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Moving is a notoriously expensive process. Between rent, security deposits, utilities, moving expenses, furniture, etc, there’s no denying that it adds up fast. So what do you do when you’re in a bind and trying to figure out how to move out with no money? Is it even possible?
The good news is, you do have options. Let’s look at some tips for how to move out with no money.
How to Move Out With No Money: 8 Tips
Some of these tips for how to move out with no money will depend on what skills you have and what stage of life you’re in. That said, even if you’re flat broke with no marketable skills, there are things you can do to achieve your goal. Let’s dive in!
1. Line Up a Job First
This may be a little disappointing, but the first step to moving with no money…is getting money. If you’re hoping to move to a new state or location, apply for jobs before you start packing. Remote jobs can give you the flexibility to work online and move somewhere with a low cost of living. Check out these online jobs for teens and stay-at-home jobs.
If you already have a job but it doesn’t pay well enough to move out, it’s time to add some side gigs to the mix. Here are 114+ ideas!
2. Wait & Save Money (If You Can)
Not everyone has the luxury of waiting and saving money before moving out. You may be losing your current housing for any number of reasons, such as being evicted by a landlord, turning 18 and getting kicked out, or escaping a volatile home situation.
However, if your situation doesn’t fall into a category where you have to move out ASAP, consider stretching your plans a few extra months to save up a financial cushion. Multigenerational living is common around the world, so there’s no shame in staying with family a little longer if it’s possible for you and you all get along. Just use the opportunity to live frugally and stack cash!
3. Find Potential Roommates
Roommates are one of the simplest ways to slash your cost of living. The more, the better! If you have a friend group who all wants to move out, go apartment hunting together. Even if you can’t live in the swankiest place at first, it can be a fun experience when you’re young to live with a bunch of friends. Splitting the security deposit makes it cheaper too!
If you don’t personally know anyone looking for roommates or housing, check sites like Roomster and Facebook groups for housing/roommates in your area. Craigslist is another option, but it’s famous for being full of scams too, so tread carefully!
4. Move as Cheaply as You Can
Once you’ve found a job and a place to get with roommates, it’s time to think about the moving process itself and how to do it affordably. Luckily, there are plenty of places to get free moving supplies like boxes and bubble wrap! If you’re young, you might not even have a ton of stuff to move yet, which makes things simpler. And if you’re the type of person who volunteers to help other people move, chances are some will return the favor for you.
5. Furnish Your Place for Free
At first, your apartment might look pretty bare-bones, like cardboard-box tables and a mattress on the floor. However, free furniture can be easier to find than you think! People often have to pay to dispose of their old tables, chairs, couches, beds, etc, so giving them away for free actually saves them money in comparison. Look into local “Buy Nothing” groups, the Free section on Craigslist, or even the side of the road. Otherwise, thrift stores often have home furnishing sections where you can find affordable goods.
6. Join the Military or Job Corps
If you’re young, completely broke, and stuck in an area with poor career opportunities, you may feel like you have no better options than minimum wage at a gas station. That’s where the military (ages 17-39) and Job Corps (ages 16-24) come in. They offer you a quick solution to the problem of how to move out with no money, plus training for a future career. Both options provide housing, meals, basic healthcare, and other forms of support to help you get on your feet.
7. Explore Work & Travel Programs
Another attractive idea for young people is to travel and work at the same time. Sites like WWOOF and CoolWorks can connect you with opportunities around the globe that may pay a small stipend in addition to supplying room and board.
These sound fun and exciting, and in many cases they are, but it’s important to have backup plans in case things don’t go as you expect. If you’re living and working on an orchard in the middle of the countryside and the boss is a jerk or you feel exploited or uncomfortable, you should have a little money for transportation so you aren’t stuck in a place that isn’t working out. Otherwise, you’ll be right back on Google asking how to move out with no money!
8. Don’t Get Into Debt
Sometimes, when people feel stuck and are trying to figure out how to move out with no money, they turn to options like personal loans, credit cards, or borrowing from family. However, unless you’re in a dire situation, incurring debt to move out is like moving into a pit of quicksand. Interest piles up fast and you’re basically shifting the burden to your future self.
The only scenario where it could make sense to borrow money for a move is if you’re moving for a career opportunity, and you’re confident you can pay it back swiftly once the paychecks start arriving. Just be careful and don’t over-leverage yourself.
With a good work ethic and a determined attitude, you can quickly surmount the problem of how to move with no money. Get a full-time day job, a part-time weekend job, and a couple side hustles, and you’ll be in a new place in no time.
Kate is a writer and editor who runs her content and editorial businesses remotely while globetrotting as a digital nomad. So far, her laptop has accompanied her to New Zealand, Asia, and around the U.S. (mostly thanks to credit card points). Years of research and ghostwriting on personal finance led her to the FI community and co-founding DollarSanity. In addition to traveling and outdoor adventure, Kate is passionate about financial literacy, compound interest, and pristine grammar.