Undoubtedly, one of the first and most important things to do when organizing a residential move is to set up your moving budget. Planning it in details and providing for all the phases of your relocation adventure in advance will ensure your peace of mind and will help you avoid costly moving mistakes. However, you need to be really careful when making your calculations as some relocation-related expenses are rather difficult to estimate and others are very easy to overlook.
So, what costs to consider when moving house? To create a realistic budget for your move you need to figure in not only the movers’ charges, but also the costs for providing adequate packing supplies, buying insurance, traveling to your new home, paying the rent/mortgage for your new property, making security deposits, covering utility bills for gas, water and electricity, supplying groceries, toiletries, and other everyday necessities, and so on.
SEE ALSO: How to make a budget for moving out
Here are the most commonly forgotten moving expenses, you need to account for when setting your moving budget in order to avoid unpleasant financial surprises at the dawn of your new life.
It is no secret that you can get moving boxes for free (either from local businesses or from friends who have recently moved) and substitute professional packing materials with items you have at home (newspapers instead of packing paper, old towels and sheets instead of moving blankets, trash bags instead of plastic wrap, etc.).
However, packing all your belongings in improvised or previously used materials is definitely not a good idea – you risk damage to your more delicate items as makeshift packing can never provide as good protection as specialized goods. So, you are strongly advised to set aside some money for quality packing supplies (sturdy moving boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, cushioning foam, etc.) – at least for your breakables and valuables. Needless to say, if you have delicate artwork, antique furniture pieces or other items that require specialized packing, you will have to dig much deeper into your pocket.
When taking large furniture, bulky household appliances, and heavy boxes out of your old home on moving day, you can easily scratch or dent the floors and walls, chip the corners or break the banisters, etc., unless they are properly protected. To prevent property damage when moving out, you need to take adequate precautionary measures – invest in quality protective materials (such as carper film protectors, corner guards, and foam paddings) and use specialized moving equipment (utility dollies, moving blankets, furniture pads). Whether you buy or borrow these items, they will cost you several hundred dollars. However, last-minute repair works will certainly be much more expensive, so be prudent!
Nota bene: Be extremely cautious and use appropriate personal protective gear to avoid accidents and injuries on moving day, unless you don’t mind adding medical bills to your moving expenses.
Your old home will certainly need a good cleaning after the movers depart with your goods, but you probably have a groom and a mop, some universal cleaners and plenty of rags and wipes, so this chore should incur no extra expenses. However, without your vacuum cleaner and other convenient and highly efficient cleaning supplies that are already packed and loaded onto the moving truck, cleaning your entire property may turn out to be rather challenging. Especially if the place is large and you don’t have the time to wipe every surface, wash every window, and scrub every inch of the floor, hiring professional cleaners to do the job may be your best option (but you will have to pay them, of course). Cleaning services may be required for your new home as well – you will certainly want it to be spotless when your items arrive, so if you can’t get there in time to give the place a thorough cleaning, you will have little choice but to hire a cleaning company.
Depending on the actual distance to your new home, the trip may cost you quite a pretty penny. When moving across the country, you have two options:
- to buy plane tickets for you and your family and pay for the shipment of your vehicle(s);
- to drive to your final destination and provide for fuel, road tolls, parking fees, meals and lodgings on the way, etc.
So, whichever option you find more convenient and affordable in your specific case, make your decision well in advance and allocate enough money to cover all the related expenses.
Transferring utilities to your new address will also cost you some extra bucks. You need to:
- inform your current service providers of the forthcoming relocation as early as possible;
- pay all your bills up to the moment;
- schedule your utilities cancellation on moving day, so that you don’t have to pay for services you no longer use;
- pay service establishment fees and deposits to Internet, cable, phone, trash, water, electric and gas companies in your new area.
So, when setting up your moving budget, make sure you have enough money for the above mentioned payments and arrange to have the utilities switched on and running in your new home by move-in day.
Improving your new home
Once you have bought your new property or paid the rent, you may easily forget that you also need to account for a variety of upgrades:
- any required repair works;
- improving the existing plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems;
- securing your property – changing the locks, installing burglar alarms and smoke detectors, etc.;
- furnishing your home – if your old furniture doesn’t fit through the doors, if your items are too outdated or too difficult to move, or if you have set your mind on a modern bathtub, or on a charming fireplace, or on hand-woven area rug – you will need a lot of money for furnishing your new home, so plan your budget with great care!
Living expenses for the first month or two
Needless to say, you will have to buy toiletries, medicines, groceries and many other everyday necessities during the very first days after your move. Make sure you have enough money for at least one month’s supplies of all the essentials as they can’t wait until you receive your next salary. And don’t forget about commute expenses, either!
Other easily forgotten moving related expenses
1) Insuring your belongings (the basic liability protection you get for free covers only $0,60 per pound per items, so you may want to buy extra insurance for your more valuable possessions);
2) Tipping your movers (if you are pleased with their work);
3) Forwarding your mail (you’ll be charged a very small processing fee for changing your address with the USPS, but you are advised to leave some money to your previous landlord or to the new owners of your old property, so that they can forward any mail mistakenly sent to your old address);
4) Updating different documents (insurance policies, driver’s license, car registration, etc.);
5) Paying the security deposit for your rented property (if applicable);
6) Providing for emergency costs.