How to create a realistic moving budget

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

Moving budget calculation

Getting ready for relocation but not sure how to handle your finances? Oh, is that so? Of course, we've all been there. It's safe to assume that sometimes the whole moving process can turn out to be a real money-drainer. Since you're reading this text, there's a good chance you want to avoid the mentioned scenario. We'll show you how to create a realistic moving budget. You'll be able to easily manage your funds for the upcoming ordeal.

Get some pen & paper!

Wondering how to create a realistic moving budget? First things first, you'll want to make an inventory of all the stuff you're taking along with you. To cut the costs as much as you can (since more stuff equals more money you're spending on the trip), it might be best if you downsize a bit and get rid of all the items you don't need. What about that old sofa that's been bugging you for god knows how long? Try selling or donating it! Anyway, once you create an inventory, you'll need to figure out the approximate weight of all the stuff you're planning to move. If you plan to hire professionals to handle the task, you'll need to know those numbers. But, more about that in one of the paragraphs below.

A woman planning her move
Find yourself some pen and paper! Create an inventory of all the items you're planning to move!

A moving budget template

Also, while the pen's still in your hand, you could create a moving budget template. List all the necessary components of your relocation and their estimated/actual cost (packing material expenses, for example). Once you've finished with that, calculate the total estimated/actual cost. Still, there are a couple of things you can consider before doing the math. Scroll down!

Obtain packing materials for a measly price

We're not encouraging you to find some low-quality packing materials. The thing is: you can find packing materials for a nominal price, even for free. For example, you can kindly ask your local shopkeeper if they have any cardboard boxes to spare. If they're not in the trash already, your neighbor will probably give you some boxes for free. Even if you don't utilize all of them, there are several creative ways you can put them to good use. Other packing materials like bubble wrap or packing tape you can find online for a low price. Of course, you can always hire professionals to handle this task (see the paragraph below). Otherwise - add these into your calculation:

  • Cardboard boxes

  • Bubble wrap

  • Packing paper and tape

  • Mattress and furniture covers

  • Packing labels

As we've already mentioned, check out some online shops. You're bound to find an ideal offer. Check out your local grocery shops and see if you can find some free cardboard boxes.

Packing supplies
Packing supplies

Hiring movers? Here's how you'll be priced

If you're hiring movers to take care of the job, you need some information concerning what exactly you are paying for. Contacting professionals is popular when there's a short-distance move to be handled. But, if you're doing a long-distance one, hiring pros becomes a necessity. And finding reliable ones is a must. You'll know you made the right decision after the whole ordeal's over, believe us. Anyway, here's some info on how most moving providers price your relocation:

  • Base rate - this is the fee you'll have to pay independent of the distance or the weight of your cargo.

  • Weight of your stuff - most professionals will charge you by the pound. This goes for long-distance moves.

  • Specialty items toll - if you're moving items that require special attention (pianos, for example), you're going to have to lay down some extra funds.

  • Relocation insurance - you want to ensure that none of the items will suffer damage during the relocation. But with insurance, even if something happens to your stuff, you'll get a refund.

  • Packing services - sometimes it's best to let professionals handle the task of packing your stuff. They have the best packing materials, and there's little chance anything will happen to your items.

Where to look for quality service providers?

Finding a quality moving provider shouldn't be a complex task since today's market is flooded with professionals offering their services to folks in trouble, like yourself. Ask your friends or relatives for references, or check the online directories for professionals in your area If you're planning a long-distance relocation, hiring professionals is the way to go. You'll feel like the lady in the picture!

Going DIY instead? Alright, here's what you'll need to add to your calculation

Some folks like to go DIY whenever there's a chance. Sometimes it's not about the funds but personal integrity. Maybe you're one of them? If so, there will be a couple of additions to your moving cost calculation. Here's what you need to think about when moving in your own style:

  • Renting a moving truck - you'll probably have to rent out a moving truck.

  • Gas money - although it may seem pretty obvious, make sure you don't forget to add this to your calculation.

  • Other moving equipment - you'll also need to add other moving equipment (besides the packing materials) into your calculation: a dolly, a standard set of tools, etc.

Remember that if something gets broken during your DIY relocation, you'll have to cover the damage. But, what's life without a bit of risk, right?

Final words

If you have been wondering how to create a realistic moving budget, now you have a clear picture of what lies ahead. Hopefully, your estimation won't differ that much from the actual cost of the whole process. Whether or not you're planning to hire professionals to handle the task, there's a lot of things to add to your moving cost calculation. By creating a moving template and adding everything we have mentioned above to your calculation, you're bound to feel more in control. Being well-organized is, of course, the first and the most critical rule of conducting a stress-free relocation.

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