7 Tips to Get Cheaper Homeowners Insurance Quotes and Save

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average homeowner pays roughly $1,100 annually for regular home insurance. Although that’s money well spent on coverage to help you rebuild your home and replace belongings in the case of a disaster, it’s still a lot of money. Below, are a few ways you can save on homeowners insurance for the budget-conscious shopper.

1. Shop Around

Since rates are different at every company, it pays to shop around and get a few estimates from some different insurance providers. Plus, you’ll be happily surprised how much you can save by considering a few quotes, rather than just going with the most popular provider.

2. Boost Your Credit Scores

In most states, insurance providers use your credit scores to determine your risk factor, which may include raising your premiums if you have lower or unfavorable credit scores. However, you can take some steps to help boost your credit scores, such as paying your bills off on time, not reaching your credit card limit, and reporting any errors on your credit reports.

3. Bundle your Policies

An incredibly easy way to save on homeowners insurance is to bundle both your home and auto policies with one company. More often, providers will offer you discounts for bundling them, such as American Family (amfam.com), Allstate, and Progressive. Typically, bundling both home and auto can save you upwards of 20 percent on your premiums, but this usually depends on the provider.

4. Increase Your Deductible

In case you didn’t know already, your deductible is the amount insurance providers take away from your claim settlement. According to upsideinsurancegreenville.com, deductible amounts usually range from $500 to $1,000, however, increasing this number can decrease your rate. However, this often causes people to deter from filing minor damage claims because the overall repair bill will be less than your deductible amount. However, if insurers notice that you make fewer claims, they will be less likely to increase your rates when you renew your insurance.

5. Secure Your Home

Simply put, an easy way to lower your rate is to make your home more secure. Insurance providers will see this as a less threat to storms, burglary, and fires. You can increase your risk even more and be a candidate for cheaper rates by upgrading your pumping and wiring throughout your home. Adding deadbolts, windows locks, and impact-resistance roofing are all excellent examples of upgrades you can do to lower your premiums.

6. Redetermine Your Personal Property Coverage

It’s smart to regularly review your belongings and see how much it’s worth to determine how much personal property coverage you need. For example, if you recently sold expensive valuables, you can lower your high-limit insurance, which can help you save money.

7. Check to See Which Random Discounts You Can Get in On

Although home insurance providers don’t offer a whole lot of discounts, there are a lot of obscure ones that you may able to save money with. For example:

– Allstate and Amica Mutual offer discounts for customers that pay their premiums with their checking/saving account or debit/credit card.

– Farmers and Esurance offer rewards to their customers that live in non-smoking homes.

– Liberty Mutual and Travelers offer discounts for couples that recently bought their home.

Costs to Consider When Moving Across the Country with Kids and a Dog

There are a couple of scenarios when it comes to moving across the country with a family, both of which will require strict consideration to a budget. Let’s look at the biggest expense involved first – the matter of moving your things.

Hiring Movers

Hopefully, a cross-country move will be the result of an enticing job offer or a transfer where your employer pays for the move, and you save tons of money on the relocation of your household. For those that have the resources, a moving company is an ideal method of transporting belongings to a new home. When hiring movers, you can either fly or take the family on a long road trip to the new home where you’ll be reunited with the shipment of household goods. In this situation, you’ll still have to allocate the funds carefully and not let impulse or frustration cause you to overspend your moving allowance. To reduce the cost of professional movers, Cheap Movers Phoenix suggests doing as much of the packing as you can yourself. Movers charge additionally for packing/unpacking and other services. Doing as much as you can ahead of time will cut down on the final bill.

Moving Company Alternatives

Those who don’t have the luxury of the assistance of a moving company are left with either loading storage pods that can be picked up and delivered to your new home, or leasing a rental truck and driving long hours in a large vehicle in addition to transporting the members of your family. In this case, the cost of the truck rental, tow package for the family car, gasoline, insurance, and mileage will be the key factors. You’ll also have to consider the cost of buying a lot of boxes and packing materials, as well as paying people to help you load and unload (that is unless you have friends and family that are willing to help for free, which in this day and age is a real rarity). This will be the biggest chunk of change in moving the family, but wait — there’s more to it, and it can become ridiculously expensive without careful planning and budgeting.

