9 Simple Ways to Cut Moving Costs
1. Timing is Everything
If at all possible, avoid moving during peak times to save extra expense. As a general rule, the end of the month is busier for movers, because of the expiration of leases and preferred closing dates.
It’s also recommended that you avoid scheduling your move during the summer months – May to mid-September – when families with children out of school are most likely to move.
2. Book Travel in Advance
Making travel plans ahead of time can save money. Use travel discounts like AAA to save on hotel rooms and be sure to take the toll-free number of the hotel with you; it saves money if you need to call while in route.
3. Eat Creatively
Avoid grocery shopping and eating out. Be creative at mealtime with what you have in your freezer and refrigerator. Begin using up the frozen foods and other perishable items you have in your kitchen. Frozen foods cannot be moved, and canned goods just add to the weight of your shipment and increase costs.
4. Collect Your Deposits
Whether it is an apartment or utility deposit, it’s easier to get your money back before you move. If you paid a pet deposit, look into that too. Don’t forget about items you might have in layaway or items that are being cleaned, stored or repaired. And stop by your workout facility, club or bowling alley to make sure you’ve emptied your locker.
5. Get Your Dues
Check with clubs and organizations to see if you can sell your membership, get a partial refund, or transfer your membership to your new location.
6. Contact the IRS
Don’t forget to notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about your change of address. Each year, the post office is unable to deliver thousands of tax refund checks! One of the main reasons stated is that people don’t inform the IRS of their new residence. A change of address form (Form No. 8822) is available on their Web site (www.irs.gov).
7. Pack Yourself
Save money on your moving expenses by doing the packing and unpacking yourself. Plan on a good six weeks to pack and get ready for a move. Ask your moving company for information on do-it-yourself packing to protect your belongings.
8. Cash in on Your Move
The weight of your shipment impacts the cost—solighten your load. Consider getting rid of items you no longer need and raise some quick cash in the meantime.
- Garage sales – If you don’t have a lot of items to sell, consider a joint sale with one or more neighbors. The greater the assortment of items you have to offer, the more potential customers you’ll attract and the more successful the sale will be.
- Flea markets – For a nominal fee, local flea markets are a great means for selling second-hand items. Because most markets are advertised, professional second-hand bargain hunters usually attend.
- Online auctions – The Internet gives you the opportunity to showcase your items for sale to the world, not just your own neighborhood. Take extra time to properly describe your item and include a good quality photo to increase your chances of selling.
- Secondhand stores – Sometimes selling items to a consignment shop can bring in more money than selling them at a garage sale – and it is less work for you.
- Charity – If you donate your items to charity, remember to ask for a receipt so you can document it on your income tax return.
9. Find Free Offers
Be on the lookout for coupons, discounts and free offers from local businesses once you are settled. Don’t automatically toss out what looks like junk mail during this time because you may be throwing away free money! Take advantage of savings.