybe for rent in your area or the houses for sale if you are going that route.

We are going to focus more on renting a home. The only thing I can do is give you practical moving tips that may seem a little generic, but they are the truth. We are doing these exact steps right now in our situation.

Assuming you have a job or some form of money coming in

What I love to do since I love lists and charts. I calculated our bills and roughly what the paychecks would be. Knowing that Mike’s check varies from as low as 700 to as much as 1200 depending on how much work his company has. I create a budget based on the lowest amount. So if for the whole month he made 700 a week we would have 2800 dollars.

I then wrote down everything we would need for basic necessities. I mean the bare minimum. So I could see how much we could realistically save in however many months we would be moving in. I didn’t want to set ourselves up for failure if we found a house we KNOW we would NEVER be able to afford.

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Monthly income- 2800

If we lived with just the minimum amount of money he made we would we could find a place in 4 or 5 months.

I then create a budget for the really good weeks.

Monthly income- 4800

With this amount of money, we could move in 2 months. Don’t look at this number and think “Oh, you could move with that amount”. However, you also have to factor in any deposits that may be needed to turn on the electric and the water. Plus the fee for renting a moving truck. You may be eating out the first few nights because you are still unpacking everything and are tired.

If you really want it

If moving is something you really want to do then you need to sacrifice now, so you can live better later.

I also recommend moving around tax time. Get that extra money to help with the moving costs. Since I worked for 8 months of this year I am getting an income tax refund for the amount of 1-month rent at our new place. I am not spending it on anything besides paying 1 months rent. Now we are 1 month ahead.

Once you are ready to move and follow these tips to help you move.

Don’t wait till the last minute to pack.

Do not buy packing materials or boxes.

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Please whatever you do… DO NOT BUY BOXES. It may take a little bit of effort and work, but you can get boxes for free. I found shit tons of boxes on Facebook marketplace, offer-up, and craigslist. I have even gone to Walmart when I know they just got a truck in and they are stocking and asked them for their boxes right in the middle of the aisle.

In a couple of towns over from us which is a 20-minute drive, they have a recycling center for newspapers. We take a drive over there a pick up as much newspaper as we would need to pack our valuables. I have also asked friends and family to save me their newspapers when they are done with them. For packing materials, we only bought the tape. We bought 3 rolls and I have packed up 90% of my house with 1 roll.

We are using all of our blankets and sheets to cover furniture while moving to prevent scuffing. No need to pack the blankets and sheets in a box when you can easily use them to cover your big furniture. Once you are done using them just toss them in the washer.

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Packing with no money

The biggest tip I can give when moving is to pack by room. This has saved me so much time, because everything I want in my living room, bedroom, or bathroom. It is already in there. Pack up what’s in there label the box and boom it’s ready to be put in your new home.

I did two things while I was packing by room. I would declutter anything you do not want to take with you. I went through all my make up in the bathroom and got rid of things I didn’t use. I found things that Mikayla got for Christmas years ago that she never opened. I posted those things that could be worth some money to Facebook and Offerup. You might as well try and make some money while your packing.

Leave one box in each room

I also left one box in each room of things we use on a daily basis. I put it all in one spot so on moving day I can tape up the box or grab the plastic bin and toss it into my car. You will also want these things when you first move in.

After I was done packing one full room in my house I made that my moving box room. Poor Mikayla got the shitty end of the stick on this one. Since we only have her on the weekends her room became the home of box mountain.

Every box that I packed after her room was put in there, plus our stuff that we put in storage. That freed up some other money in our budget. We got a storage unit back in November and found out 2 days before Christmas we had to move. So in January we moved everything back home and freed up that 45 bucks.

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Looking for a new place

When looking for a new place remember to fall back on your budget and how much you think you can afford and if an area is cheaper than where you are living. We spent an afternoon driving around our area looking for homes for rent. Our budget was no more than 900 if we were staying in the Pasco area.

The more we thought about it though the more we realized if we could reduce our gas budget we could put that towards more rent. Mike works an hour from our home and is putting 100 miles on the car daily. We fill up on gas 2 to 3 times a week and do oil changes more frequently because of that. We decided to look in the Tampa area to use less gas and mileage. Which means fewer oil changes per year.

