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Moving Budget – All You Need to Do

If you’re preparing for a long-distance relocation, you’ll have to figure out your moving budget in advance. Doing so might turn out to be much harder than it seems at first glance. After all, there are so many costs and fees you should consider that it’s way too easy to lose track and spend more money than you actually need. That is why we have put together this handy guide on how to make a moving budget.

An image of a calculator
Setting up a moving budget is the first and most important thing you should do.

How Much Should I Budget for Moving Expenses

There are many factors to consider when preparing a budget for moving out. The final expense will mostly depend on whether you’re relocating long-distance or locally, the size of your home, and whether you’re doing it by yourself or with the help of professional cross-country movers.

If you’re hiring professionals, know that the average price for a long-distance relocation can range between $2000 to $5000 per load, while local companies charge $80 to $100 per hour. Remember that these are just average prices. Whatever your reasons to move are, know that every relocation is unique, and the final price can be lower or much higher than the average. Keep reading and see what you should include in your budget plan for moving out.

A person is holding a phone with a calculator app
There are many things to take into consideration when budgeting your long-distance move.

Why You Need a Moving Budget

Before we delve deeper into costs and expenses you should cover, let’s emphasize the importance of setting a strict and reasonable moving out budget you can stick to. Running out of money in the middle of the move is definitely something you don’t want to go through. In such a case, not only will you have to borrow money to finalize your relocation, but it will also set you back financially for the first few months in your new place. If you don’t know how to cope with moving stress, all this could lead to relocation depression.

What is the 50 20 30 budget rule? If you don’t know where to start when budgeting for your long-distance relocation, you can use this rule. You basically need to divide your after-tax income into three categories: needs, wants, and savings. Allocate 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and the rest 20% on savings. Want to know more about the 50/20/30 budgeting rule? Be sure to check the video below.

Take Inventory and Create a Moving Budget Checklist

The first two steps to creating a budget for relocation are making a household inventory list and forming a financial plan template. Before you start anything, determine which items you’ll be relocating to your new location. Long-distance moving companies charge by weight, so be sure to move only the things you’ll really use. The next step is to use software programs to make a budgeting template. The most convenient ones are Microsoft Word and Excel.

An image of an empty checklist sheet of paper
A household inventory list will help you detriment relocation fees in advance.

Packing Costs and Logistics

One of the most important – and most tiring – tasks in the relocation process is packing. How much this is going to cost you depends on several factors. If you get professional packing services and let experts who know all packing tips & tricks do it, the cost will be calculated into the final bill. Thus, you won’t have to do calculations by yourself. Depending on the mover you choose, they might also provide you with the best boxes and packing supplies.

On the other hand, if you decide to do it yourself, a chunk of your relocation fees will go towards buying different types of packing materials. Finding the best-sized boxes for moving might take some time, and you’ll have to learn how to use bubble wrap and packing paper for moving. Also, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll end up spending less.

If you pack things and do all the work on your own, you won’t have insurance for the shipment. The costs of damaged or broken items could easily add up, especially if you’re not too experienced. It couldn’t hurt to invest in insurance. Don’t be shy to ask friends for help if you are moving to another state alone. With their help, you’ll relieve anxiety about moving out, and everything will be done in no time.

A woman getting money from her wallet
If you need to hire a professional packaging service, don't forget to include this expense on your budgeting list.

Transportation From Old to New Home

A crucial aspect of your relocation that should be included in your budgeting plan is transportation. The total amount of money you’ll spend on it will depend on several factors, the most obvious one being the distance between your old and new location. Whether you are moving to the suburbs or the city center, you should include the rental truck expenses, insurance for the rental truck, and gas. We would advise getting a professional long-distance moving company because the cost of rental truck transport, workforce, and insurance will be included in the final fee.

a truck on the road
Though you may lease a rental, it's best to book a shipping company's hauler and include it in your moving out budget.

When You Cannot Make Space, Rent Storage

Synchronizing everything in a relocation process can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to move-out and move-in dates. Your future place might just not be move-in ready once the truck has reached the destination. That is why you should rent out a clean and climate-controlled storage unit. Also, if you are moving to a smaller home, having the space to store some stuff that doesn’t fit can be very convenient. Furthermore, if you are moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend, you are bound to have extra stuff. Place it in a unit and avoid cluttering your new place.

