How to Budget for a Move

black couple reviewing budget and floor plans

Moving is a big decision, and like any service, there is an unignorable price tag.

The process can range anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on your origin location and destination, the weight of your belongings and which services you need. Global trends such as inflation, supply-chain constraints and product pricing can also impact moving costs.

Knowing the factors that contribute to the cost of relocating is crucial to developing a budget and getting the most of your dollars. Start building your budget by noting which of the following standard charges may impact your move.

Professional Moving Costs

Costs for professional movers include the labor, time and fuel charges required to get your belongings from point A to point B. Keep in mind that your professional estimate will likely reflect the current gas prices.

Base Moving Fee

Contact a professional mover to receive an up-to-date estimate on the cost of labor and fuel for your relocation. Labor fees generally include loading the moving truck, transporting your belongings to your new location and unloading all items into your home. The final price may vary depending on the number and weight of your possessions and how long the move takes.

For local moves less than 100 miles, most companies calculate costs using an hourly rate per mover. These rates vary from market to market. Some moving companies also have an hourly minimum that factors into your quote.

If you’re embarking on an interstate move more than 100 miles, your quote will also consider tolls, lodging for multi-day trips and any overtime fees for drivers.

Value-Add Services

Your time is valuable, so include in your budget the number of hours you will need to spend out of the office or on PTO to manage your move. If you’re looking for more full-service moving support, moving companies offer an array of time-saving services to make the transition more stress-free for you and your household.

Valuation Coverage: Most moving companies provide valuation coverage on your property in transit. The valuation plan you choose determines the level of liability on your carrier if an item is lost or damaged while in your movers’ care. However, this is not the same as insurance. You may decide to get extra protection on your belongings by purchasing additional valuation.

Packing: Full-service moving companies can pack up your home for you and even prepare your appliances through disassembly and uninstallation services. The average packing cost is determined by how much there is to pack, how heavy the items are and how many packing materials are required, including standard boxes, packing paper, packing tape, wardrobe boxes, electronic cartons or other specialty materials.

Bulky or specialty items: If your move includes large items such as pianos, swing sets or animal crates, there will likely be an additional fee for these items. In some cases, you may need a moving company to coordinate the shipping of your car along with your possessions. These rates can vary drastically depending on your unique situation, so mention any special items to your moving company when requesting your quote.

Storage in transit: With today’s hot housing market, it’s becoming increasingly common to leverage storage-in-transit (SIT) options until you are ready to move into a new home. Instead of renting a long-term storage unit, you can ask your moving company to hold your items in transit.

Other services: If you’d like a moving company to provide full-service capabilities, you’ll want to consider these expenses as well:

  • Unpacking
  • Furniture assembly
  • Equipment installation
  • Disposal of packing materials

Once you’ve determined which services you need, you can create a monthly saving plan leading to your moving day. Build some room in your budget for unexpected costs or emergencies so surprises don’t hurt your wallet.

Armstrong Relocation provides seamless moving services to thousands of families and individuals each year. Learn more by calling 800.288.7396 or requesting a free quote online.