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Planning Your Moving Budget

Budgeting for your move can be a difficult task. Research and thorough planning can help eliminate unexpected expenses and setbacks.  No one wants to feel pressured into making a hasty decision that will lead to an expensive price tag.

Moving budgets typically consist of two main expense items:

  • Direct Moving Expenses which include all direct fees and costs pertaining to the move, such as the service fee of the moving company, cost of packaging and material or storage.
  • Fees and cost of services that are indirectly related to your move.

Budgeting for Direct Moving Expenses

Service fee – Moving Estimate

Obtaining estimates from the moving companies shortlisted during the selection process is very important in managing your move. To give you an accurate estimate, the moving company needs a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances of your planned move such as:

  • Inventory of your belongings
  • Location
  • Specifics of the departure and the destination

If you have a larger home with several rooms, some professional moving companies may need to survey your home carefully before providing an estimate.

Moving companies generally work with set rates that correspond to:

  • Travelling distance
  • Volume of furniture
  • Required man hours

It is difficult to provide a 100% accurate price, but you should expect the company to clearly explain the formula they use for establishing the final charge and that they give you a reasonably accurate estimate before the move.

Moving companies are traditionally less busy October through April and in the middle of the month. If you are flexible with the date of your move, moving companies may be able to offer a special discounted rate.

Items frequently overlooked from a moving budget:

  • Tip for the movers
  • Pizza and beverages for friends and relatives helping you with packing
  • Packing material
  • Insurance for shipping your furniture

Indirect Moving Expenses

There are other expenses that may arise whether you are moving locally or long distance. For example, there may be fees for shutting down utility services or forwarding your mail. If you move long distance, there are travel and accommodation costs and possibly car rental when you arrive at your destination. If you are moving to another state or province, you will need to change the license plate on your vehicle and purchase health insurance for an initial period of time. Plan to set aside a minimum of 10-15% emergency funds on top of your planned budget.

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