Maximizing Rewards on Moving and Furnishing Expenses

To the point Maximize rewards on moving and furnishing expenses with our complete guide. Save money, earn rewards, and make wise financial choices.

With summer approaching, some of you may be facing a significant amount of moving and furnishing expenses. Here is a complete guide on maximizing the rewards and returns on those purchases. Here’s a complete guide to maximizing the rewards and returns on these purchases.

Budget your moving and furnishing expenses

Moving expenses

When planning a relocation, you should consider several typical moving expenses. These can vary depending on the distance of your move (same neighbourhood to cross-country), whether you’re hiring professional movers or doing it yourself, etc.

Here are some common moving expenses to keep in mind :

  • Moving supplies: This includes boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, packing paper, and other materials necessary to pack your belongings securely.
  • Hiring professional movers: If you decide to hire professional movers, the cost will be based on factors such as the distance of the move, the size of your home, the amount of stuff you have, and any additional services you require (e.g., packing, unpacking, furniture disassembly, storage).
  • Truck rental: If you choose to do it yourself, you might have to rent a moving truck. The cost will depend on the size of the truck, the distance travelled, and the duration of the rental.
  • Fuel costs: You’ll also need to consider the fuel price for the moving truck or your personal vehicle if you’re making multiple trips.
  • Storage: If you have to store your stuff during the move, you may incur costs for renting a storage unit.
  • Packing services: If you don’t have the time or ability to pack your belongings, you may choose to hire professional packers. This service can save you time and effort but comes with an additional cost.
  • Utility connections and deposits: You may have to pay fees for connecting or transferring utilities such as electricity, gas, water, internet, and cable services at your new residence. Some providers may also require a deposit.
  • Cleaning costs: If you’re leaving a rental property, you may need to cover the cost of cleaning to leave the apartment the way it was when you moved in. Similarly, if you’re moving into a new home that requires cleaning, you might have to bear those expenses.

Remember that these are general expenses, and the actual costs can vary based on your circumstances. It’s a good idea to create a budget and estimate these expenses to better plan your move.

Home 4095022 1920

Furnishing costs

When moving to a fresh place, you may encounter common furnishing expenses as you set up your new home. These expenses can vary based on your needs, preferences, and the condition of your new residence.

Here are some common furnishing expenses to consider:

  • Furniture: You may need to buy or replace furniture such as bed, sofa, dining tables, chairs, dressers, desks and shelves. The cost will depend on the type, quality and quantity of furniture you require.
  • Mattresses and bedding : If you’re moving into a new home, you may need to purchase a new mattress, pillows, sheets, blankets, and other essentials.
  • Kitchen appliances: If your new place doesn’t come with kitchen appliances or you wish to upgrade, you may need to purchase a refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher, and other appliances. These costs can vary significantly based on the brands and features you choose.
  • Electronics: You may have to budget for electronics like a television, sound system, computer, or other devices based on your preferences and requirements.
  • Lighting fixtures: If your new home doesn’t have adequate lighting or you want to change the fixtures for aesthetic reasons, you may need to invest in lighting fixtures such as lamps, chandeliers, or ceiling lights.
  • Window treatments: Depending on the privacy and light control you desire, you might have to buy curtains, blinds, shades, or drapes for your windows.
  • Rugs and floor coverings: If your new place has bare floors or you want to enhance the ambiance, you may need to purchase area rugs or floor coverings.
  • Storage solutions: Consider the need for storage solutions such as bookshelves, cabinets, dressers, or storage containers to organize your belongings.
  • Decor and accessories: Depending on your personal style and preferences, you may want to budget for decorative items such as artwork, mirrors, plants, vases, or other accessories to personalize your new space.
  • Home improvement and repairs: Depending on the condition of your new place, you may need to allocate funds for home improvement projects or repairs. This could include painting, fixing fixtures, or any necessary renovations.

It’s important to note that these expenses can vary significantly based on your needs and budget. Consider prioritizing your purchases based on what you need immediately versus items you can acquire over time. Additionally, you may buy new items or opt for second-hand options to help manage costs.

