Should you split the costs of a residential moving service with your roommate? Before you agree to an estimate or sign a contract, take a look at the questions to ask your current or future roommate.
Will You Split the Costs Evenly?
A 50/50 moving cost split seems fair. But an even division of the entire estimate isn't always the best option for every roommate-related move. You may need to adjust or negotiate the price with your roommate if:
- One of you has more to move. Do you only have a few boxes or bins? Does your roommate have furniture, a closet of clothes, and stacks of containers? If one of you has more to move, a 50/50 cost split isn't ideal.
- One of you has heavy or over-sized items. Does the moving estimate include an additional charge for your roommate's over-sized items? An equal cost division won't work in this type of situation.
- One of you lives farther away. Are you new roommates who don't already live together? The roommate who lives farther away may need to pay more for the cost of shared residential moving services.
If you're not sure how much you have to move, how much your roommate has, or whether either of you has over-sized or awkward-to-move items, create a moving inventory. This list or spreadsheet categorizes everything, making it easy to compare quantities, containers, and to-move items.
What Is Your Moving Budget?
After you discuss the percentage each of you is responsible to pay, you can create a moving budget. Along with the price you pay the mover, the budget may also include packing materials and other related costs. A comprehensive moving budget should include:
- Basic moving contractor costs. What is the base price for a move? Outline what each roommate can pay for the most basic moving service. You may need to trim extras out of your budget to stick to this number.
- Additional services. Will you need extra or specialty services? Some options can increase the overall price of the move. If one or neither of you can afford extras, you'll need to stick to the basic moving service.
- Insurance. Will you need to pay extra for moving insurance? While this may seem like an unnecessary cost, it can save you money if your belongings are damaged or lost.
- The tip. Even though you'll pay the movers for their work, you should also offer a tip. Calculate the tip based on the complexity of the move and the time it takes. Add this number to your basic or basic-plus-specialty budget.
Leave yourself (and your roommate) some wiggle room in your moving budget. This reduces the risks of unexpected costs and can make the move less stressful for both you and your soon-to-be future roommate.