Moving Budgets: The Quintessential Guide

Preparing a Moving Budget

One of the most difficult aspects of moving often lies in the task of calculating the total cost of the move in advance. The difficulty often arises from the tendency to underestimate the total costs of the move. Hidden costs can quickly accumulate, and this can force you to spend more money than the amount you reserved. The first thing to do is to come to terms with the fact that no matter how realistic your budget seems, you will probably need to put aside some more money as a buffer against unexpected costs, delays and other unforeseeable emergencies. Ending up with a little extra money in your pocket is a possibility when you dedicate an emergency fund to unexpected expenses. If something should happen, the money will be there when you need it.

It's easy to assume that you'll only need to budget for the rental truck, boxes and packing supplies. However, once you get going, you may encounter many items that you failed to include in your moving budget. Most of the major moving expenses can be anticipated and covered in your original budget with proper planning. Use this article to prepare for these costs before you begin the move.

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Calculate the Total Mileage

Renting a moving truck is a popular option if you are moving across a long distance and have a lot of items to transport. However, it is not always necessary. You might have a network of friends who can help you relocate using their vehicles, for example. Regardless of how you plan to move, you will need to calculate the full cost of transportation.

Adjust your budget to account for the total distance. You will want to use a moving calculator to estimate the total costs of transporting heavy items across this distance. You will need to know your moving date, current zip code, destination city and the total number of bedrooms that you will be packing. The weight of your items and the distance will affect the final price, and the time of year may be a factor as well.

You will need to know the gas mileage of your vehicle or rental truck, which is calculated in miles per gallon. Then, you need to know the price of fuel along your travel route in order to estimate the cost of fuel. Keep in mind that the cost of fuel can change drastically from city to city, so be sure to account for these differences.

Renting a truck may be more costly than using your own vehicle, but the benefit is that you will know the cost in advance. Once you obtain an estimate for a rental truck for your expected shipment weight and mileage, the moving company will try to honor that estimate. If you use your own vehicle, unexpected expenses are more likely to arise.

Moving between states is significantly more expensive than moving within a single state. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the cost of an interstate move is around three times higher. Try to eliminate your extra household items to reduce your total shipping weight and help you to earn some extra cash in the process. Reduce your inventory through a garage sale or charitable donations. This can also help you avoid excessive storage costs in many cases.

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Supplies and Rental Truck

List all of the necessary moving supplies you plan to include in your budget. The types of items you select will naturally depend on the type of materials you are transporting, what kind of vehicle you are using and how far you are going.
Create a budget for moving supplies including boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, wrapping paper, picture packing kits, corner protectors, fridge pouches, shoe boxes, box fillers and similar supplies. Don't forget to buy tape, scissors, box cutters, tie-down rope and bungee cords for the job. Try to figure out how to get packing boxes and other supplies for free or at a discounted price if you are concerned about saving money. You might also consider renting or borrowing a moving dolly or hand truck if you have a lot of belongings. When packing your belongings, take special care of your fragile items. Often, purchasing extra supplies to keep fragile items protected costs less than replacing a broken item.

If you choose to hire professional movers to transport your belongings, the movers will often estimate all the packing costs for you if you choose a full-service option. Even if you are doing the packing yourself, it can be beneficial to consult your movers about what kinds of supplies you'll need, and how many, based on the number of rooms in your home. If the movers come to your home to do an onsite estimate of how much your belongings might weigh, this could be an opportune time to ask. Getting estimates from more than one moving company could also help you establish your moving budget.

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Moving and Post-moving Expenses

While the costs of the actual move with likely take up most of your pre-determined budget, there are some other related costs you may want to save some funds for. Especially for moves across state lines, the drive may take multiple days of travel. In these cases, you may need to find a place to stay overnight and will need to make time to eat. Before embarking on your moving journey, take a moment to look along your travel route to find various options for food and temporary lodging that fit within your budget. Map out the route you will take for the move. You may need to pay for additional miles if you are using a rental vehicle, so you will need to know numbers in advance.

Additionally, for those long moves, your vehicle will need to be in tip-top shape. You'll likely want to have it looked at before a cross-country drive with a heavy load. Consider including vehicle inspection costs in your moving budget. Additionally, you could find yourself on the road with a flat tire or an overheating engine. Emergency vehicle repair costs should also be included in your moving budget. This way, if an emergency occurs, you can deal with it quickly and with less hassle, so you can get back on the road to your new home.

Having insurance during a move is an important way to safeguard yourself against losses. Many moving companies will offer insurance on your belongings. This way, if your items are damaged or lost during transport, you can make sure you're able to repair or replace them. You also have the option of selecting separate moving insurance plans. These can often ensure that you get the most coverage for your most valuable items. In addition to moving insurance, you may need to have separate insurance plans if you're using a rental vehicle for your move. Renter's insurance for a new home or apartment may also be necessary in order to protect your belongings should an emergency occur. Be sure to factor the cost of this insurance into your budget just in case.

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Budget for Unexpected Expenses

Create a buffer in your budget so that you have petty cash funds on hand for emergencies or unexpected moving costs. Examples of common unexpected costs that can add up quickly include:

• Setting up new services for phone, Internet and electricity at your new home
• Cleaning services for your old apartment if you expect to get your security deposit back
• Motel or hotel costs in your new city, which you might need until your new home is ready
• Increased monthly expenses in your new apartment or house.
• Storage costs. These are often necessary if you over pack or fail to estimate how much space you have available in your new home.
• Security deposits that could be required by your new landlord. They might be required for your utilities as well. Some utility companies will also demand connection fees for your new service.
• Bizarre accidents could happen at any time during a move. This might involve a power line falling, furniture falling off of a moving truck, and even injuries that occur as the result of moving heavy objects. This is hard to account for in numerical terms, but it can be helpful to be aware of the variety of strange things that could go wrong while you are in transit.


Summary
Every move is as unique as the people who are moving. Every household size will be a little different, and the method of moving can influence the total cost. This guide will help you to keep track of the items that are common to most moving situations so that you will not have to start from scratch. You can use this guide as a starting point and add any additional items that arise according to your specific circumstances. This is an excellent way to troubleshoot common problems and prevent unexpected emergencies from surprising you during your move to your new home.