How to Create a Moving Budget

how to create a moving budget

Whether you hire a moving company or move yourself, it’s going to cost something. Making a budget is the best way to know how much it’s going to cost you and what choices you can make without breaking the bank. Create your moving budget using our step-by-step guide; we’ll walk you through the 6 main moving expense categories and what costs to anticipate from each of them.

How to Create a moving Budget:
6 Categories to Account For


How you create your moving budget is entirely up to you. The most common method is creating a template in Microsoft Excel. But you might find a blank Microsoft Word Document or simply pen and paper work best for you. 

1. Professional Movers

Moving Rate: This includes the entire cost of hiring a moving company. Get quotes from different companies that include labor, truck and travel, supply, and any other fees they might have. Ask about hidden costs up front and if tax is added on at the end or included in the estimate. 

Moving Insurance: If your belongings include a few investment pieces, consider adding on additional moving insurance. You can acquire this through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance or through an entirely different provider. 

Specialty Pieces: Some pieces require a bit of extra attention or service. Think things like pianos, pool tables, or gun safes. The moving company you hire might have additional fees to prepare and move this piece, or you may have to hire a specialty moving company to move it for you.

Damages: There’s always a possibility something can go wrong during a move, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Factor in a contingency buffer just incase of damages.

2. Moving Yourself

Truck Rental: Rental rates will vary depending on what size truck you need and how far you’re moving. The price also depends on whether you’re making a one way or round trip.

Gas: Ask the rental office approximately how many miles to the gallon you can expect from the truck. From there, calculate approximately how much you’ll spend on fuel.

Extra Equipment: Consider renting equipment that will make moving much easier, i.e. a dolly, hand truck, or loading ramp. You might think you can tough it out and save some extra money, but you’ll probably find yourself on moving day wishing you’d shelled out the few extra bucks for the convenience.

3. Packing & Storage

Professional Packing: If you need a bit of extra assistance or convenience with a professional packing service, gather a few quotes and factor this into your moving budget.

Packing Supplies: Estimate about 6-10 boxes per room. For an average kitchen, estimate 1 roll of packing paper. 1 roll of tape should be enough for every 2 rooms. And it’s okay to overestimate. You can always return any unopened supplies you don’t use.

Mattress Covers & Tv Boxes: Check with your moving company if these are included in the estimate. If not, estimate $10-15 for each one you’ll need.

Storage Fees: If you’re moving long distance and won’t be able to move into your new home for a few days, your moving company will factor storage prices into the estimate if they’re providing it. If you need to source your own storage unit, contact a few storage companies and ask for their rates. Then factor the highest one into your moving budget.

4. Travel Expenses

Transportation: If you’re only moving to the next town over, you probably don’t need to factor this into your budget. Moving across the state or to a new state is an entirely different story. Account for fuel and any turnpike costs for each of your personal vehicles.

Food & Drink: Estimate the number of meal and coffee/snack breaks you’ll be taking while on the road to your new home and calculate the average cost per person. Don’t forget to include dinner for the first night in your new home as it will probably be takeout.

Lodging: Determine how many nights you’ll need overnight lodging, then research accommodations between your old and new home to find the best rate.

5. Moving Out

Lawyer & Realtor Fees: If you’re selling your home, you’ll need to factor in realtor commission and lawyer, title, and inspection fees.

Lease Cancellation Fees: Breaking lease on a rental property means you’ll have to pay a lease cancellation fee.

Cleaning & Repairs: Before moving out, you’ll need to clean and make repairs regardless of whether you owned or rented the property. Account for any painting, spackling, or other minor repairs you need to make, and calculate the cost of the supplies you need to purchase.

6. Moving In

Home-Buying Fees: Factor lawyer, title, and any other relevant fees into the home buying portion of your budget.

Property Taxes: The cost of owning your home doesn’t just come from the selling price. Research property taxes in the area before deciding to buy a home; it could make or break your budget.

Deposit/Down Payment: You’ll need that initial first payment saved up and ready to go whether you’re renting or buying. Plan for a rental deposit or for a mortgage down payment.

Utility Set Up: Some utility companies require a deposit or set up fees. Switch everything over to your new home: internet/cable, water, heating, and electricity. If you’re renting, find out what is your responsibility and what is your landlord’s.

Repairs: Set aside some funds for possible repairs such as pipes bursting, the hot water tank breaking, or appliance replacement. Chances are something will need replacing or updating, especially if the house has been vacant for a few months or years.

Furniture: Plan ahead for any extra furniture you’ll need for your new home, like a new bed, dining table, or sofa. 

Once you create your moving budget, it’s time to find a moving company (if that’s what your budget allows for). We at Moving U & Junk U believe we’re the best moving company for you. We are licensed and insured, and you can find and read our many five star reviews on YelpGoogle, and Facebook. Our movers are professionally trained to safely move your belongings from point A to point B. Whether you’re looking for assistance with movingpackingjunk removal, or a little of each, you can sit back, relax, and trust us to take care of all the heavy lifting for you.

When you’re ready to get a quote for your move, give us a call or text at 484-301-2442 or email us at

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Moving U & Junk U is a full-service moving and junk removal company located in the Greater Philadelphia Area, Reading, PA, and Dayton, OH

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