With spring fast approaching, many people are planning to move. Whether you are relocating for work, school or a change of scenery, moving can be extremely stressful and expensive which is why it’s important to plan your next move efficiently.
“The different costs seem to come out of the blue, however many of them can be reduced just by doing a little research. By not preparing ahead of time, many people turn to debt to finance their move,” says Jeff Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
Set a budget
While moving isn’t an expense that you’ll likely encounter as often as other month-to-month costs, you need to employ the same budgeting principles. Sit down and make a full list of possible expenses, and then you can determine what you’ve got to spend. Planning ahead can help you determine what the costs are and to have cash ready to cover these expenses.
“If you are buying a home, you may be focused on closing costs, down payment and your upcoming mortgage payments. Moving can cost thousands of dollars. You don’t want to be stuck with that kind of bill when you are already fielding other major expenses,” says Schwartz.
Here are some possible costs to include in your budgeting and tips to plan your next move better:
DIY or Professional Moving Company?
As a first step, determine if you are moving yourself or if you are getting friends and family to help. If you are going DIY, don’t forget about costs around packing materials and supplies, truck rental and permits (if necessary). You’ll probably need to feed your “crew” as well, so make sure that that is included in your costs.
If you are using professional movers, it is imperative that you shop around. There are lots of movers out there, but make sure that you get multiple quotes (at least three) to ensure that you are getting the best service and the best price. Make sure that you fully understand the fine print associated with your move.
Do the movers charge by the hour or a flat fee? Is there a point at which they’ll charge you overtime? How much is that? Are packing materials included? If not, do they sell them at a discount? What is their insurance coverage like?
You’ll want to rely fairly heavily on personal referrals or third party reviews that are credible, like the Better Business Bureau. Unfortunately, there are some movers that are less reputable and are happy to charge by the hour, when speed is not of the essence.
Is there any sort of gap between when you are moving out of your current place and into your new place? Do you have storage available or do you have to rent space for the interim. Storage lockers vary in rates and sizes, so do some research to get the best price.
Pet and child care
Do you have young children or pets? What are your plans for them on moving day? Typically, it is best that they are elsewhere in the middle of the move. Do you have friends and family to mind them, or do you need to pay for a kennel or babysitting?
You’ll likely need to pay out a number of one-time expenses when you move in, like utility hookups for instance. Also count on having to buy small household items when you move in- often ones that you haven’t thought of.