A young family with a mother, father and child who just moved into a new house with moving boxes.
11 June 2021

Financial Tips for Moving

Moving away for the first time can be both exciting and a bit scary, whether you’re moving to a different city or state, or even just down the block. For most people, planning out all of your expenses, looking into what you can afford, and applying for everything from rent to mortgages can be overwhelming and exhausting. That being said, with all these different variables in play, taking the time to thoroughly plan what your move is going to look like financially can really go a long way. 


Moving Costs Checklist

The type of costs you’ll have to account for when relocating depends on the location and distance of your move, but here’s a general checklist to help you get a better idea of what you may need to factor into your budget:

  • Moving service - $600-$1,650
  • Moving truck - $50-$2,000
  • Storage - $500-$5,500
  • Supplies (boxes, tape, bubble wrap, etc.) - $100-$450
  • Gas - $5-$600

Relocating can be expensive unless you're moving into a fully furnished space and don't need to buy any of your own furnishings. The average cost of movers can range from $600-$1,650, and even if you do it yourself, you’ll likely still need to spend money on gas or rent a moving truck. Luckily, there are ways to plan for —and even possibly minimize—expenses when you decide to make your move. Let’s take a look!


When Should I Start Saving?

One of the best things you can do is to start saving as soon as you can. To do this, try charting out a map of how soon you want to move out and how much money you want to save by that date. For example, if you know you’re planning to move into an apartment six months from now, let’s say your rent is going to be around $800 a month, and you want to hire a professional moving service, then you can calculate your savings from there.

The earlier you start saving, the less money you’ll have to pay all at once. This could mean that you try cutting back on unnecessary expenses early on so you have more to save and don’t have to rush to accumulate funds as your move-in date gets closer. Setting aside a small amount over a long period can also give you the chance to gain interest if you choose to store your money in a Teachers savings account.


How Much Should I Save?

Before you move, it’s important to take the time to save not only for your moving expenses, but for other unanticipated expenditures. How much you can save depends on your specific circumstances, but you might aim to set aside three to six months’ worth of expenses to play it safe. This includes how much you’re paying in rent or mortgage, however much your car payments are, a monthly amount for food, the cost of moving (moving truck, moving service, supplies, etc.), and
a reasonable amount for your utilities.

1“How Much Does It Cost to Move?” Home Advisor. (Accessed May 4, 2021).

2 “How Much Does It Cost to Move?” Home Advisor. (Accessed May 4, 2021).

3 Holmes, Colin. “How Much Does It Cost to Move?” (Accessed May 4, 2021).

4 Greenfield, Ethan. “How Much Does It Cost to Pack Up a House for Moving?” Moving.Tips. (Accessed May 4, 2021).

5 Holmes, Colin. “How Much Does It Cost to Move?” (Accessed May 4, 2021).


This savings is then there for you in case anything happens that puts you in a position where you can't pay your bills anymore. A safety net can protect you from loss of work, any medical emergencies, or if you find yourself having to move again.


Budgeting for a Move


Short-Distance Moves

When most people move for the first time, statistics show that they’re often likely to stay within the same city or state. Afterall, a short-distance move is a smart way to give yourself a trial period where you can adjust to living on your own, while still keeping your family and friends close. These moves can be less expensive since you can rent a truck for the day or hire movers for a shorter period.

If you have an extended period to move and don't own much large furniture, you can even space out your move over weeks by driving things over in your vehicle (keep in mind that you’ll have to factor in gasoline costs).

Hiring movers can easily cost you $600 per day, but if you can push yourself (or convince your friends to help you!), you may be able to lower the cost.[1] Along with this, if you or someone you know already has large storage bins, you can use these and potentially save on moving supplies.


Long-Distance Moves

Nothing says 'new beginnings' like moving a few states or countries away! While long-distance moves can be an exciting new adventure, it’s also important to keep in mind that they can be exhausting both physically and financially–and can take a lot more planning than short-distance moves. The average long-distance move can cost between $2,000 to $7,500 depending on how far you're moving.[2]

If you're taking a lot of things with you, it might be a good idea to rent a large truck and drive things over yourself. This way, you can pack up everything yourself and simply load up the truck whenever you’re ready to make your move. Not only can this save you a great deal of money, but it gives you the flexibility to move at your own pace. If this cost isn't possible for you, then you might consider donating or selling any unused items or furniture that you no longer need so you have less to move. This can be a great way to get rid of any unwanted items, donate to those who can get more use out of them, and make the move easier on you (and your wallet!).


6 “How Much Does It Cost to Move?” Home Advisor. (Accessed May 4, 2021).

7 Holmes, Colin. “How Much Does It Cost to Move?” (Accessed May 4, 2021).



While relocating can be stressful and overwhelming for anyone, especially if you’re moving for the first time–it can also be an exciting opportunity to expand your horizons by calling a new place home. As long as you plan carefully and save ahead of time, you can make any move an easier, more enjoyable experience.