How to budget wisely for a long-distance move

The famously stressful process of moving can rarely be perceived as a fun experience. When your time, money, and nervous system are all put to the test, that’s the last thing that comes to mind. As complicated as things are with a local move, the most straightforward move there is, there’s a high chance that you be faced with a long-distance move. As a rule, long-distance moves prove to be much harsher on a moving budget than moving just a short distance away. Of course, one of the basic move-related puzzles that you would love to solve in your favor will be how to move across a long distance as cheaply as you can. That’s where Preferred Movers NH come in! We created this brief guide to show you how to budget wisely for a long-distance move.

How to budget wisely for a long-distance move

Create an inventory

Before you do anything else, you need to go through your belongings. You have to know what you have and what’s coming with you. Many later steps depend on this. For example, collecting quotes from movers and assessing the costs of packing and moving your things are calculated based on items you plan on moving.

A woman writing with a pen, surrounded with boxes
When preparing for a move, lists are your best friend.

Start with the easy-to-list items, like pieces of furniture, large appliances, and gardening equipment. Also, it’s best to start there as these are the bulkiest and heaviest items, and they will influence the cost of your move the most. After that, you can go room by room in your home and make a list of everything you’re bringing. Dishware, linens, clothing, kids toys, lamps…no matter how small the item, add it to the list. We’re not saying you should count all your socks, but be clear enough that it’s obvious just how much stuff movers Amesbury MA will have to transport.

Create a budget template

 Writing up a moving budget doesn’t require a fancy budgeting program or a computer wiz. A simple piece of paper or a spreadsheet that will track your moving expense categories will do. Here are some fundamental tips for creating your moving budget template:

  • Add columns for Category and Cost at the top.
  • The first column should comprise of three sections: Professional MoversSelf-Moving, and Other.
  • Designate categories and as you determine budget and costs and fill in the associated costs under each of the appropriate categories. Consider the following: moving fees, packing services, moving insurance, specialty or extra services.
  • Finally, add a column for the subtotal (we recommend adding a bit of a buffer – 5% at minimum).

Factoring in each of these items on your list will allow you to get a clear idea of the approximate costs of each type of move to help you decide whether you’ll opt for moving services NH or a DIY move.

A woman about to write on a piece of paper while trying to budget wisely for a long-distance move
The more you take into account when creating a budget template, the more precise your estimation of moving costs.

Do your research to be able to budget wisely for a long-distance move

The cost of your move will be different if you decide to work with professional movers or if you plan the move yourself. Use the budget template we mentioned earlier to see which option fits your budget best. In addition, you’ll be able to see where you can cut back on expenses

Hiring movers

Sometimes hiring movers seems like the more expensive option at first. However, professional moving help can save money on moving costs, and time, in the long run. Remember that most movers charge by the hour, so you can pinpoint areas where you can save both time and money by doing some of the work yourself. For example, that can be packing and prepping furniture ahead of time, etc.

If you choose to hire the best long distance movers in Massachusetts, add these moving expenses to your Professional Movers section:

  • Moving fees/rates
  • Packing services (if needed)
  • Moving insurance
  • Specialty item packaging services (for instance: moving pianos, safes, artwork, etc.)
  • Hidden costs (damages/claims, meals, tips, etc.)
  • Unpacking services.

Moving by yourself

A DIY move might seem like an easy way to save money, but it’s in no way free and you should know how much it will cost you. If this is an option you’re considering, create a moving budget that entertains the possibility of you doing all the work instead of hiring movers. Doing so will help you determine if this option is financially viable. Bear in mind that the budget won’t reflect the quantity of time you will spend preparing for your moving day.

If moving yourself sounds good for you, add these moving expenses to your Self-Moving section:

  • Truck rental
  • Gas
  • Moving insurance
  • Furniture insurance
  • Additional moving equipment rental (ramps and dolly)
  • Packing materials (boxes, tape, covers, packing paper, etc.)

Additional moving expenses to consider when trying to budget wisely for a long-distance move

Regardless of how you prefer to move, there are further costs to weigh when creating a moving budget. While there might be other various expenses to add to this list, we chose a few of the most typically overlooked items you should add to your moving estimates. You can add extra costs into your subtotal or break these costs into a distinct category.

A red car on a street
Your moving budget might have to include the cost of transporting your car.


When you’re moving long-distance, including this category into your moving budget is key to calculating the final cost of moving. Add a category for transportation and incorporate items like car shipping, fuel, and maintenance fees.


For long-distance moves, it’s crucial to think about accommodation costs. Also, you might need to plan for temporary housing until your new home is ready for moving in. These costs are an important part of your budget. Include child care or pet care, meals, and other related expenses as well.


If you decide to rent a storage space at any point during your move, get in touch with different storage companies to get a quote. Choose the one that seems right for your needs and include the cost in your budget. Remember to also add moving expenses to and from the storage facility.

As you already know, moving isn’t easy. And trying to budget wisely for a long-distance move will take some time. Do it properly and you’ll prevent unexpected costs, which will ensure a smooth relocation.