Ultimate Moving Checklist for Your Money
August 25, 2010
Your moving checklist is not complete without adding to-do’s to protect your money. One of the important things to realize about moving is that it comes with financial consequences. Whether you are moving across town, or moving across the country, it is important to make a list of the money moves you will have to make while accomplishing your physical move. Here is a moving checklist for your money:
Setup Electronic Delivery: Switching to electronic delivery means that you will not miss a statement, no matter where you move. And the new residents will not have access to personal financial information that may accidentally be sent to your old home.
Change of Address Forms: One of the most important things you can do is make sure that your financial institutions, creditors and service providers have your new address. Most companies allow you to change your address online, or submit it when you pay your latest bill. You can also call customer service to find out the procedure. Fill out a change of address form at the post office to catch those that slip through the cracks.
Schedule Bill Payments: Schedule bill payments ahead of time using your bank account or a credit card so that you do not inadvertently miss a payment in the confusion of moving.
Bank Deposits & Debits: If you are moving and need a new bank account in the local area, you will need to make sure that automatic debit and other transactions do not get dropped in the transfer. Plan ahead, creating a moving check list that includes which automatic payments and deposits need to be switched.
You may need 30 days for the switch to take effect, so plan in advance. It might be worth it to set up automatic billing on your credit card so that you do not have to worry about your checking account. Just be sure to budget enough to pay off your credit card each month.
Cancel Utilities: Cancel your utilities if you are moving out of town; you do not want to be charged for someone else’s usage. This is especially important if you are moving out of a rental. Make sure that your account is up to date, and provide a new address for the final bill. Your local moving checklist should include transferring your utilities; this often helps you avoid paying new fees and deposits.
Property Deposits: Your apartment moving checklist (or other rental) should include doing what you can to get back your deposit. Find out what needs to be cleaned in order to get your full deposit back, and follow the list. Go on a walk through with the manager and get written confirmation of the amount of the deposit that will be returned to you. Provide your new address so the deposit can be mailed, and follow up if you do not receive the deposit back.
Mortgage Payments: Make sure your old mortgage is paid off when you sell your home. Most banks allow you to request a pay-off quote via an automated system by phone or online. Also on your moving to-do list is setting up new payments with your new lender, if you are getting a new mortgage.
Insurance Policies: Update insurance policies so that your new residence is adequately covered by renters insurance or homeowners insurance. If it’s an older home you’re moving into you might also look into home warranties.
Property Taxes: Double check the county assessment. If your property tax assessment is significantly higher than the market value of your new home you can challenge the assessment. Take your real estate sales contract into the county tax assesor and make your case.
Document Tax Deductions: Make sure to document expenses related to your move, since these count as an “above the line” deduction on your Form 1040. Also, keep mortgage points paid and mortgage interest paid information for tax purposes.
Research Moving Companies: Whether you get a U-Haul, get a service like ABF, or get a full service mover, research moving companies. Run the numbers to see which would be most cost effective, and read reviews (check with the Better Business Bureau) on different companies. Be wary of moving scams that could cost you even more money.
Get Rid of Stuff: Sell or donate your stuff to avoid bringing it with you. The reduced weight and number of items will save money on moving, and you could get a little extra cash — or a tax deduction.
Protect Valuables: Do not pack your valuables on the moving truck. Instead, keep valuable items with you in the car, carefully packed and documented for insurance purposes.
Carry Cash: Make sure you have adequate cash for tips, unexpected expenses on the way, and any companies you’re working with that do not accept credit cards.
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