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Moving on a budget

People relocate for a variety of reasons, but no one looks forward to the actual process of moving. Besides being time consuming and stressful, moving can be very expensive if you’re not careful. Fortunately, you can cut moving costs significantly if you remain disciplined and motivated. Here are seven ways to help keep your moving expenses reasonable.

  1. Avoid Moving in the Summer: Summer is the busy season for moving companies, so quoted prices are usually higher. People can’t always move when they want, but if you can wait until the winter months, you will enjoy lower prices and better service. If you must move during the summer, try and schedule it on a weekday.
  2. Plan in Advance: Advanced planning is one of the most effective ways to lower moving costs. Companies in the moving business are schedule driven, so prices rise as the calendar fills up. In fact, rental truck or moving company reservations should be completed at least six weeks in advance.
  3. Save on Moving Boxes and Packing Materials: Moving boxes and packing material purchased from a local moving supply store are expensive. These items serve a single short-term purpose and are typically discarded at the end of the move. Instead, visit your local supermarket or big box store, and ask if they have any spare shipping boxes. For fragile items, try using shredded newspaper instead of packing bubbles.
  4. Sell Whatever You Can: Selling all of your nonessential possessions will help raise cash to pay for the move and also reduce overall moving costs. Since movers charge by weight and distance, a lighter load will save you money. If a garage sale is impractical, considering donating your excess belongings to charity and receive a generous tax write-off.
  5. Do It Yourself: Moving companies provide a valuable service, but if you are strapped for cash, moving yourself may be a better alternative. Rental truck companies usually have very reasonable day rates, so cross-town moves are usually cost effective. Have everything packed and ready to go on moving day, and try and get as many friends as possible to help with the manual labor. Move the heaviest and bulkiest items first, and put smaller boxes in your personal vehicle to reduce truck rental costs. For long-distance moves, pack and unpack yourself so the movers are only responsible for heavy lifting and transport.
  6. Develop a Budget: A budget can help you remain cost conscious and disciplined. It also will make you balance moving priorities and costs while bolstering your resolve during negotiations. Never reveal your budget to moving companies or rental agents, but always let them know you have a budget limit.
  7. Plan Your Trip: For long distance moves, trip planning is essential. If you have friends or relatives located along your travel route, ask if you can stay with them for a night. Most will welcome a short visit, which can help reduce your lodging costs. If you have to stay in hotels, check out costs and guest ratings on reputable internet travel sites.

Stay Focused on Moving Expenses

If you are moving, there will be times you feel stressed and frustrated. However, you can eliminate one of the biggest moving-related headaches by paying close attention to your expenses so they remain reasonable and manageable.





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