Budgeting for an interstate move: Useful advice

According to the American Moving and Storage Association, the average cost of an interstate household move is $4,200. This amount is based on the average of 1,225 miles and 7,400 pounds of belongings. Of course, your interstate move could cost much more or less than this. Here are some tips on how you can ensure

Understanding what you will pay: Binding or non-binding estimate

First off, you should never trust an estimate which a moving company gives over the phone. A moving expert must come to your home to do an on-site estimate. Based on the amount of items you have and any specialty considerations, you will be given a binding or non-binding estimate.

A binding estimate is a fixed price for the move. This is obviously appealing to homeowners as they know exactly what they will pay. However, for moving companies, this is risky as there may be many more items then estimated. To cover the risk, they might overestimate the costs.

By contrast, a non-binding estimate can vary, such as if it is discovered when the truck is weighed that you have many more goods than estimated. Some moving companies give a non-binding estimate which includes a not-to-exceed amount. This is probably the best option as it gives you peace of mind. Since there is less risk for the moving company, you will also be getting the fairest price.

Be sure you know about any additional tariffs

In the moving contract, any additional tariffs will be written. For example, you may be charged a “stair fee” if movers have to carry the items up flights of stairs. These tariffs might not be included in the estimate, especially if you failed to tell the moving company that you are moving to a 5th floor walk-up!

Don’t forget about your own transportation expenses

The average cost of moving given by the AMSA does not include other expenses, such as hotel rooms, meals, and gas or plane ticket costs. Make sure you budget for these properly. Take some time to research hotels and dining options en route to your new home so you can choose the best options for your budget.

Save receipts for a tax deduction

If you are moving for work, then you are probably eligible for a tax deduction for your moving expenses. This includes the cost of the moving company as well as personal costs like accommodation. Keep receipts so you can have these when filing for the deduction.

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