Of all the crucial elements of moving, keeping track of your budget during this process is arguably the most important. Staying on top of expenses you may come across prior, during and after your relocation is always easier said than done. However, there are many ways you can not only effectively manage your moving budget, but also make the most of the finances you're allocating for this procedure. From creating a spreadsheet for potential expenses to knowing the gas prices to each state, here are a few tips for making the most of your moving budget:
Create a spreadsheet
The best way to know what expenses you can expect is by seeing all of them in front of you. Creating a spreadsheet is the easiest way to visually interpret how much money you have to work with throughout the moving procedure. For starters, tally up all your financial resources, such as funds from checking or savings accounts, credit card allowance, reimbursement from employers, sales of any valuables or any other possible profits. Once you have those straightened out, start adding up all the potential expenses. Fixed moving costs should include everything from final lease or utility expenses of your old residence, any deposits or fees included in your new house and property taxes. Get an estimate from your moving company of how much all its services will cost. If you're going to need a storage facility, also factor those expenses into your financial planning.
Next, consider all the transportation fees you'll likely endure. Fuel costs are obviously a big part of this, so be sure to look up how much gas prices are in each state to see which places are the cheapest to fill up your tank. Make a budget for eating expenses, lodging costs or other additional fees you'll encounter. Finally, add up all the packing costs you have, such as moving boxes or larger packing materials for big appliances and furniture. Once you have everything accounted for on your spreadsheet, you'll be able to not only see where you can cut some financial corners, but also provide yourself with insight of your money situation after you've finally settled in.
Know what's tax deductible
Anyone who is moving due to corporate relocation will need to understand all the various expenses they can come across that are entirely tax deductible. According to the IRS, there are three essential requirements movers must meet in order to deduct any moving expenses they experience: your start date, distance test and employee timesheet. Moving costs that occur within one year after the start date of your new job can be considered deductible. In order to meet the IRS distance requirements, your new workplace has to be 50 miles farther from your previous home than your last work location was from your old home. If you did not have a previous workplace you reported to, your new office location still has to be at least 50 miles from your previous home. As for the employee timesheet requirement, you have to work full time for at least 39 weeks throughout the first year after you've relocated.
While they may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of your moving budget, the costs of packaging materials can start to add up quickly. The easiest way to keep these expenses down is by collecting everything from moving boxes to bubble wrap way in advance prior to your move. Don't be afraid to reach out to your employer or friends and family to see if they have any cardboard boxes or other packing materials to donate. Remember that a way to keep packing material prices down is by reducing the amount of items you pack. Make sure everyone involved in your move evaluates what possessions they need and what things they can do without, so you won't have to waste boxes or tape. A garage sale prior to your move is always a good idea to get rid of excess items, as well as raise some money for your moving budget.
Expect the unexpected
Even if you review every possible expense down to the last detail, it's practically inevitable that you'll wind up spending more on your relocation than you originally planned to. Always keep this mind throughout this process, and try to implement more cost-saving ways into your daily life. Little things such as spending less on groceries or using public transportation can start to add up when it comes to increasing your moving budget. In the end, the further in advance you begin to adequately project and prepare your financial situation for the big move, the more comfortable and confident you'll feel managing these expenses.