Moving is complicated and can easily turn costly with no planning. Sure, many factors build-up when planning a moving budget and finding out how much you will spend on a move.
A renter can expect to spend an average of $1,000 to $3,000 on a move. For homeowners, that number can increase; costing an average of $8,000 – $11,000. Anytime you are planning to move, the first action you should take is to plan a moving budget.
The majority of those who move feel they don’t have time to create a budget; however, not getting ready financially could cost you more in the process. Small things like purchasing new sheets, a new shower curtain, or restocking your shelves after the move, all cost money.
In fact, creating a moving budget should be included in your moving checklist.
By concentrating on detail and being proactive, you can plan a moving budget that will help you get rid of some of the stress associated with this tough process. See how:
Step by Step to Creating a Moving Budget
Step 1: Take inventory: Before doing anything at all, find out what item is moving into your new residence. Items like kitchenware, furniture, and clothes will be on your list from the start but go from one room to the other to make sure you don’t miss anything. Doing this will make sure you make the right decision to match your needs.
Step 2: Do your research: Knowing exactly what will be moved into your new home also helps you determine the kind of moving company you need. Professional moving companies will require your inventory to give you moving quotes or estimates. These estimates are dependent on different factors like the items being moved and the destination it’s been moved to.
Below is what to expect:
- Base moving fee: Movers begin with a base rate. This is the amount paid by all their customers no matter the number of items being moved.
- Specialty items fee: Items like safes, pool tables, pianos, and artwork are referred to as specialty items by movers. This implies that they will possibly charge an additional fee to transport them due to how delicate or hard they are to move.
- Moving insurance: Moving companies offer customers something referred to as valuation which works as insurance for your items. You receive compensation if the moving company damages or loses your items. You won’t be charged by movers for basic coverage but will be charged for options that offer more protection.
Step 3: Choose when and where you want to relocate: Take it or leave it; the amount your move will cost is affected by the time of year you choose to move. Prepare to pay higher costs if you are planning a summer-time move. Only a few people relocate in the winter due to the cold temperature and moving in the snow is a difficult task.
Also, one can easily move with kids in the summer because they won’t be in school. And yes, where you are relocating affects the amount your move will cost. If you are relocating from a rural location to a big city, expect the cost of living to be higher than moving from a city. Some United States cities also ask for a moving permit to park moving vehicles. You will be fined if you fail to provide one.
Step 4: Set aside money for daily expenses: Sadly, life won’t slow down as you are relocating. Children have schools, dogs need to be walked, and you have to buy groceries. You have to pay for all these and more as you finance your move. Begin by monitoring monthly expenses and cutting this amount from your income after taxes. This money is what you will share between your moving budget and other expenses.
Step 5: Look for ways to save and earn money: When planning your moving budget and to be able to afford your relocation, consider reducing spending where you can. If you are the type that loves eating out, just like some of us, purchasing groceries and recreating your favorite dishes is a nice way to save money. Be sure to freeze those leftovers to be consumed at lunch at work the following day, instead of purchasing new clothes.
Wear the ones you already own in new ways. It is a fast way to freshen up your wardrobe and achieve a new outlook on your clothes. How you decide to save money is entirely your decision, but how much money you save is significant in making difference in the quality of your moving experience. Also, there are many other ways to save money or to make money. Having a garage sale or purchasing in bulk saves you some money in your pocket.
Fortunately, some moving supplies cost just a little amount. Have recyclable plastic bins delivered to your doorstep for a lesser cost or get cardboard boxes for free. Make use of things like towels and old clothes to wrap breakable belongings you are relocating and transport your dressers without removing clothes from them to save time and space. There are lots of hacks that assist you in saving moving during a move. Making achievable savings goals is also necessary.
Many banking apps have automatic deposit features from checking to a savings account. Try to open a different saving account for your move to make sure things are organized. And after you have a separate account for your moving budgets, you will be able to control your spending perfectly.
Step 6: Prepare an emergency fund: Based on your financial situation, it can be hard to have an emergency fund. If you are in a state where you can have one, it is wise to set some amount of money aside for an emergency. Moving comes with some unexpected stuff. Financial professionals mentioned that emergency funds should be able to cover at least 3 months of expenses.
Step 7: Consider extra costs: These things won’t apply to everyone, but they must be considered if they apply to you. Below are some questions to provide an answer to make the best financial decisions as regards your move:
- Do you need to clean your former home professionally (maybe to recover your security deposit) or your new home?
- Do you have children? Will you be paying for childcare?
- Do you own pets? Will you be paying for pet care?
- Do you own houseplants? Who will move them for you?
Are you excusing yourself from work to move? For how long will you be away from work? How does this affect your moving budget?
Step 8: Create space in your budget for breathing room: Having a moving budget doesn’t imply that you are placing all of your money into a savings account. Create room when making your relocation budget to enjoy yourself, as moving is tough enough. You might require distraction from everything – probably a walk in the park or just to spend the night with some friends, your favorite snacks, and a good movie.
Moving Budget Template
Software programs are likely the most convenient way to make a budget template. You can use basic software like Microsoft Word or Excel with formulas available on Excel to make some calculations. This detailed list helps you determine your overall costs. Add all the items together; multiply the total by 5%, which will provide you a contingency buffer. Ensure you add that 5% to your total.
Here are the expenses to consider in your moving budget:
Moving Company Expenses
If you are hiring a mover, there are some expenses you have to consider and include in your budget.
- Moving company fee: This fee includes labor and fuel charges. Request for estimates from three movers and even if you are yet to choose the company to move you, add the maximum quote to your budget.
- Extra insurance: If your belongings are worth more to you, you may need to include extra insurance in your overall moving costs.
