Let’s just face the fact that moving costs add up quickly, especially if you’re moving for the first time. The best thing to do is research and plan so you can set a realistic moving budget that you can stick to. Knowing all of the costs associated with moving will help you stick to your budget and keep costs low.
Here are six costs of moving that many first time movers don’t fully budget for:
1. Application Fee, Security Deposit, First Month Rent
These costs aren’t hidden costs, and they’re usually the highest costs associated with moving, but first-time movers often fail to fully budget, regardless. To apply for an apartment, you’ll pay an application fee, which covers the cost to run your credit score and to conduct a background check. Once you secure the apartment, you’ll most likely pay the first month rent plus a security deposit, which is usually the cost of a month’s rent. (Note: Sometimes, the landlord also requires you to pay the last month’s rent on signing of the lease, because many renters apply the security deposit to the last rent payment and leave the landlord without an easy recourse for any damages.)
2. Packing Materials.
You’ll need boxes, packing tape, and packing materials to support breakable items. Make a list of all your belongings and calculate how many boxes you’ll need to properly pack everything.
If you’re planning to hire a moving company, get multiple quotes from different companies to ensure you get the best deal. If your budget is tight, find a company that offers a you-pack service where you pack and unpack everything and the moving company is only responsible for moving your furniture and packed belongings. If you plan to rent a truck, also get several quotes and find out if there is a discount when moving during off-peak times.
4. Start-up Costs
If you’re moving across state lines, don’t forget to plan for extra costs (and time!) associated with obtaining a new driver’s license, obtaining a new car tag, and updating your auto, health, and renters insurance.
5. Stocking Your Apartment
It may not seem like it will cost much to stock your new apartment, but the cost will rise quickly. You’ll have to buy groceries, including many staples like condiments, spices, and cooking oils and sprays. You’ll have to buy cleaning supplies like a broom, dustpan, mop, cleaning sprays, and detergents. Even though you may not have to replace many of these items often, the initial cost can add up quicker than you realize.
6. Utility Deposits
When putting any type of utilities in your name – electricity, internet, cable, phone – you’ll most likely have to pay a deposit and an installation fee before the service starts running.