A Guide to Making a Moving Budget – Expenses You Can’t Do Without

Finances are often an aspect of a relocation that worries us the most. There are so many things to consider when relocating across the country – a few can be easily overlooked. If you want to avoid that complication in an already difficult move, we suggest the ultimate moving budget checklist that will help you keep track of your money in this stressful period of your life.

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November 25, 2021 Posted in Moving Checklist

Whether you have to figure out how to move on a budget or you can allow yourself to spend a bit more on your relocation, the basics stay the same. Although thinking about managing money on top of all the things to do before relocating is enough to give everybody plenty of relocation stress, the good news is that you can handle this. How? By having a clear view of every expense and neatly writing it down on the list that will be separate from your to-do list. Having everything listed before your eyes will make it easier to keep track of every dollar spent.

How to Make a Moving Budget Checklist to Make Sure Your Long-Distance Moving Will Be a Pleasant Experience?

One of the best relocation tips that will help you stay in control of the preparations is being well-organized. When it comes to finances, that means following the basic steps of creating a budget, which will ensure you have the most efficient move possible. So, how do you plan a budget to move? Let’s see the best way, shall we?

Budget Plan for Moving Out – What to Save Money for?

What are the expenses of moving? While the list is pretty extensive, it is possible to narrow down the costs into a few categories for better understanding. However, let us note one important thing – every move is different, and no matter how careful you are, there might be some unexpected things along the way. That’s just life, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a stress-free move and arrive safely to your new home. The expenses listed below will help you do just that – take a look.

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Everyday Expenses Don’t Disappear When You’re Planning a Move

People often get so focused on their moving-out budget and calculating how much they will need to successfully get to a new city, which can lead to one of the typical relocation mistakes. You might overlook the fact that you still have to finance everyday stuff like groceries, gas, or hygiene products. While these might sound irrelevant compared to the sum you’ll set aside for a move, they can quickly pile up and compromise your financial plan. Be sure to calculate how much you need to set aside to last you until the relocation day.

Packed boxes, two plants, and a white sofa in the living room
Relocations are challenging - that's why you should plan every step of the way

Write Down the Inventory List of Items You’ll Bring With You

One of the crucial things that will significantly affect the price of your move is undoubtedly household inventory – a list of items you plan to bring with you when you move to another state. Why is this an important step? Well, think about it – how will you know how much packing paper to buy, for example? Or, if you plan on booking packing services, how do you expect to get an estimate if the company doesn’t know how much they’ll have to pack for you? You can see where we’re going with this, right?

Some Things Might Have to Go to the Storage – Count in That Expense

If you are about to move to a smaller home than the one you’re used to, the chances are that you won’t be able to fit all your belongings there. Sure, you can always organize a garage sale and get rid of useless items, but there might be some things you want to keep even though you have no room for them. Luckily, there’s a simple solution – storage units. However, this is an additional expense, so be sure to think about how necessary it is for you and weigh the pros and cons. Also, remember that there are a few things you have to do to protect items in storage units, no matter how modern and high-quality the place is.

Remember to Declutter, So That You Can Save on Supplies and Time

Decluttering is one of the oldest relocation hacks in the book, but it’s still among the best ones. No matter how you choose to approach this task, know that it will save you plenty of money, time, plastic wrap, and space in boxes. It will allow you to organize your move quicker and definitely reduce the anxiety about relocating you will probably have.

So, how do you downsize before the move? There are four main ways – selling, donating, recycling, and throwing out. Try to focus on the first three options and use throwing out as a last resort. Even though you might not need a particular item, it doesn’t mean it’s of no use anymore – you can donate clothes, furniture, toys, books, and other various household items.

Man putting clothes in a box, a woman next to him checking something on the list
Use your organizational skills to prepare for the move - lists are relocation 101

Count in the Cost of Supplies (If You Don’t Have Packers)

This item on the list depends on whether you have booked packing services where the supplies will be counted into the final cost. This is without a doubt the easiest way to handle the packing process, but some people decide against it because they want to save on relocation costs. However, doing it on your own doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll save anything. What’s more, you could end up paying more than you would pay professional packers. How is this possible?