In reducing the gas budget from 300 to 120, filling up only once a week could add 180 to our rent budget. Making 1080 we could afford. Pushing it we decided 1200 would be our max budget for rent. Things would have been a little easier if I didn’t quit my job back in August, but once I get a job in Tampa that won’t be pushing our budget. Right now we can make it work by being frugal.

Where to look when moving?

We started looking on craigslist and Facebook marketplace. Use these with caution. There are many scammers on there posting things for rent that are not. If we found a house that we liked on Facebook or craigslist, we would look the house up on Zillow to see if it was actually for rent. 80% of the time it wasn’t. If the house was close we would just drive by to see if they had a sign.

Mike’s mother and stepfather are realtors. They told us to stay away from Zillow for renting because of the fees that come with inquiring about a house on there. We always try and look for rentals by owner. They are few and far between, but they still exist. You just have to look.

Don’t be afraid to ask for time

While Mike was working he found a home for rent down the street from his job. It was also for rent by the owner. One day he took me to the house and the lady next door happened to be the mother of the owner of the home. She ended up showing us the house and I fell in love. Mike and I did whatever we had to to make sure we got this house.

After talking with the owner and showing them all of Mike’s paycheck stubs we asked if we gave them 1800 dollars right now would you hold it for us till February 1st. She said she would speak with her husband and get back to us. Well, guys, they wanted to rent it and she really liked us so they did. They took a deposit and they gave us until 1/25 to have the rest of the money and we can move on that day.

So don’t feel bad for asking for time. If you only have a certain amount of money saved ask them. The worse thing they can say is no. Sometimes they will say yes if they see you are a good person in a shitty situation and want to rent to genuinely nice people.

Call the utility companies

Now that we have the home on lockdown it was time to find out about the deposits for the electric and water. I first called my electric company and asked how much I paid for my deposit at my current home. I have lived here for almost 4 years and couldn’t remember. They told me I paid 340 and when I am canceling they will take my last bill out of my deposit and send me a check for the remainder. SCORE!

I didn’t know what to expect from the water company because our landlord now paid for the water. However, I buckled down and called the electric and water company for our area in Tampa. I was told by the electric company for our new address the deposit would be 284 with an activation fee of 28.


My first thought okay not too bad and then he replied it will come on your first bill. I could have cried, I did not have to put a deposit down right away. The same went for the water company, a deposit for 155, and an activation fee of 30, which will come on our first bill.

Then I called Frontier for our internet to see if we could transfer from one house to another and they told us, yes and it didn’t cost anything to do so.

If that’s not a win, win, win… I don’t know what is then! Everything was falling into place.

Don’t get discouraged

Moving is not easy. It takes some time and patience. If you work hard and hustle your ass off you can make it work with not having a lot of money. I know my situation will be different from yours and this isn’t a concrete set in stone way on how to move with absolutely no money.

However, I do hope I have given you ways to come up with a plan to move when you think it is impossible when you have no money. You just have to work hard and make some sacrifices, because it’s not a permanent situation. You just need to sacrifice until you get back on your feet. I do hope everything works out for you and your moving journey.

Please let me know in the comments if you have any tips to help with how to move with absolutely no money.

Until next time, have a great day!

Our Redonkulous Life, Michele, Blogging
How to move when you have absolutely no money

42 Replies to “How to move when you have absolutely no money”

  1. Unapologeticallymeblog says: Reply

    I’ve wanted to move for quite some time but could never figure out how to get the money where it needed to be. This was very helpful.

    1. I hear ya. Its been a rough couple months making sure we have the money. Thank heaven the new landlord is working with us. Some people can just sense that people are genuinely good and just need to catch a break.

      1. Some great ideas. I’m sure these will help others that need it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Moving really can get expensive, but these are great ideas to keep it simple and affordable.

  3. Moving requires such mental effort! We live in Switzerland and it’s so expensive to move that we just stayed in place for the past 6 years even though we’re not completely happy with our place. It’s ok, but could be better.

  4. This is very helpful for people who are needing to move but don’t quite have the funds, It can be scary to go through so it is helpful to have info out there.

  5. I can imagine it is so hard to move if you have no money. The deposit, the holding deposit and the first month’s rent all at once sum up to quite a big amount. And that is without even taking in consideration the moving costs.

  6. Great tips about not buying boxes since I never would’ve thought of that. And about packing by room. I can be disorganized sometimes!