- Additional services: Some movers may charge an additional fee for getting appliances ready or transporting a piano. Ask for quotes from the movers if you feel you might need extra assistance
- Additional charges: Based on the distance of your move, you might add more charges. These may include flight charges, accessorial charges, long haul charges, expedited service charges, shuttle service, and long carry charges.
- Claims/damage costs: Assume damage may occur. You don’t need to add the amount here, but for safety sake, add in a 5% plan to the rate depending on the overall mover’s fees.
- Professional packing: Self-packing? Or need a packer to handle it? This service is optional with an extra fee.
Moving Yourself Costs
If you are making a DIY move, there are few changes you have to consider, such as the moving vehicle and other moving equipment required.
Below are the cost factors for DIY move:
- Truck rental: Rates vary depending on size and whether you are performing a 1-way or return move.
- Mileage gas: Ask the rental provider the number of miles to the gallon you can expect from the moving truck or van you are renting. If you are moving long distances, determine the cost of fuel along your path. You can use the AAA fuel calculator to get this.
- Insurance: Before you buy insurance, speak with your credit card companies to determine if their service covers you. It could save you some additional cost. Make sure you add an insurance fee if you are not covered.
- Additional equipment rental: If you are moving so many belongings you may want to rent a loading ramp, dolly, mattress and furniture covers, and many more. Before you include this item in your moving budget, ask the truck rental provider if these extras are added to the fee.
- Incidentals: Include additional contingency amounts to cover for unexpected cases like an increase in the price of gas or if you later need to make additional stops on your way. It is usually smart to factor in additional costs in advance.
To hire a reliable moving truck rental, check our Top 5 Moving Truck Rental Companies in USA
Travel to a New Home Costs
If you are transporting your car with a moving vehicle, you will need to include the costs for transportation, meals, lodging on the way, and more.
- Transportation: If you are moving a car inside a moving vehicle, including the costs for fuel and maintenance fees, like fluids, oil, and a check-up. If you like, share these costs into different line items.
- Lodging: Conduct research on your stops along your relocation route and determine the cost of lodging. Find out the number of nights and the room rates in advance.
- Meals: Calculate a median cost for each meal per person with drinks and snacks.
- Child or pet care: If you need any extra services to care for family members either before or after moving, you should add that cost to your budget.
- Temporary housing: Will you and your household members temporarily reside at your final destination before your new home is available? If yes, you will need to add those costs.
Packing and Storage Fees
While figuring out the amount of packing supplies you need might be hard, it is important to still budget for it anyway.
- Boxes: Find out the quantity of moving boxes you will need. If you are unable to get these for free, then there you have to include a cost.
- Wrapping materials: You will want to make sure your fragile items are safe using bubble wrap or newspapers
- Packing materials: You will need to use packers and labels to mark each moving box, which will help be organized. Remember you need packing tape to seal your moving boxes.
- Mattress Covers/padding: if you hire a moving company, they often come with these supplies for free, but verify to be sure.
- Storage fees: If your moving will require storage space at any point of your move, then get in touch with a few storage companies and make use of the highest price if you haven’t chosen the storage facility you will use.
- Additional insurance: If you are storing expensive items, include additional insurance to ensure your belongings are covered.
- Moving costs: These are costs to transport goods from your home to the storage center. It may be added to any item above, or the movers may allow you one extra stop for free.
Selling or Moving from the Rental Home Expenses
Factor the cost of selling your home or costs associated with vacating your rental property
- Commission: If you are selling your property, remember that you will possibly have to pay a commission fee to your realtor or broker.
- Selling fees: There are extra fees like lawyer fees, inspections, title fees, appraisals that build up the cost of selling your home.
- Advertising: If you will be listing your home, you might have to pay for advertising, too.
- Cleaning/repairs: Before selling your home, you might be required to clean and/or repair it. This can involve painting costs. This is also applicable to vacating a rental property in the same condition you got it in.
Lease cancellation charges: If you find it hard to give sufficient notice to your landlord, you can get charged for canceling your lease or they may not release your security deposit.
Buying or Renting your New Apartment Expenses
Whether you want to buy or rent your new home, the costs increase from insurance, taxes, fees, deposits, utilities, and more.
- Home buying fees: Together with the cost of your new home, you will need to add all the fees that build into the cost like the lawyer fee, survey fee, title search fee, as well as inspection and appraisal.
- Home or apartment insurance: Anywhere you go, whether to a rental or purchased property, you will want to protect your valuables with insurance.
- Redecorating costs: The cost of redecorating can be difficult to calculate. Check the largest room in your house and the ones that need the maximum work or items, calculate each cost (paint, lamps, curtains, garbage containers, rugs, and so on), then add it up. You can do this for every room or determine the average cost for the entire household.
- Property taxes: Many people consider the cost of the house and work; based on that, some don’t remember the importance of factoring in the cost of your property tax. Based on the location, these costs vary and can make or break your moving budget.
- Utility deposits: You will need to reach out to the utility companies for these costs or check with your current providers and ask for their costs. Ensure you add cable, heating, telephone, water, electricity, and any other services you have at the moment. If you are renting, find out if these costs are added to the monthly rental fee from your landlord.
- Apartment deposits: If you plan to rent, you will possibly have a rental deposit, damage deposit, as well as a deposit (if you move in with pets).
- Miscellaneous costs: If you plan to rent and your first apartment is gotten through a broker, you might be charged a broker’s fee. Other incidental costs like parking permits, trash removal, and association fees (if you are a member of homeowners or condo association) may be necessary.
Now that you have successfully planned your moving budget, you may want to find out the actual Cost of Moving House. There are ways to save during a cross-country move, ways to reduce fees if you pack yourself, and budget-saving tricks of packing.
The truth still remains that you should hire an affordable moving company that is reliable and has reputation for delivering top-notch moving services. Check our best picks for affordable movers.