Keeping the Cost Down on Moving or Furnishing Costs

The most obvious way to save money on moving and furnishing expenses in your new place is to do it yourself instead of hiring professionals and purchasing what you need second-hand.

For example, we recently benefited from a buy-one-get-one-free offer for paint, which reduced our costs by half!

promotion dulux

Taking Advantage of the Right Credit Card

With your budget, you can more easily separate your moving and furnishing expenses down by categories in order to choose the right credit card to pay with.

For example, the Tangerine World Mastercard has the Home Improvement, Furniture and Gas categories where you can earn a more elevated cashback return.

With the Tangerine World Mastercard you can change your reward category each month. It takes a month for this to take effect, so it’s best to plan ahead.

Tangerine categories

Another option to get the highest return on your purchases would be to identify all the expenses that can be bought with a gift card found in grocery stores. For example, you can buy packing supplies and small appliances on Amazon. At IKEA, you can find all kinds of kitchen accessories, furniture and home decor at an affordable price.

Gift cards for these two stores, to name but a few, can be found in grocery stores. Therefore, if you use a credit card with a high multiplier in that category, like the American ExpressMD Gold Card from ScotiabankMD at IGA, you could earn up to 6% cash back on those moving and furnishing expenses.

Taking advantage of a signup bonus

If you are not keen on juggling various gift cards or credit cards during this (understandably stressful) time, you can also achieve a high return on your moving and furnishing expenses by unlocking the welcome bonus of a new credit card.

This is actually as (or even more) lucrative and simpler to manage as you can put everything on the same credit card For example, the National Bank World Elite Mastercard® card has a generous signup bonus in addition to an extended purchase warranty, which can be helpful when you are splurging for a brand-new washer and dryer!

The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card offers an attractive welcome offer, with a rare refund of its annual fee for the first year. You can use your 40,000 Scene+ points, like at IGA for example, to reduce your grocery bill!

Taking advantage of balance transfer promotions

While we encourage people to employ credit cards only as a payment method and not to finance their moving and furnishing purchases with them, balance transfer promotions can be a helpful tool.

These balance transfer promotions are often shaped the same way:

  • 0% interest for up to 10 months versus 1% transfer fee
  • 2.99% interest for 10 months with 0% transfer fee

The balance transfer period, the interest rate and the transfer fee vary from one offer to another In addition, you can benefit from these offers as a new client or receive one to activate as an existing client.

The purpose of balance transfers is to take advantage of a lower interest rate while your money is more valuable elsewhere. When used correctly, it’s an effective way to save money.

We signed up for the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card to take advantage of its generous 10% cash back bonus (up to $250); we made regular purchases and unlocked the bonus. Then, around two months later, we received a letter about a balance transfer offer at 0% interest for 10 months and with a 1% transfer fee.

In the meantime, my spouse applied for the National Bank World Mastercard® and met the spending requirements. Since that card came with excellent purchase insurance, we bought several large appliances with it.

We then seized the CIBC DividendMD Visa Infinite* Card balance transfer offer and took it under the form of a check we could deposit in the account of our choice; the balance transfer funds can pay another credit card balance directly, but for our properties management purposes, we opted for a check.

As we see here, we incurred a 1% transfer fee on the $5,000 we had available.

Balance transfer
Balance transfer

When the cheque was deposited, we paid the National Bank World Elite Mastercard bill in full, as usual, to clear the balance. The purpose of doing it that way was threefold:

  • Benefiting from 0% interest on $5,000 + 1% transfer fee ($50) while avoiding using our home equity credit line, which had a higher interest rate for 10 months.
  • Being able to invest or save $5,000 at our leisure during that same timeframe.
  • Benefit from the National Bank World Elite Mastercard® purchase insurance and extended warranty since our moving and furnishing expenses were technically paid with that card.

While 10 months is not a long-term timeframe to invest in the stock market, we often have promotional saving account bonus interest like this one:

Tangerine savings acc
Tangerine savings acc 2

Indeed, in the last 12 months, I had a 5% saving rate for 4 months offer with my CIBC Saving account and another 5% savings rate offer for 5 months with our Tangerine Savings Account that followed.

