Good gracious, moving can get expensive! We just moved from Michigan to Colorado, so I definitely know what I’m talking about here. We’ve also moved six other times in the past nine years, in case you still doubted my qualifications, haha!
Whenever we move, I always do my best to estimate the costs ahead of time. Then I can save up for the move and keep a separate moving budget to cover all of our moving costs.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re fixing to move, so let’s look at all of the expenses that may be included so that you can accurately estimate the costs.
7 Costs to Estimate for Your Moving Budget
1. Moving Truck or Pod
One of the biggest moving costs to consider is your moving truck. If you’re moving locally, it shouldn’t be more than a few hundred dollars, but a move across the country could easily be $1500 or more. You can also use this U-Haul Gas Calculator to estimate the cost of gas (which is not insignificant these days if you plan to move across the country!). If you move out of the country, you may also need to take into account the cost of transporting your car (to estimate this cost, you can use this easy to use online calculator from American Auto Shipping).
For our move from Michigan to Colorado, we decided to move using a U-Box, which is a moving pod from U-haul. They delivered it to our house, we packed it up, and then they shipped it to Colorado for us. For such a long distance move, it was a great option because we didn’t have to drive a moving truck for 20+ hours.
Don’t forget about the gas you’ll need to put in your cars and/or moving truck.
If you want help estimating how much you’ll spend in gas, you can use this gas price trip estimator. You’ll enter your vehicle and where you’re going to get a good idea of how much money you’ll likely spend on gas.
3. Moving Helpers
Do you need to hire helpers for your move? We’ve always been lucky enough to have family we could rope into helping us with most of our moves. When we got to Colorado though, we needed help! We hired movers to unload our pod for us and it was such a blessing! We spent $220 (plus a tip) for this service and it was completely worth it.
If you need help loading or unloading stuff for your move, don’t forget to estimate the expense in your moving budget.
4. Packing Supplies
Boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape are all small expenses that can add up.
There are a whole lot of ways to get boxes for free. We had family members who could snag us boxes from their workplaces. A lot of times you can ask at grocery stores and other retail stores if you can have some of their empty boxes.
We purchased a few rolls of bubble wrap for this move, but we also used all of our towels to wrap fragile things in.
All in all, we spent about $30 on bubble wrap and packing tape.
Food can get expensive while you’re moving. If you’re without all of your kitchen gear for a few days, you’ll be getting a lot of takeout.
You’ll likely also be feeding extra people. Whenever we have family or friends help us move, we always make sure to feed them a good meal to thank them.
For our most recent move to Colorado, we were on the road for three days, which meant a lot of eating out. Food was a decent sized chunk of our moving budget.
6. Hotel Nights
Moving often involves a night or two in a hotel, so don’t forget to estimate those costs.
We had three nights in hotels for our big move and I estimated $100-125 per night.
7. Security Deposit + 1st Months Rent
Lastly, if you’re moving into an apartment, don’t forget the chunk of money you’ll need available to sign the lease.
We had to pay a security deposit plus our first months’ rent when we moved. Since we also had to pay our mortgage payment a week earlier before we sold our house, we found ourselves forking over a whole lot of money all at once. I’m glad we had planned for it all ahead of time in our moving budget!
Obviously, moving costs can vary a greatly depending if you’re moving across town or across the country. Either way, it helps to do your best to estimate how much your move will cost so that you can save up for it ahead of time.
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