Make Moving on a Budget Much Less Stressful With These Inspired Ideas

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Friday April 12, 2024

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Everyone needs to move for various reasons throughout their lives. Whether you’re starting a great job or buying a home to start a family, moving your belongings can cost a pretty penny. Check out how to make moving on a budget easier with these tips that cover every potential expense.

Make a Moving Costs Checklist

You’ll know how much to budget for your upcoming move if you list potential costs. The answers to the following questions are different for everyone, depending on their phase of life, belongings and preferences. Answer the questions for yourself to determine a rough outline of what you’ll need to cover financially:

  • Do you want to pay for a moving truck?
  • Can you lift all of your belongings?
  • How many boxes will you need?
  • Will you need to buy gas for your moving vehicles?
  • Will you need to feed any loved ones while they help?
  • What services will you need to start once you arrive?

Discuss this moving costs checklist with whoever’s moving with you and save your answers where you can easily find them. You’ll use them to break the costs down and form a budget covering everything you need.

Break Your Costs Down

Start working on your finances to make moving on a budget simple. These steps will ensure you’ve thought of everything before it’s time to start taping up boxes.

Consider Your Moving Vehicles Preference

Moving companies offer large trucks to help people with various needs. You might need to get everything out of your home quickly, making a team of movers more of a necessity. Some people also have large belongings in massive houses, so big trucks are the only way to get their things from one place to another.

Consider the size of your home and your belongings. If you think you’ll need a professional team with a massive truck, you’ll need to think about where you’re going. A local moving team that finishes the drive faster will charge less than a team driving out of state to your new home. The average cost of an interstate move is around $3,500, but that number can get much higher if your move is longer or your home has multiple bedrooms.

Alternatively, you could get an hourly or daily rental truck you drive by yourself. The typical fee for this kind of moving truck is nearly $60 per day, so check with local truck rental companies to see what they quote for your total mileage. 

People moving on a budget can also ask their loved ones for help. If the people in your lives have flatbed trucks, you could cover their gas if they help you move. However, you’d also risk rain, wind and bugs affecting your belongings because passenger trucks don’t usually have covered storage.

Determine Your Strength

Can you lift all of your belongings? Would lifting everything for multiple hours risk your health? You may need to hire a professional team or ask loved ones to help move your furniture and boxes.

Although you can always start getting stronger in the weeks before your move, you should never push your body beyond what it can handle. Protecting your health by paying a professional moving team might make it worth a more expensive budget. If you’d prefer to ask loved ones for help, ask if they’d like to get paid for their day of work. You’ll get to pay your loved ones less than a professional rate, but it’s still something you’ll need to add to your moving budget.

Estimate Your Necessary Boxes

The best tips for moving on a budget always include visualizing boxes. How many do you think you’ll need per room? You may not get an exact answer, but an estimation will help you calculate the specific sizes you’ll need to buy from a home goods or moving supply store.

You can always cut down on this fee by calling local stores. Ask if they have any leftover boxes from their recent restocking efforts and if you can pick them up. Store managers might let you take them for free because it saves their team from breaking them down or paying for a recycling pickup.

Don’t forget about the bags you already own too. Old suitcases, bookbags and tote bags can all help carry your smaller belongings during your move. Watch this video to learn how to pack things in a strategic way to maximize how much you move without boxes:

Budget for Gas

Even if you hire a professional moving company, your budget should include some money for gas. You’ll need to drive however many vehicles you own to your new home. If you rent a moving truck, you’ll need to get gas to keep it going on the road and likely refill the tank before returning it.

Use tools to check gas prices along your intended route and calculate the amount you’ll need to save according to the miles per gallon in the necessary vehicles. You’ll find that information in your car’s manual or the rental company’s website under each truck’s specification detail listings.

Plan to Feed Your Helpers

Your loved ones may volunteer to help you, but how long will they need to work? You might have to provide lunch or dinner while they fill up your truck or unload it.

Strategize ways to find the most affordable ingredients to make budget-friendly meals for everyone. You could get pre-made wraps while they’re on sale or sandwich supplies with coupons. As long as you know how many people you’ll have to feed, you can calculate how much it will cost to provide their meals.

Save for Immediate Services

There are a few fees you might have to pay immediately after your move. If you add them to your moving budget checklist, you’ll prevent financial stress later. Contact local power and water companies where you’ll live to find out how much it costs to activate the power and water at your new living space.

You might also have to provide an upfront payment to start trash pickup, which is essential when you’re unpacking boxes. If you’re looking for tips for moving on a budget, this might be one of the most important steps you could take. You’ll have everything you need to start your life without extra stress.

Make Moving on a Budget Simple

Anyone can move on a budget, even if it feels tight. Use these checklists and questions to determine exactly how much each option could cost for your upcoming move. You’ll pick the best moving method and feel less anxious as you start packing your things.


What Should Be Included in Moving Expenses?

You should include many factors in your moving expenses including the cost of the vehicle, gas to get to your destination and labor fees. Other expenses like feeding loved ones who volunteer and buying boxes are adjustable depending on your plans.

How Do You Calculate How Much It Will Cost to Move?

Using tips for moving on a budget will help you calculate how much it will cost to move. Consider all the factors listed above to form a helpful budget for your move.

What Is the Cheapest Option for Moving?

The cheapest option for moving is almost always avoiding any professional services. Ask loved ones to help you move, call stores for leftover boxes and use family-owned trucks to move your belongings. Getting everything to your new home might take a couple of trips, but you’ll save more money than paying a moving company.

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