5 Ways to Save Money During Your Next Move

Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 1:00 AM | Leave Comment

Cardboard boxes, packing materials, a van or trailer—moving expenses can add up quickly. Whether you’re relocating down the street or across the country, here are five ways you can save money during your next move.

Meathead Movers company

Image Source: Meathead Movers

  1. Time it Right

    If you are planning to get help from a moving company, choose the date carefully. Timing your move so that it happens while the demand is low will decrease the cost. Do your best to avoid these high-demand times:

    • Summer: June and July are the most common time for moving, due to the amount of seasonal transfers—students getting out of school housing, for example. Avoid relocating during these early summer months at all costs.

    • Weekends: Prices jump up on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. If you can hire a truck during the middle of the week, do so.

    • The beginning and end of the month: Because many people wait for a paycheck to tide them over, more moves happen at the very beginning and very end of each month. Save your paychecks so that you can take advantage of the mid-month lull.

  2. Shop Around

    If you have a neighbor with a trailer you can borrow who might take some home-cooked food and yard work as payment, take them up on it. Even if you’re not fortunate to have a generous neighbor with a spare trailer, you can still move without paying an arm and a leg for transportation.

    Most moving company websites have an estimate calculator based on the date, the distance you’ll be traveling, and the kind of equipment you want to rent. Use these free estimates to find an option that fits your budget.

    Remember that estimates may increase the closer the moving date gets, so book a company as early as possible.

  3. Move Smart

    When you’re moving long-distance, it’s in your best interest to think outside the box. Use these tricks to cut down your expenses:

    • Ship books through the post office. If you’re going to need extra shipping space to accommodate your library, don’t hire a second truck. The post office has a special rate for shipping books and magazines. They won’t get to your new house very quickly, but getting them there will cost less than hiring more equipment.

    • Use storage pods. Storage units are a great way to store your belongings you can’t afford to move immediately. You can also use pods for shipping unwieldy or oddly-shaped items. Many companies offer lower rates for shipping a pod than a truck load.

    • Have a moving sale. Sell any items that haven’t been used since you got to your current house, clothes your family has outgrown, and furniture that you’ve had in storage and never missed. Many movers factor weight into their price, so the more you can get rid of, the lower your bill will be.

  4. Get Creative

    Paying for boxes and shipping materials can get expensive quickly. Instead of buying new rolls of bubble wrap, use linens or newspaper as packing material or buy used shipping materials. You will be able to find cheaper packing materials from alternative suppliers rather than through a moving company. Check these sources for boxes and packing materials:

    • Craigslist and the classifieds: Many people who have just moved are looking to get rid of packing materials. You may even be able to find your packing materials for free.

    • Shipping companies: Postal shipping companies often sell boxes in bulk. Ask about boxes that are slightly damaged—these you may be able to get for free.

    • Office supply stores: You can get industrial-size rolls of butcher paper and newsprint at an office supply store for a fraction of the price that a mover would charge.

  5. Record Your Expenses

    Keep track of all your expenses—hold on to written agreements with the moving company, receipts, and invoices. You may be able to deduct these expenses from your federal income taxes. In order to qualify, your move will have to meet the criteria in the Internal Revenue Service’s Publication 521.

    Even if this relocation doesn’t qualify for tax deduction, keep your records. After you’re settled in, review your expenses to look for ways you can reduce costs for any future moves.

Use these tips and plan ahead to get more bang for your buck during your next move.

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