Summer isn’t all fun and games: It’s also a time when many of us move, an experience most people find painful — often in the lower back — and definitely in the wallet.
We talked to some savings and relocation experts and they came up with 10 ways moving can be a little less painful to the wallet:
1. Pull your friends and family together.
Assess whether you really need a moving company. You might do quite well asking your friends and family to help you move, particularly if someone you know has a truck. Sami Cone, a savings pro, says getting people together might be easier than you think. “Just make sure to show plenty of gratitude during and afterwards and free pizza doesn’t hurt either,” says Cone.
2. Seek free boxes.
Those professional moving boxes look nice, but they can add up quickly. You would be surprised at how many boxes stores, particularly liquor stores, throw out each week. Many times, managers of these stores are happy to hold them for you. Cone says that restaurants and coffee shops are also prime places for sturdy boxes.
3. Start over.
Depending on where you’re moving, you might be ahead of the game by packing only things that you can take in your vehicle and selling the rest. Bonnie Russell with Personal Public Relations says that when her father retired from Oregon to a village for members of the Air Force in California, he gave heirlooms to his family, sold the rest, and purchased only what he needed — some of it used — for his new, smaller digs.
4. Shop around for movers and deals.
Sometimes there is no getting around movers. If you have to hire them, look around at the local newspaper and daily deals sites, says Cone. You may even find some deals on moving trucks and storage facilities.
5. Tip well.
Aimee Elizabeth, author of “Poverty Sucks! How to Become a Self-Made Millionaire,” says that she loves to move and has come up with a sure-fire way to make the movers move faster while saving money. Elizabeth calculates their hourly rate vs. the cost of an incentive for them to finish early. She then tells the movers that if they have the move completed by 2 p.m., for example, she will tip each of them $20.
6. Eat at home.
One of the biggest expenses for some families is eating out after all of the kitchen stuff is packed up and possibly on a truck to your next home. “Make some meals in advance,” says Cone, “so after you pack your kitchen, you can just pull meals out of the freezer to eat right before you move, thus saving money on eating out.”
7. Don’t overlap residences.
“Don’t overlap residences more than a month, so you don’t have to carry two house payments,” says Cone. Same goes for rentals. If you found that perfect next home and your lease isn’t quite up on your current rental, ask the landlord if he will accept a deposit to hold it rather than having to put up a month’s rent. You would be surprised how many will hold it a month for you, especially if your credit is good and you appear to be the perfect tenant.
8. Do some packing yourself.
If you are using movers, ask if you can save on their estimate by packing and doing at least some of the work yourself. Cone says you would be surprised at how much you can save if all they have to do is send two people out to pick up boxes already packed.
9. Look for tax deductions.
Tony Aguilar, founder of Amiti Advising, notes that if your move qualifies for tax deductions (talk with your tax accountant), make sure you keep all of the necessary receipts.
10. Retrieve utility and other deposits.
It may have been years since you last saw the money you put down as deposits on a rental home or apartment or utilities, but the money should still be there. Howard Dvorkin, author of Credit Hell: How to Dig out of Debt, says many people forget these, as well as pet deposits. Make sure to leave all of the property you’re leaving behind in good working order and clean and you will get that money back.