How to Move Out With No Money & Thrive (Best Strategies)

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by Erin Schollaert

Updated

Whether it’s from your parents or from a partner or roommate situation, moving out can be stressful: and can seem impossible if you don’t currently have the funds most would assume they needed for the move.

So instead of giving up on finding out how to move out with no money, this is a list of the multiple ways anyone can make it work.

Changing living situations can be huge, even when you have the money to back it, so be patient with yourself and consider some of these options for how to move without a job.

Is It Possible to Move Without Money?

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The average American moves 11 times in their life, which means that at least one of these times, they had to scramble to figure out how to proceed with no money.

Although moving can be expensive if you’re moving a whole home’s worth of items, it doesn’t have to be pricey.

By getting rid of all unnecessary things on websites to sell stuff and planning thoroughly, anyone can move without money. 

Liquidating unused clothing, electronics, and shoes are some of the best things to resell for quick cash.

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Of course, it’s a good idea to continue to seek out work and high paying second jobs while you move so that this doesn’t have to be your life forever, but it’s possible to move while broke.

Every area is different, but cities offer far more amenities and options for broke or borderline homeless people, so when you’re considering moving out, don’t try to move away from heavily populated areas.

Not only is there more work available here, but you also have easier access to showers, shelters, and cheap food and entertainment.

Living with in-laws or other family members is a tried and true option as well.

Tactics for Success

  • If you find yourself suddenly homeless, seek out a gym membership for less than $50 a month. This will give you a safe place to shower and store your items in a locker while you job and house hunt during the day.
  • Your phone is your lifeline for work, housing, and connection with loved ones: ensure this is paid off before anything else.

Tips for Moving Out

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Moving out isn’t easy, but there are some things you can do to ensure it’s easier on you than most people would assume.

Despite popular tips, you may find online, some of the most common pieces of advice are terrible ideas. These are what you should do instead.

1. Avoid Selling Your Car

Many tips websites will tell you to sell your car for a quick couple thousand dollars: but this is a huge mistake. Although a car can cost a couple hundred to keep insured and fuel, it’s worth it because this gives you multiple things.

A vehicle ensures that you always have a place to sleep if you can’t find a couch or bed that night and that you have cheap transit between long distances where you can take as much luggage as you can fit.

There are also many underutilized ways how to save money on car repairs which can help justify holding onto your vehicle as well.

Trends on the Rise

In 2020 the average selling price of used vehicles came to around $22,000. If you have a car worth this much, it’s a good idea to sell and seek out a vehicle between four to five thousand dollars that runs well and is in great shape. This will give you a nest of money you can work with, but hold onto it if your vehicle is already only worth around five thousand.

2. Give Yourself Deadlines

When you don’t have a deadline, it’s easy to avoid something and allow your stress to take over and paralyze you.

Instead, create a deadline that you have to move out by, and then work backward from that to set deadlines when you have to accomplish everything else you’re hoping to do.

Be realistic, and break it down into bite-sized pieces so that you can get yourself on the right track. Over two-thirds of plans we make in our lives, and even those that companies make, fail because of poor planning.

3. Make a Clear Line of What’s Yours

When moving out of any living situation, you must know what’s yours and what isn’t.

If you’re moving out of your parent’s home, there’s a surprising number of people who find that the furniture from their childhood room isn’t considered theirs by their parents.

Find out early on what’s yours and what isn’t. Doing so will ensure you have a clear view of what you can sell and what you need to keep with you as you move through finding a place to live.

This will also protect you from getting in hot water legally if you move out with your items and decide that it’s theft because they assumed the things were theirs.

Tactics for Success

  • Post your used items on multiple sites, including Craigslist and Facebook marketplace, to cast as wide a net as possible: avoid garage sales as they force underpricing.
  • If you’re in dispute about what items are yours, consider if there’s a common ground you can reach, like leaving the bed frame behind but being allowed to sell the dresser instead.

4. Keep On Top of All Debts For Your Credit

Although if you’re already broke, it may seem more important to keep money in your pockets than spend it paying off debt, having a good credit score is vital to ensure you’ll be able to land a great place to live eventually.

Most landlords look for a credit score above 600 but prefer something above 700 if someone with a higher score comes along.

Doing everything you can to ensure your debt is paid on time will protect you from a long struggle to gain housing.

Trends on the Rise

There’s no flat minimum credit score across the board to get an apartment or home: but you must consider building your credit score as much as possible before moving out. Pay into any debt you have, keep your current credit cards in good standing, and avoid additional debt.

Places that pay you to move there

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If you’re nervous about being able to afford a move: getting paid to move can be a tempting idea!

These states all have their reasons for finding more citizens and offer competitive offers for anyone willing to take the next step.

  • Vermont – $7,500 (burlingtonfreepress)
    • In 2018 Vermont started legislation offering $7,500 as reimbursement grants for workers who would relocate to the Green Mountain State with their current job.
  • Northwest Arkansas – $10,000 (findingnwa)
    • Northwest Arkansas seeks out remote workers, hoping to lure them into the beautiful state with a $10,000 cash incentive.
  • Shoals, Alabama – $10,000 (remoteshoals)
    • If you work remotely and can relocate to Shoals within six months of being selected: you may be chosen as someone who can be paid to move!
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma – $15,000 (tulsaremote)
    • A nonprofit called Tulsa Remote is offering $10,000 for people to move here and work remotely!
  • Topeka, Kansas – $15,000 (grow.acorns)
    • Topeka has so far paid 40 people to move into the city, offering each a payment of $15,000 to relocate!
  • West Virginia – $20,000 (wlwt)
    • Since a major population decline, West Virginia offers $20,000 to people who can relocate and make the most out of working from home in this beautiful state.

Although most of these have rules about who can be accepted by these programs, they’re great options that you could aspire to, if nothing more.

Each state listed is fighting against a population decline and is desperate to find people to fill the state back out. Today, more jobs than ever are remote-friendly, most notably all the IT jobs with travel, which makes these relocation deals even sweeter.

Where to go when you have nowhere to go?

You might feel hopeless if you have nowhere to go, and you’re not sure what to do: but don’t worry! You can make this work; just follow these tips.

Seek Out Homeless Service Providers In Your Area

Most cities and communities have homeless service providers that can give you the tools and resources to keep you off the street if it comes to that point.

They can even point you in the direction of affordable housing and available work if necessary.

Don’t Fear Couchsurfing

Many are nervous about couch surfing and hate the idea of having to go from one friends’ home to another: but it’s important to realize this isn’t the time to be proud.

Instead, ask your friends if you can spend a couple of weeks at each of their homes until you’re back on your feet.

Rotating will ensure nobody gets tired of it and fights don’t erupt and help give you new areas to job and house hunt in.

Seek Out Work for Housing Options

It’s important first to say that not everyone who offers this has good intentions, so thoroughly vet everyone as carefully as possible. Otherwise, look for live-in caretaker positions or similar ones for housekeeping.

Most cities have many of these listed on sites like Craigslist. This can give you both a job and a home if it works out.

Hostels are Far Cheaper Than Hotels

If you have to pay for temporary housing: always go for hostels or extended stay rentals instead of nightly for hotels. Hostels can be extremely cheap in comparison to hotel fees.

Wrapping Up

Although changing living situations while you’re low on funds may seem like a huge issue, it’s not as bad as many may assume.

By planning, careful budgeting of what you have, and being flexible with your options, anyone can move without a job to support them.

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About the Author

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Erin is a business teacher and mother of three. When she’s not in the classroom or fulfilling her obligations as an A+ hockey and lacrosse mom, she’s working on her latest article.