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Five Impactful Ways to Reduce Your Cost of Living

Moving is a big life event that requires a lot of planning and ideally, professional help along the way. Reducing your living expenses pre-move ensures that you’ll be financially prepared and have some extra money to fall back on if your relocation costs more than anticipated. It also allows you to save so you can get the help you need from a moving company you deserve, perhaps the highest-rated long-distance moving company in America. Ahem.

If you want to save quickly, one of the best (and easiest) things that you can do is reduce your cost of living.

Make budgeting a habit

Check your bank account daily and make sure that your spending aligns with the budget you’ve created. This will allow you to see where you’ve been splurging a bit. Latte habits are hard to kick, but your wallet will thank you for making your morning coffee at home. Limit yourself if you notice that you’re overindulging in something.  You’ll also need to budget for your move, so this will help you to calculate how much you’ll need to save.

Budgeting isn’t exactly fun, but it does make you feel super adulty. If you’re not sure where to start, Mint.com offers free tools so you can set saving goals and manage your finances. The internet can be a pretty wonderful and helpful place.

Another useful budgeting resource when planning for a move is our free moving calculator. This nifty gizmo gives you a breakdown of all moving-related expenses. There are never any hidden service fees, so you’ll know exactly where each and every dollar is going.

Conserve energy to reduce your cost of living

You don’t necessarily have to purchase energy efficient products to conserve energy, though it helps.

There are some super simple ways to conserve energy in your day-to-day life. Turn off your lights and appliances when they’re not in use. If you fall asleep to the TV or the radio, set a sleep timer. When you’re brushing your teeth, turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth and back on when it’s time to rinse.

If you’re in need of some new bulbs, do opt for CFLs or LEDs, they use about 25-80% less electricity and last longer than traditional bulbs. They’re more expensive initially, but they pay for themselves with their efficiency and longevity.

The change that will have the most noticeable effect on your utility bill is adjusting your thermostat. If you’re not home during the day, adjust your thermostat accordingly.

Cool it on the takeout

It’s easy to want to throw your hands up and order pizza when you’ve got a million other things going on. Make a plan so that you’re saving money by eating in. Stock up on some essential items so you can throw a quick meal together.

In the same vein, plan your grocery trips. And DO NOT go shopping hungry or without a list. It’s a recipe for disaster, and lots of snack food. Here are some ways to save money while grocery shopping.

Cancel unnecessary subscriptions

Remember that one thing you signed up for so that you could use the free trial, but you forgot to cancel it? Yeah, do that right now. Uncheck that sneaky auto-renew option on any subscription you aren’t using regularly.

Spend thoughtfully online

If you truly need something (not a fancy cappuccino maker), you can map out purchases during annual sale periods. You can also make impulse purchases more difficult by not saving your payment information to your computer, so that you have to input it each time you make an online purchase. If it isn’t a necessity but you like really, really want it, force yourself to wait two days. You may forget about what you wanted altogether or decide that you don’t actually want it.

Another option to reduce your cost of living is moving to a state with a low cost of living.  This is a more permanent way to lower your cost of living, and possibly enhance your quality of life. If you’re yearning for your very own yard, or you’re just sick of overpaying for a teeny space with limited privacy, moving to an area that has a low cost of living could be the right choice for you.

In our blog post about states with the lowest cost of living, we compiled a list of five of the most desirable states with low costs of living. These states, on average, have lower mortgages and rents, lower gas prices, and a competitive job market.

Here are the five states with the lowest cost of living

Tennessee

Mountains? Check. Legendary nightlife? Check. Tennessee boasts natural beauty, delicious ribs, and culture.

Oklahoma

OOOOOK-lahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain! You know the song.

It may be known as a hub for agriculture, but the inexpensive state has a lot to offer. There happens to be a lot of opportunity in Oklahoma, as it has a robust startup scene.

Arkansas

Known as “the natural state,” Arkansas boasts 51 parks, well-preserved forests, and the Ozark Mountains. The state offers a nice work-play balance. With a lower cost of living, you’ll be able to play more.

Texas

Texas is growing in almost all ways, aside from its cost of living. With a median home price of $197,300 and a median income of 60,000, Texas is becoming a top choice amongst young people and families.

Utah

The state has some of the most beautiful national parks in the nation like Zion, Capitol Reef, and the north rim of the Grand Canyon. It’s also one of the best places to ski. The Daily Beast ranked Utah as the number one place to start over because of its high rates of employment and low cost of living.

Whatever state you decide to move to, Colonial Van Lines offers nationwide services for cross-country moves or moves to neighboring states. Our team has the experience and equipment to get you where you’re going.  

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