The Bekins Blog

How Do I Create a Successful Moving Budget?

August 24, 2019 | Moving Guides & Tips

Moving costs are a lot like rabbits. If you don’t know what you’re doing, they seem manageable. But, like rabbits, even when they seem manageable, they have a surprising way of multiplying surprisingly quickly. It’s easy to underestimate what a move will cost you. The best way to make sure that your move stays manageable is to create a budget.

How big you make your budget is up to you and depends on your move. No matter what your moving circumstances are, however, everyone should make a budget. Spending a little time creating a personalized cost plan will make sure you know what to expect every step of the way. These are the most important costs to consider when moving, and how to start working them into your budget successfully:

Professional movers.

The first big financial choice you’ll have to make when creating your budget is deciding on a professional mover. When you’re deciding on a professional mover, there are a few things you’ll need to know:

  • How moves are priced (per hour, per mile, etc.) and their associated rates.
  • Packing services and how comprehensive they are, or if they’re optional.
  • Whether or not they provide protection, and if so, what does it cover and for how much.
  • If there are any hidden fees or charges that aren’t listed openly on their website. There could be additional fees for things like moving a piano or appliances. Make sure you know about them up front.

The costs of moving yourself.

Even if you decide not to use a professional mover, there are still costs involved with moving yourself. Costs associated with self-moving include:

  • Truck rental
  • Gas for the truck
  • Rental costs for equipment like a dolly, ramp and packing materials
  • Provisions for anyone helping you move, including food and drink

Packing materials.

Factor the cost of your packing materials into your budget. Packing materials are one area where you may want to invest a bit more. Consider factoring in the possible cost of replacing items that might break during your move into your budget.

If anything would be too expensive to replace, protect it with better packing materials. Write down projected costs for boxes, tape, labels, furniture covers, bubble wrap and any specialty materials you might need.


How far are you moving? If it’s more than just across town, you’ll need to budget for it. Cross-country moves involve a lot of potentially costly logistics. You’ll need to think about the cost of shipping cars if you have more than one.

You’ll also have to budget for the costs you spend during the move itself. Gas, maintenance, food, drink and lodging along the route can add up. This is especially true if you’re going to need to fly for an especially long move.

Post-move costs.

When creating a moving budget, many people don’t think beyond the move itself. This can cause surprise costs to add up once you’re in your new place, putting a cloud over the whole experience. You need to write down a plan for utility set-up and any appliances or furniture you may need for your new place.


Our last recommendation is to take your total projected cost and add 5-10%. If nothing goes wrong, you have a little extra money set aside. If something goes wrong and you need it, you’ll have already planned for it.

If you’d like to learn more about how to make your next move as seamless and budget-friendly as possible, give the team at Bekins a call. We’re experts in the world of successful moving and would love to hear from you.

Share This Post

Back to Top