It seems Americans are always relocating to new cities, states and homes. The National Association of Realtors estimates the average tenure of a family in a home to be approximately nine years while FiveThirtyEight says Americans move just over 11 times during their lives. The entire process of moving home with a family is one that can be costly and stressful and therefore, requires some degree of planning and budgeting if hiccups are to be minimized, including learning how to merge finances when getting married. Whether you’re considering downsizing into a smaller or tiny home or moving into your dream home, take a look at these budgeting tips that will pay off as you get ready to move your family and settle in to your new place.
Make A Moving Budget – On Paper
Before you even begin planning your family’s move, sit down with your partner and work out what finances are available to actually spend on the moving day and all the expenses attached to it. This means the moving van and removal team and any unexpected payments that may pop up. A great way to do this is to create a moving checklist (things to get done in order to move) and next to each task attach the relevant cost to it. Most businesses such as home removal companies give out free quotes with a few questions. This will give you an estimated idea of what moving will truly cost you and your family. You can then compare it to your finances available, and make a plan with your partner on saving or securing additional finances if needed.
There Is A House Fund – And Then There Is A Moving Fund
Once you have decided on your choice of home finance, whether digital or from a brick and mortar institution, it’s time to create a moving fund solely dedicated to the actual move. In addition to the home purchase price and any renovation costs, there are legal fees, and insurance and transport costs that come with moving your family. While home insurance runs to about $1,173 annually, closing costs can amount to around 5% of your new home’s final price. Once you have created a moving budget, you will have a clear idea of what you can expect to spend on the relocation. Use this amount as a guidepost for your moving fund account. Smart financial management and prudence dictate that you add an additional percentage to that amount when saving. By doing this, you can rest assured that unexpected expenses should be covered thanks to your relocation emergency fund.
Make Smart Choices With The Future In Mind
Expenses attached to moving do not end after the actual move. In fact, they continue well into the months after relocating. When choosing a new home or outfitting it, opt for renewable and energy efficient options such as LED lights and energy star appliances. Energy Star appliances can use between 10 and 50% less energy in the home. This is particularly applicable if your family is moving into a larger home. You can also run a check on your utility suppliers at your new home. Your rates may be different from the previous location and with a few minutes of comparison, you could reduce your electricity bill before even moving in.
Time your move to be when friends and family have a free day if you can. This saves on labor, and helps to complete the move quickly. If you have kids, childcare may be needed. Having family babysit for a few hours saves babysitting fees. Alternatively, you can time it to happen within the hours of a school day if they are school aged. Finally, when it comes to choosing the furniture for your new home, get creative with your current furniture. With the use of some DIY and online home decor websites, you can give your old furniture a completely new look. If you prefer to get different or additional pieces, consider second hand and thrift stores where preloved items are sold heavily discounted, and most are refurbished to good condition.
Get Ahead With The Packing – With Some Help
Smart packing can save you both time and money. While the kids are off at school, or for an hour each day leading up to the move, safety pack away parts of your old home and store in a convenient location. This cuts down on labor costs and removes some of the stress attached to moving. Labeled boxes can help you keep track of items. Finally, take this time to declutter your home as you pack. Moving unnecessary items adds to your moving volume and possibly your moving costs. One idea for getting rid of outgrown or unwanted items is to hold a yard or garage sale a few weeks before moving. This gives you a small bit of cash towards your move and frees up space.
If you are looking to move home soon with a family in tow, then planning is a crucial part of making it a success. Time management and budgeting will play a large part in removing the common irritants cited by movers and allow you to enjoy the benefits of the relocation.
Photo by Victoria Borodinova