Additional Traveling Costs

Some of those additional costs include food and lodging for the family while traveling, entertainment for the kids to compensate for the long trip, an emergency fund for car repairs or out-of-network medical coverage in case of illness or injury. And speaking of medical needs, be sure to purchase extra prescriptions in advance to tide family members over while the doctor and pharmacy care are transferred from one home to the next. Lastly, if you’re moving with the family dog, you’re going to need to be sure to get a check-up from the vet before departure to update all vaccinations and obtain health certificates for airline travel if you’re flying. Whether traveling on the road or in the air, dogs are much safer and comfortable in a good, strong crate explicitly designed for and according to airline requirements or car travel. Trust me – you won’t want to leave this for the last minute either.

Moving across country is not cheap! Planning and maintaining a budget is crucial if you don’t want to be left with big surprises.

How to Organize a Garage Sale Before a Residential Move

If you have a big move coming up, it’s time to packing up your belongings for the transition to your new place. However, what are you to do with the stuff you don’t want to bring, such as an old couch? Keeping stuff you no longer need not only means more stuff to deal with, but a more expensive move! Low-budget movers say purging before your move is one of the best ways to cut back on moving costs! Fortunately, organizing a garage sale is one of the easiest and profitable ways to clear out some junk before your move. Below, is a guide on how to plan out your garage sale to make it a success.

Planning it Out

The best to have a successful garage sale is to make sure it’s well planned. When you’re planning your garage sale, consider these tips:

1. Time it Right

Although it may seem obvious, the first step in planning your garage sale is to choose a date and time to have it start and end. However, you should plan to do it early on the weekend, particularly Saturday. But, if you need to sell a lot of stuff, we suggest you plan for a weekend sale that starts on Friday and ends on Sunday.

2. Get the Proper Permits

Keep in mind that some cities will require you to obtain a permit before you host your garage sale. Make sure that you run down to your city hall a couple of weeks before your sale to get the required permits ahead of time.

3. Advertise in the Area

The more advertisements you place in your community, the more people visit your sale, and you’ll end up selling more of your things. Below, are a few effective marketing techniques to advertise your garage sale:

– Post online listings, such as Craigslist

– Remind your friends and family on social media

– Place posters that tell the date and time of your sale on street signs

Prepare the Junk You Want to Sell

Now that everyone knows when and where your garage sale is going to be, it’s time to prepare your sale, following these steps:

1. Start Organizing Early On

The best way to prepare your garage sale is to collect and organize the things you plan to sell early on. This way, you have more time to collect more stuff to sell and decide which items you want and don’t want to sell. Simply go through each room of your house and sort your belongings into three main piles: sell, keep, and donate.

2. Prepare Your Items That You’re Going to Sell

Now that you’ve got your “sell” pile, you can divide your items into categories such as toys, books, clothes, etc. This will help you further plan out your garage sale and label your items with necessary categories labels to help everything organized for the day of your garage sale.

3. Clean Objects

Wipe off and clean all toys, clothes, and other objects before putting them out to be sold.

Set Your Prices

If you have never sold items before, it can hard to set prices. Here are a few tips to help:

1. Price According to Worth

Determine prices based on the value of items to consumers, not their sentimental value to you. If an item is in good working order, charge around 20 to 30 percent the original price. Used items should be priced even lower.

2. Make it Easy for Yourself

Price objects in increments of whole dollars or 25 cents. This will make it much easier for you to add totals and give back change. See this great post for the specifics on how much cash you should start the day with to make change during the sale.

3. Use Stickers

Place a sticker on each object that states its price. You should also create a spreadsheet with every price on it so you can keep track if tags get lost.

