Moving is almost always expensive, stressful, and time-consuming, but it is more often than not, a necessary evil. Whether it is time for an upgrade, a downsize, or a new opportunity, moving may be the only viable choice, regardless of cost. The good news is that there are a variety of options to obtain financial aid to assist in the moving process. If one of the following scenarios applies to you, be sure to do your research and take advantage of the benefit completely, to minimize your own out-of-pocket expense.
New Job or Promotion
If you are in high demand and needed in a different state for your current company or recruited and selected by a new company, many employers will offer a RELO, or relocation, package which will dictate a moving allowance. This package will help pay for movers, security deposits, utilities, and sometimes even hotel stays needed during the move. Depending on the company, this may be a lump sum that will be entrusted to you to use as you may need (backed by receipts and invoices of course), or it may be set-up as a reimbursement program. If it is the latter option, you will still be responsible for coming out of pocket for all of the initial expenses, but upon submitting a claim form, along with proper documentation, you will be reimbursed up to a certain limit as dictated by your company. Many companies offer attractive RELO packages to entice prospective job seekers, but remember to do your own research prior to accepting based on this incentive alone. If the location you will be moved to is much more expensive than where you currently reside, your salary may not allow you to live comfortably, and would therefore negate the initial RELO appeal.
If you are unlucky enough to lose a home to natural disaster, you may be able to receive financial assistance from the Federal Relocation Assistance Program. This benefit only applies to homeowners and comes in the form of a grant which will help with moving expenses and deposits for a home similar to the one from which they were displaced. To qualify for financial assistance as a renter, you must be homeless or in danger of becoming homeless, in which case, you can appeal to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program.
Finally, if neither of the previous scenarios apply to you, other ways of raising moving expenses are out there. One of the most popular and lucrative options is simply selling your own unwanted items. Not only does it help lighten your load during the actual move, but it can put some quick cash in your pocket to help offset moving costs. An old-fashioned garage or yard sale can do the trick, but it may be in your best interest to take advantage of some online channels, such as eBay or craigslist to sell some more collectible or high-dollar items.