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Woman wondering how she will pay moving costs.

The Best Way To Pay for Moving Expenses

Moving can be an exciting time as you prepare to start a new chapter in a different location. However, the process of moving can also be stressful, especially when it comes to figuring out how to pay for all the associated expenses. From hiring movers to packing supplies to transportation costs, moving expenses can quickly add up.

The costs of moving vary greatly depending on the distance of the move, the state of origin and destination, how many possessions you have, and your housing setup. Today, we’ll dive into moving costs, including some real-world expense examples. Finally, we’ll explain how to use loans for moving costs to face these financial hurdles head-on.

Key Takeaways

  • When covering moving expenses, common methods include saving up in advance, using personal loans for a lump sum, or using credit cards for convenience, especially for high earners.
  • Moving costs vary based on factors like distance and home size. In-state moves are cheaper than out-of-state moves, and larger homes require more resources and labor, impacting costs.
  • To cover moving expenses, options include saving in advance, borrowing from emergency funds, selling items, using tax breaks, taking out moving assistance loans, borrowing from friends, using credit cards, or taking out installment loans.

How To Pay for Moving Expenses

When it comes to covering the expenses of moving, people use several common methods to manage the costs.

Each approach has its advantages and considerations, so it's essential to choose the option that aligns best with your financial situation and goals.

  • Cash is best for people with time to save money. Saving up in advance is a prudent way to cover moving expenses without relying on credit or taking on debt. By setting aside a portion of your income each month leading up to your move, you can accumulate the necessary funds to cover moving costs, including packing supplies, transportation, and other related expenses. 
  • Loans are best for people with good credit. Personal loans can be a viable option for covering moving expenses, especially for those with good credit. These loans provide a lump sum of money that can be used to cover the costs of hiring movers, renting a truck, or purchasing packing materials. This can provide a flexible and predictable way to manage your moving costs, allowing you to focus on settling into your new home.
  • Credit cards are best for high earners. Credit cards can offer a convenient and flexible way to cover moving expenses, particularly for high earners who have the means to repay the balance quickly. Many credit cards offer rewards or cashback incentives for purchases, which can help offset some of the costs of your move. However, it's essential to be cautious of the high interest rates associated with credit cards, as carrying a balance can lead to significant interest charges over time. If you choose to use a credit card to cover moving expenses, be sure to have a plan in place to pay off the balance promptly to avoid accumulating debt.

The Cost of Moving

When considering the cost of moving, it's important to understand the factors that can influence the overall expense. Two key considerations include the distance of your move and the size of your home.

In-State vs. Out-of-State Moving Costs

The distance of your move is a significant factor in determining the cost. In-state moves, where you are relocating within the same state, are generally less expensive than out-of-state moves, where you are moving to a different state or region.

Out-of-state moves typically require more resources, such as fuel and labor, which can contribute to higher costs.

Moving Costs Based on House Size

When it comes to moving, the size of your home plays a significant role in determining the overall cost. Here are some hard numbers courtesy of Home Advisor.

  • One-bedroom home. Moving a one-bedroom home locally can cost around $500 to $1,500. For long-distance moves, the cost may range from $1,000 to $2,500 or more.
  • Two-bedroom home. The average cost to move a two-bedroom home locally is between $1,000 and $3,000. For long-distance moves, expect to pay between $1,500 and $4,000 or more.
  • Three-bedroom home. Moving a three-bedroom home locally can range from $1,500 to $4,000. For long-distance moves, the cost may be between $3,000 and $6,000 or more.
  • Four-bedroom home. Moving a four-bedroom home locally can cost between $2,000 and $6,000. For long-distance moves, the cost may range from $4,000 to $10,000 or more.

By understanding these factors and planning accordingly, you can better estimate the cost of your move and ensure that you are financially prepared for the transition.

8 Ways To Pay for Moving Expenses

Here are 8 ways to consider paying for moving costs.