The Day of the Sale

The big day of your moving sale is always stressful, no matter how well you have planned it out. Here is some advice for the day of:

1. Clean Up

Before people begin showing up for your yard sale, mow your lawn and sweep the driveway. This will make a great first impression and entice more customers.

2. Gather Supplies

To ensure your sale goes off without a hitch, gather these necessary supplies:

– Chairs to sit in

– Tables to display products

– Change

– Plastic bags and newspaper to wrap breakable items

3. Donate

Donate any items that do not get sold or leave them on the curb for free. Don’t bring them back inside or toss them out.

Moving Services And Other Deductible Moving Costs When Relocating For A Job

Even though moving for a job can make your life better, it can still be challenging. The good news is that you can deduct the cost of moving (i.e. movers, storage, etc) from your taxes, as we found out when we recently moved. Before you take that deduction, here are some things to know:

Moving Requirements

1. Distance Requirements

To qualify for tax deductions, your new job must be at least 50 miles farther away from your current one. For example, you currently commute 10 miles to work. Your new job must be at least 60 miles away.

2. Employment Requirements

You must work for the same company at least 39 weeks out of a 12-month period. Keep in mind that the weeks you work do not have to be consecutive. You must be a full-time employee. However, you do not have to work a certain number of hours per week.

You can deduct your moving costs if you are a self-employed individual. However, the requirements are different. You must work for an entrepreneurial enterprise for 78 weeks out of a 24-month period. The weeks you work do not have to be consecutive.

3. Costs That You Can Deduct

You have up to one year to deduct the moving costs. You will need to keep track of your receipt to ensure that you meet the distance and timing requirements. Some of the costs that you can deduct include insurance fees, the cost of hiring a residential mover, storage, utility connection costs, disconnection costs as well as the cost of moving your personal property and household goods.

If you deduct storage cost, then you will only be able to deduct storage costs for 30 days.

The lodging and travel expenses may also be deducted. You can deduct airline and train ticket costs if you need to travel by train or plane to move. If you have to ship your car to another place, then the cost may be deducted. Additionally, if you have to drive your car, then you can deduct the cost. The 2017 rate is 17 cents per mile.

4. How to Claim Your Deductions

You will be able to claim your deductions during the year that you move. This is one of the few deductions that you can claim without knowing whether the requirements are satisfied. However, many people do not satisfy the requirements until the following year.

You will need to use an IRS Form 3903 to claim your deductions. If you do not satisfy all of the requirements in one year, then you will have to reverse the deductions. You may have to report the deductions as other income on next year’s tax return. You may also have to amend the original tax return and exclude the deductions.

Practical Tips for Planning Your Long Distance Moving Budget

Moving can be a challenging task to carry out. Considering the amount of time and resources you have to put in, the process can be stressful. It doesn’t get better with a long distance move. You need to pull plenty of things together for a successful move. Below are practical tips to help you move […]

How Do Moving Companies Calculate Costs for In-Town and Interstate Moves?

When you are trying to move either in-town or interstate, determining how much a move should cost can be challenging as moving companies have different ways to calculate their costs. A good rule of thumb is that in-town moves cost less than interstate moves for the reason that the movers will need additional time to return to their home location. Also, there are additional transportation costs that the moving company will face with longer interstate moves. This article will explain how moving companies calculate in-town and interstate moves and will offer some advice in how to reduce the cost of moving.

Interstate Moving

For interstate moves, Imperial Moving & Storage (83 Washington Place, New York, NY 10011, (212) 879-6683), a long distance mover out of NYC, says costs are calculated by shipment weight and distance. Different companies have different rates for both weight and distance, which are published periodically in a tariff guide. A comparison between these companies for your particular move can help you determine the best moving company for you. Make sure to request moving quotes from multiple companies to make sure you’re getting a good deal on your move.

Long distance movers will also charge for any additional services or products that you need such as packing, unpacking, insurance, furniture disassembly, or furniture re-assembly. You will save money if you personally or with a group of family members and friends complete all packing and unpacking with need no additional help from the moving company. You could save considerable amounts of money when obtaining a quote if the moving company knows that you only need a driver and a truck. To obtain additional tips on saving money on moving, read here.

