Moving Budget Guide

We provide a list of every possible expense and financial factor that you can consider for a moving budget. Be prepared and save money.

Every Financial Factor That You Need to Consider

Why Do You Need a Budget?

When it comes to planning a move, creating a budget should be a top priority.

Without a budget in place, you may find yourself spending more money than necessary on small items like purchasing new shower curtains, sheets, or restocking after the move.

Taking the time to set aside some funds prior to the move will ensure that you are not left dealing with financial stress after the move.

How to Get Started

On the Computer

You can use a basic software program such as Word or Excel to make a budget template. Excel will allow you to use formulas for easy calculations.

On the Books

For a simple low tech option, purchase a bookkeeper’s record book from Office Depot. A document like this will give you a fundamental framework for tracking your expenses. However, you may need to make slight modifications to the column titles or other aspects of the template.

Using this method will require a calculator however.

Ultimate List of Possible Moving Expenses

Now lets take a look at all of the possible expenses that you may encounter.

Moving Company Expenses

Are you using a moving company? Here are some costs to consider.

  • Moving company fees:
    Ensure that the fee covers fuel charges and labor. To make an informed decision, request estimates from at least three different competitors and use the highest quote in your budget.
  • Additional insurance: If your belongings hold significant value to you (antiques, family heirlooms), it’s worth considering additional insurance coverage. Include this in your overall moving cost calculation.
  • Extra services: Certain moving companies may charge additional fees for special services like preparing appliances or moving a piano. If you anticipate needing such assistance, request quotes from the moving company to determine the cost.
  • Extra charges: Depending on the distance of your move, there may be additional charges to consider such as:
    • accessorial charges
    • expedited service charges
    • flight charges
    • long haul charges
    • long carry charges
    • shuttle service fees
  • Unexpected damage: It’s wise to anticipate potential damage to furniture during the move. While an exact amount is not necessary, consider adding a contingency rate of around 5 percent based on the total moving company fees to cover any unforeseen claims or damage costs.
  • Professional packing: If you prefer not to pack your belongings yourself or require assistance, professional packing services are available at an extra cost.

DIY Moving Expenses

Do it yourselfers will incur moving van or truck fees.

  • Truck rental: Rates are determined by truck size. One way or round trip moves also factor into this fee.
  • Mileage: Inquire with the rental agency about the vehicle’s expected mileage per gallon. If you have a long-distance move, research the fuel costs along your route. Use a fuel calculator online such as
  • Insurance: Prior to purchasing insurance, contact your credit card companies to determine if they provide coverage for your rental. This step could potentially save you some money. If you are not covered, remember to include an insurance fee in your budget.
  • Extra equipment: If you have a substantial amount of furniture to move, you might find it convenient to rent additional equipment such as dollies, loading ramps, mattress and furniture covers, and more. Before including these items in your budget, confirm with the truck rental company whether these extras are already included in the rental fee.
  • Incidentals: Allocate an extra contingency amount for any unforeseen expenses ( gas prices increase, unexpected stop, etc).

Travel to New Location Expenses

If you are driving your car to the new location, along with a moving truck or van, then consider these travel fees

  • Transportation: Add in the costs for fuel and maintenance fees, such as oil, fluids and a check-up. If you prefer, divide these costs into separate line items.
  • Lodging: If you anticipate the need for hotel or lodging accommodations during your move, utilize resources like Expedia to research rates, availability, and make bookings accordingly.
  • Meals: Calculate an average cost per meal per person.
  • Child or pet care: You might need someone to watch your pet or babysit so you can focus on the move
  • Temporary housing: Determine if you and your family will require temporary housing at your destination before your permanent home is ready.

Packing Supplies

While it might be difficult to determine how much packing supplies you need, it is a good idea to add in an amount anyway.

  • Boxes: Determine the quantity of moving boxes required. If you are unable to find free boxes, be prepared to incur a cost for purchasing them.
  • Wrapping materials: Safeguard your fragile items by using protective bubble wrap or newspaper.
  • Packing materials: Organize your moving boxes with markers or labels to maintain order. Remember to include packing tape for sealing the boxes securely. You will need ALOT of tape!
  • Mattress covers/padding: If you are utilizing a moving company, they typically provide these supplies at no charge. However, it’s advisable to confirm this beforehand.
  • Storage fees: If you anticipate the need for storage space before, during, or after the move, reach out to several storage companies to obtain pricing. If you haven’t decided on a specific facility, include the highest price in your budget.
  • Storage insurance: If you plan to store valuable possessions, consider adding extra insurance coverage to ensure adequate protection.
  • Transport costs: These expenses encompass the transportation of your belongings from your home to the storage facility.

Selling Home, or Moving from Rental

This part is totally optional. But for this budget you could include the costs of selling your home or leaving a rental.

  • Commission: broker commission fee
  • Other selling fees: These may include:
    • lawyer fees
    • title fees
    • inspections
    • appraisals
  • Advertising: Listing your home may require advertising fees.
  • Cleaning, painting or repairs: Before you sell your home, you might need to clean it or repair it. Renters usually have to patch any holes in walls from paintings etc
  • Early cancellation fees: If you are breaking a lease as a renter, you may lose your deposit.

New Home Purchase or Rental Fees

Whether you plan to buy or rent your new home, the costs multiply from fees, insurance, deposits, taxes, utilities, and more.

  • Home buying fees: Apart from the actual purchase price there will be additional fees such as:
    • lawyer fees
    • title search fees
    • survey fees
    • inspection and appraisal
  • Insurance: Regardless of whether you are buying or renting, obtaining insurance coverage for your home or apartment is essential to safeguard your valuables.
  • Redecorating costs: Calculating redecorating expenses can be challenging. Determine the room requiring the most work. Then, break down each cost (e.g., paint, curtains, rugs, lamps, garbage containers, etc.), and tally them up. Determine an average cost for the entire home.
  • Property taxes: Many people consider the house price but overlook the significance of factoring in property taxes.
  • Utility deposits. Possible utility fees may include:
    • expenses for telephone
    • cable
    • water
    • electricity
    • heating
  • Apartment deposits: If you are renting, expect to pay a rental deposit and possibly a damage deposit.
  • Miscellaneous: Renting through a broker may incur a broker’s fee. Additional incidental costs to consider include parking permits, garbage disposal fees, and association fees if you are part of a homeowners association or condo association.

Total Cost

Now, add all the line items up, and multiply that total by 5% percent. Adding 5% to the total will give you a contingency buffer and help prevent any surprise overages. However, this list is pretty comprehensive and will likely create a budget that is a bit higher than needed. But its better to consider more than needed to protect yourself.

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