How to Create a Budget for Moving Yourself Across the Country

Written by Elite Truck Rental on . Posted in Tips

Moving yourself across the country costs much less than hiring a moving company. Even when doing everything yourself, though, relocating isn’t cheap. If you don’t budget carefully, you’ll be unprepared for how much a long-distance move costs. Here’s how to create a budget that takes into account the many expenses you may face when moving yourself cross-country.

Get a Quote for a Moving Truck

First, get a quote for renting a moving truck. This will be a significant expense, although not an unaffordable one. It’ll also be an expense that you can determine several months before your move, for most moving truck rental companies will guarantee you a rate if you reserve a truck with them.

When finding how much a moving truck will cost, don’t forget to make sure it’s properly insured. Contact your auto insurer to find out whether any of your policy’s coverage will extend to the truck you rent. Then, ask the moving truck rental company how much insurance coverage you don’t already have will cost.

Estimate Your Fuel Expenses

Second, estimate how much you’ll have to spend on fuel. You won’t be able to determine this as precisely as the cost of the moving truck, but you should be able to get a rough idea of how much fuel will cost. To figure how much you’ll need for fuel, go through the following steps:

  1. Ask the moving truck rental company what type of fuel the truck you’re renting takes
  2. Ask the rental company how many miles to the gallon your truck gets
  3. Calculate the total mileage of your move by mapping the route out
  4. Look up the current cost of the appropriate fuel (i.e. gasoline or diesel)

Once you’ve done all of this, plug the appropriate numbers into this formula: (Total Mileage) / (Miles per Gallon) x (Cost per Gallon of Fuel).

The figure you arrive at will tell you how much you’ll likely spend on fuel. To build yourself a margin in case fuel prices go up, you may want to add a buffer onto this figure. A 10- or 20-percent buffer will help make sure you stay under your fuel budget.

Factor in Tolls

Third, factor in the tolls you’ll have to pay along your route. Depending on where you’re driving, these can be significant.

While you’re mapping your route to determine total mileage, check which roads are listed as toll roads. Make a list, and research how much tolls are on these roads—and keep in mind you may be driving a moving truck that has more than two axles. Larger trucks often pay more than passenger cars. At the end, tabulate all the tolls to find out what you’ll need to budget for them.

Determine Food and Lodging Allowances

Fourth, determine how much you’ll need to spend on food and lodging while moving. Sometimes people are tempted to skimp here in order to save a little extra money. Resist this temptation, though, and make sure you give yourself enough for good meals, snacks, and a decent hotel. You don’t want to be low on energy or sleep while you’re driving.

When considering how much you’ll need for food, don’t forget to include meals on your last day at your current home and your first day at your new home. You likely won’t have much in the fridge or pantry, and you may need to order something from a restaurant.

Once you’re through all these steps, you should have a good idea how much moving yourself across the country will cost. To get started with a long-distance moving budget, contact us at Elite Truck Rental for a quote on renting a moving truck.

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