By using the balance transfer promotion, I saved $5,000 instead of paying the credit card right away and earned interest on that amount during 9 of the 10 months I took advantage of the balance transfer.

Don’t forget that we also took advantage of sign-up bonuses for the CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card and the National Bank World Elite Mastercard®.

Cibc savings acc

Having more than one saving account with different institutions is a fabulous way to benefit from promotion saving rates as they only apply for new deposits during a short timeframe.

If you have accounts with several banks, you can (almost) always benefit from increased saving rates by moving your cash around. With standard savings accounts, you are taking zero risks, which is also excellent for building up an emergency fund!

If we sum up in terms of numbers, this strategy of using CIBC’s balance transfer instead of our own money gave us the following:

Account Savings and benefits
CIBC Dividend® Visa Infinite* Card
  • + $ 250 cash back welcome bonus
  • – $ 50 balance transfer fee
  • No annual fee for the first year
National Bank World Elite Mastercard
CIBC Savings Account
  • ~$80 interest on our savings (at an annual rate of 5% on $5,000 for 4 months)
Tangerine savings account
  • ~$100 interest on our savings (at an annual rate of 5% on $5,000 for 5 months)
Mortgage line of credit
  • Avoid higher interest charges, since the current prime rate is 6.7% (as of the time of writing).

We already have Saving Accounts with several different banks and usually receive offers once or twice a year from each of them. If you don’t, you can also benefit from the additional welcome bonuses and immediately elevated saving rates by opening them!

Tangerine savings acc new

Bottom Line

Moving and furnishing expenses can quickly add up. However, if you budget correctly and buy as much as possible second-handed, you will be able to save a considerable amount.

As for purchases you must make in stores, carefully establishing a credit card strategy to maximize your returns or to take advantage of hefty welcome bonuses is an excellent way not to leave any cash or points on the table.

Going one step further, the option of credit card balance transfers can be another practical tool to save money and make money in your savings or investing account.

Whenever we use our hard-earned cash, it’s also about opportunity cost, and depending on how you can shape it, you can come out well on top!

What is the average cost of a move, and what budget should I allow?

You need to calculate the professional mover’s hourly rate, the number of people (or pairs of arms) involved and the duration of the move. This can vary between $100 and $200 per hour, depending on the time of year.

For an apartment, it can be 3-4 hours. For a complete house, the move can take a whole day (6 to 8 hours).

Are there heavy objects like a piano, grandma’s big solid wood buffet, a precious work of art or a hot tub? If so, there will be an additional charge of at least $100 or more per item. Travel and mileage costs are also to be expected if the distance to be covered is great.

Don’t forget the associated costs, such as disconnecting and reconnecting services, buying cardboard boxes, unpleasant surprises, address changes and pizza for everyone at the end of the day!

How can I deduct eligible moving expenses from my taxes?

2 conditions must be met for the provincial (CRA) and federal (Revenu Québec) governments:

  • The move was required to hold a job, practice a profession, operate a business or attend an educational institution (full-time student enrolment in a post-secondary program);
  • Move at least 40 kilometers closer to your place of study or new place of work, even if it’s seasonal.

You can choose between the detailed or simplified method for deducting moving expenses. Forms are available on various government sites to help you with your tax return.

Eligible moving expenses are :

  • Transportation and storage rental costs ;
  • Lease termination fees, if any ;
  • Costs associated with the move (cost of replacing driver’s licenses, subcriptions or unsubscribe to some utilities services, etc.)
  • Meals and vehicle expenses (used to travel between the 2 addresses) related to the move;
  • Temporary living expenses, sale of previous residence and acquisition of new residence ;
  • Other incidental expenses.
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I'm Aline, an experienced traveller, a foodie at heart, an Avgeek, a photography enthusiast and an expert on credit card programs. I use Reward Points to travel on a budget and to save money on everyday life; writing about these topics allows me to share my passion and help you. ~ 7 continents and 75 countries ~

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