Are you planning to move across the city or to another state? It’s time to get out the calculator and crunch some numbers. Moving can be incredibly expensive, and it’s hard to find ways around that. There are often numerous hidden moving costs that come as a surprise after your budget has been planned.
We’re pulling back the curtain on the hidden fees you’re likely to experience no matter how short or long your move so you can prepare some extra cushion in your moving budget.
If you hire a moving company, be sure to get several quotes from highly rated companies. Be extra wary of companies that give you an extremely low quote because sometimes it is too good to be true. Cheap moving companies are often cheap for a reason. They may not be upfront with expenses and total charges throughout the move, or they may lack licensing and insurance needed to cover the transportation of your belongings. Here are a few reasons why “cheap” companies are so inexpensive.
Charge Per Hour
If a company charges by the hour, their per-hour rate might sound great, but if they only send one person to do a three-person job you’ll be paying for every hour they work. Their time will likely cost you more than you’d pay with a company that quoted a more realistic price and provided you with the correct number of people to accomplish it.
Companies with too-good-to-be-true pricing are often operating with less than ideal equipment. They utilize older trucks, underqualified drivers, and movers who might not have professional moving experience. Do you want to leave your belongings in the hands of unqualified movers?
Companies that appear inexpensive often leave off important services such as loading, unloading, and blankets to cover furniture. These are added on later as an “extra” service even though they are assumed to be included.
The Cost of Fuel
If you are DIYing your move across the city or the state and you’re renting a moving truck, be aware that you’ll need to factor in the cost of fuel. The farther you move, the more fuel you’ll need to purchase. Packing, loading, driving, and unloading yourself will save hundreds to thousands, but don’t forget the expenses that come with any road trip – fuel. Moving across the state can incur hundreds in fuel expenses.
Most rental trucks average eight to ten miles per gallon. Figure out how many miles you’ll be driving to reach your destination. Divide that number by your mpg rate. That will tell you about how many gallons of fuel you’ll need to complete the trip. Multiply the needed gallons by current gas prices, and you’ll have a rough estimate for your budget.
Here is a simple formula to follow:
Miles from Los Angeles, California to Louisville, Kentucky = 2,052
MPG on Budget Rental Truck = 8
Miles/MPG = Gallons of Fuel
2,052/8 = 256.5 Gallons of Fuel
At $2.50 per gallon, you need to budget $641.25 for fuel.
Keep in mind that fuel cost is only for your rental truck. If you are driving another vehicle to your final destination, you’ll need to factor in the cost of fuel for the second vehicle, as well.
The Cost of Lodging
This category most often accompanies DIY moving and especially if you are moving across several states. While DIY moving can save you hundreds to thousands, driving a moving truck takes time. If it takes several days to reach your new destination, you’ll need a place to sleep for the nights in between. There are numerous inexpensive options, such as Airbnbs, but these costs will still add up. Figure an average of $150 per night for lodging for two adults and two children or three adults through Airbnb.
The Cost of Meals
If you’re on the road for a few days, or even moving locally and unable to unpack the kitchen day one, you’ll likely need some meals out. Unpacking takes a lot of work, and the last thing you’ll want to do is fire up the stovetop, hunt for your pots and pans, and pull out the spices. Factor in a cost of $10 per meal, per person, per day, until you reach your destination or until your kitchen supplies are unpacked.
By replacement items, we’re not implying your precious valuables will end up broken. Think of things that were not valuable enough to pack up and take with you and will need to be replaced.
Items in this category include:
Pantry Staples: Oil, spices, flour, sugar, baking supplies
Laundry Supplies: Detergent, spot remover, bleach, dryer sheets
Office Supplies: Paper, pens, filing supplies
Cleaning Supplies: Dish soap, window cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, disinfectant, toilet bowl cleaner
All of these items will need to be replaced when you arrive at your new home. While not part of the moving process, you will need to put these costs into your budget. Factor a minimum of $400 for restocking your home.
Are You Ready to Move?
Moving can be an exciting adventure and knowing how much to budget will help remove sticker shock. Remember to ask for detailed quotes if using a moving company like Fort Lauderdale movers to help you change locations. Before you estimate moving costs, be sure to factor in the cost of fuel, in addition to truck rental, lodging, and meals on the road. Finally, budget some funding for replacing pantry staples and cleaning supplies. Are you ready for your move?
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