How to Budget for Moving Expenses

Moving, in most cases, is stressful. The very thought of packing up all of your belongings, pivoting a mattress up flights of stairs, and figuring out how much the whole ordeal will cost can send shivers down anyone’s spine.

Fortunately, with proper planning, you can alleviate any financial stress that comes with moving. By creating a budget for your moving expenses, not only can you save money on your move, but you can also make the process much less stressful on yourself.

In this article, we’ll detail how creating a moving budget can help you figure out how much your move will end up costing you.

We’ll also take a look at how GICs, HISAs, TFSAs, and no-cost chequing accounts can earn interest on your investments and help you effectively save money beyond the move.

How to Create a Moving Budget

We know—it seems too obvious to consider things like distance and how you’ll get a hold of shrink-wrap and boxes, but ensuring that your game plan is airtight is a crucial factor in guaranteeing that you remain within your budget.

Bear in mind; your moving expenses might be a little different than your neighbour’s, so considering your own situation is essential to creating a successful budget.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating a moving budget.

Labour and shipping methods

If you’re moving down the street or across your city, your moving process will be much more straightforward and cost-sensitive than say, moving from one province to another.

Compare the price of moving companies to ensure you get the best day rates. Factoring that into your budget will give you a good idea of what the bulk of your expenses will be. Labour, after all, is an hourly expense.

Or, save some coin by asking family and friends if they can spend the day helping you out.

Personal transportation, accommodation, and food

If your move is going to be significant, say across provinces, you’ll need to factor in gas, food, and even accommodation. You’ll also have to factor shipping all of your belongings, and the possible rates per kilometre.


Boxes, tape, and shrink-wrap can add up in expenses much quicker than one might think, but finding out how much moving supplies will cost beforehand is a financially responsible move.

Moving is an excellent opportunity to get rid of items that you no longer use; the fewer things you have to move means less money spent moving. It’s that simple.

Using Financial Products to Reduce Your Moving Expenses

With proper and thorough planning, saving money properly can cover some—if not all—of your moving expenses.

Let’s say you, or, you and your partner, have $20,000 saved. You love where you live right now, but you’re thinking you might need a bigger place within the next year or two. In the meantime between now and your next move is a great opportunity to earn money that can go towards a potential move.

We’ve listed four financial products below that can help you earn or save money towards your future moving expenses below.


In terms of moving expenses, GICs are great for earning interest for a move that’s a few years down the line.

GICs, known by name as Guaranteed Investment Certificates, are guaranteed investments. Customers of banks or credit unions lend their money to the financial institution issuing the GIC. Once the term is complete, the customer has the funds returned with the investment’s earned interest.

Investments placed in GICs are term-based deposits. Interest is guaranteed and insured, meaning your investment will be returned with the interest it earned once the term is complete.

GICs are locked into the account. If you need access to the funds before the end of the term, you will incur a penalty fee.

So, let’s say you put that $20,000 into a one-year GIC with an interest rate of 2.80%. Once that term is complete, you’d receive around $560.

High-Interest Savings Account

A High-Interest Savings Account (HISA) is a great savings account for people who want to earn high amounts of interest in a shorter amount of time.

A High-Interest Savings Account is a savings account that earns high interest. The savings account is an excellent option for people who might need access to their savings.

High-interest savings accounts allow you to regularly contribute, so your finances can keep growing, no matter what you’re saving for.

Depending on the financial institution that you do business with, there might be withdrawal costs. However, many cost-free options exist.

Put that $20,000 in a HISA with an interest rate of 2.30% and you’ll receive a return of $460 after one year. Bear in mind, interest gained is subject to taxation.

Tax-Free Savings Account

A TFSA is great for any kind of savings, but as far as moving expenses go, TFSAs are excellent for everything related to moving.

A Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) is another great savings and investing tool that allows you to gain tax-free interest on your savings. Unlike a GIC, your funds are not locked in.

On a $20,000 investment with 2.50% interest, you can earn $500 of tax-free interest in the first year.

No-Fee Chequing Accounts

Opening a free chequing account is an excellent option for any Canadian, whether they’re moving or not.

If you decide to open a free chequing account, the money you’d save over the course of a year can help lessen the cost of rentals and moving supplies.

Chequing accounts costs the average Canadian $180* in yearly fees, and that does not include additional service fees. This inevitably adds up over a few years of use.

Free chequing account options allow Canadians to make unlimited transactions, send free e-transfers, and often offer all of the accounts mentioned above.

*Based on an average account cost of $15/month. is Canada’s leading online comparison platform for mortgage rates, credit cards, deposit rates and insurance. On Canadians can compare thousands of rates from hundreds of providers with just a few easy clicks. More than 5 million Canadians visit every year to get personalized recommendations on financial products and make smarter financial choices.