I currently live in an apartment with all of my own furniture, and now I have to move over 500 miles away for a new job. I didn't know where to start.  This being my first big move, here's what I learned about saving the most money and making Uncle Sam pay you.

Best Moving Truck Prices

Every move is different, but for my needs, Penske and Budget trucks offered the best prices coming out to about $330 to $340. U-Haul would have cost over $500. These price comparisons are based on a three day, 10-12 foot truck rental.

I asked about discounts. The companies walked me through a number of ways I could save. AAA members can receive discounts of 12%, and there's always a discount for members of the military. Sadly, I didn't qualify for any of these, but over at Penske I received a discount for being a new customer.  I went with a 12-foot Penske truck, which came out to $341 with taxes. It pays to ask about promotions and discounts!

Side note: I did look into hiring movers, and for little old me with my tiny apartment, the estimate started at $3,500. Way out of my price range.

Choose to Move by the Season

Moving companies change their prices based on the time of year, just like airline companies. Summer is a high volume time of year since kids are out of school, so prices are usually higher. The best time to find good prices may be in the fall or winter.

Lighten your Load

As you're packing up your things you may realize you don't want a lot of the stuff you've gathered over the years. Consider packing up those gently used items and donating them to the Salvation Army, Goodwill or any other charity. The good news is, you can get a tax deduction for your donation!

If you're looking for a larger return you can sell them! Post your items for sale on a flyer on your apartment bulletin board or neighborhood clubhouse, post items on ebay or craigslist, or have a good old fashioned garage sale. Lightening your load can save you money and peace of mind.

Never Pay for Packing Supplies

A Walmart employee told me I could take used boxes from the store as long as they did not have Walmart printed on them. She also said there was a stack of flat cardboard boxes behind the store waiting to be recycled every day.  I grabbed two dozen boxes! If I bought the flat boxes in the store, it would have cost up to $50. That is a big savings!

Don't forget, we as couponers get the vast majority of our coupons from the newspaper. Start saving those papers! They make great wraps for glasses, plates and fragile knickknacks.

Is There an App For That?

Yes! If you have an iPhone, BlackBerry or other smart phone, look into downloading apps for finding the cheapest gas prices and maps. These apps can also help you avoid toll roads. Check out GasBuddy for your phone.

Cancel or Change Your Services

Don't forget to cancel local memberships like your gym or tanning salon, especially if they are automatically withdrawn from your bank account. Save money by contacting services for your old home like cable, Internet, electric, and water to let them know when you are moving. Don't forget the mail! Go to the post office or go to the USPS website to change your address so your mail is forwarded to your new home. There is a one dollar fee for processing.

Can Moving Be Deducted on Taxes?

According to the IRS website, you can deduct your moving expenses if you meet these three requirements:

  1. Move Happens Close to Start of Work – Meaning that the move occurred within one year from when you started work at your new job.
  2. Meet the Distance Test – Your new job is at least 50 miles farther from your old commute from home to work. For example, if you lived 5 miles from your old job, and now your new job is 55 miles away from your old home, then you meet the distance test.
  3. Meet the Time Test – You must be a full-time employee who works at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months at your new location.

What Can Be Deducted

The IRS says if you meet the requirements of the moving test, you can deduct reasonable expenses. Including:

  • Travel by Car/Truck – Keep those gas receipts.
  • Lodging – Usually only covers one day after you move out.
  • Household – Costs of connecting or disconnecting utilities.
  • Shipping – Cost of packing and sending household goods (STOCK PILE), a car or pets.
  • Storage – Cost of storing personal effects for up to 30 days after things are moved from your old home and before they are delivered to your new home.

I hope these tips from my moving experience are helpful. Remember to keep those receipts for everything in the moving process, and organize them into a folder for safekeeping for that wonderful time of year when you file your taxes.

This has been a guest post by Amanda from East Montgomery, AL
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