Budgeting for a Long-Distance Relocation
Moving is hard enough on its own, but when you add more distance into the mix, it can become exhausting quickly. Whether you’re relocating for family or a new job, it’s normal to feel stressed. Your money, time, and sanity are at stake. While it’s impossible to move without spending a dime, there are ways to budget that will make the relocation less painful to your wallet.
Before you start packing your boxes, start making your budget. You need to know not only how much you have to spend on your long-distance relocation, but also how you’ll keep costs down. Running out of room in your budget half-way through a major move can be devastating to your savings account. This guide will take you through the steps needed to create an accurate moving budget before the big day.
Where to Create Your Budget
Today, there are so many tech tools that make budgeting a breeze whether you’re trying to invest extra money or cut back on morning coffees. This is good news for long-distance movers who might need some help making sense of all the moving parts of a relocation. If having a budget you can take with you everywhere is a priority for you, download one of the best budgeting apps to get started.
If you want complete control over your budget, you’ll need a spreadsheet. Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets will make it easy to create lines of your budget and even form charts with your total information. You can use the built-in formulas to plan just how much you’ll need to spend. Not convinced a gadget is the best way to go? Keep it old-school with a pen and paper. As long as you have a calculator, you’re good to go.
Professional vs. DIY
You have two main options when moving long-distance: hire professional movers or do it yourself. When you hire a professional, there’s significantly less stress. The movers will even sometimes help with packaging things in your home, and they’ll take care of making sure your belongs arrive safely at your destination.
Moving on your own takes more time, and sometimes even more money. You’ll need to rent your own moving truck and load everything yourself. Traveling long distances with your personal belongings in a U-HAUL is no easy task, and you might find yourself out of your element completely. You’ll also need to look into car shipping rates since it’s not likely you’ll be able to move both the truck and your own vehicle at once.
In most cases, it’s more affordable and worthwhile to hire a professional moving service for long distance moves. For short moves across town, it makes more sense to do it yourself. You can request a relocation cost estimate from a moving company a few months prior to the big relocation, and they can help you decide if professionals are right for your situation.
It’s crucial you also include room in your budget for unexpected expenses. Some of these you can prepare for in advance. If you go with professional movers, for instance, you’ll want to purchase additional insurance for your belongings. Other expenses you can’t prepare for, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a contingency plan.
There are fees and costs associated with living in a new place. Things like insurance registration, car tags, paperwork, groceries, and other essentials will all be needed immediately once you arrive at your destination. These will be costly, so include them in your budget accordingly.
No matter how much you prepare, things can still go wrong. A mover might get hurt on the job, requiring immediate medical attention. If you’re traveling to your destination with your belongings, you might run into unforeseen car troubles or expensive toll roads. Even small roadblocks add up quickly in your budget. Make sure you have room to afford this before you leave home.
Move with Confidence
Though it’s hard to budget for everything, it’s still possible to move with confidence. Living in a new place is exciting, and it brings new opportunities. Not many people have the chance to relocate long-distance, so really make the most of this adventure. Moving might be stressful, but it’s only temporary. You’ll be in your new home in no time.
For more life hacks or ways to save, check out our tips.
How do you budget for a move?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist and editor of lifestyle blog Whispered Inspirations. A social media junkie, a travel-lover with insatiable wanderlust and an aficionado for fun gadgets, good eats, and entertainment. You can find her on Instagram and everywhere else under @WhispersInspire.