How To Plan A Budget For A Local Move

Posted on: 10 October 2016

If you're planning a local move, it pays to be prepared. One way to stay ahead of the curve is to plan a budget so there aren't any big shocks to your wallet. Here are three ways to hone in on all the possible costs so that moving day goes without a hitch.

#1. Plan ahead

According to rental expert Niccole Schreck, you should plan your move a year in advance when possible so there's plenty of time to save money. But even if you don't plan that far out, there are some ways you can prepare your budget, even if it's only a few months ahead of time.

  1. If you're renting, check on security-deposit amounts in your new place as well as pet fees if you have four-legged friends.
  2. Get rid of everything you no longer need in order to save on box purchases and truck rentals (the smaller, the cheaper!).
  3. Review your lease and be sure to give your landlord ample notice before moving out. You don't want to be hit with fees there at the last minute.
  4. Determine if you'll need to pay for any extras like storage units, babysitters, or pet boarding fees (to keep young hands and furry paws in a safer place when packing or moving), dining on-the-go when all your food is packed up, utility deposits, etc.

#2. Get estimates on the truck

When getting quotes for a truck, the first step is determining what size you'll need. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Studio apartments: 10-foot truck or van
  • 1-2 Bedroom: 15-foot truck
  • 2-3 Bedroom: 20-foot truck
  • 4+ Bedroom: 26-foot truck

Keep in mind these are general guidelines, and if you have more furniture than the average person in your rooms, you may need to go up a size.

The second factor to consider for truck rentals is gas and insurance. Most companies can let you know what kind of mileage their trucks get, but they are pretty similar when doing a comparison. Most 10-foot trucks will get about 12 mpg, give or take, depending on the weight it's pulling, whereas a 26-footer will get around 9 mpg. From there, it's just some simple math. Add up the total number of miles you'll be traveling (be sure to factor in multiple trips if needed), divide that number by the truck's mpg, and multiply that figure by the price of gas per gallon. For example, an 80-mile move in a 10-foot truck with a price of $2.54 per gallon will cost at least $16.93, which isn't a bad figure in the great scheme of things. Just remember that this number will be higher if you're running the truck a lot, using the air conditioner, and pulling extremely heavy loads.

Insurance for the truck will also vary, depending on the company and what level of protection you opt for. But it's a good idea to get it if you can afford it so you don't get stuck with fees in case of damage to the truck.

#3. Call moving companies for quotes

If you're hiring a moving company for the big day, you'll definitely want to plan ahead and get quotes from several companies. Here are just some of the questions they might ask to determine the cost:

  • How many rooms do you have?
  • What is your moving date?
  • Do you need help packing?
  • Do you need any furniture disassembled?
  • Do you have any heavy items like pianos or large buffets that need special care?

Local movers charge by the hour. So obviously, the more you can do yourself in the way of packing and taking furniture apart, the more you'll save. But on average, expect a 4-bedroom move in a major metropolitan city to cost around $2,000 for one large truck and four movers.

If your place is small and you only need two movers, the price will come down, and you should plan to spend around $90-$120 per hour. It's always best to have a company rep come out and give you a written estimate so that nothing gets overlooked. Just keep in mind that most written estimates are non-binding, which means it's their best guess as to the final cost. If you want something with more of a guarantee, ask about a binding quote. For more information, contact a moving company like Wheaton World Wide Moving.