How Do I Make a 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 company moving budget will be, if you’re moving for work). It may be worth making a plan for both a do it yourself move and a moving company-assisted budget, so you know what will moving budget you will need.

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, solutions 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 time it will take to pack, load your truck, drive to your destination, unload your truck, and unpack, if you are doing all of these things yourself it will take time. A do it yourself move can be a months-long process, but assume at least two work weeks.


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. The cost of your own labor is harder to calculate, but it will help you approximately to 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.