A Guide to Planning a Moving Budget and How-to Stick to It

When you’re getting ready to move, the number of variables can seem overwhelming. You need to budget for what seems like a thousand little things, and you don’t have a lot of wiggle room if you forget something important. According to Forbes, budgeting doesn’t need to be overly complicated. With this in mind, here are a few basic guidelines to use when moving:

Remember These Expenses

CNBC’s article helps outline a number of different expenses you should remember when calculating your budget. Keep these in mind:

  • Peak surcharges – Try relocating during a non-busy time, like a weekday that’s not in the summer. Moving companies raise their rates during busy seasons.
  • Packing materials – You’ll need to purchase packing tape, bubble wrap, and boxes.
  • Excess cargo – Most moving companies will factor your total item amount into your bill. Also, heavier loads use more gas.
  • Cleaning – If your current place has a security deposit, you’ll need to clean it up. A housecleaning service costs about $200 if you can’t do the cleaning yourself.
  • Utilities – When you set up the utilities at your new place, you should keep an eye out for additional installation fees and taxes.
  • Food – You might need on-the-road snacks, perishables to restock your refrigerator, and food to feed your helpful friends.
  • Lost and damaged items – No move survives without breaking a few important things. You should be prepared to replace them.
  • Tips – After the movers spend the day helping you, it’s customary to tip them.
  • Storage – If it’s not possible to move all your possessions into your new residence, you might need to factor in the cost of a storage locker.

You’ll also need the typical things outlined in a moving budget. If you’re renting, you need the first and last month’s rent, plus any applicable security deposits. If you’re buying, you need to have enough saved for the down payment and your first few mortgage payments.

The best way to budget is by estimating high for your costs. That way, if you run into unexpected expenses, you have a financial cushion to break the fall. And if your move ends up cheaper than expected, you have extra money. Nothing wrong with that.

Make sure you do extensive research when you plan your budget. What are the average rents or purchase prices of the types of residences you want? What are the average costs of moving companies and gas in your area? How much ground do you need to cover, and will you be hauling a trailer? All of these factors will affect the amount of cash you need on hand.

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