Budgeting is one of the most challenging and daunting tasks when it comes to moving. Relocation is usually expensive and depends on many factors, such as the distance of the move, the volume of your possessions, the mode of transportation, storage, packaging, etc. But you can always find the golden mean if you create a well-thought-out plan that takes into account each stage of the process. This article will highlight how to estimate your moving budget and avoid additional expenses.
Take time to put together an inventory
Before requesting a quote from a moving company, you need to know what is going with you to your new place. The detailed and early inventory will provide you with an answer as it is the best method to sort out things. Besides, you will be able to put aside items that you do not need at all — you can sell these to partially reimburse your expenses. The movers will operate with the weight, size and value of your possessions to evaluate the cost of the service. Once you have accurate dimensions, you will be able to calculate how big a truck you need for the relocation.
Note that local movers typically work based on a flat hourly rate, while long-distance moving companies always consider the weight of the goods. You can find a built-in calculator on many moving sites that will help you roughly estimate your expenses. Value is another critical factor that influences the overall cost – valuable belongings may need expensive insurance. If you are going to move a lot of valuables, you should consider hiring professional movers who know how to handle these with no damage.
Research market moving costs
Even if you have found a reliable company to relocate, try to compare its charges with other similar services. Google will help you in this respect. You will be surprised to learn that costs can drastically vary. Besides the distance and size of your move, there are other nuances that may build up or reduce the final sum. You may only need to rent a truck and deal with the rest of the tasks on your own. Or you may opt for a full-service mover that will handle everything, from packing to furniture reassembly.
Now try to obtain quotes from several self-service and full-service moving companies. This approach will provide you with a full range of available options. Self-service moving companies are much cheaper, but they do not provide a lot of services. For example, you will have to organize loading and offloading on your own, which you will also need to pay for to a third party. Full-service movers are usually expensive, but they will devoid you of a packing headache and other issues that a move involves.
Make a moving budget template
Moving costs have a tendency to grow without you even noticing it. So it is better to know in advance what to expect. If you take some time to categorize and write down the expenses, it may bring down your costs. You do not need a special program to create your budget template, but it will considerably simplify things. You can use Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel or even make it on a sheet of paper. All you need to do is to draw the following table:
- Make two columns — category and cost.
- Use the category column to list what you will need to pay for — truck rent, moving insurance, packing supplies and various additional services.
- Now fill in the cost column — add the expected cost for each position.
- Leave empty lines for additional things — every move is full of unexpected twists and you may come across these as well.
Creating a budget template is an excellent way to see the whole picture and cut back the expenses where you can. If you develop your budget well in advance, you will be able to save some money on a separate moving account to make the relocation more feasible when the due date comes.
Book your moving in advance
It isn’t easy to plan your business move as it may happen at the last moment. But your personal relocation is usually more flexible. So use it to your benefit, as it may also help you save money. The time of the year matters a lot as truck rental fees and company rates depend on the season and even the day of the week. Summer and spring are always the busiest seasons, and be prepared to pay more for the relocation during this period. Winter move is much more affordable, so if you are not afraid of potential delays caused by weather conditions, you may get a reasonable quote. If you still need to move in the summer, try to book your move for the middle of the week – it will also cost less than the date closer to the weekend.
Remember moving budget tips
There are some tips that will also help you understand your moving budget better.
- What is more important for you – cost or convenience? It is vital to correctly assess how much time and energy you can invest into your moving process. You can even create two budget templates to compare the difference between full and partial moving services. Sometimes, it is more reasonable to choose a more expensive variant but get everything done flawlessly and quickly.
- Always check for hidden costs. It is not a rare case that companies do not list some minor services – for example, relocation of bulky electric appliances. Usually, things like furniture assembly, transit of fragile items, and appliance installation are charged additionally. Do not be afraid your mover for a list of extra charged services.
- Get an emergency fund. Even if you spend enough time on your moving plan, you can never predict all details. Even if something minor goes wrong, it may increase your planned budget. So having an extra sum at hand can be very helpful.
Summing up, your move cost will depend on how well you prepare for it. If you take it seriously and devote enough time to plan every potential expense of the coming relocation, you will be ready for all possible surprises if these happen. Moreover, you will even be able to kill two birds with one stone and combine and find a balance between convenience and cost.