11 Budgeting Tips for Planning a Move

January 10, 2022
budgeting tips for planning a move

Planning a move is both helpful and stressful. Some time ago, a survey concerning the most stressful events in a person’s life was conducted. Moving was ranked high on that list, and for good reason. Consider all of the stressors involved – leaving a comfortable environment for a new, unknown one; transplanting children to a new school; perhaps starting a new job; and, of course, all of the challenges of accomplishing the move itself. 

One of the challenges for any move is the cost involved in leaving one residence and finally getting settled in a new one. Planning a move is crucial so you don’t underestimate the costs to come. So, here you will find 11 tips to plan for the expense of moving.

Estimating costs – be as accurate as possible

1. Start well in advance with a list and a savings plan

You may need to put money aside for your move, and the earlier you can begin saving for this, the better. You don’t want to be financially strapped at the last minute, wondering how you will come up with the funds you actually need.

Planning will involve compiling a list of all possible expenses and then deciding how much you need to set aside before the move. This is more complex than you may think, but if you follow the rest of these tips, you should have your finances under control.

2. Inventory everything in your current residence

Image credit: [Ivan Samkov]

Whether you will be using professional movers or moving yourself, you still need to conduct the inventory. Go from room to room and list every item that will be going with you and those you intend to sell off or discard. 

Once you have your list of items that will be going, divide that into those that you will send with professional movers (if you are using them) and those items that you will carry yourself. If you are planning to conduct the move entirely on your own, then you will need to determine the size of the rental truck you will need. Those rental fees can be calculated in advance.

You may be using a combination of professional movers and a rental vehicle. For example, if you have specialty items, such as a piano, you will want to hire professionals. Contact a moving company and get a price for those items so that you can add that to your budget.

3. Plan for lodging and meals

Depending on your specific circumstances, you may have to plan for a hotel/motel stay for a night or two. As well, you will certainly not be cooking, so there are meals to account for. Can you tolerate cheaper fast food or do you want moderately priced dine-in restaurants? Calculate a reasonable figure for these things, and then add just a bit more for any unforeseen circumstances.

4. Professional moving costs

If you are being transferred by your current employer, relax. The cost of hiring professional movers will be their expense, and you can let those movers do everything from packing to transporting, to unpacking in your new residence.

If you are hiring professional movers at your own expense, then you have some work to do. There will be a host of different estimates, depending on what you are willing to do yourself. 

Contact several moving companies and get estimates for the cost of every service they offer. Many will send a representative to your home to provides these estimates. If these are too high for your budget, determine what you are willing to do yourself. 

There will be separate estimates for packing, loading/transporting, and unpacking at the destination. If you are willing to pack and unpack everything yourself, you will save a ton of money.

5. Movers’ insurance

professional movers budgeting tips for move

Professional moving companies will insure your belongings up to a certain amount. Be certain to check their policies for limits, deductibles, etc. If you have certain items that are highly valuable and that must go on the truck, you may want to purchase supplemental insurance for those.

If you pack your own things and then use a professional mover, what you pack will not be covered under their insurance policy. You will need to purchase insurance to cover these.

And obviously, if you are moving yourself, get a top-notch policy, so you do not suffer losses that will be a financial issue later on.

6. Additional expenses

These are often difficult to think of, but here are a few budgetary items you should consider:

  • Who will clean your old residence? If you don’t have time or motivation, you may end up hiring a cleaning service.
  • Will you need to take off work to move, and will that be uncompensated leave time? That’s an expense you must consider.
  • Gas costs, if you rent a truck and move yourself.
  • Additional equipment if you move yourself – dolly, blankets, tie-downs, etc.
  • Costs of stocking food staples and pantry items in your new residence.
  • Miscellaneous costs of household items – shower curtains, window curtains/blinds, trash cans, wall hanging hardware, throw rugs, etc. Taken all together, these items will add up to a significant amount.
  • Cleaning of your new residence. Are you doing it by yourself or hiring professionals?
  • Child care and pet care. Moving day is hectic enough without small children and pets underfoot. 

7. Add a minimum of 5% to your total estimate

There will always be unplanned expenses, and you don’t want these surprises to become a financial crisis. Once you have added up all of your costs, add at least another 5% to that, more if you can.

8. Add it all up

Here’s where planning a move pays off. Once you have your expenses identified and at least fairly accurate estimates, calculate your total. Now you can begin to plan for accumulating that amount in time for the move. Your advance financial planning for the event will relieve a large stressor.

Advance money-saving ideas

Now that you have your budget figure, let’s unpack some of the ways that you can work toward accumulating the funds you will need. Here are a few tips that you may find useful.

9. Hold a yard/garage sale

Image credit: [Charisse Kenion]

This will serve two purposes. First, you will get rid of items that have been accumulating and that you have no intention of taking with you. Second, it will generate cash to stick away for those moving expenses. Anything that is not sold should be donated. If you have quite a bit, most nonprofit organisations will come and haul it off for you, saving you the cost of disposal.

10. Cut daily/weekly expenses

Chances are, you had a personal finance course at some point in your schooling. You might have considered it an irrelevant “fluff” course at the time, and when you got academic assignments such as essays or papers, you may have even asked a writing service to “Write my paper.” Now, you may need some of that course content.

How often do you go out to eat? How much do you spend on entertainment? What are other miscellaneous expenses that are “wants” but not “needs?” If you need to save some serious cash for your move, cut your expenses to a minimum, and set an amount that you intend to put away every week toward the move. That new pair of jeans or tennis shoes can wait.

11. Find ways to cut some moving expenses

If you plan to move yourself or to do the packing for a professional move, check out local retailers and friends who have been through moves. You may be able to accumulate plenty of packing boxes that will reduce the expense of purchasing them – they are pricey.

In the end…

Moving is a major event. And with it comes lots of stressors that can impact your mood, your productivity, and your general sense of well-being. You don’t have to allow money issues to enter into this picture. Planning a move ahead of time is key, know what you are facing in terms of expenses, planing ahead to have the money saved up, and you’ll have a huge burden off of your shoulders.

Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.

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