How to Calculate Moving Costs Without any doubt, moving alone is challenging enough. There are so many things you need to keep into consideration that you can easily reach the point of setting your head on fire (Ouch!). However, even though there is no short run, as far as calculating your moving costs is concerned, you can do a whole lot to make relocating feel better while costing you less.
Wondering how to achieve that? Below, we are sharing our comprehensive guide on how to calculate your moving expenses without getting overwhelmed. After all, many people have already been there before. Nevertheless, as experts on all things real estate related, we do understand the obstacles and uncertainties which you inevitable face when relocating.
But let’s look on the bright side of life! Armed with the right piece of advice, some patience and a healthy dose of careful planning, you can go a very long way ahead of your moving costs without breaking a sweat.
Enough talking. Let’s get you through the very essence of mastering the art of calculating your costs when moving like a pro.
What is the Average Moving Cost?
Most (if not all!) of the people who are relocating keep asking themselves the same question – how much will it cost me to cover my moving expenses on an average?
While there is no fit-them-all answer on that note, there is, however, an approximate cost which can help to shed some light to this particular concern. According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the estimated moving cost can be anything between $1, 250 to $4, 890.
But that’s a huge difference in the price range, isn’t it? And it sure can’t be any other way since there are two major categories regarding moving from spot A to spot B – a long-distance move and a local move. Even that way, it is still impossible to set a strict frame since you can easily figure out that moving from Mississippi to New York is one thing while moving from LA to Washington is another.
However, what’s essential is to keep in mind that the price range provided above refers to a 2-3 bedroom move where the total weight of all your belongings is no more than 7, 500 pounds. Plus, the average distance for this calculation regarding a long distance move is set to 1000 miles.
Important Factors for Calculating your Moving Expenses
There are numerous moving expenses which can break the piggy bank if you are not careful with planning your strategy and budget accordingly.
Cheer up, as we are here to be of your assistance with this easy-to-digest compilation of the most important factors regarding the calculation of moving expenses. Yup, read on, keep this mini guide handy, and you will not have to trouble your mind (or your wallet) with struggling to find all the essential tips you need at one place.
1. The number of your belongings Okay, this one is an easy-peasy pinpoint. The more belongings you will have to move, the higher the expenses, right?
On the one hand, this is entirely true. But on the other hand, multiple belongings don’t always mean having to set up a bigger budget. Why? Because not only the number of your stuff matters but also the size, and most importantly – the weight.
2. The relocating distance One more factor which seems super-obvious: the longer the distance your belongings will need to travel, the better you need to be prepared when it’s pay time. After all, fuel costs rise, based on the distance.
Nevertheless, the cost of labor rises, too. But then again, there’s much room for the prices within this particular range to vary, depending on whether the distance will be covered by opting for a moving truck or you will need to send your luggage travel by sea, for example.
3. Hiring movers In some situations, you may be able not to opt for hiring movers. But in most cases, you will certainly need professional help during a move. Unless you are lucky to have 30 cousins who will happily spend a weekend helping you out move your belongings and pack these in the moving truck.
However, in reality, the bigger percentage of people do opt for the services of a certified moving company. Some even prefer to have their belongings neatly packed by the movers’, instead of completing this step on their own, so this may further increase your expenses.
4. Additional services you opt for You should also keep in mind that opting for other additional services, such as, for instance, moving specialty items which require extra care and attention, and/or reassembling furniture once you have already arrived, can make your moving bill bubble up a bit. Tips are also part of the picture, so don’t forget about including these in the calculation of costs for additional services.
5. Storage rates Some moves are much more complicated than others. Maybe you have lots of things in store but you will arrive at the new location before you have even found a suitable place to live in? The possible examples on that note are limitless.
What’s significant to take into account is that storage rates may also pop out, according to the type of move you are dealing with. Plus, the rates highly vary from one company to another, as well as depending on the period you will need to have your belongings stored.
6. When you move At any cost, do not underestimate the importance of the moving date you choose.
It’s easy to forget considering the most suitable date to move which will cost you less than, for example, planning a move during a holiday or even during the weekend. Thus, take the time to pick a date which will be gentler on your pocket.
7. Packing supplies Even though the moving company can provide a full list of services, packing your belonging included, you may want to buy some of the packing materials to save money. However, while this may help you save some money, it doesn’t mean you won’t be spending money, right? So the packing supplies (aka moving supplies) are one more important factor you need to acknowledge.
8. Value protection Nobody wants to have his/her belongings damaged during a move. That’s why moving companies do provide a ranging set of liability coverage packages. And while you will be able to choose the option which will be most suitable for you, don’t forget that you may also want to opt for purchasing an additional moving insurance by a third-party.
Now that you are familiar with most important factors which will help you out to keep your moving expenses neat and tidy, you can check out the list of the most frequently asked questions we have compiled below.
How Much Will It Cost Me to Move?
As already briefly discussed at the very beginning of this article, the average moving costs will depend from one person to another. However, keeping the estimated rates for relocations is always helpful, so here’s one more quick reiteration on that matter.
The cost of a local move is approximately $2,300 while the cost of a long-distance move is approximately $4,300.
How to Save Money When Moving?
