Moving apartments can get a little pricey, especially if your new place has a bigger price tag than your old apartment or your security deposits overlap. It’s important to create a budget and stick to it so moving doesn’t break the bank. Here’s what to consider when setting a moving budget.
Make a List of Priorities
While it might not be the first thing you think to do, start by sitting down and thinking about what you actually need for your move (and what you can live without). For example, if you’re moving with lots of things or are moving across the country, hiring professional movers might be a priority for you. Unless you want to pack everything, load it all up in a UHAUL, and move it all into your new home, pro movers can really come in handy. That being said, if you’re moving across town or have few belongings, this probably isn’t a big priority for you.
Think about what else you need. Do you already have empty moving boxes and packing tape? What about bubble wrap or old newspaper for your fragile items? Will you be using your own cleaning supplies or hiring a cleaning service to do your final move-out clean? If you need to purchase cleaning supplies, put them on the list; if you’re hiring a professional service, make sure to factor their rates into your budget.
Factor in Your Moving Date
Moving in the middle of winter on a Tuesday probably sounds like the last thing you want to do, but it also might be the cheapest option. If you’re strapped on cash and have flexibility, consider moving during the weekday and outside of peak moving season (generally summer). Gas prices in peak season can soar, and moving companies usually charge more when demand is high.
If your moving date is already set in stone, just use the moving company’s quotes and you’ll have an estimate of how much the transportation aspect of the move will cost you. If you’re shipping your things and flying, be sure to account for the flight price, as airlines also ramp up prices during peak travel season.
Estimate Shipping Costs
Another option for getting your belongings to your new place is to ship them. For cross-country moves, Greyhound is a cheap way to ship your things. You’ll only pay for the number of items you’re shipping and can simply drop your belongings off at any greyhound station. Once you know exactly how many boxes, luggage pieces, or other items you will be sending with Greyhound, head to their website and get a total price estimate. The great thing is that you’ll know exactly how much it will cost you to ship your items. You can add the estimate to your overall moving budget and adjust the number of items, if necessary, in order to stay within your budget.
PODS are another great way to move long-distance, and they’re pretty stress-free. Choose between 3 different POD sizes and, once you enter in your moving information on their website, you’ll get a price estimate. If this is within your budget, schedule one to be delivered to you.
Road Tripping? Set a Budget
A road trip is a fun way to move, and might even be the most cost-effective. Before you take off for the open road, make sure to factor in all the costs associated with a road trip move. Will you be driving across multiple states? How many days will you be on the road? Things like lodging, food, and gas are necessary, but their costs can be kept low if you set a budget and stick to it.
- Instead of staying at hotels every night during your trip, switch it up and camp some nights; there are plenty of campgrounds at national and state parks across the country, and they’re much cheaper than hotel rooms
- If you’re renting a car for the trip, try getting the most fuel-efficient one you can; speak to the rental car company and let them know your needs
- Food can be a costly component on the road trip, especially when you’ve had just about enough of that trail mix; bring a variety of snacks that you enjoy but will also fill you up; different flavors of beef jerky, dried fruits, flavored almonds, and popcorn are great options, and they’ll keep your wallet happy
Create Your Moving Budget
Once you know what your priorities are, it’s easy to set a moving budget. Make sure you get estimates from everyone you’ll be working with throughout your move, like the cleaning service, professional movers, and rental car company.
- Add up all your costs associated with supplies and/or shipping your belongings
- Combine this with the price of the moving company and/or cleaning service
- Consider a road trip if you’re on a budget, and add up your expected costs
- Factor in your flight or gas prices and your moving date
- Adjust this budget as needed, based on how much you can actually afford to spend; remember, you still want to have some money to spend on getting settled into your new place
Don’t forget to check out our ultimate moving guide so you know exactly how to prepare for the big day. Get a head start on the search for your new home and check our all our apartments for rent. Once you find the one that’s right for you, get that moving budget set and start preparing for your move!