To start your budget, it’s important to decide how you will execute the move. Will you hire a moving company, ask for assistance from friends and family, or a combination of the two? For small, local moves, asking friends and family for help and paying them in pizza could be a good option. For larger or farther-away moves, professional assistance may be required.
When moving, you are working with two main resources: time and money. Where you save on one, you normally will pay more in the other. Keep that in mind as you plan out the financial side of your move.
A good rule of thumb is that it’s always going to cost more and take longer than you expect. With that in mind, make sure to give yourself plenty of buffer when budgeting both resources.
If you plan on moving yourself, remember that self-moves cost more in time, though they usually are less expensive financially. Be sure to schedule things out well in advance and include extra time for any surprises.
Truck Size: It’s important to select the right size of truck. Too small and you won’t be able to move all your things in one trip, and too big means you’ll pay extra money. This can really hurt your budget. Other truck costs typically include the fuel for the truck and the miles driven, on top of the actual hourly or daily rental fee.
Moving Equipment and Supplies: While you can occasionally pick up empty boxes from your local grocery or liquor store, you may need to budget in the cost of moving boxes. Picture boxes and other specialty boxes may cost more. Other supplies include packing tape, tape dispensers, permanent markers, index cards or labels, and packing material such as bubble wrap and tissue paper.
Moving Help: While some family and friends are happy with a few pizzas for their trouble, you may need to budget in hiring some extra hands—especially if you are short on time. Take a hard look at your time-money ratio and see what works best for your move.
Hidden Costs: Servicing your car, road tolls, and food and lodging along the move route all need to be budgeted into your move. (Even if you aren’t moving far away, you probably will want to eat out while your kitchen is packed up!) If there are special considerations such as moving a piano or other specialty items that require professional assistance, be sure to include those in the cost of the move.