How Do I Make a Moving Budget?

moving budget

Making a moving budget is an important part of your relocation (along with having a plan and schedule) for a successful and low-stress move. The moving budget can’t be the same, because every family that moves is different. If you’re getting ready to move, you’ll want to start with how much you can spend (or what your employer moving budget will be, if you’re moving for work). It may be worth making a plan for both  “do it yourself move” and  “moving company-assisted budget”, since it gives you a understanding how much will be your moving budget.

The most common moving expenses for a do it yourself move include:
  • Packing materials (boxes, tape, padding, etc.);
  • Specialty packing supplies (TV boxes, mattress bags, any kind of material for large, fragile items or framed artwork)’
  • Fuel and mileage costs’
  • Extra help with packing and loading/unloading your truck if needed’
  • Child or pet care if needed.


You should also include the opportunity cost of the time you will be spending on packing, loading , driving, unloading etc. If you are doing all, it means your willing to sacrifice a lot of time. A “do it yourself move” can go for ages. Up to a month-long process, if done successfully.


The most common expenses for a moving company include:

Moving company fees (typically the weight of your belongings and the distance you’re moving are the main factors in a moving company’s cost).

  • Additional valuation coverage;
  • Packing and unpacking services;
  • Furniture disassembly and reassembly, or appliance disconnection and hook-up;
  • Specialty item packing;
  • Temporary or long term storage.


You have also the option to hire the crew to move and transport your items, and do your own packing and unpacking to save yourself some money.


No matter if you hire movers or do it yourself, there are some additional expenses you’ll need to cover:

  • Travel to your new home for you and your family (including gas, hotels, food, and tolls);
  • Cleaning supplies;
  • Transfer fees and/or security deposits on utilities;
  • The cost of setting up your new home, including expenses like home sale/purchase costs, rental deposits, etc.


Shipping  a car, if needed

A little research on the truck rental websites and estimates from reliable movers will let you fill in the moving budget for both “do it yourself” and “moving company-assisted budget”. The cost of your own labor is harder to calculate, but it will help you approximately know what it will cost you. If you want to reduce the cost of your moving you can also trim out extra expenses in order to make your move fit the amount of  your moving budget.