7 ways you’re wasting money on moving costs

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Nobody likes moving. It’s expensive, daunting and exhausting. But that doesn’t mean you have to trash your budget to do it.

Here are some common ways people waste money on moving. Don’t fall into these traps the next time you pack up and go!

1. Paying for packing supplies

Cardboard boxes are often available for free on Craigslist or from stores. Better yet? Drop a line on Nextdoor, the neighborhood social networking app, to see if anyone in your immediate vicinity has boxes they’d be willing to share. There’s no need to drop extra cash on boxes when plenty of people are willing to just give them to you. Just keep in mind if you’re hiring movers, they usually won’t accept liability if they damage an item they didn’t pack.

Flickr | joebeone

2. Forgetting to get a moving permit

If you live in the suburbs you’re likely A-OK. But if you’re moving from a big city, such as San Francisco, you may need a permit. If you decide to park your moving truck on the street with no papers, you could get your vehicle towed.

Getty Images | Scott Barbour

3. Relying on phone estimates

It’s impossible to get an accurate estimate unless the movers visit your home. Movers who come to your home will be able to give you a better idea of what to expect. Call at least three different movers and make sure to get the quotes in writing. That way, there are no surprises come moving day.

Flickr | MLazarevski

4. Forgetting about hidden fees

If it’s a moving company you’re hiring, you may be charged additional fees for mileage, storage, or packing and unpacking. Make sure to inquire about all of those extras when asking for a quote. Ask how long the company believes the move will take. After all, your time is worth money.

Getty Images | Chung Sung-Jun

5. Not calculating the cost of moving yourself

Handling a move by yourself can cost half that of a moving company. However, if you rent a truck, don’t forget to factor in things like gas, furniture pads, dollies and pizza for all your muscular friends.

Flickr | phil_g

6. Not insuring your move

Interstate movers are legally required to provide released value protection and full value liability. However, keep in mind that released value protection only covers 60 cents per pound of damaged items. Which means an expensive piece of furniture could only net you $20 if damaged. With full value protection, the mover must pay the replacement value of any lost or damaged goods.

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7. Paying a mover a deposit

If your mover is asking for a deposit, chances are it’s a scam. Hand over the money up front and you probably won’t see the money again.

Getty Images | Mark Wilson

About the Author

Rachel Khona


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