Close-up of woman's hands on calculator
Date Published
November 13, 2019

As soon as you know you are going to move you should begin to work out a moving budget. It’s something a lot of people don’t think they have time to do and that many more don’t even realize they should do, but it’s one of the most important steps to your move.

The costs of moving can quickly add up, so knowing what you will need and what it will cost ahead of time will help prepare you and keep spending in check.

What Is a Moving Budget

A moving budget lets you see all the costs involved in your move in one place and also plan for unforeseen expenditures.

With a moving budget planned out, you’ll then be able to set aside money to cover your move and not be hit as hard by surprise expenses.

What to Include in Your Moving Budget

  • Pre-move expenses – this includes moving supplies (boxes, tape, etc.), cleaning supplies, storage services, and more
  • Moving expenses – this includes a rental truck or professional movers, gas, insurance, child or pet care, tips or gifts, food, etc.
  • Post-move expenses – this includes installation/setup fees for utilities, purchasing items for the new home, restocking your fridge, and more
  • Contingency expenses – this is extra money to be set aside for any unplanned expenses such as additional moving fees, unexpected items needed for your new home, etc.

How to Make a Moving Budget in 6 Steps

  1. Start by creating a template for your budget. You can go “old school” using pencil and paper (consider purchasing a bookkeeper’s record book at your local office supply store) or create an Excel spreadsheet. Do whatever works best for you.
  2. Create a categories column on your budget template and add subcategories in that column with individual items listed under them. You can use the subcategories noted above or create your own. Get as specific as you need to.
  3. Add more columns next to categories for estimated cost and actual cost.
  4. Fill in your cost estimates for each item and total them at the bottom of that column.
  5. Take that number (your subtotal) and multiply it by 5% (.05). That amount will be your contingency fund. Add your contingency and subtotal together to get your budget total.

    Sample Excel spreadsheet with moving expenses

  6. Start a folder where you can keep all your quotes, receipts, and other moving documents. This will help you stay organized and keep all documents related to your move handy. If a quote or invoice comes in higher (or lower) than what you anticipated, adjust the appropriate column in your budget template to reflect that.

    Put Your Plan into Action

    Start off your budget with a free moving quote from AAA Movers, Minnesota’s trusted moving company. Our ProMover certified movers have been helping people with local and long distance moves all across Minnesota and beyond for over 5o years.