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How to Create a Moving Budget

January 8th, 2013 - 8:58 AM

People set budgets every day for things like groceries, rent, entertainment, and shopping. I even have a budget set for how much I spend on going out to eat! When it comes to moving, why not set a budget for that, too? Whether your cross country move is expected or unexpected, I’ll help you create a budget for it so that you don’t overspend. Let’s take a look at some things you should do to create a reasonable moving budget.

State the facts
The cost of your cross country move will depend on the specifics of your move which include how much you’re moving, when you’re moving, and where you’re moving from and to. You’ll need this information in order to get moving quotes from cross country movers, so jot it down and keep it handy.

Check your finances
Dedicate an evening figuring how much you would be comfortable spending on your move. Check your credit cards, banking accounts, and other financial resources to come up with an amount that you’re okay spending. At the end of your move, you want to feel like you paid a fair price for the services you received.

Get moving quotes
If you’re not sure what a fair price for a cross country move would be or you want to start seeing some numbers to see which options fall within your moving budget, you can easily get moving quotes online. Start out with a free moving quote from U-Pack, the “you pack, we drive” moving service. Then, compare that quote to traditional moving options like full-service and truck rental.

Learn the costs for different moving services
There are different costs associated with different movers. Full-service will always be the most expensive because they do all the moving for you. If you’re trying to stick to a budget, full-service might not be the way to go. Then there’s truck rental. The cost to rent the truck may be dirt cheap, but once you add the extra costs of fuel, damage coverage, road tolls, and sales tax, the cost could skyrocket. Plus, you have to do all the work. Of course, I saved the best for last. U-Pack lets you split the work. You do the loading/unloading while U-Pack does the driving. The best part? You pay rates comparable to truck rental. It’s a win-win! Get a moving quote for U-Pack to compare U-Pack’s cost with other moving services.

Consider the extras
Sometimes you need the extra costs in a move and sometimes you don’t. Why pay extra truck rental costs of fuel, sales tax, road tolls, and damage coverage when those things are all included in a U-Pack moving quote? Don’t pay for extras when you don’t have to. That will keep your moving budget in check.

However, there are some extras that you might need. Things like help for loading and unloading and storage options do cost extra, but if they are a need, you should work them into your moving budget.

Ask about ways to lower your costs
If your move date is flexible, consider moving on an off-peak moving day. Just like the airline industry, the moving industry has peak and off-peak moving times. You’ll find that moving on a weekday, at the beginning of the month, before or after a major holiday, or during the fall/winter will be better on your wallet than moving on a weekend, at the end of the month, during a holiday, or in the summer.

When you’re on the phone talking to a moving company, be sure to ask them about money-saving options. Tell them you’re on a budget and that you want to stick to it. If they can provide you with some ways to save, you’ll be in even better shape to stay within your moving budget.

Plan for after the move
A moving budget doesn’t just include the cost of the move itself, but it also includes money to cover you after you have moved. You’ll want to have enough money for a rental deposit or down payment on your house. You’ll also need to budget for utilities, the first month’s rent or mortgage payment, and groceries and other basic needs supplies.

Start budgeting
You’ll never know how much you can afford to spend on your move if you don’t start now. I hope you follow these steps to ensure that you stay within your moving budget.

I know that’s a lot of information. Start small by gathering the details of your move. You will need to know three things: 1) where you are moving to and from, 2) how much you are moving, and 3) when you are moving. Got the details of your move ready to go? Get a free moving quote form U-Pack now or call 800-413-4799 to speak to a friendly U-Pack representative. If you have any questions about creating your moving budget, let me know by commenting below and I’ll be happy to help!