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Estimating Moving Costs

Calculating your moving costs in advance and setting up a budget is an essential part of the planning process. Knowing what you'll have to spend will help you organize your finances and prepare adequately. Sure, you're already aware of the fact that you'll be spending on moving supplies, transportation, insurance, etc. but it's important to consider the smaller details too as they can really add up. Here's what expenses you'll need to include:
  1. Cleaning and fixing your old house before you leave - if you're renting, you'll want to make sure that everything is as it was when you first moved in so you can have your security deposit back. If you own your residence and are selling it, you probably have a clause in the agreement to have the house in good condition for the new owners. Either way, consider hiring a cleaning company or do all the cleaning yourself if you have time.
  2. Hiring a moving company - get estimates from a few movers and decide who best suits your needs. Add any extra fees like expedited service charge, insurance, etc. Don't forget to include the movers' tips which are generally $20 per person.
    If you decide to do the moving yourself, consider the following expenses:
    • Truck rental
    • Gas
    • Insurance
    • Extra equipment (for example a dolly)
    • Day laborers who can help you load the heavy items for a fee
  3. Moving supplies - all these materials may seem inexpensive but you'll need large quantities and the costs add up:
    • Boxes (you might be able to get boxes for free from your local store)
    • Padding materials
    • Furniture covers
    • Tape
    • Labels/markers
  4. Traveling expenses - include:
    • Transportation like airplane tickets, taxi fares or gas
    • Hotel/motel stay if you're traveling overnight
    • Meals and snacks
  5. Expenses for your new home - usually there are a lot of expenses associated with the moving to a new place. Whether you're buying or renting, expect these charges:
    • Utilities set-up fees
    • Security deposit and pet deposit if renting
    • First month's rent or mortgage payment
    • Home insurance
    • New furniture and décor
    • New appliances
    • Food and beverages, spices, dressings, etc.
    • Household necessities like new garbage bins and cleaning supplies
Give yourself time to research what will work best for you and your budget. True, there will be expenses you can't avoid but with a little planning and creativity you could considerably cut your costs.
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