Moving Day has finally arrived! The ink on the contracts for your new home has barely had time to dry and you are ready to move in. Preparing your budget for a move can be overwhelming and seem nearly impossible pending on the distance and amount of things you own.
After you have done this a few times, you will get the hang of it. But, if this is your first move, there are some things you need to budget for because no matter how cheaply you plan to do this, you will be spending money on some essential things.
Have no fear! I have moved enough times I need to count it on two hands, and it doesn’t have to be a scary process. What will be most helpful to you is making sure you have the money ready for the things that you are going to need.
Every move will be different, but these are some of the most common expenses associated with a move. Tailor each of these things to what you plan to do and save accordingly.
For each category listed below:
- Look up the costs online to give yourself a ballpark idea,
- then decide how much time you have to save for it.
- Save that money!
Example: if you think you will spend ~$1,000 and have 3 months to save for it; you need to save ~$350 every month until that time.
Having this money on-hand will allow you to get what you need for Moving Day so instead of worrying about how you are going to pay for the moving truck, you can focus on bossing everyone around (as I know I definitely do!) to make sure things are packed and moved correctly.
1. Packing Supplies
If you are trying to move on an extreme budget, take advantage of social media and ask friends/family for moving boxes or packing supplies they may be willing to part with. You are going to need:
- packing tape,
- paper/bubble wrap/styrofoam, etc. for padding, and
- permanent markers for labeling.
The Ultimate Cheap Way:
You can improvise on packing material a bit by using towels you own, t-shirts, bedding, etc., which is also nice because you would be packing that stuff anyways. If you know someone who works for a business that is constantly getting deliveries, you can ask to use the boxes they typically recycle.
The Not-So Cheap Way:
In a perfect, no money concerns world, buying all of your supplies is super nice for functionality and packing purposes. Our best move was one where we bought all of our boxes from Home Depot (large, medium and small – and color-coded). The reason this was so nice for packing the moving truck is they are all the same sizes/dimensions, which makes it less like a terrible game of Tetris, and more organized in general. This could easily cost you $50-$100 pending on how many boxes you need.
Another expense I do recommend is Newsprint packing paper. I went through a handful of moves before I used this stuff, and now I will never go back to not using it. It will cost you ~$40 to move a standard 2-bedroom home, but I found it was worth it to me. I didn’t worry about my glassware breaking, and it made packing such a smoother process. Using towels, t-shirts or bedding for breakables was super bulky and mildly frustrating for me.
There is no way around purchasing packing tape unless someone gives you some. Buying nice tape dispensers is well worth the money to decrease the frustration with taping all of your boxes. You will also want to have a good permanent marker (or two) to label all of your boxes (what they are and where you want them to go in the new house).
- How Much Money Should You Have Saved for Your First Home?
- 7 Things You Should Not Spend Money on After a Move
2. Moving Transportation
You have two options for your moving transportation. You can either provide your own transportation or hire transportation.
Take into account how much gas (+/- tolls) you need based on how many trips you are taking back-and-forth from the old house to the new house.
Moving vehicle rental: Look at the company online (I have the most experience with U-haul) to see what size vehicle they recommend and what they charge for mileage. You should also find out what the penalty is if the vehicle isn’t returned when it is supposed to be (Things happen sometimes! Best to be prepared.).
Moving company: Check out the cost of hiring an actual moving company with their own vehicle and movers (some will even pack for you!) based on how many rooms you have to move. Keep in mind you will also need to be prepared to tip them at the end of the job.
Pro tip: If you have issues with your moving process and need to put things in storage, look into an actual storage unit vs. a moveable pod unit.
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Moving is hard work! You will definitely be hungry during the day and once you are in your new home with nothing unpacked, what the heck are you going to feed everyone for dinner? Be realistic about what you can do during this time. If you don’t want to worry about making lunch or dinner, that’s ok! Just prepare your budget for ordering pizza for lunch and going out to dinner.
If you have friends or family helping you with your packing/moving provide them with lunch too! Just plan on getting a huge sub from Subway or ordering pizza for everyone. I am as cheap as they come and I still don’t stress about spending money on food during moves. The entire process is usually chaotic and hectic so ordering food is a little treat to make the day go smoother.
4. Cleaning supplies
Moving into a home is very different than moving into an apartment. In apartment living, the previous tenant had to clean perfectly prior to moving out and typically they have the carpets cleaned and the walls freshly painted. In a new home, the previous owners don’t have to do any of those things.
The first home we moved into was D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G. It needed carpets cleaned, cabinets cleaned, floors cleaned, refrigerator cleaned (ugh, vomit). It was filthy. Hopefully, you won’t have the same experience of having to clean all day before you can actually move your stuff in like I did. Regardless, I would bank on having to do some kind of cleaning.
The best thing you can do is buy all of your cleaning supplies ahead of time. Things like:
- paper towels,
- all-purpose cleaner,
- bathroom cleaner,
- toilet cleaner,
- dusting spray,
- garbage bags,
- rent a Rug Doctor, etc.
Pro-tip: Set aside a box with all the cleaning supplies you are going to need (include rags and towels you may use) and leave the lid open so it doesn’t get packed.
There you have it! Those are the costs we have come across with every move. I would say, on average, we typically spend ~$1,000 per move. Now that we have done it so often we have boxes and paper saved to cut on those costs.
Finding your perfect home is the difficult part, don’t let the move be challenging too. Prepare your budget for your move by looking into packing supplies, transportation options, food for the day and cleaning supplies. Find out how much each of these will be for you and budget for it! Make your move more fun by having the financial aspect taken care of. Then you can spend all your energy directing everyone on that day. You know that’s where the real fun is!
What costs have you run into during your move?
Could you use an extra $7,000/year?
Of course you could! It’s crazy the amount of money people can actually save.
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+ Find your biggest opportunities for saving TONS of money within your current budget!
+ Start implementing very simple & proven tips to save you thousands. (NO joke)
+ Set super easy and achievable budgeting goals to take control of your finances & increase the digits at the end of the month in your bank account.
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