If you’re usually careful with your budget, then planning a move may seem like a totally unpredictable task.
Who knows what kind of unplanned situations will come up that will cost you money?
Even if you’re not so frugal with your finances, moving is an expense. There are ways to do it that are very affordable, but it’s not the actual moving that is going to surprise you on your credit card bill.
To keep your move manageable, here are some moving expenses to plan for!
#1 Packing supplies
So, you’ve sorted through all your belongings, donated a bunch of stuff to charity, and are ready to get down to the packing.
Problem is: you’ll need to run to the store and pick up a bunch of moving supplies!
Boxes and bubble wrap (or paper, for those who prefer non-plastic options) aren’t expensive in themselves, but you’ll probably need more than you think, which means you’ll be making trips back to the store, which costs time and money, and you may not be getting the best deal if you’re in a pinch to buy boxes.
Do your research! Ask local businesses if they’ll donate boxes to you ahead of your move, and if you can’t find a place that’s willing to give them away, do some shopping. Also check online because office supply stores are sometimes able to ship boxes to you for a reasonable price.
Once you find the best deal, order a few more than you think you’ll need. You don’t want your boxes to be too heavy, so having extra boxes on hand on moving day will be helpful. And, if you don’t use them all, you can simply return them.
Don’t forget about packing tape—it can get expensive, too, so shop around for the best option.
#2 Storage unit
One moving expense that people often forget about is a storage unit. If you’re like most people, and your move out doesn’t line up exactly with your move in, you may need some temporary storage.
Storage units don’t tend to be overly expensive, but if you’re storing items like antique furniture or a collection of wine, you may want to find a professional storage company that offers climate control and easy access.
Many people don’t realize that they’ll need a storage unit until well into their planning, so consider it ahead of time. Call ahead to storage companies in your area to find the best price for the best unit.
Ask about reserving a space ahead of time, and first-month promotional rates. And, don’t forget to add the storage unit into your monthly budget for the next couple of months, until you can empty everything out!
Whether you’re moving out of an apartment that you lease, or selling your home to new buyers, you’ll need to give it a good scrub once your things are loaded onto the moving truck.
Many folks who are pressed for time or lack the spick-and-span gene will hire a cleaning company to do a move-out clean. While you’re at it, you could have them come to your new place to do a pre-move-in clean, too.
You should budget between $200 and $300 for a deep clean, but some cities may be more expensive. You can save money by cleaning yourself, but if you have a few extra bucks budgeted into your move, you can hire a professional and let them worry about it.
#4 New décor & furniture
Even if you love everything you currently own, The Simple Dollar says that every new apartment needs something. Whether it’s a new throw rug to match the wallpaper in the living room, or a dining room table that fits into the new space, there will likely be a few items you’ll need to buy when you move.
Don’t stress about these things: just come up with a budget, buy them slowly over time, and don’t worry if your home doesn’t look 100% put together after your first week living there.
#5 Food & snacks
You probably have a good idea of what you spend on food and beverages in a typical month.
When you move, those expenses will change.
- A restock of your new home with items that you tossed before the move, like spices that had expired, sodas and other canned goods that you used up before moving.
- A take-out tab that may get a little higher than usual. Chances are, you’ll be spending plenty of evenings unpacking, and not cooking your usual dinners.
- A hike in food expenses for the month before the move, and the month after. Once you get through those first few weeks, everything will start settling back down into a normal pattern.
#6 A trustworthy moving company
There are many factors that affect the cost of hiring a moving company, but we do know one thing: hiring one is essential.
Stay sharp and try to schedule your move for a colder season when the demand for a moving company is lower on average. The cost also takes into account how much stuff you will be needing to move and the distance you will be traveling.
So, to stay on track during your move, make a budget, stick to it, and plan for the unplanned!