  1. Save in advance. Planning and saving money specifically for your move can help you cover expenses without relying on credit.
  2. Borrow what you need from your emergency fund. If you have an emergency fund, consider borrowing from it temporarily to cover moving costs, but be sure to replenish it as soon as possible.
  3. Sell your stuff. Downsizing before your move can not only reduce the amount of stuff you need to move but also provide some extra cash.
  4. Look for available tax breaks. Certain moving expenses may be tax-deductible, so be sure to explore any potential tax breaks.
  5. Take out a moving assistance loan. Some lenders offer specific loans designed to help with moving expenses. These loans can provide you with the funds you need upfront.
  6. Borrow from friends and family. If possible, consider asking friends or family members for a loan to cover moving costs. Be sure to discuss repayment terms and expectations beforehand.
  7. Use a credit card. Credit cards can be a convenient way to cover moving expenses, but be mindful of interest rates and try to pay off the balance as quickly as possible.
  8. Take out an installment loan. Installment loans provide a lump sum of money that you repay in regular installments. This can be a good option if you need to borrow a larger amount for your move. 

Typical Expenses Associated with Moving

No matter where you relocate to, there are some moving costs you’re bound to face. From packing up your things to getting them where they need to go, moving is no cheap move (pun intended).

You may be able to wiggle your way out of some of the expenses, but the decision is yours to make around all the typical costs associated with moving below.

Moving Supplies

As much as we wish you could snap your fingers and teleport your things cross-country, you can’t. To ensure your things arrive safely, you’ll need the basic moving supplies: boxes, tape, packing paper and peanuts, moving blankets, etc.

New moving boxes can range in price from $1-$14 and up. Online calculators can help you figure out how many boxes you’ll need.

For those looking to lower these costs, you could check online for second-hand moving supplies at a lower rate or even for free.

If you’re planning to hire a moving company, compare prices and check if their estimates include packing supplies.


Moving houses or apartments may require an adjustment in your furniture. If you’re going to a bigger space, you’re sure to find that you’ll need additional drawers, dressers, tables, chairs, etc.

In many cases, people find that they would like to replace old or worn-down furniture to start fresh in their new home.

Moving from a furnished to an unfurnished home is another situation that will bring about more furniture expenses.

Thinking about moving that 500-pound wardrobe on your own? Think again before you throw out your back; furniture is also something that may require you to hire help. Even if you hire a moving company, keep an eye out for heavy item surcharges for specific pieces of furniture.

Keep all these things in mind when packing up for your move.

Renting a Truck or Container Unit

You’ve finally packed up your life’s belongings and are ready to move. Now, the next question: How will you get there? Many people rent out a truck or haul a container to their destination.

While these options are cheaper than hiring a moving company, you’ll make up for it in sweat and manual labor. This is a great option if you have a close group of friends or family who are willing to help you out in exchange for a drink and lunch.

Depending on distance, hiring a truck or container will cost you, and you’ll also have to factor in expenses like gas and tolls.

Hiring Professionals

The alternative to lugging your things across state lines would be to hire a company to do the job for you. There are many reputable moving companies across the U.S., but reliability comes with a fee. Those fees will vary depending on whether your move is local or long-distance.

Most moving companies charge between $25-$50 per hour for services. If possible, try to confirm a fixed bid for the job as opposed to an hourly rate which may cost you a lot more. Ask about additional fees, such as surcharges for heavy objects, elevator fees, etc.

Some companies are “full-service movers.” This service costs more but lightens your load, even including professional packers to pack your things for you.

Note that all moving professionals are usually tipped after a job well done, so account for this as part of your movers’ payment as well.

Costs Upon Arrival

Many people wrongfully assume that their moving costs finish when their boxes are in their new home. Unexpectedly, settling into your new home comes with its own set of moving costs to consider.

Before or after move-in, you may be faced with painting costs in your new home. You’ll want everything in order before getting settled in, which means paying for paint or a painter to do so.

