How to Create a Smart Moving Budget for Your Next Long-Distance Move

July 29, 2020

Before you even begin putting your belongings in boxes, one of the crucial things to do when it comes to long-distance relocations is to create an accurate moving budget. A clear account of how much money you have at your disposal and what you’ll be spending it on can do wonders for reducing stress levels and keeping your savings account unscathed. Since every little thing can help in that regard, stay with our short guide to figuring out your relocation expenses and creating an appropriate financial plan.

Prepare to calculate all costs for your moving budget.

Costs of Hiring Professional Services You Have to Account For in Your Moving Budget

If you decide to let relocation experts do most of the job, the main portion of the budget will be spent on the services of professional movers. They’ll charge you based on the weight or number of your belongings and the distance/duration of the move.

However, you may as well expect some additional expenses along the way, especially if you want to employ professional packers to prepare your stuff for transport. Therefore, you should do thorough research and choose a company that is hidden-cost-free or has them in the least possible amount.

Spending Money on Insurance Is a Crucial Step

Whether you’re hiring movers or going for a DIY move, insurance is a box that has to be ticked off. You can pay the moving company for it (and you should), but buying an additional insurance policy can’t hurt at all.

Here are some things that can call for extra insurance:

  • Cars, especially if they’re new, luxurious, or vintage
  • Fragile items and electronics
  • Family heirlooms with significant sentimental or financial value

Of course, the home you’re moving into should be insured as well.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

Math can sometimes be complicated, and it certainly is so when there are so many things to think about. So use a calculator app on your phone for such needs. It’ll be much easier and certainly clearer than calculating hundreds of figures written on pieces of paper.

You should also visit the website of your chosen mover, go through reviews left by previous customers, and request a free estimate. In fact, it would be best if you asked for a quote from at least three companies to get the best deal (the best services at the most reasonable prices).

It's best to hire the movers to help you with packing and relocation, and use an online calculator to calculate the costs

DIY Relocation Expenses

Of course, you can decide to do the entire process by yourself (or with a couple of friends), without help from experts. It may seem cheaper, but the price expressed in time spent and stress sustained is exponential. And the money is not negligible, either.

For starters, you’ll have to rent a truck and the adequate equipment for relocation. And that’s just the beginning of the costs and expenses of a DIY relocation. A significant amount of cash can go on fuel, depending on the distance. Then there are accommodation and food along the way, which you will have to pay for regardless of whether you opt for a relocation company or a DIY move.

Calculate Food and Accommodation Into the Moving Budget

If the move lasts for more than a day, you’ll have to sleep somewhere and eat something. Besides, you’ll need to arrange and pay for your own transport, be it a plane ticket or a cross-country drive. So add a few more items to your spreadsheet. And remember: the sooner you start looking for accommodation, the better the price will be.

DIY relocation isn't free; costs are many, from renting a truck to meals and accommodation

Costs of Packing Up Your Home

If you opt for professional packing services, the cost of it will be incorporated in the overall cost of movers’ services. It’s possible that movers will require a household inventory list, so they know what to pack. In this case, they will bring all the basic supplies with them.

Know Your Materials and Where to Find Them

On the other hand, if you choose to wrap up your belongings by yourself, you should learn what kind of materials are used for packing. Boxes, first and foremost, can be bought in retail stores or directly from professional movers. You may even get them for free or find cheaper alternatives, but have some cash prepared, just in case. The same goes for the bubble wrap, packing paper, tape, and other materials that’ll carry and protect your stuff.

Of course, hiring professionals will save you a lot of time and nerves, and when it comes to packaging fragile items, it’s undoubtedly the best to leave it to the pros.

The cost of professional packing is worth the time and nerves saved

Make Room for Storage

For one reason or another, there’s a chance that not all your stuff will get into the truck or be able to enter your new home immediately. That’s where storage enters the fray. Most shippers provide storage, and some of them offer it for free for a while, so choosing one of them is a good step toward saving some money.

You'll probably need storage, and some companies will provide it for free, which will help your finances

Car Shipping Expenses

Wherever you go, you’d want your car to go with you, right? So, you’ll need to transport your vehicle, with the help of professional auto transport services or on your own. If the former is the case, make inquiries at several companies about it, and then decide on one. The price of car shipping depends on distance, but also on the mode of transport. Also, before you load your car on a trailer, you’ll have to do a technical inspection and necessary repairs.

Open or Enclosed Transport

Two main modes of transporting cars are open and enclosed trailers. Open ones are cheaper, but the car is more at risk during the trip. Enclosed transport offers almost full safety, but for much more money. Also, if you opt for the car to be delivered to your doorstep, the price will be steeper than if you pick it up at a terminal.

Shipping a car by truck is one more cost to be counted on, so add it to your calculations

Once You Get There

Getting to the destination doesn’t mean the end of expenses. You’ll probably have to splash some cash for setting up the utilities. Maybe some of your furniture or appliances couldn’t arrive with you and have to be replaced. Only when all of that is covered, you can consider your relocation truly over from a financial standpoint.

Costs Related to Real Estate

This one is often overlooked due to all the tasks that fill up your schedule, but the home you’re leaving will need some spending, too. If you’re leaving your own home, there will be fees related to the legal representation, advertising, and selling, or cleaning and repairs if you’re renting it. If you were a tenant, the landlord may be entitled to some fees because of canceling the lease.

It's best to make all financial preparations before coming to the new home

The Best Way to Spend Is To Save Time and Effort

Relocation is a stressful and money-draining endeavor, no matter how you decide to organize it. Still, stress is a factor that can be mitigated to a significant degree. All it takes is a bit of planning and financial prudence, and we hope we’ve helped you out at least a bit in that respect.

Eleanor Stewart