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Moving households, whether it is due to a job transfer or upgrading your
home, and whether moving across country or across town, is an expensive
proposition. Even when a new employer sponsors a relocation, there are hidden
or un-thought-of expenses such as tipping or registering your vehicle in
a new state. Here are six ways to reduce expenses during your next move:
1. Boxes, boxes, boxes
Asking your local grocery, drug, or liquor store for their empty boxes is
certainly one way to save money. You could easily spend $100 or more when
buying new boxes. Consider visiting an apartment complex the first weekend
of the month when new tenants are likely to move in. Tenants will be eager
to rid themselves of their unpacked boxes and you can score by taking them
off their hands. If your employer is paying for the move, be sure to save
and store your new boxes for future use.
Buy your packaging tape at a hardware store instead of a grocery store or
office supply store. It can save you up to $5 per roll! And remember to be
nice to whomever is helping you move, pack books in a few smaller boxes instead
of one big box!
2. Truck Rentals
If you are ambitious enough to move yourself, be sure to comparison shop
weeks in advance of your move to get the best prices on truck rentals.
At the time this article was written, the following online price quotes were
researched from well-known companies offering truck rentals. Be careful to
investigate how the company charges for mileage. Another hidden charge that
you may not be aware of is that of dropping off the truck in a different
city/location from where it was rented. Inquire with the truck rental store
or website if there are special promotions or discounts for being a AAA or
AARP member. Do call your insurance agent before you reserve any truck to
determine if your homeowner's insurance will cover any damage to your furniture
and if your auto insurance will cover the truck. This will save you worry
and money, if you dont need to purchase additional insurance from the
As an example, you could expect to tpay the following charges for a 400-mile
Uhaul, www.uhaul.com, 14' Truck, $109 + $.40 per mile after the first
Penske, www.penske.com, 15' Truck, $429 for unlimited miles, receive
a 10% discount for reserving the truck online and another 10% for being a
Budget, www.budget.com, 15' Truck, $452 with a $100 refundable deposit,
515 miles are free
Each of these companies does a great job of up-selling boxes, tape, hand
truck rentals, and moving quilt rentals on their websites and in their stores.
The boxes and tape can be purchased much cheaper if you plan in advance.
In this scenario, Uhaul is the clear winner, but this is NOT always the case.
Prices will vary due to availability, timing, and distances.
And, dont forget you are responsible for paying for the gas
in the truck, which can be an exorbitant cost with current gas prices. Ask
the rental company for the average mile-per-gallon of the truck when you
are reserving it to estimate this cost.
Temporarily storing your belongings may be a necessary expense. There are
a lot of options with storage facilities and you will want to weigh each
aspect carefully. For example, if you are always strapped for cash, and there
is the slightest chance thay you will not be able to make the payment in
a timely fashion, your belongings may be confiscated! Dont risk signing
a contract with a storage company if you arent confident you can make
the payments. An alternate option here is to use your credit card for the
recurring monthly costs, but ONLY if you pay off the balance in full each
When choosing a storage facility, consider the companiys reputation,
whether they have climate controlled units (if this is important to you),
and what security the company can promise. Having easy access 24 hours a
day may also be a key attribute for you depending on your circumstances.
If you are renting a truck to move your belongings, be sure to ask what
partnership pricing they have with a local storage facility. Sometimes storage
can be obtained for as little as $1 for the first month with a 2-month minimum
contract when you rent a truck at the same time. Buy a padlock for your storage
unit at your local hardware store to save spending 3-times the amount at
4. Packing Fragile Belongings
As with boxes, packing materials to protect fragile belongings can be expensive.
A cost effective and space efficient tip is to pack these breakable items
in your bathroom and kitchen towels, throw rugs, blankets, bed linens, and
even shower curtains! This is a much better alternative to newspaper, which
leaves ink residue behind. All of your linens can be washed and folded once
you have moved into your new home.
In an easily identifiable place such as a drawer of a piece of furniture,
be sure to pack a complete change of clothes for you and your family members,
toiletries, a complete set of bed linens, and toilet paper. This way, you
wont be panicked trying to find the necessities when your first apprive
at your destination.
5. Utilities and Address Changes
Remember to cancel your old utility services, start new utility services,
and change your address. You may uncover some forgotten money when canceling
services if you were required to pay a deposit when you started your service.
Be sure to end the services the day AFTER you move out. This may incur a
few dollars of extra costs, but typically these companies can not ensure
a cut off time, and you dont want to be stuck without electricity or
hot water while you are still in your place. On the same note, you may wish
to schedule set-up of your utilities at your new residence the day before
you arrive to be sure everything will be working when you arrive. Here is
a list of common utility companies to contact. The property management company
or Chamber of Commerce in the area where you are moving can give you local
Also, if you are moving into a subdivision or condominium complex that has
a private trash collecting service, you may be charged for the pick-up of
your moving boxes! This cost can be $25 or much higher, depending on the
number of boxes. Check this out before putting your boxes out at the curb.
You may want to consider donating your boxes to a new neighbor with a For
Sale sign in front of their home.
In addition canceling and starting new utility services, dont forget
to change your address with your:
U.S. Post Office (at your old location)
6. Save ALL Moving Receipts
If your move is not being paid for by an employer, the incurred expenses
may be tax deductible. According to the IRS website, www.irs.gov, "You can
deduct your allowable moving expenses if your move is closely related, both
in time and in place, to the start of work at a new or changed job location."
The IRS has an interactive questionnaire, which determines whether your move
may be deducted on your taxes.
http://www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=132125,00.html Contact the IRS
or your tax preparer if you have specific questions relating to your move.
Moving even the simplest of households can be expensive. Save yourself a
lot of stress and money by planning far in advance of your move.
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