In-Town Moving

For in-town moves, moving companies calculate costs through an hourly rate per mover. Moving companies will have a set number of movers and hours to complete a move dependent on the size of your apartment or house. Similarly, for an interstate move, you may be able to obtain a lower cost quote if the moving company knows that you will be able to handle all packing and unpacking yourself.

If you cannot complete all packing and unpacking yourself, having all small items packed can save you considerable cost in your move. Local movers will also generally charge you a travel fee as well for your move that is added to the hourly rate per mover.

Local moving companies, in the same manner as interstate moving companies, will offer additional services and products that can add additional cost to your move. In-town moving companies will have access to moving supplies such as boxes and tape so that if you do not have time to obtain, you can buy moving supplies from them.

Even though there is a variation in what moving companies charge, looking at moving data can help you obtain a better sense of what will be charged and what practices are common for a move. Here are statistics from 2016 and 2015. The statistics from 2015 have average moving costs for some of the busiest routes and can help you when picking a moving company.

7 Creative Ways Moving Experts Say to Cut Relocation Costs

Not only can moving be an incredibly stressful time in your life, but can also put a major dent in your wallet. Around here, we’re always looking for ways to save a few bucks. So when our family moved earlier this year, we scrounged up the best money-saving moving tips we could find. Here are some of the helpful ways we learned to make your next move a little more affordable:

1. Compare Quotes From Professional Movers

Before you hire a professional moving company, you should collect a few quotes from different companies. Each company should perform an in-home estimate in which they come to your home and inspect your belongings to give you an accurate quote. Keep in mind that if you’re moving out-of-state, the quote will be based on the approximate weight of your belongings. By comparing rates from multiple movers, Cheap Movers Las Vegas says you can find the one that offers the best value instead of settling for the first moving company you can find.

2. Try to Find Free Moving Boxes Before Buying Any

Unfortunately, moving boxes aren’t exactly cheap. Before purchasing your moving boxes and starting your packing, seek out free moving boxes from online stores and big name retailers, like Target or Walmart. You may also be able to find free moving supplies from Nextdoor.com, Craigslist, and Freecycle. If those options don’t pan out, you can also look around your town at your local grocery, liquor store, or schools in the area. You can also ask your friends and family if they would be willing to donate any moving supplies as well to help lower costs even more.

3. Get Rid of Items before Packing

Many moving companies calculate their prices based on the weight of your belongings. Therefore, if you have fewer belongings, your moving costs will be lower. So get rid of unused clothing, broken electronics, and unnecessary furniture before you start packing.

4. Hold a Yard Sale

Don’t simply toss out the items you do not want to bring with you, consider holding a yard sale. This way, you can save money on moving, as you will be bringing less, and you can make some money, too. Be sure to do this a few weeks in advance. Anything you don’t sell should be donated.

5. Be Flexible With Your Moving Date

This is one of the simplest ways as to save money during a move. By choosing the right moving date, you can save a bit of cash. Firstly, you should avoid moving during May to August as this is the peak moving season. Costs will likely be higher during these months. To get rid the lowest moving price possible, pick a moving date between September and April, during the middle of the month and the middle of the week. This is when demand is lower for moving companies which means your costs will be lower, too.

6. Do-It-Yourself

This is usually only a good option if you are moving a short distance or you feel comfortable traveling a long distance in an oversized truck. This certainly is not the best option for everybody, especially if you have a lot of belongings or you have never driven a larger vehicle before. However, if it is possible, undergoing a DIY move is a great way to save money on your relocation costs.

7. Save Your Receipts

Same of your moving expenses may be tax deductible, so be sure to keep all of your moving receipts. Check out the IRS Publication 521 to see which expenses qualify for deductions. Typically, you can deduct your moving costs if your moving date is related to the start date of a new job, and the move meets IRS distance and time test requirements.