How to Save Money on a Move

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On the list of things Americans don’t want to do moving to a new home is high up, right between having a root canal and handling David Letterman’s Match.com page. According to FAS Relocation Network, the cost of moving your valuables from Allentown, Pa., to Arlington Heights, Ill., (assuming a 3-bedroom home with 1,800 square feet) can go as high as $9,300.

You can whittle that amount down, with the right mindset and by using these tips.

Book a Moving Company Way in Advance. If you wait until the last minute to book a mover and a truck, expect to pay top dollar. Movers only have so many trucks and only so much manpower. So if you book a mover at least six weeks in advance, you’ll get the best rates, and you’ll be guaranteed the truck you want and a full crew come moving day.

Book a Weekday. Moving companies don’t like paying overtime, so you can lower your costs by booking a mover during the week (and preferably during the summer months).

Bag It. Cut down on moving expenses by using industrial-strength bags (you can get a box of 100 for only $20 at Home Depot (Stock Quote: HD). Use bags for the “soft” stuff like linens, clothes, pillows, and stuffed toys). Save the boxes for the heavy-duty stuff.

Make a schedule. You don’t want the moving company stuffing your possessions into boxes, it’s a big cost upgrade. Instead, box as much as you can yourself. Commit to 30 minutes each morning before work to pack at least three boxes. Then, when moving day comes, you’ll have a huge head start and more cash in your pocket.

Pack/Drive Split. This tip is an extension of the “schedule” tip, but with even greater savings. When you really think about it, the only help you need is getting the heavy stuff on to the truck and getting the truck to your new residence. With that in mind, ask your moving company for a “pack/drive” split. That means you pack everything and have it ready to go on moving day. All the mover does is load your possessions and drive it to your new home, and unload it.

Exchange Boxes With U-Haul. Go green while saving some green with U-Haul’s “Take a Box/Leave a Box” program. Visit any U-Haul (Stock Quote: UHAL) location and take all the boxes you need, just be sure to re turn the re-usable boxes when you’re done with your move. For more information, visit their site.

Moving day is rough enough without having to dig deep into your bank account to finance the move. The key to success is preparation (along with a dash of creativity).

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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