Coming up with a moving budget is crucial in transitioning to your new home. However, as you may discover, there could be a lot of elements that add up quickly. How do you decide which line items are mandatory and which you can omit? Whether relocating locally, long-distance, or interstate will affect how much it costs. Here’s a guideline to help.
Step One: Write Down All Moving Budget Items
One of the best ways to determine a budget for any project (moving or otherwise) is to create a list of everything you need. To do that, you must first understand your goal. Yes, the goal is to move into your new house, but you can make it much more specific than that.
For example, How far are you moving? Do you need to move in a hurry? Are you trying to move as efficiently or hassle-free as possible? These pieces can help you define your budget parameters.
Step Two: Start With Bare Essentials
Overall, the primary purpose of your move is to bring all your belongings from your current place to your new one. So, at the minimum, you need a way to pack and transport those items. Boxes, totes, and a transport vehicle are essential pieces you can’t do without.
Once you have your list of essentials, you can add extras based on how you’re trying to move. For example, if you’re renting a vehicle, consider gas costs, especially if you have to make multiple trips to your new place.
Step Three: Weigh Convenience vs. Cost
Typically, people try to move for as little money as possible. They do this by using help from friends and family and cobbling together all their moving supplies from different sources. While this may seem like a good approach, it can often lead to more stress, especially if something needs to be fixed.
A better approach is considering whether convenience is worth an additional cost. For example, hiring professional movers may seem like an expense, but considering how much time, effort, and energy are required to move everything yourself, the option can become pretty enticing.
Also, it makes sense to determine what your time is worth. If you spend hours packing and sorting your belongings, is that the best use of your time? Include the cost of any extra services you might need, such as packing, disassembling furniture, or storage.
Step Four: Look for Budget-Friendly Alternatives
Once you’ve determined how much convenience is worth, you can start looking for ways to cut costs without putting you back at square one. For example, you can compare moving company prices to see which offers the most value. Similarly, you can source materials second-hand from reliable people.
You should have alternative and backup options if something falls through. For example, what will you do if someone says they can lend you boxes but have yet to?
Step Five: Finalize Your Budget
Now that you’ve researched and determined the most critical elements of your moving budget, it’s time to finalize the numbers. However, as with any project budget, you should always add extra money for incidentals or unforeseen items. If something happens, you’re prepared and can handle it seamlessly.
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