Moving to a new house is busy, complicated and often emotional. And, with so many things to arrange, it can be easy to disregard the cost of it all.
The key to managing your moving budget is planning ahead. Doing so can help you stay on track and make the entire process much less stressful. It may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s necessary in the long-run to ensure that you know your budget – and stick to it.
To make it a little easier, below are some specific steps to organize your moving budget.
- Know the Real Costs
The first step is to have a clear idea of all of your expenses. This is imperative – not only for your moving budget, but also for any long-term plans, as well.
Be aware of the costs of all of your mortgage payments, policies, new insurance, real estate agent fees, solicitors and moving day costs. You can even use online calculators and tools to estimate your overall cost of buying a house or moving. This applies to first-time homebuyers as well as seasoned movers.
It’s essential to prepare for all of your costs because some can be quite a shock. Although it might not be fun to look at, it’s still important that you know what to expect.
- Research Everything
Building upon the last point, be sure to research everything to the last detail. As moving day draws near, you’ll be surprised at how the individual costs and fees add up. But, with a little planning and preparation, you can prepare for any nasty surprises – and make sure that you’re one step ahead.
In particular, make a point to research:
- Moving Insurance: If you’re using a moving company to help with your move, check that they’re insured. Alternatively, your existing home policy might also cover your move, especially if you’re using a professional firm; if so, this could be your best option.
- Moving Costs: Make yourself aware of moving costs, too, by asking for various quotes and deals. But, don’t be blinded by a reasonable price; always ensure that the firm is reliable.
- Storage Costs: Storage needs often come along with moving. If you’ll need storage, search for the best price on secure arrangements, and determine what the average cost will be. Also, estimate how long you’ll need the storage unit because this will influence your price, as well.
- Cleaning Costs: If you’re currently renting, review your lease agreement as many landlords require a deep clean of your rental before you move out. A professional cleaning service may be just what you need to ensure that you get your entire deposit back. Some landlords even charge you for the cost of a professional cleaner, so be sure to consider this in your moving budget.
- Additional Services: You may also incur other costs related to moving. For instance, moving companies provide various other services that they do charge for, such as packing and unpacking; disassembling and reassembling; and temporary storage. If you think you may need any of these services, add them to your moving budget.
- Vehicle Transportation: If you’re moving across state lines, you may also need to ship your vehicles to your new destination. In this case, be sure to add this to your moving budget, too.
- Get Insurance
It can be easy to ignore insurance if you think it’s an unnecessary cost, but there are various types of insurance that you should look into. For example, if you’re having a new house built, you’ll need building insurance. Again, search around for the best price for your needs.
Kendra Dupont, a former attorney and current legal writer at TopWritersReview, suggested getting insurance to cover the loss of or damage to any of your contents during the move.
“There’s always a chance that your electrical goods or furniture can get damaged during moving or in storage,” she said. “You want to be protected in case this happens.”
- Shop for Utilities
As you’re preparing for your new utility bills at the new place, remember that you don’t have to stay with your previous providers. This is a great opportunity to start anew; you could save a lot of money by shopping around for the best deals.
Furthermore, consider setting up automatic withdrawals for your payments. It can be difficult to remember when all of the many bills are due, and late charges aren’t worth it. Automatic payments ensure that your bills will be paid. Plus, some companies also offer a small discount for automatic payments.
- Budget for New Bills
New bills mean a new budget; you can’t apply your old budget to your moving budget.
Moreover, as your financial situation changes, your moving budget will also change accordingly. For instance, if you save money on bills, you might be able to spend more on storage costs. Therefore, try to determine how much money you’ll have coming in and out of your new space before you plan your moving budget.
With this in mind, it’s time to decide whether you’ll use a moving company or try to do it yourself.
- Estimate Moving Company Expenses
If your budget allows it, a reliable moving company can be a lifesaver, especially for moves that span a long distance.
If you do use a moving company, all of these charges should be the first items in your budget. Plus, you can also request an in-house estimate from the companies you’re considering. Typically, the quote will depend on the weight of your inventory and the distance to your new home. Just make sure you read the fine print; don’t be fooled by a price that’s too good to be true.
- Plan for Self-Moving Costs
If you’re moving locally or have friends and family that can help you, then you can move on your own. However, note that this can be very stressful, time-consuming and nerve-wracking.
What’s more, moving yourself isn’t entirely free; there are still expenses that come with moving yourself, including rental of the moving truck, fuel, and any associated moving equipment – such as furniture pads, moving blankets, plastic wraps, hand tools, and a moving dolly.
Self-moving is often easier if you – or someone you know – has a clear idea of what to do.
- Expect the Unexpected
The moving process is incredibly complicated, and individual costs will be shocking. Things will break, something unexpected might happen, and you may need the storage unit for a little longer than you initially thought. As such, always make room for the unexpected in your budget.
There are also other expenses, such as:
- Mail Forwarding: All of your mail will need to be forwarded, and there is a cost associated with this. You could try to go paperless, but this might not be effective as some will undoubtedly slip through the cracks. Make sure to have your mail redirected to avoids scams, as well.
- Replacements: Perhaps your chairs don’t match your new interior or you need to replace old appliances or furniture. You might not consider this in your new budget, but it can be costly.
- Miscellaneous Costs: Gym memberships may need to be renewed, it might be time for a new driving license, or maybe you need to register your pet in your new city. Don’t underestimate these costs.
- Packing Supplies: If you’re packing yourself, you’ll need to buy the supplies to get you through it. While this might seem minor, it all adds up; bubble wrap, boxes, and tape are all necessary.
- Deposits: When you’re in the process of moving, you’ll have to pay many deposits. Fortunately, you’ll also get some of them back, which gives you an added incentive to make sure that you clean up properly.
- Set Up Your Budget
Now that you know what to include, it’s time to set up your budget. The good news is that it’s pretty straightforward. In fact, there’s a wide selection of software, applications and programs you can use to help you build your budget and stick to it.
You can also go back to the basics and use Microsoft Excel. This could be a great option, especially if you have experience with the platform. Of course, you can also use a pen and paper to set up your budget. Just make sure that everything is accurate and safe, and consider making backups just in case.
No matter how you chose to make your budget, just ensure that it’s appealing and easy for you to understand.
Having a budget is a necessity in a move; it makes the process easier and less stressful in the event of unforeseen expenses that may come your way. Don’t forget to compare all of your options and prices before you make a selection, and utilize modern applications and equipment to your advantage.
Finally, be sure to keep track of your budget. Financial situations can change quickly, and your budget may need to be adjusted accordingly, so be sure to track your budget carefully and enjoy the process.