Whether you’re moving across the country or just across town, one of the first things you should do before loading up your boxes is create a moving budget. This will help you make sure your wallet isn’t empty by the time you get to your new place.
As you start thinking about your moving expenses, you’ll probably get some of the big items, like hiring movers or renting a moving truck. But there are some hidden moving expenses you may not think about. To help, here are eight of them.
1. Packing supplies
This may seem obvious — you need boxes and packing materials to load up your stuff, whether you’re driving it in your car or you’re renting a U-Haul. But what you may not think about is paying for these supplies when you’re using a moving service.
As you compare prices of different moving companies, make sure you’re clear about what those charges include, as they may charge you extra for packing materials, especially for larger items, like pianos or dressers, or breakables, like dishes.
2. Fees, fees & more fees
Use a real estate agent to help you find a new place? There’s a fee for that. Submit an application for a new apartment or about to close on a home? Yep, there are fees for those things, too. Some of your providers, like your cable or utility company, may even charge cancellation fees if you aren’t transferring the services.
There are some ways you can avoid extra fees, like making sure you return your rental truck on time. After all, no one wants to pay extra — here are 14 other fees you should never pay and how to avoid them.
3. Moving insurance
Having moving insurance means you can avoid adding to the cost of your move in the event that anything is stolen or damaged during your move. If you’re using a moving a company, they’re liable for the value of the items you ask them to transport. But it’s important to understand the type of coverage they offer and any additional charges you’ll have to pay for getting it. You can read more about your moving insurance options here and be sure to check out this guide that explains if your renters insurance covers your move.
If you’re renting, you’ll be asked to pay a security deposit. Bringing a pet to your new place? Most apartment complexes charge an up-front pet deposit. And some utilities come with deposit requirements, especially if your credit isn’t in the best shape.
5. Food & lodging
During the chaos of moving, you may opt to eat out instead of cooking, especially if your utilities haven’t been set up. If you’re recruiting some friends to help with the move, rewarding them with pizza is a great way to show your appreciation. No matter what it is, make sure you’ve got food expenses added to your moving budget.
Not moving locally? If your drive is long enough, you’re going to be looking at hotel charges, snacks and meals along the way. Even if you’re letting the movers do the drive, you’ll still have to pay for a flight to get to your new home, which is a substantial item to budget for.
6. Tolls & parking
You may be driving on roads you’re not familiar with, so check ahead to see if your route includes any tolls you need to account for in your budget. Same goes for parking fees, whether along the route or at your new home.
7. New place, new things
You’ll know to plan for new big-ticket items, like a bed or couch, if you’re leaving them behind. But there may be things you need at your new place that you didn’t need before, like lamps or appliances. You’ll also want to think about restocking the fridge and pantry. Basic kitchen essentials, like dish soap and towels, may be things you can pick up at the dollar store.
8. Price changes
You may be paying for utilities already, but moving to a new place means the amount you pay for these services could be different. For example, I moved from Salt Lake City to New York City and prices between these two places are dramatically different, so I had to build this change into my budget.
Need some help getting your money in order to save up for your move? This sheet is all you need to easily draft a budget.