How to draw up a moving budget?

What are the first things that come to your mind when you think of moving house? Time-consuming, mind-boggling, cash-starving? It is absolutely logical to think that way at first. All you need is to draw up a moving budget. In order to make the whole process easier, take your pen and paper, or computer, and write everything down. That is how you start and we are here to help you plan it and not get into a financial nightmare.

Make a moving costs grid

You can commence by creating a list with all the necessary and possible expenditures. Those usually include the following wide categories:

  • transportation and travel
  • packing inventory
  • storage rental
  • utilities and paperwork
  • refurnishing and refurbishing
  • groceries and supplies
  • extras impacting your moving budget
Important things for a moving budget: signs for renting or selling a property, a painting roller, a box, a key, a piece of paper and a pen, a padlock, a road
In order to plan a moving budget, you need to pay attention to numerous things.

All these moving costs can be divided into separate sub-categories, which can easily fit into your grid. It is worth mentioning that no two tables are the same. Every relocation process is different and purely depends on individual cases.

Having created the list, move on to the second column of your grid and write the estimated costs for each entry. You need good research skills here. There are some very useful online and regular moving estimates which can help you set your moving budget. If you aren’t quite sure how to do that online, you can always hire a regular professional, which again requires spending a buck or two.

Finally, leave some space in the third column. You can note the actual costs on the move. This helps you to monitor the expenses and see whether and to what extent you are sticking to the relocation budget plan. 

What’s better for a moving budget: professional movers or self-moving?

The primary decision is to choose whether you are going to hire a professional company to deal with the relocation or you are going to do everything by yourself (and Santa’s little helpers, like your friends and family). Your moving budget is highly dependent on that choice.

Moving costs with professionals

Hiring moving companies can be expensive, but they save your time. They make the whole process easier and you can ensure more freedom from worry. If you aren’t certain which company is the best for you, check our free estimate. Most of them charge you on account of the time spent, distance, and weight.

Self-moving costs

Although self-moving seems inexpensive when compared to hiring a professional mover, it can be far more stressful and exhausting. When opting for this, people usually ask their friends and family members to assist them.

Here is a list of the basic stuff to consider when self-moving:

  • truck rental
  • gas and toll for each vehicle
  • moving insurance
  • moving equipment, such as dollies, ramps, hand trucks, etc.
  • food and drinks for everyone engaged
  • extra money for hidden moving costs

Packing and storage expenses

There is no doubt you will need boxes, bags, tapes, labels, bubble wraps, covers, and more packing materials. Even though they seem irrelevant at first, they can seriously influence your relocation budget. Thus, make sure to shop around so that you can have the best bargain.

Moving boxes, scissors, sticky notes and tapes.
Packing materials are not so cheap. Plan how much you will spend on them.

A lot of movers offer packing services, which may include the very packing, unpacking, disassembling and re-assembling of some big pieces of furniture. Should you find it convenient, put the estimated cost in your checklist.

In case your new apartment or house isn’t fully ready yet, but you have to move, you ought to consider renting a storage unit for some of your belongings. A realistic estimate of the rental duration and a detailed plan are required unless you want to spend loads of money. And don’t forget the insurance.

The day after in your moving budget

Unfortunately, your relocation budget checklist doesn’t end the moment you enter your new home and unpack.

First, a lot of legal and financial requirements will await you, such as new contracts, paying the utility bills, rent, deposit or mortgage. Additionally, you may need to allocate some money for insurance, car registration, mail redirection, and other important paperwork. 

Second, due to various reasons, the new place of living might require some extra cleaning and refurbishing. Again, you can get it done by professionals. That usually results in buying new furniture, which imposes new items on your moving budget list.

Third, your fridge and cupboards will be empty. Check how much money you need to do the grocery and supplies shopping. Just to make sure no additional expenses arise.

Hidden and extra costs

You can’t always predict what might happen. You can take many wrong steps while moving, but you should always be calm and try to prevent them. For that reason, always set aside some amount of money in your relocation budget to cover the newly incurred expenses.

A calculator you need to calculate your moving budget.
When calculating your budget, bear in mind that there will always be some unexpected costs.

For instance, when hiring a professional mover, there are numerous additional charges that they may apply. There are fees for bulky and valuable items, extra stops and pick-ups, long carry distances from the truck to the place of living, etc.

If you are a self-mover and you travel a long way from the old to the new home, you might need to book a hotel or another type of accommodation to stay there during the night.

Everything checked on you moving budget list

When you finish the whole moving process and do all the necessary stuff in the post-relocation period, look at your moving costs checklist and calculate how much you have spent. That gives you an insight into the possible debts incurred. If the actual sum isn’t much more different than the estimated one, you can say you’ve done it in the right way. 

Now it’s time to relax and enjoy. You might wish to throw a moving-in party, which is a perfect way to meet your neighbors. Or if you are a young couple planning to have a baby, it will be easy for you to create a baby budget based on your experience with the moving budget. Or you can start saving some money and making plans for your next holiday. Or anything else you desire.

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