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How to Create a Moving Budget

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TLC Moving

TLC Moving

When preparing for a move, you must set a moving budget, regardless of whether you’re moving overseas, across the country, or just a few blocks away.

Setting a budget will not only give you an idea of how much money you will need to spend, but it will also help you stay organized and on track, and prevent you from overspending.

Here’s a look at the importance of setting a moving budget and what you should include in your budget.

Reasons to Set A Moving Budget

The cost of moving houses can get expensive. So it’s useful to set a moving budget to avoid overspending on unexpected expenses. A budget will also help you better prepare for your move, allowing you to save enough money beforehand.

Things to Budget for When Hiring Professional Movers

The average moving costs in Canada vary by location. And the cost of a moving truck and movers varies depending on the services you need.

Professional Mover Costs

The cost of hiring movers differs depending on the company and services used. So, to find out how much professional movers cost, contact them directly for a quote. The quote will be an estimate with a base moving fee—which covers the costs of labour and fuel. This base fee will vary depending on how much stuff you have to move, how long the move will take, and the distance to your new home.

Additional Moving Insurance

Check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to see if moving insurance is included. You may need to purchase additional moving insurance to cover the cost of lost or damaged belongings.

Moving companies have valuation coverage, which is an amount of liability they agree to take on if your belongings become lost or damaged during the move. But you may want additional coverage.

Heavy or Bulky Items Fees

Your movers might charge extra fees to move heavy or bulky items. Other fees like this include:

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  • Flight charge—when moving heavy items up and down flights of stairs; and,
  • Long carry charge—if movers have to carry items from the building entrance to the moving truck at a distance that is longer than a pre-specified distance.


Extra Moving Services

If you plan to have your movers provide additional services, factor in these extra costs into your budget. Extra services can include:

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  • Packing and unpacking
  • Disassembly and reassembly of furniture
  • Temporary storage
  • Hoisting furniture through windows or balconies
  • Custom wooden crating
  • Delayed delivery of household goods


Things to Budget for When Moving Yourself

You may choose to move yourself if you don’t have a lot of stuff to move or you’re trying to save on moving costs. But there are still costs to consider when moving yourself. These include:

Renting a Truck

If you don’t have much to move—e.g., no furniture—you can likely get by with moving your belongings in a personal vehicle. Otherwise, you’ll need to rent a moving truck to fit all of your furniture, boxes, and belongings.

Figure out how much moving truck will cost rent based on the size of the truck you need, how long you’ll need it for, and the distance you’ll be driving with it.

Fuel Costs

You’ll also need to estimate how much you plan to spend on gas for your moving truck rental and perhaps any other vehicles you are using in your move.

Truck rental companies also require you to return the rental with a specified amount of fuel in the tank, so include this in your budget as well.


While truck rental companies provide some insurance coverage, it is usually minimal. So you may want to buy additional insurance when renting a truck.

Equipment Rental

Unless included in the cost of renting a moving truck, you may also need to pay to rent moving equipment such as dollies and moving blankets. Compare the rental prices with those at your local hardware stores to find the best deals.

Additional Costs

Here are additional costs you may need to include in your budget:

Travel Costs

Movers will also charge you for travel costs—the time it takes to travel to your home on moving day. This charge is usually billed as one extra hour of labour.

And if you’re moving long-distance, consider travel costs for yourself and your family, such as airfare, hotels, and meals.

Moving Supplies

While moving supplies might be on the cheaper end of your moving expenses, don’t underestimate how much you’ll need.

Common moving supplies include:

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  • Moving boxes
  • Markers and/or labels
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing paper/newspaper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Packing tape
  • Dividers


Vehicle Transportation

If you’re making a long-distance move, you may choose to ship your vehicle along with your belongings. Compare the costs of shipping your vehicle with certified auto movers and professional moving companies to find the most budget-friendly option.

Childcare or Pet Care

Moving day is stressful enough without worrying about the wellbeing of your kids or pets. So to make your move a bit easier, consider getting a babysitter/pet sitter, or bringing your kid/pets to a daycare.

Renting a Storage Unit

Whether you’re downsizing, moving long-distance, or you just want to make your move easier, renting a storage unit can be helpful for both the short-term and long-term.

Storage unit costs will vary based on the company, size of storage unit, length of rental, and additional amenities such as security and climate-controlled units. So get quotes when shopping for storage facilities.

Cleaning Costs

You will want to clean your old place for the new tenants, as well as your new home before unpacking. Perhaps you will just need to buy some cleaning supplies, or you’ll want to hire a cleaning company to do a deep clean. Whatever you decide, factor in these costs for your budget.

New Furniture and Appliances

As part of your budget, create a list of things you’ll need to buy for your new home, such as furniture, appliances, curtains, shower curtains, and other household items.

Tips for Moving on A Budget

Here are some moving on a budget tips to help you save on moving costs.

Ask Around for Free Boxes

If possible, try to lower your supply costs by asking for free boxes from local grocery stores, and using linens, towels, and clothing as padding for fragile belongings.

Get Multiple Quotes from Movers

How much does it cost for professional movers? That depends on several factors.

Get quotes from at least three different moving companies so you can compare costs and get the best rate for your move.

Purge or Sell Items

The fewer items you have to move, the cheaper and less stressful your move will be. So declutter and purge items you no longer use, either by donating them to a local charity or selling them for extra moving money.

Look at the Floor Plan before Buying New Furniture

Depending on the size of your new home, you may not have room for all of your existing furniture or any new furniture. So instead of planning to move everything and risk not having it fit, examine the floorplan of your new home so you’ll know what you can bring with you, what you’ll need to purge or put in storage, and what you shouldn’t buy.

Keep a Record of All Expenses

Keep track of all your moving expenses and receipts in case you can be reimbursed for some of your moving expenses, either from an employer or as a tax write-off.

Avoid the added stress of overspending during your move by creating a moving budget.

With a moving budget in hand, you can better prepare for your move and avoid the shock of unexpected costs that will likely arise during the process.