Items You Should Budget When Planning a Move

Saturday, July 12, 2014, 1:00 AM | Leave Comment

You’ve decided it’s time to move, and you know you can expect the next few months to be busy with packing and organizing. But have you thought about the impact moving will have on your finances (apart from the actual home buying/selling)?

Even if you are moving your belongings by yourself, it’s wise to create a moving budget. You may be surprised at what a simple move can cost.

  • Packing Supplies

    The first expense you need to consider is the cost of packing materials. Some of the supplies you will need to purchase include the following:

    • boxes
    • bubble wrap
    • newsprint
    • tape
    • labels
    • markers
    • packing peanuts
    • wood pallets

    Shipping or packing companies like are great resources for every city. For example, Pack-All International sells materials like crates and wood pallets in Toronto.

    These materials don’t cost very much, but they can add up if you have a lot to pack. Try asking around local stores for used boxes, crates, and pallets—you can usually find some for free.

  • Moving Company Fees

    If you have too many boxes to move by yourself, you will need to factor moving company fees into your budget. There are a few types of movers for you to pick from.

    You can hire movers to pack your belongings, load them, transport them, unload them, unpack them, or a combination of these tasks.

    The total price of hiring a moving company depends on how much stuff you have to move, how far you are moving, and how much of the process you want them to take care of.

    On average, you will pay 2 men and a truck between $90 and $120 per hour.

  • Insurance

    There are two ways to insure your belongings as you pack them up and transport them to your new home. You can choose to purchase a valuation, which is usually offered by the moving company you are hiring. Or you can purchase actual insurance, which is offered by a third party insurance agency.

    Insurance is different from valuation in what it covers and how long the policy typically lasts. Insurance protects items against weather and natural disasters, and protects items while they are in a storage unit.

    Depending on the policy you choose and the number of items you are insuring, you can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $3000.

  • Transportation

    If you aren’t using a moving company to haul your stuff, you will still need to find some sort of transportation. This may mean renting a U-Haul or paying for a tank of gas for your friend’s truck.

    Gas prices fluctuate with the season and differ from city to city, but typically run between $2.50 (if you’re lucky) and $5.00 per gallon.

  • Food

    Packing, organizing, and heavy lifting has a way of making people hungry. Unfortunately it’s hard to cook when you are trying to pack up your kitchen.

    You will likely eat out more often than usual, so set aside some money for meals. To save on food costs, try the following ideas.

    • Make a few meals before you pack up your pots and pans and keep them in the fridge/freezer. Then you can pull them out and eat on paper plates.

    • Buy ready-made meals at a grocery store instead of at a fast-food restaurant. These meals will typically be healthier and less expensive than restaurant menus.

    • Ask a friend or family member if you can keep some food in their fridge and use their kitchen to cook a few meals.

Consider using a moving budget worksheet to calculate how much your move is going to cost you. With a little bit of planning, you will survive the move with your wallet intact.

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