Money To Live

August 22, 2008

Cost Analysis: Moving Expenses

Filed under: cost analysis — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am
Tags: ,

Over the last week, I moved my belongings from New Jersey to Virginia. This is how I did it.

Moving budget: $1300

A friend gathered a lot of estimates and found that with a reputable moving company, an in-town move costs $1600-$1800. Moving across states would cost more, and I have heard lots of scary stories of using movers (they might hold belongings “hostage” and demand more money, delay delivery for weeks, or simply break everything).

I know a few people who used PODs to move all over: from New Jersey to Texas, from Texas to Pennsylvania, and from California to New Jersey. A POD is a large storage container that you load and unload, and the POD company moves it from Point A to Point B. The POD is dropped off at your home and is picked up a few days later. I could not have used a pod because I had no where to put it. Overnight parking is not allowed in front of my house, and the backyard is full of cars (mine & the housemates’). Storing the large POD was definitely an issue. From my friends, I hear that prices on PODs range between $1,000 and $2,000.

When I told my retired/unemployed father that my new apartment is on the ground floor, he offered to drive a U-Haul and help me move. Thanks, Dad! That is the option I went with, and here is the breakdown of the costs:

Penske renal: $350

I used Penske because they guaranteed pick-up and drop off locations. U-Haul quoted half that price but would not guarantee a truck (or locations) until 18 hours before picking up the truck.

Extra costs with the rental: $100 (hand dolly, insurance)

Gas + tolls: $100

I paid for the gas with cash. Many gas stations give discounts, as much as 10¢/gallon for paying by cash instead of credit card. When a customer pays with credit card, the gas station is paying a small percentage of the transaction cost to the credit card company.

The moving truck got 12mpg — better than the 6-10 mpg estimate from the company.

Dinner for three friends who helped load: $180

Dinner for friends who helped unload: $100

Cash for two teenagers who helped unload: $200

These teenagers are cousins of a NJ friend of mine, and they were awesome. They were motivated to help because they each made $100 in 1.5 hours. They did not complain a single time and did not stop to rest for a moment.

Pizza and beer for my father: $27

Total: $1,057

The move came in under budget and ahead of schedule — we finished more than a full hour ahead of when I expected.


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