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How to Create a Moving Budget

Regardless of what kind of relocation you're planning, you need to budget for it accordingly. Whether you're moving across state lines, into a bigger (or smaller) house, or into your first place, there are many moving parts to consider.

So, with that in mind, let's look at how you can make an adequate moving budget. These tips should work for all situations, and you can adapt them to suit your specific needs.

Assess Your Inventory

How many rooms are you trying to pack? How many floors? The bigger your house, the longer it will take to pack up, and the more boxes and moving equipment you'll need. When drafting an inventory, you don't need to write down every little thing you own. Instead, you can break it up a couple of different ways, such as:

  • Number of Boxes - You can pack one box with items to give you an idea of how much stuff can fit. Then, estimate the total number of containers you think you'll need overall. Be sure to add a few extras, just in case.

  • Furniture - Big pieces of furniture will require extra care and attention. In some cases, you might have to wrap the piece in bubble wrap before moving it. Other items may require professional movers to get them out of your home and into the truck.

Once you have a working inventory, you can estimate the size of your moving vehicle and whether you need to hire movers or not. From there, you can get prices from different companies to create a foundation for your budget.

Start Big and Work Your Way Down

Hiring a moving company will likely be your most significant expense. Starting with the considerable costs ensures that you can get a better estimate before starting your move. Other fees to consider may include:

  • Security Deposit - Are you getting a security deposit back, and will you have to pay one with your new place?

  • Will you need temporary housing between moving out of your old home and moving into your new one?

  • Storage - Do you have to move some items into storage for the time being?

Once you itemize these expenses, you can focus on smaller items like moving boxes, travel costs, etc.

Ask for Help, But Budget Without It

If you can get friends and family to help you move, that will significantly cut your budget. However, even if everyone says they'll help on moving day, not everyone will come through. So, it's best to plan for a situation where you only get a few people helping, if any at all. Consider how much pre-moving work you can do yourself and then budget accordingly.

Plan for Incidentals

What happens if something breaks during the move? What if you need a bigger truck than you anticipated? Or what if you have to make more than one or two trips? Perhaps gas prices are higher than you planned for? Adding an incidentals section to your budget ensures that you have the extra money if you need it. Then, if you don't, you can put it back into your pocket (or pay for dinner for all your helpers).

Get Help With Your Move

Don't wait until moving day to figure out your budget. We can help you get everything ready for your new place, so contact us for a free estimate.