There are many costs to consider when moving to a new home.
It seems like this summer has been the summer of the moving truck for me. Several of our friends have either moved into our city or just moved across town, meaning I’ve gotten several “Can you help me move this weekend?” texts.
As a side note, you can tell how much someone loves you by how long it takes them respond to that question. My score is decreasing with every person who asks.
Having helped many friends move and having lots of experience moving myself, I thought it worth talking about to explore some of the costs to consider when moving. Packing everything up and relocating is a big undertaking. It’s also not just a big geographic change. It’s a hit on your emotions, energy level, and yes, your wallet.
Here are some of the costs you need to be sure to plan for and a couple of ideas for offsetting them.
If you are renting in your new location, there are a few deposits you’ll need to worry about. Many landlords require a security deposit equal to your first month’s rent, and some add on an additional damage deposit. Some just require the extra rent payment to cover for both, but either way it’s not an insignificant amount.
Have pets? Don’t forget about the additional pet deposit. This will usually be a few hundred dollars of initial deposit, and in some cases increase your rent by a set amount moving forward.
Unless you have a good amount of savings already set aside, these costs alone will make it difficult to move on short notice.
Time/Work Days Lost
Your time is your most valuable and only non-renewable resource. As such, it’s an important cost to consider when moving. There could be time in between jobs where you won’t be earning an income. More time spent moving also can take a toll on your productivity when you get back to work because it’s so draining of an endeavor.
The best situation is to either have vacation days you utilize for the move, or to have enough money in the bank to pad a week’s worth of lost pay. That will allow you to focus on the move and nothing else.
Moving Truck/Storage Unit
If you are trying to cut costs by not hiring a moving company, you’ll want to check out quotes from multiple companies when renting a moving truck. Also, be sure to pay attention to detail when planning your moving schedule. If you’re unorganized and don’t have an efficient plan for packing, traveling, and unpacking, it could cost you unnecessary days of renting the vehicle.
If you must move before permanent living arrangements are in place, you may have to rent a storage unit for your stuff. Again, compare quotes to get the best deal. This can be a tough one to take since it’s so much money just for your stuff to sit there. Try to keep it there for as short of a term as possible.
Also, rent the smallest container that will fit your belongings. A little intentionality with packing your stuff into it could save you a few dollars by not having to rent a larger unit.
This one’s sneaky. Think about it. You’ve been driving your moving truck all day, spent the last week boxing things up, will spend all day tomorrow unloading things, and will spend the next three days unboxing and organizing your new home. At what time will you stop to make a nutritious and homemade meal?
The fact is, pizza and fast food run rampant during moves. The convenience of eating out often takes precedent over cooking, and it’s ok. Heck, your crockpot is still buried in a box somewhere. There’s nothing wrong with utilizing easy options to feed your family for a few days, but you need to make sure you have budgeted for it. If you have hundreds of dollars just “show up” on a credit card statement at restaurants in your moving week, you’re doing it wrong.
Plan your move ahead of time, and decide in advance how many meals you plan to eat out. This will help you have a clear spending strategy and will prevent you from getting crazy.
This is pretty obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. If you’re driving more than 12 hours, you’re probably going to need a hotel or Airbnb. Additionally, you’ll have to put gas in your vehicles for the trip no matter how far you’re going. It’s quite easy to estimate gasoline costs for a trip.
Just use Google Maps to figure out how many miles you’ll be driving, divide that by the number of miles per gallon you estimate you’ll get (the moving company or a simple online search of your vehicle will provide this), and that will give you the number of gallons it’ll take to get you there. Then, multiply that by the typical gas price per gallon in your area to arrive at a total dollar amount.
How To Cover These?
I advise you to consider moving costs just like you would a major purchase. If you were trying to buy something such as a car, I would advise you to set a goal amount you want to purchase. Then you’d need to go to your monthly budget and squeeze out every extra dollar to put toward saving that amount.
When you first decide you’ll be moving, write down all the costs you anticipate, and leave room for the ones you won’t expect. Add up your estimates for these, and you’ve just set yourself a savings goal.
From there, it’s as simple as saving that money as quickly as you can.
That sounds great if you have time, but what about if you don’t have much notice?
Well, a simple way to cut costs and to convert some extra cash is to have a yard sale. The more stuff you sell, the more money you get. Not only that, but it’s less stuff you have to pack, which could save you money on the size moving truck you need to rent.
Also, and I know I joked about this at the start of this post, but leaning into friendships can help a ton when moving. You may know someone who has a trailer they can lend you to pull behind a vehicle (save on moving truck) or a place you can stay on your way (instead of a hotel).
Moving really shakes up your whole world, and your money isn’t immune. There are all kinds of costs to consider when moving, and I’m sure I’ve missed some. Still, I hope this has jogged your brain and helped you out if you’ll be changing addresses anytime soon.
Have I missed any moving costs? Have you ever had to cover any worth sharing? Let me know in the comments below.