How to estimate the cost of your move?

If you are like most people, then you are moving on a limited budget and cost matters. The problem is that, if you start asking around about how much it costs to move, you will probably get very different answers. The reason for this is because the cost of moving can vary drastically depending on many factors. If you want to figure out how much your move will really cost, follow these guidelines.

1) Don’t rely on moving estimates given online or over the phone
If you are interested in how much moving will cost, then you’ve probably already done some research online and seen those “online moving calculators.” These calculators ask you for some basic info (usually the number of rooms in your home and how many people live there). For long distance moves, it will also ask how far you are moving. Then it will give you a generic cost for moving.

These online calculators are a TERRIBLE way to estimate moving costs. For starters they don’t take into account the amount of stuff you really have in your home. They also can’t calculate things like whether you have curbside parking (meaning the move gets done faster and you don’t have to pay any long-carry fees), whether you have fragile items which require special care or packing, and the efficiency of the moving company.

2) Get a moving estimate in your home
Good moving companies will give free estimates in your home. They send over an agent to look at all your belongings and assess how much the move will really cost. If the moving company is experienced and reputable, then the estimate should be accurate within 5-10%, plus or minus.

3) Factor in a huge grocery shopping trip
You will have to restock the fridge and pantry once in your new home. You’ll also need to restock any cleaning supplies which you didn’t take with you.

4) Plan on buying some moving supplies
If you start collecting boxes way in advance or get lucky (such as by finding someone giving away lots of boxes on Craigslist), you might not have to buy a single box for your move. However, chances are that you will probably have to buy at least a few boxes. Be sure to calculate these in your budget.

5) You will need to eat
For the last day or two in your old home and first few days in the new home, your kitchen will be in disarray. You will probably rely on takeout or restaurants for meals. This can add up to another big expense. Save some money by looking for takeout coupons online.

6) Travel costs
If moving locally, then these won’t be significant. But, if moving long distance, you will have to pay for gas, tolls, and accommodation. Plan your journey well so you can stop for the night at an affordable hotel instead of the first one you come across.