How to Expect the Unexpected When It Comes to Moving Expenses

movingEven before marrying into the military, I did quite a bit of moving. Each time I moved, I learned a little more about how to expect the unexpected when it came to moving expenses. Everyone knows to budget for the truck and boxes and the first month’s rent on the new apartment. But what about all those (not so) little expenses that seem to creep up out of nowhere? Now most of my experience is in the long distance move category, and hiring long distance movers can ultimately save you money in the long run, but I really think the following tips can be applied to any move!

The Unexpected

Food: I would prepare for $50-$100
You are going to eat out a lot more than you realize around the time you move. First, there’s the fact that you do have to eventually pack your kitchen. Then once you get to your new place, you can expect to eat out a little more than usual until you get settled. Even with the best intentions, food expenses are going to increase a bit surrounding a move. Oh yeah, and then there’s stocking your new kitchen…

Gas for the Moving Truck: I would prepare for $50-$100
This one has crept up on me several times. You’ve done it. You’ve managed to pack up all your crap and get to your new digs in one piece. And then you go to return the moving truck and realize that you either have to pay the surcharge for returning it without filling up or go shell out the $50+ it’s going to take to fill up that monster. Bummer.

Randoms for the New Place: I would prepare for $100-$200
Did you budget for new garbage cans? Because I guarantee you’re going to need some. I don’t know why, but every time I’ve moved, I’ve needed at least one small garbage can for a bathroom or office or something. What about cleaning supplies? It’s amazing how toilet bowl cleaner mysteriously disappears from one place to another. And hangers. I always end up needing more hangers.

Baskets, Bins, and Other Things for Organizing: I would prepare for $25-$75
Even if you’re able to reuse a lot from your previous home, your new place will be laid out differently. The closets and cabinets will be different, and so will your organizing needs. So be sure to budget for some new stuff to get your new place in order. You’ll be happy you did when your stuff is nice and organized!

Furniture: This could vary quite a bit depending on your needs.
I know, I know. You had everything you needed in your old place. But I’m sure there’s going to be a need for an end table or a stool or something that you didn’t expect to need in your new place. And there’s nothing worse then sitting down to relax on your couch in your new home and having nowhere to set your Diet Coke. 😉

You get the picture. Expect the unexpected.

Moving usually involves a big change of one sort or another and dealing with a budget crisis is not something you’ll want to add to your plate. So do yourself a favor and over budget for your moving expenses so you don’t get caught with your budget-pants down. And just think, if you come in under budget, you can always just throw that money in savings!

Please keep in mind that while this is what I would budget for it’s important to take your unique circumstances into account when budgeting for a move!

9 thoughts on “How to Expect the Unexpected When It Comes to Moving Expenses

  1. I’m not looking forward to the actual moving part when we move! UGH

    1. It is kind of a pain, but it only lasts a day or so! Lol! Good luck! 🙂

  2. You never know what the unexpected will be. In our case, when we moved in 2007, I called a couple of days before to confirm the truck rental, and they told me that I could no longer have it! Someplace else basically wanted their entire fleet, so they bumped everybody that had a reservation. I was not happy. I was able to get another truck at pretty much the same cost (from what I remember) but it was definitely something I was not anticipating nor was I very happy about at all.

    1. So true! It’s always best to overbudget for a move because you never know what crazy problem will come your way!

  3. Ugh, whenever I move, I feel like I visit the hardware/homegoods store every day for at least a week! Garbage cans never fit the right spots, you need lightbulbs for that lamp you haven’t used in two years and on and on and on!

  4. These are great tips! We plan on moving in the next couple of months, so this post was quite timely for me 🙂

  5. That’s true story about the hangers.. And clippers too. lol It’s weird. But here’s also another thing, before hiring a mover, try to ask where they are operate and negotiate all the prices beforehand to avoid more “crept out” moment when it’s time to pay.

  6. Moving can be such a big bear and you really don’t expect most of what happens. For example, when my husband and I tried to move a heavy dresser down the stairs and it crashed to the bottom while nicking the paint. What I learned? Hire movers to do all the heavy lifting. It is well worth it. And you can find cheaper movers in Craigslist under the ‘handyman’ category.

    1. @ ISA – I love craigslist if you browse some of my older posts you will find that out. I agree with you there is no sense killing yourself when you could easily hire it out to some movers. Especially if you have to take time off to move, having professional movers do it may be the way to go and could save money in the end.

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