Estimating Your Total Moving Cost

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Estimating Your Total Moving Cost

Staff Writer · Oct 6, 2009

Estimating your total moving cost will help you make the right budget for your move. You don’t want to get caught off guard with expenses you can’t afford. Here are some guidelines to help you determine the total money you’ll have to spend from the beginning to the end of your move.

Expenses Associated with Your Old Apartment

The first part of the moving costs you have to total are all the expenses related to leaving the home or apartment you’re in now. These costs include final utility bills, costs to make repairs and cleaning costs. You will have to determine whether it’s best to let your security deposit take care of all or some of those costs. However, if you didn’t pay a security deposit, or if the costs exceed the deposit, you’ll have to factor that into your total moving bill.

Expenses Associated with Your New Apartment

You also have to total all the costs associated with moving into the apartment. These include security deposits, first month’s rent and utility deposits. Many people forget to total miscellaneous costs associated with moving into their apartment and end up not having not enough funds to pay for them after the move. You can avoid this by including your cost of living for the first month after the move.

Moving Companies or Truck Costs

To estimate these costs, get estimates from three different companies. Ask them for written estimates only and get them to be as detailed  as possible. It’s not enough for them to crunch numbers through a moving cost calculator. If you don’t get a detailed, written estimate, your costs will be higher than expected. Make sure that your estimates include taxes and surcharges as well as fees for additional services, such as packing.

Packing Supplies

You will have to buy boxes or rubber tubs and packing supplies, such as tape and packing peanuts, for the move. First see what you can get for free by posting ads on Craigslist or Freecycle.org. This will help to reduce your packing costs. Ask colleagues, family and friends for their extra boxes. Then, figure out the costs of what you couldn’t get for free.

Travel Expenses

You’ll need to total all of the travel expenses for you, your family and your pets. If you’re moving across town, this may not apply. However, if you’re moving across state lines, then your moving costs could be significant. For example, it could cost a couple of hundred dollars just to ship your pet using one of the major airlines. If you’re taking your car or renting one, you’ll need to factor your hotel, meals and fuel costs. You may have these same costs even if you travel by plane, but you’ll have the added costs of plane tickets. If you’re shipping your car, include those freight costs as well.

Storage

It may be beneficial to use a storage facility when you move until you get established in your new apartment. It might also be a necessity if you’re downsizing into a smaller place. Contact the local self storage facilities and get three estimates. Get details about their security and climate controls.

Using these guidelines should give you a good idea of what most, if not all, of your moving costs will be. You should still add 10% to the total amount just in case you forget to factor in something else.

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