Budget Your Move

Avoid the shock of little expenses adding up during your next move. Follow this advice:

Moving is an expensive process. Determining your moving budget will flesh-out foreseeable costs, and make it easier to deal with any unforeseeable ones. Certain expenses are obvious, like moving boxes, but it’s easy to forget incidentals that can overwhelm a budget already stretched thin.

Helpful Hint: To make budgeting easier, create your outline with software that can automatically perform necessary calculations.

Selling Your House

Before you put your house on the market, you might need to make some home improvements to increase the house’s value. Factor in the costs of upgrading a kitchen or increasing your house’s curb appeal. Set aside some money for a preemptive home inspection, as an inspector’s walk-through can alert you to any major problems with the house’s structure. And make sure you include the deep cleanings needed before your open house.

Your budget should also include the services of a REALTOR®: any appraisal fees, agent commissions and other closing costs.


A budget can help you determine what’s the most convenient and economical way to get your belongings from the old house to your new home. The bottom line can help you decide between a DIY or professional move.

If you’re moving yourself, shop for truck rental quotes, and calculate the overall mileage and gas needed for your move. A DIY unloading and loading might require the rental of extra moving equipment, like dollies. It’s also essential to check with your insurance provider to see if you’re covered during the move: your budget may require additional insurance. Don’t forget to take care of anyone who’s helping you: pizza and beverages, although incidentals, are definitely costs you’ll want to include.

If hiring a moving company is your best route, get estimates from several companies. With the initial moving fee, extra services, like moving major appliances or professional packing, may arise. If the insurance provided by the moving company isn’t satisfactory, additional coverage will be another cost to include in the budget. Finally, give your budget some breathing room for claims or damage costs.


You’ll always need moving boxes, Bubble Wrap® and wrapping paper. But don’t forget tape, labels, markers, furniture padding, mattress covers and the litany of other moving supplies that come with properly securing your heirlooms, electronics, etc.


Your move may call for extra storage space or extra storage containers. If you need to keep your belongings at a storage facility, get quotes from several storage providers, and check to see if additional insurance is needed. Moving your belongings in and out of storage is an additional moving cost. Don’t forget to add the rental of a moving van, gas and mileage to your storage budget.

Long-Distance Travel

If your move covers a vast distance, transportation will be a very important area of your budget. If you’ve hired professional movers, whats the easiest way for you to get to your new place: plane, train or automobile? If your vehicles are being moved professionally, but you’re making a separate drive, you’ll need to get quotes for rental cars. In addition to mileage and gas, include hotel rates, meals, and any special needs like pet care or medical restrictions.

Buying Your New Home

The purchase of your new home will include many of the same fees budgeted for your old home: inspection, insurance, closing, attorney’s fees, home improvements, etc. When budgeting the expenses of your new home, also include the cost of setting up new utilities, which could require deposits. You will also want to budget for your new property taxes and any professional installations needed, like cable or large appliance work.


Every step of your budget will include miscellaneous costs. If your new home isn’t ready when you are, temporary housing should be budgeted into your move. A babysitter is a must-have when moving with small children. If you have pets, your budget should include kennel stays, visits to the vet and pet-friendly travel expenses. Other incidentals can include tolls for roadways, cleaning supplies, travel entertainment or tuning up your car after a long-distance move. To avoid being buried by miscellaneous expenses, add some financial padding to each stage of your move.

Now that you’ve estimated how much your move will cost, you can plan how long it will take. A moving budget can help you start planning your timeline.

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