A storage unit with cardboard boxes
Most companies offer facilities where you can keep your items.

Cost of Hiring Professional Long-Distance Movers

You were given great recommendations for moving companies and have decided to hire one. This is great news because calculating your relocation fees will be easier. You’ll be given a quote for their moving services long before the relocation date. This means that most of the math will be done by someone who is experienced.   Take a look at all factors that determine the overall fee of hiring professional long-distance movers:

  • The distance: Much like when relocating on your own, the distance is one of the most significant factors that affect the final fee. The longer the distance, the higher the price.
  • The size of your shipment: Wondering how much do movers cost for a one-bedroom apartment? Maybe you’re relocating from a bigger house and worry about the final relocation fee? You don’t have to stress about this because you’ll be asked for the number of rooms when calculating an estimate.
  • Services: The major role in the calculation of your final bill. Consider that additional packaging and storage will come at an additional cost. Wondering how transporting a car across the country works? If you hire a company that provides auto shipping services, you will be charged for that as well.
  • Types of Services: Your final cost will depend on the type of services you choose. For example, you can opt for door to door or terminal to terminal car shipping. If you choose the latter, you will end up paying slightly less, while the former is much more convenient for people who don’t have a lot of free time. There is also a price difference between open and enclosed carriers.
  • Additional charges: Every relocation company has different additional charges. For example, if professionals have to carry your boxes up three or more flights of stairs, you may have to pay an additional fee. The same goes for long driveways, narrow streets that require a smaller truck or van, and rescheduling the relocation date. Remember to estimate the value of household goods but know that the higher the value, the higher the insurance cost.
The best team of friendly professionals holding a carpet and a box
Hiring professional cross-country movers can be costly but will save you a lot of time and energy.

How Much Do Movers Cost for a Local Move?

While long-distance moving companies charge by weight, a local mover calculates services per hour. The average local moving company’s hourly rate ranges between $90-$120 per hour per mover. Yet, this will also depend on many factors, including travel fees, the number of professionals involved in your move, additional services you’ll be using, and the packing materials. Don’t forget that the size of your home is a significant factor as well.

Two professionals wrapping up a couch
Local relocation is cheaper, but the final fee is highly individual and depends on many factors.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Move? Here Are Some Tips That Will Help You Move on a Budget

How to move on a budget is a question that concerns most people. Yet, you don’t have to get anxious, because there are moving hacks and tips that will decrease relocation expenses. There’s more than one cheapest way to move out of state.

The most common relocation mistake is last minute moving. Apart from causing anxiety, it can lead to higher expenses. In other words, the earlier you schedule your chosen mover, the less you’ll have to pay for their services. Also, you’ll have more time to save up.

Some companies provide free storage to their customers during relocation. Reduce costs when moving by contacting such a company and use their completely secure and climate-controlled storage units. Of course, if you need to store your belongings for longer, you can always do so for an additional fee. The costs will differ depending on your chosen mover, but having complimentary storage for a month can be convenient when relocating your entire life.

Relocation is a perfect opportunity to declutter your place and donate unwanted items. Your move will be much cheaper if you decide to relocate only the necessary things. Wondering where to donate furniture before you move? The search should be easy because there are many organizations and charities that will accept your furniture or any other unused item. Just remember to save those receipts because donating to a charity will lead to tax deductions.

Are you wondering what the best time of year to move is? The most cost-effective? The cheapest time of the year to move is during winter months. Try avoiding moving during the holidays and summer. It’s the peak relocation season because of the school break and vacations. That’s the busiest period for relocation companies, and that’s why their rates get more expensive.

You can save up on packing materials for moving significantly. Free cardboard boxes can be found in your local liquor store, supermarkets, office depots, bookstores, local Facebook groups, Craigslist, and Freecycle. Remember that you can save some cash by packing certain belongings yourself while leaving packaging fragile items to your chosen mover.

An image of cardboard boxes
You can find different types and sizes of free cardboard boxes everywhere near you.

We Bet That Your Relocation Just Became a Whole Lot Easier

And that’s all there is to know about the budget plan for moving out. Hopefully, this detailed guideline will come in handy when you begin planning your long-distance move and start budgeting. Remember to always count on some extra costs and fees. It’s always better to be prepared in advance than being unpleasantly surprised on the relocation day.