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Moving On A Budget

Moving is an expensive proposition, especially if you're bearing the entire cost yourself. With a little thought and advance planning, you can prepare yourself for the expense — and maybe even find some ways to lower the price tag.

Your Moving Budget

As soon as you know you'll be moving, it's wise to estimate your expenses. Consider these potential costs:

§                            House hunting trips

§                            Packing and crating

§                            Shipment of household goods

§                            Temporary storage

§                            Shipping of personal vehicles

§                            Travel expenses, including meals, lodging, fuel and airfare

§                            Disconnecting and connecting utilities

§                            Boarding and transportation of pets

Even if your move is just a few months away, start saving up cash in a money market mutual fund, certificate of deposit or savings account so you can take these costs in stride.

Lightening Your Load

There are many ways to shave precious dollars off the cost of your move:

§                            Shop around. Call at least three reputable moving companies for estimates. Let them know you're shopping around.

§                            Stay flexible. Movers will be more inclined to give you a discount if they've got extra capacity on the day of your move. Ask if you can get a better deal by changing your move dates.

§                            Have a yard sale. As your move approaches, look at all your possessions and ask yourself if you really want to bring them along for the ride. Selling your stuff is doubly beneficial: You'll lower shipping costs and put a little extra money in your pocket. Whatever isn't sold can be donated to charity.

§                            Do some of the work yourself. The more you pack, the less you'll have to pay someone else for the work.

§                            Get boxes at a discount. Movers like making money by selling you boxes. Look around for better values — like free ones from the grocery store or cheaper ones from do-it-yourself moving companies.

§                            Let your Uncle Sam chip in. Some moving costs are tax-deductible. Track your expenses carefully and keep all your receipts.

 

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 posted 3.21.2010

 

 

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