Young people tend to move frequently as they start their careers and change jobs, and the pandemic hasn’t reversed that trend.
Members of Generation Z were the most likely group to have relocated during the pandemic, followed by millennials, according to finance site Bankrate.
Expenses vary depending on how far you’re going, how much stuff you’re transporting and the amount of work you do yourself. The average cost to have movers transport about 7,500 pounds from a two- to three-bedroom home is $1,250 for a local move or $4,890 for a move of 1,000 miles, according to Moving.com.
As soon as you know that you’ll be moving, make a plan. “The number one thing you can do to help curb expenses is to start early,” says Kevin Kleckner, of Penske, which rents out moving trucks. That gives you time to compare pricing among services. (Get quotes at sites such as Moving.com and MovingHelp.com.)
Book services well in advance, particularly if you’re moving during the peak season of Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, says Andrea Batchelor, of U-Haul International. Prices are typically lower if you move during slower months and avoid weekends. Getting a head start also gives you time to purge your possessions, reducing the amount to transport.
As you draw up a budget, make sure to account for packing supplies, such as tape, bubble wrap and boxes. If you hire movers, see whether they charge extra fees for specific services, such as transporting certain large items or assembling and disassembling furniture.
Homeowners and renters insurance policies often don’t cover your property while it’s in transit. Moving companies must include free coverage of 60 cents per pound, per item, for a move across state lines. For additional mover-provided insurance protection that reimburses you for the current value of damaged items, you’ll pay about 1% to 2% of your property’s total value. If you’re transporting several high-value possessions or if you packed the boxes yourself — which mover protection may not cover — consider third-party insurance, which runs about $1.25 per pound, according to finance site ValuePenguin.
If your move entails a multi-day trip, factor in costs for fuel, lodging, meals and tolls. Have cash ready to tip your movers — about $20 to $50 per person, depending on the move’s length and complexity.
If you’re moving for a job, ask your employer whether it will cover at least some of the cost. Housing and relocation benefits are on the decline, but 34% of employers offer a relocation lump-sum payment, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
Because of the 2017 changes in the tax law, most people (except for active-duty military members) can no longer deduct unreimbursed job-related moving expenses on their federal tax return, and employer relocation benefits are treated as taxable income.