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How to Calculate Moving Expenses

November 2nd, 2012 - 1:56 PM

Today's Flashback Friday Moving Tip first posted in 2010, and it's one of our most viewed posts. If you're planning a move soon, take a look at some great advice on how to calculate your moving expenses. Happy Friday!

Calculating moving expenses

When you're budgeting for a long distance move and calculating moving expenses, it's important to consider more than just the price on the moving company's quote. Depending on the type of moving service you choose, there can be other "soft costs" (costs that aren't technically attached to your move, but incurred as a result of your move). Some great examples of these additional costs are, hotel stays, eating out, fuel, snacks, and car maintenance. 

Let me start by explaining that U-Pack is a "you pack, we drive" service. That means we deliver the moving truck or moving container to your location, you load it, and we drive it to your new home. It's designed for saving money (fuel, taxes, standard liability coverage and the driver are included in your moving quote). The price is determined by the linear footage your shipment occupies in the moving trailer or the number of ReloCubes you use. And, transit times for U-Pack shipments average 2-5 business days, thanks to ABF's efficient linehaul system.

Now that that's covered, let's talk about things to consider when you're calculating moving expenses:

How much space will your shipment occupy?
With services like U-Pack, the size of your move has a big impact on price. You can figure out how much space you need by using our room-by-room space estimator. If you end up fitting into less, you pay less. If you need more space, it's always available. Your U-Pack quote includes a per-foot adjustment rate so you can calculate your price as you're loading. 

How does the moving service charge? 
Moving services' prices can vary drastically from company to company; if you've starting getting moving quotes, you've probably noticed. Sometimes the differences are due to service offerings, sometimes they're due to market conditions, and some companies simply have a better price structure due to the business model and how they operate. It's important to learn how the company charges (weight, linear footage, mileage, etc.). Ask how to calculate your price if you need more or less space/weight.

Potential additions when you're calculating moving expenses:

Soft moving expenses to consider:

  • Fuel.  If you're considering truck rental, use the truck rental fuel calculator. If you're driving your own passenger vehicle, this is a great fuel calculator: http://www.fuelcostcalculator.com/
  • Hotels. Multiply the number of nights by the per night cost, including taxes.
  • Meals. Multiply the number of meals by the average cost per meal. Don't forget to add drinks and snacks along the way— these can add up quickly.

It's easy to see how quickly moving expenses can add up the longer you're on the road. The faster your shipment travels, the less cost you incur. For example, if the transit time is 5 business days instead of 10 business days, you can save in excess of $600. That's a big deal, especially if you're on tight budget.

If you have any questions about calculating moving expenses give us a call at 800-413-4799, leave a comment or use the "Ask the Experts" tool. We'll be happy to help!