New tenants or homeowners may also find mishaps they didn’t notice when signing for the new home, leading to certain home repairs upon moving in.

Cleaning Up

When moving into a new one, you’ll drag in quite a bit of dust. Be ready to shell out a few bucks on either a large set of cleaning products or a professional cleaner to leave everything looking good as new.

Vehicle Registration

When moving to a new place, particularly if relocating states, you’ll have to re-register your vehicle and take out a new license. Each state has varying fees for these procedures, so make sure to research them to avoid any surprises at the DMV.

HOA Fees

If you’re moving into a gated community or an apartment, take note of certain building fees that may apply to you upon move-in. These could include closing prices and sign-up fees for the community’s cable or internet plans.

If you’re moving into an independent home, you’ll still need to be aware of utility deposits that may be required to get your electricity and gas up and running. You can’t move into your new place in the dark, so try to sort this out before arrival.


While food is a consistent bill in everyone’s life, your receipt will be a bit higher for the first few grocery runs after moving into a new place. This is usually because most people don’t unpack their kitchen items and start cooking right away.

The unpacking process can be grueling, so plan a few take-out meals to ease the pain.


Whether you’re paying a communal fee for landscaping or contracting out on your own, the grass must be cut eventually. Some towns will find tenants or homeowners for unkempt lawns, so be prepared to invest in your own mowing gear or call a few landscaping companies for estimates in your area.

Example of Expenses When Moving

Moves can range in price anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on location and method. Let’s look at a few examples.

  • Moving from New York City to Miami will cost anywhere between $3,000-$6,000, depending on the number of items being moved and whether full service is required.
  • Moving from San Francisco to Phoenix will run you between $2,500-$4,000, depending on the exact size, timing, and route.

The lower end includes renting a truck or container, while the higher end comes with the bells and whistles of a moving company.

How an Installment Loan Can Help Moving Expenses

Moving packs enough stress on its own, and you don’t need the additional worry of how you will foot the bill. The important goal here is to move all your belongings safely and efficiently into your new home.

Whether you’ve decided to pack up on your own and drive yourself to your destination or hire professionals to ensure your move is done right, an installment loan can help guarantee that your moving costs are paid for up-front.

Instead of dipping into your emergency fund or drying out your savings, consider taking out an installment loan to ease the stress of your move.

What Is an Installment Loan?

An installment loan is a varying amount of money you can borrow for a specific purpose. People use installment loans for various reasons, and moving costs are one of them.

Different lenders, such as banks, independent organizations, and credit unions, offer installment loans.

You will repay an installment loan in monthly payments, which is why they are also referred to as installment loans. This means you can break down your repayment over a set number of months without worrying about repaying it immediately.

Who Can Obtain Installment Loans?

There are different types of installment loans, which make them generally accessible to most people. From low credit scores to excellent credit histories, there is an installment loan option for almost everyone.

You must be a legal adult to obtain an installment loan on your own, and each lender has its own set of requirements. If you are moving and have a stable income or general assets like a vehicle or savings, you will likely qualify for an installment loan to offset your moving costs.

Installment Loan Example

Let’s say you’re sitting in our example above and are moving from New York City to Miami. You receive a quote from a reliable moving company and add it to your expected expenses upon arrival at your new home. You decide you need an extra $5,000 to cover your moving costs.

Your credit score qualifies you for an installment loan at a reputable lender with an interest rate of 6% over 36 months. You receive the installment loan that same week and move safely and efficiently to Miami.

You will then pay back the loan through small monthly payments of $152 per month over the 36 months – that seems much more doable than shelling out $5,000 in one month!


Moving includes packing, shipping, clean-up, and manual labor. These moving costs can add up and bring in a big bill by the end of your move.

To face this expense and move with confidence, installment loans can help. An installment loan can give you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand to help with your moving costs. The low monthly payments for installment loans are an affordable way to meet your moving deadline while protecting your bank account in the meantime.

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