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 donít need to purchase additional insurance from
the rental company.
Author Information: Kimberly A. Griffiths, author of
Paycheck At A Time"
As an example, you could
expect to pay the following charges for a 400-mile move:
14' Truck, $109 + $.40 per mile after the first 476 miles
15' Truck, $429 for unlimited miles, receive a 10% discount for
reserving the truck online and another 10% for being a AAA member
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
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, donít forget Ö 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 that you will not be able to make the
payment in a timely fashion, your belongings may be confiscated! Donít
risk signing a contract with a storage company if you arenít 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 month.
When choosing a storage facility, consider the company's 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
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 the facility.
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 wonít be panicked trying to find the necessities
when your first arrive 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 donít 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 company numbers.
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 ĎFor Saleí sign in front of their home.
In addition canceling and starting new utility services, donít 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, ďYou 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.Ē The IRS has an interactive questionnaire, which determines
whether your move may be deducted on your taxes.
the IRS or your tax preparer if you have specific questions relating to
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.
About One Paycheck at a Time, Inc.
One Paycheck at a Time Inc. is the leading source for sensible debt
reduction solutions. Its products include the One Paycheck at a Time
paperback (ISBN: 1591133327), as well as an ebook format, and the eTools
program. The author of the book and president of the company, Kimberly
A. Griffiths, has been through the vicious cycle of debt herself and has
made it her personal goal to share her experience to help others. More
information can be found about the company and its products at
The content in this article is intended for educational purposes only
and it should not be interpreted as financial advice. For advice that is
specific to your circumstances, please consult your tax and financial
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