Calculating moving expenses can be a tricky exercise, and there is plenty of room to make an error. Deciding to move is, however, often a matter of finances as much as anything else, so here are a few tips to help you calculate an accurate picture of the costs.
Know What You Own
The biggest cost involved in moving is the cost of the moving truck or company, and that cost is based on how much stuff needs to be moved. Lots of heavy lifting, heavy items, and items that take up a lot of space can all drive the costs of moving up.
Before you plan a move, take a room by room inventory of what you own, including furniture that you want to take with you, and an estimate of the number of boxes per room. Don’t forget to include items like bicycles, barbecues and patio furniture.
Send the list along to moving companies when you contact them for an estimate, so that they can give you an accurate estimate of moving costs. This will be the biggest single expense of your move, so it’s important to get it right.
Calculate Lost Time
If you must move on a specific day, and that day does not fall on a weekend or holiday, then you (and possibly other members of your family) will need to take time off work. If you don’t get paid vacation time, or you are self-employed, then you may need to factor in the loss of earnings when calculating costs of moving.
Add Travel Costs
If you are moving to another city or across the country, you’ll need to calculate the cost to get your family from point a to point b too. In some cases, people choose to ship their car and fly to their new home, while in others, they drive cross country. Either way, the cost of the trip needs to be added to the moving budget.
Moving Supply Costs
Moving supplies are another cost that you will need to factor into your calculations. If you’ve already done your inventory, then you will have an idea of how many boxes you will need, but add a few more just for good measure.
Remember that it’s almost always cheaper to buy moving boxes in bulk, so contact local moving and storage companies in your area to get a bundle price. Stock up on tape too. Buy twice as much as you think you will need too, because most people underestimate how much tape they will need.
Factor in Baby & Pet Sitting
If you are moving within your city, and you have pets or small children, you will probably want to hire a sitter to take care of them on moving day. That cost also needs to be factored into your moving cost equation.
Allow for Fast Food & Other Conveniences
Even the most organized people will probably find that for about a week before and probably as long after their move, they tend to be eating more takeout and spending more on convenience items while they make sense of their lives. Be sure to factor a little extra into your budget to cover these kinds of costs.
Cleaning, Deposits & Other Costs
Finally, when it comes to big expenses, remember that you will need to pay for carpet cleaning and other kinds of cleaning in your current home, and if you are renting your new home, you’ll have to pay a security deposit there.
Moving is never cheap, but with a little planning and some careful thought, you can calculate a reasonably accurate budget. Add five to ten percent for contingencies, and if you are looking to save on your move, consider options like selling larger pieces of furniture rather than shipping them.