A Moving Budget Unpacked and Broken Down

moving-girl-with-laptopThey say moving is one of the most stressful life events—and I'll tell you why: the sheer expense of that stuff shuffle. I’m planning a move myself next year, and by budgeting ahead I hope to avoid the big expenses—and the sneaky ones.

Get estimates

  • Boxes can be pricey at $2+ each. I'm using this online Packing Calculator and Uboxes.com to estimate the number and size of boxes I'll need: Over $200! Crikey! A) There's always the grocery and liquor store option and B) I plan to throw/give things away so there’s less to pack.
  • A moving checklist like this one spotlights important expenses and chores (tape! get measurements!) so you can prep ahead.
  • I got a quote from a moving company of about $75 per hour, with a two-hour minimum. (Most companies will give you a quote online, or use this free service.) Rather than spend about $300 (plus tip!), I'll beg my close friends (and brother) to help. If they say yes, my budget shrinks to about $100 for pizza and gas for the truck.

Sneaky stuff

  • With so many utilities and services to cancel or transfer, I have to make sure that I avoid overlapping bills or late fees. Solution: Get those change-of-address forms in, and orchestrate phone calls to all the companies.
  • Stock your shelves, plug in the fridge and make sure your kitchen items are carefully labeled. That will save big money on that monster… takeout!
Your move. What moving costs have caught you by surprise?

Kenia Perez works
in the aerospace
industry in California.