How to Create a Moving Budget

Proper planning is critical to ensuring a smooth residential relocation. Creating a realistic budget is part of that planning. Here are some tips on creating a moving budget.

Take Inventory

Moving costs generally depend on how far and how much you have to move. Your first step is to decide what will go with you to your new place. List everything that will go, beginning with oversized items such as a piano or large sofa. Go from room to room with your list to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Develop a Budget Template

Once you’ve listed items, you can determine estimated costs. Then research average moving costs for professional movers in your area. Remember to include distance, the amount of stuff you have, and additional charges for specialty items such as artwork, pool tables, and pianos.

Once you’ve done your research, you’ll interview at least three experienced, reputable moving companies and obtain their estimates or bids. Then, you’ll revise your template, as necessary, depending upon these estimates.

Even if you plan to do most of the work yourself, you’ll still have costs, such as truck and equipment rental and transportation. Also, when you consider these costs, be sure to include the value of your time, especially since you will likely need to take time off from work. In most cases, hiring professional movers to do most or all of the work is most cost-effective in the long run.

If you need to store items, list an estimate for that. Also include deposits that you may have to pay for apartments or utility costs and short-term housing expenses, if necessary.

Once you’ve estimated costs, add at least 5 percent for contingencies.

Plan for Everyday Expenses

You’ll still have to pay most of your everyday expenses while you are in the process of moving. Every day expenses include school lunches for kids, dog-walking, and groceries. So be sure to budget for those when you calculate how much you can spend on your move.

Find Ways to Save for Your Move

You want to be sure you have enough money to pay for a reputable mover and buy or acquire appropriate boxes for packing. You can trim money from categories in your household budget to use for moving expenses. For example, if you typically eat out in restaurants, consider eating at home more or choosing less expensive restaurants. Put off buying new clothes (you’ll have less to move) and consider buying some household items and groceries in bulk.

Create an Emergency Fund

Despite the best budgeting, sometimes emergencies occur. For example, you may need to make a quick repair in your new home or find you need to make your old home spotless. You may need to take more time off work to help yourself or your kids get settled. If you buy or build a home, you may need to spend more time in temporary housing.

Having an emergency fund can help you deal with these unexpected costs. The emergency fund generally equals about three months of expenses.

Ready to Move?

Having a moving budget in place will make your experience less stressful. As you prepare for your move, select the best professional movers for your needs. Contact us today for a free estimate. We have the experience and know-how to tackle your move.