  7. These are some great tips would love to learn more! Excited for next post

  8. Such great tips! I would’ve gave thought it was possible to move in such circumstances but you made such a great point 👌🏼

  9. I’m currently in the process of moving house and it’s a lot of work. I’m already following some of your tips, such getting all the boxes for free. We started saving them months in advance though. Great tips! Thank you so much 🙂

  10. Awesome way, I never knew about Facebook marketplace having boxes. I think in the future we might use this method. Thank you for sharing it.

  11. this is really incredible and definitely gives hope to us people with not a lot of money!!

  12. This post speaks to me. This year, I am leaving on a budget as I want to learn how to save and reduce my unnecessary spending.

  13. Omg I wish I read this is September when I moved. I agree no one should ever buy boxes no matter how much money they have. This is so informative and I’ll recommend all my friends who are moving read this!

  14. very detailed post. I love that you gave real examples and showed the actual cost of moving.

  15. Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for your provided information.

  16. Neil Alvin Nicerio says: Reply

    Wow! I don’t think it’s a good idea to move when you don’t have money. Hahaha

  17. Though it is pretty tough to move without money, but this post will surely help you to move to the right direction. Really an amazing post and also inspiring…

  18. Moving expenses are not a big problem as I can find free boxes and can move by myself. But the startup costs here in Japan is expensive with key money and deposits.

  19. Great tips. I haven’t had to move in over 12 years. But the last time we moved we were struggling financially. It was scary for sure.

  20. These are great tips. The last time we moved, my husband’s employers paid for it so we didn’t have to think about it. If we move again, that wouldn’t be the case so this is important. Thanks!

  21. It’s true – it’s much cheaper to rent when not listed with a Realtor. The fees are usually 1 month of rent! When you’re on a tight budget that’s hard. It also helps to ask around and even post of FB to see if anyone has a rental.

  22. Moving can be really expensive, but these are great ideas to make it simple and affordable.

  23. I am planning a cross country move later this year, and I have been wondering who to save money during the move. These are great tips that I will have to use going forward.

  24. Great tips! I find the biggest issue for me is having dual rents… Here where I live it is very difficult to find flats, and often it happens, one needs to pay for the deposit and new flat rent, while still having deposit in the previous flat contract and living in previous flat…
    Quite bug expenses, and some planning needed to arrange everything.
    Would love to have your tips and tricks when I was moving – well now they will be out to use when I move next time.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  25. Awesome post! Thankfully my love and I moved and were able to save up enough ourselves for our First House! Going on 2 years here now. You had some great tips

  26. Neil Alvin Nicerio says: Reply

    Great tips. I will surely keep these in mind.

  27. Greta information. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my family will be moving by the end of the year so I’ll have to keep this in mind for sure.

  28. Oh my, these are amazing tips. I remember moving my clinic and it hurt me so much, financially.

  29. Moving with no money has felt impossible to me before. I use to wrap up all of my breakable in towels because i coudn’t afford packing stuff. and now a days with FB marketplace, i find a lot of my moving stuff for free which is even better. good post!

  30. Oh, man moving sucks lol. Very resourceful list. Hopefully, we are in our place for the long haul, and I won’t have to consider your tips anytime soon. Good stuff, though!

  31. These are some really practical tips on how to move with minimal amount of money. I would add that once I was a driver for a ride share company and a couple used my car to move. I wasn’t happy but I figured they had little to no money.

  32. Amelia Pollock says: Reply

    This is definitely very helpful information for those who are really left with no money. Great tips!!

  33. These are all great affordable moving tips. I never bought boxes in my life to move.

  34. Moving is exhausted. I’m still in the process myself

  35. Great tips, when moving I stuck up on packaging from our supermarket (bean) for free

  36. These are some really great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  37. Excellent stuff Michele

    One of the best blogs I have gone through. By the way it took me a little time to find the comments box 😀

    1. Thank you for the comment. I am sorry you had a little trouble finding the comment section. I will look into changing that.

  38. Awesome post! I was just wondering if you should add paying taxes to your list? I am Canadian so I know it’s different but our minimum is around 20% tax! So happy you guys got to move though!!

    1. Wow, Dom, 20%?? I know in Florida our sales taxes are 7%. If that is what you are talking about.

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