In a nutshell, saving money when relocating is possible in many different ways. Be sure to stick with us by the end of this article as we are providing a no-nonsense list of the top 10 best ways to decrease your moving expenses.
One quick bonus tip is to consider donating part of your belongings to charity campaigns. All you have to do is to keep track of all the items you have donated before or after the move by saving the donation receipt. Mind that the donation receipt also needs to include the cash value of your items. Finally, you can save some money by claiming a tax deduction on the donations.
What is the Cost of a Valuation Coverage Pack?
The Federal Law obliges the interstate moving companies to provide reliable protection to their customers by offering two major types of valuation coverage, namely a Full Value Protection and a Released Value Protection pack.
In fact, the Released Value Protection is automatically included in your moving costs as this type of valuation coverage pack is considered the very basic minimum. In the case of loss and/or damage, you will be reimbursed with 60 cents per pound if you did not claim a Full Value Protection.
On the other hand, while costlier than the Released Value Protection, the Full Value Protection will give you the convenience and reliability of having any damaged or lost items 100% reimbursed in case of any issues.
Are Moving Costs Tax-Deductible?
Apart from the quick bonus tip we shared above regarding the possible option of claiming some taxes back after donating part of your belongings to charity campaigns, there’s another alternative for a tax deduction.
There’s a big chance of having your moving costs tax deducted by the government but, of course, you need to fit into certain regulations. In a nutshell, the purpose of the switch in your location needs to be closely-related to starting a new job or business. Nevertheless, you must also meet a particular distance and time test, as well.
You can get more information by visiting the Internal Revenue Service official website, and specifically submit the IRS Form 3903.
How are Moving Rates Calculated?
When it comes to a long-distance (or interstate) move, the moving rates are calculated depending on the distance traveled from location A to relocation B, the labor costs, and the weight of the shipment itself.
With local moves, though, most of the movers offer a flat rate per hour.
And even though this rate is flat, it is still dependent on specific additional factors, such as the difficulty of transportation (are there many stairs and/or heavy furniture involved), packaging costs (will you have the movers pack your stuff?), as well as add-ons. However, the local movers do use a strict calculation template to have the prices fixed but you can always ask for any extra information you need on the moving rate.
What are the Pros and Cons of Hiring a Moving Company?
The biggest pros of opting for the services of a moving company is that you will save both energy and time for doing a huge, back-breaking part of the work yourself. The biggest con? The price you will have to pay to the movers will be much higher than if you have some (or most) of the things done by yourself and some friends.
Whatever your choice, make sure to check out the moving company’s reliability by taking the time to check out the reviews of previous customers of their services.
10 Best Ways to Decrease Moving Costs
Without losing even a second of your precious time, let’s delve into the best ways to decrease moving costs at a glance.
1. De-clutter your belongings The process of relocating is an awesome time to get rid of anything unnecessary. That could be a double win-win as you move since you will have fewer belongings to pack once you de-clutter. Plus, you can make somebody else happy by donating some or all of your stuff for charity.
Nevertheless, you can even make extra money by selling part of your belongings, which is easier than ever nowadays whether you plan an online or a direct sale (such as the good old garage sales).
2. Go for free moving supplies It’s amazing how much money you can save from moving supplies, such as card boxes, among other, by simply letting your creative juices flow. Drop by a grocery shop, a liquor shop, or recycling depots where you can find numerous packing supplies for free. You can also drop a line at a local Facebook group or visit websites such as Freecycle and Craiglist, among others.
3. Opt for a moving truck Up-to-date, you can rent a moving truck which can easily hold all the belongings of a 4 bedroom equivalent. Yup, if you go for a DIY move, a moving truck can be a fantastic and extremely money-saving idea to embrace.
4. Find a friendly shoulder to lean on If you can count on the help of your friends and/or relatives for moving, you can save a LOT from moving costs, involving hiring movers and a moving company. Plus, you can have tons of fun, too!
5. Look for discounts Who doesn’t love discounts, right? But sometimes, with all the fuss around the big journey of relocating, you can forget about checking out for possible discounts available. Take some time to do so and your efforts may be well worth it.
6. Take advantage of a moving container Much like opting for a moving truck, a portable moving container is another fantastic alternative to paying high prices to the movers and/or moving companies. Plus, there are many types of moving containers to choose from as to suit your needs. 7. Pick the most suitable moving date Remember what we talked about the significance of picking up a suitable moving date? It’s always a good idea to reiterate on that note because choosing a good date to move can make a HUGE difference in your moving costs.
8. Save from packing Packing doesn’t hurt. It’s not like having to move huge and/or heavy boxes around yourself. So why don’t you pack alone or with the help of friends and family instead of paying extra cash for the service?
9. Shop for the best price Okay, so you’re hiring a moving company. But keep in mind that there is no need to rush. There are so many companies to choose from! Shop for the best price by sending off multiple quotes and pick the one which suits your budget best.
10. Save all your receipts Last but not least, don’t just throw away your receipts – whether it comes to those covering the money you paid to the moving company or the items you donated for charity. After all, why not benefit from having some of your taxes deducted?
Ultimately, you can do an excellent job to calculate moving costs, as long as you have the willingness to stick to the tips we have provided. And, of course, to skip the rush and pay attention to building your moving plan accordingly. Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the ride.