Expenses to plan for in your moving budget

Jan 21, 2016

Creating a moving budget is always a bit tricky because you have to consider so many aspects of relocation - it's easy to forget about some of them. However, dealing with unexpected expenses can put a strain on your finances. To avoid this added stress during your move, make sure your budget is well thought out and factors in all of these elements:

Packing supplies

You used to be able to pick up old boxes from grocery stores and other retail establishments to use for packing. However, more often than not, these locations either don't have any available or are no longer allowed to hand them out. While you might not be able to get the boxes for free anymore, this is actually a blessing in disguise. Boxes taken from other stores are often beat up and come in a variety of sizes, which makes organization harder and also puts your belongings at risk should a container break.

You are better off buying durable, new boxes or tote containers to store your belongings. When purchasing these items, you can also find some packing cushions, like foam peanuts or bubble wrap. Old newspapers don't usually work as well as these other options. When creating your budget, check with your moving company to see the rates at which it sells moving supplies. You might be able to get a deal for using its services.

A house filled with moving boxes. Make sure you buy the right supplies for your move and factor their costs into your budget.


Professional movers tend to make relocating a lot easier by helping you load the truck and ensuring safe transport for all of your belongings. Do your research when looking for a moving company - you want to make sure you hire a reliable business.

Vehicle maintenance

If you're moving cross-country or even to another state, you'll probably be driving your car for several hours. You wouldn't want your vehicle to break down on the way to your new home, so get the oil changed and the car checked out before you leave. This way, the mechanics can spot any trouble before they turn into a disaster. When budgeting for this task, you should plan for at least the cost of an oil change and, at most, a couple of hundred dollars in case you need to replace a part.


Trying to pack and make moving arrangements is nearly impossible with kids running around. Hiring a babysitter to entertain them while you work is an easy solution, though. However, with rates running as much as $12 per hour, you need to consider how many days and hours you can afford to have someone to watch your children.

Have nearby family or friends entertain your kids for a few hours. Even so, as a gesture of appreciation, you could get that person a little gift card.

A happy family in their new home surrounded by moving boxes. Have the babysitter watch the kids so you have more time to pack.

Travel costs

No matter where you're going, you need to figure travel expenses into your budget - these include gas, air fare and cab money. Take a few minutes to sit down and figure how much it will cost you to drive to your location, but don't forget to take varying gas prices and potential toll into consideration. Tolls, in particular, can be an issue if you're not used to dealing with them. Map the route you plan to take to your new home and determine if any of the states you're passing through have fees. This will not only prepare you for the cost, but it will also make you more aware of the tolls as you pass through the state so you don't miss any. You wouldn't want to get a ticket, after all.


Depending on how far you are traveling, you may have to spend the night in a hotel. The route you planned earlier for travel prices will come in handy when determining where you'll stop. Try picking a location that is halfway to your destination and has plenty of hotel options. Then, do a little research to make sure you get the best deal.

New home

A big expense you need to factor into your budget is the price of your new place. Whether you bought a house or are paying for an apartment, there are a lot of costs to be added. For example, if you're renting until you can find a new house, you're going to have to pay an application fee, first month's rent and a deposit fee. Not to mention, you'll probably also need to rent a storage unit to keep all of your extra belongings that don't fit in your apartment. If you're moving into a house, on the other hand, you'll need to set aside some money for opening new utility accounts as well as settling any closing costs or get insurance.

When preparing to move, it's essential that you work all of these things into your budget. Moving expenses add up and it's better to be prepared for them than arrive at your new home with a lot less money than you expected.


Leave a comment



View All
  • In Memoriam, John Steiner

    John W. Steiner, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and member of the Atlas family, passed away on September 16,...
  • Promotions and New Hires

    Mark Abadir Director, Key Accounts, Atlas International Mark Abadir joined Atlas International originally in 2004 and...
  • Leading the Moving Industry

    AMSA Elects Atlas Chairman & CEO to Chairmanship In February, members of the American Moving & Storage Associ...


View All