Moving to a new home or city can be a tough transition. Moving to a new home or city on a tight budget, however, can be significantly more difficult.
How do you make a moving budget? How do you stick to that budget? Here’s what you need to know about how to make a moving budget when you’re moving to and from Alabama:
Decide How Much Money You Can Afford to Spend on your Move
How much money do you have saved up for your move? How much money will you have left after buying your new home? How much can you afford to spend on rent?
Your moving budget will often determine how far you can move, the rental rate, and the security deposit you can afford. It will also determine whether or not you’ll need to hire movers, what kind of tools/equipment you can rent for the move, and how many friends you may need to convince to help you out.
The initial budget amount you pick out doesn’t have to be perfectly specific. It’s better to decide on a range.
To give you a good starting point, the American Moving & Storage Association claims that the average cost of a moving to a new home within the state if $1,170. The average cost of moving to a new state is $5,630. Both of these numbers are based on an average weight of 7,100 pounds.
If you can narrow down a budget of $1,000 to $2,000, for example, or a budget of $4,000 to $6,000, then that’s a good starting point. It leaves you with enough wiggle room for unplanned expenses and enough space to save money.
Divide that Budget into Categories
Now that you have an overall budget picked out, it’s time to divide that budget into specific categories. Moving-related costs can be divided into categories like:
-Supplies (boxes, tape, etc.)
-Movers (either friends or professional movers)
-Transportation and Food
You might want to create an Excel document that has two columns - one to track estimated expenses and the other to track actual expenses. This budget should be fluid and adjustable. Just like with your overall budget, you can expect actual numbers to vary from your estimated amounts.
If you’re moving across state, then your transportation and food costs may not be as high. If you’re moving to a new state, then you may need to pay for hotel rooms, food, gas, etc. Allot more money to those budget areas if necessary.
Estimate the Hidden Costs
-Installation and cancellation fees for utilities, cable, and internet
-Cost of security deposit if renting a new place (you may have to pay this before getting your previous deposit back)
-Costs of cleaning your old place and new home
-Costs of replacing damaged or broken items caused by bad packing jobs or low-quality movers
-Idle time for movers (some movers bill by the hour, while others bill by the job)
-Cost of missing work for a few days
-Cost of damage to your home (only scratched floors and damaged walls if you’re lucky)
Start Saving Money
Now that you have a general budget worked out, it’s time to start finding ways to lower costs.
One of the best places to start is by selling your stuff. This does two things: it reduces the amount of stuff you have to move and it earns you money in the process.
At the same time, consider donating old furniture to friends in need or local community charities. This is especially important if you have furniture that won’t fit in your new home - what’s the point of dragging a couch across the state if it’s just going to take up space in your new garage?
If you do donate your couch or possessions to charity, then don’t forget to ask for a receipt for your donation. You’ll get a tax deduction for your good deed.
Get your Security Deposit Back
Depending on state law, landlords are required to give back your security deposit within 15 to 45 days. Obviously, you’re not entitled to your full security deposit if there are damages or cleaning fees required. If the landlord doesn’t give you back your entire security deposit, then they’ll need to provide a full explanation of the charges assessed.
Ask for an Estimate from a Professional Moving Company
Most moving companies provide free estimates based on the size of your home and the number of possessions you need to move. This free estimate can be an excellent way to pinpoint the cost of your move.
Huntsville moving company Lambert Relocation specializes in providing competitively-priced moving services in northern Alabama. Contact a professional moving company like Lambert Transfer to receive a detailed estimate of all the costs involved with your move. The family-owned company has been moving homes and people since 1925 and they know exactly how to estimate the costs of any move.