Moving? 4 Ways to Lower Your Costs

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Here's how to save money on a move -- and pocket more for yourself.

Whether you've just bought a new home or are going from one rental to another, moving can be a hassle. It can also be very expensive. If you have a move in your future, here's how to minimize your costs.

1. Downsize your belongings

The more stuff you have, the more you'll be charged to transport it all. So if you have furniture or other belongings you're not convinced you want to keep, don't have those items moved to your new home. Instead, get rid of the things you're iffy about before you move.

If you have items in good condition, you can sell them online or via a yard sale. That's a good way to put some cash in your bank account that may come in handy once your moving date arrives.

2. Do your own packing

There are full-service moving companies that come to your home and box up your belongings securely. Going this route could save you a lot of time. And, you don't have to pay for packing supplies.

But make no mistake about it -- a full-service move can be very expensive. You pay a lot more for a full-service move than you do for a company to arrive at your home and load your already-boxed items onto its truck. If you're self-employed and would lose income by spending time packing, then it may be worth it to pay for that service. Otherwise, you save by doing it yourself.

3. Move during the week

Many people prefer to move on a weekend. That way, they don't have to dip into their limited pool of personal or vacation time at work. But if you want to save yourself some money, opt for a mid-week move. You often reap some savings by moving at a less desirable time.

4. Shop around

You often hear that it's important to shop around with mortgage lenders before signing up for a home loan. Similarly, it's a good idea to get quotes from moving services before choosing one.

That said, make sure you're doing an apples-to-apples comparison. Some movers charge by the job, and give you an estimate up front of what it will cost. Other moving companies charge by the hour. You also get different quotes based on what services your movers provide, so review the details of each estimate carefully before making your decision.

Also make sure to vet any moving company you're thinking of working with. Speak to people who have used that company, and see what their experience was like. If there were hidden or surprise fees, consider looking elsewhere.

Whether you're moving across the neighborhood or across the country, expect to spend a pretty big chunk of money to have your belongings transported. But there are steps you can take to keep your costs to a minimum. And that way, you'll preserve a little cash that can give you the leeway to set up or furnish your new digs the way you want to.

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