4 Common Moving Expenses and How to Budget For Them


Article Written by Alice Robertson

Common Moving Expenses and How to Budget for Them

Moving is a big ordeal, and it’s not for the faint of heart. Not only can it cost a pretty penny, but it can also be mentally and emotionally taxing. And if you do some of the packing and moving yourself, it can be physically tiring. The last thing you need is financial surprises thrown in the mix. To help you prepare for the big move, we’ve put together a list of common moving expenses with information to help you determine how best to juggle your moving budget. 

DIY and Professional Movers 

Chances are you’ve considered hiring a professional moving company to handle some or most of the moving tasks for you. While a DIY move might save money, Navy Federal Credit Union explains it’s probably not as much as you expect. You still have the truck rental, gas, getting your own vehicles to and fro, and so forth. While many homeowners choose to hire pros to save their backs, and chances are it’s more cost-effective than you think.

Hiring professional movers can eliminate a lot of the stress that comes with relocating, and it also frees up more of your time to focus on your personal life, work, and/or more minor aspects of the move. Also, if you have a fair number of things to transport, going with a pro is a smart decision.  

There are many options for professional movers these days. And while your gut reaction might be to save money by hiring the cheapest company you can find, this can end up backfiring if you get caught up in a scam. Do your homework, read up on several companies, and get numerous price estimates before deciding on a company. That way, you can know that you’re hiring the services of qualified, reliable movers. 

Along with the base fees, which are typically by the hour, you will need to plan for additional charges to move larger/heavier items and to move during busy times (e.g., weekends, summer, etc.). If you’re also enlisting the services of professional packers, you will need to consider their rates as well as packing materials. The Spruce points out that you can lower costs by purging belongings, leaving less for the packers to deal with. 

Packing Materials 

One way to save money when moving is to pack everything yourself. However, you still have to account for the materials this requires. Here are some items you might need to purchase:

  • Moving boxes of various sizes
  • Packing tape
  • Cargo straps, cords, and/or ropes
  • A hand truck/dolly
  • Cushioning (e.g., bubble wrap, foam wrap sheets, etc.)
  • Labels or stickers

There are plenty of places to pick up free supplies as well. For example, you can get free boxes from liquor stores, bookstores, and restaurants. You can also upcycle things like newspapers and stale popcorn for packing, which not only saves you money, they are green solutions. 


In most cases, your moving company will provide limited valuation coverage for any items that are lost or damaged. However, this coverage rarely accounts for the full value of the items in question. If you will be transporting anything that carries significant value, State Farm points out that you might want to consider purchasing moving insurance. 


Whether you’re selling your home or want to get your security deposit back, chances are you will need to leave the home clean and tidy. As with a mover, hiring a cleaning service can go a long way in reducing the stress of your experience. Get quotes from several professionals in your area, make sure you know what they include in their fees, and weigh the costs with the time and energy it would take to deep clean the home by yourself. 

If you plan and prepare for moving expenses, you won’t be shocked by unexpected charges. Take time to consider all the costs involved. Then, review your budget to determine which services you want to pay for and which ones you will handle yourself. That way, you can ensure that you leave yourself in the best financial position, which will help to keep your stress levels down throughout this big transition.

 Image via Burst