It’s pretty simple. Professionals know how to pack even the most fragile items from your home, and even in the unlikely case something goes wrong during the rental truck ride, you will have relocation insurance for your belongings. If you end up packing everything on your own, there’s a big chance you’ll lose time and nerves. Some items won’t be adequately packed, and they’ll get damaged. For example, most people have trouble packing dishes – they get broken before they reach their destination, and then you have to spend plenty of cash to replace them all once you unpack after the move.

A mover holding a checklist and checking the boxes in front of him
The best way to handle packing is with professional packers

Be Sure to Hire Professional Long-Distance Movers Ahead of Move, So You Know How Much to Set Aside for Them

DIY relocations can be pure nightmares, trust us – for you and your credit card, both. The only thing worse is becoming a victim of a relocation scam, but that won’t happen to you if you book a reliable relocation company. The cost of professional relocation services can vary significantly, but the average numbers are between $2,000 and $5,000 per load for long-distance relocations.

Still, every case is unique, which means yours might be more or less expensive. The point is that the price is more than worth it – you can have peace of mind knowing that everything you possess is in the right hands and that you won’t fall into depression after the move because of lost or destroyed items.

Costs You Might Forget to Add to Your Budget for Moving Out

Cross-country movers and packers are indeed not an item on the list that you will forget, but what about those less obvious ones? If you don’t want to make yourself unnecessary problems later, there are a few things you might need to consider. Auto-shipping is often overlooked, yet it’s necessary – unless you wish to drive all over the country, remember to get reliable auto transportation quotes.

Also, insurance might slip your mind, but it’s more than necessary – we don’t give it enough credit, but it will be your best friend during this challenging period. Check out some tips and information about insurance that you could use when getting your policy. And lastly, remember that you’ll have to tip the movers, so set aside some cash for that, too.

Dollar bills on the black background
Some things like insurance can be forgotten during all the chaos - pay for it on time

Don’t Forget the Costs of Transportation for You and Your Family

A trustworthy relocation company will take care of your belongings and get them to the new home, but you can’t get there via rental truck. So, the question is how you will get to your new city and how large a sum you’ll require for this trip. This, obviously, depends on the distance from your old city to the destination.

Driving across the country can be exhausting, so you might want to think about paying for flights – you’ll be pretty tired on the relocation day. Remember, you will spend about two months preparing for it. When you factor in the adjustment insomnia that you may experience after the move, it’s evident that you have to cut yourself some slack.

Person in a yellow sweater typing on the laptop
Booking a flight is the best solution and one that will use the least of your time

You’ll Have to Consider a Few Post-Relocation Expenses as Well

Your financial trouble doesn’t end after movers empty the rental truck and you finally find yourself in the residence of your dreams. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are a few minor issues you’ll have to address. Truth be told, these won’t be hard on your credit card – if you’ve gotten through the move (and none of your items broke during a bumpy ride on the rental truck,) you will be fine.

There’s a lengthy list of things to do after the move, but luckily, not all of them require cash. Some do, like setting up utilities or changing a lock on the front door (yes, this is something you don’t want to skip doing). If you have great plans for the interior design of your beautiful place, calculate how much you can afford for that. Additionally, if you have a baby in your family, you will have baby-proofing as an additional but crucial expense. And lastly, one thing that everybody will have to do when they move in is a deep cleaning of the entire place. Check out the video below to see how to do that correctly if you don’t want to pay for cleaning services.

No Reason to Stress Out – With Proper Planning and Professional Long-Distance Moving Services, Everything Will Turn Out Fine

At the beginning stages of preparing for a move, your end goal might seem impossible to achieve. But don’t let the stress fool you – it’s all the matter of carefully planning your finances. However, don’t try to save some cash on things you actually require to pull this off. The best way to ensure the success of your move is to hire skilled long-distance movers rather than a simple rental truck. Remember this advice – you can thank us after the relocation.

Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.



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