5 Surprise Expenses When Moving In

When preparing to move into my first apartment, I knew there would be surprises in store. Thankfully, I had given myself time to deal with it, so the surprises didn’t “hurt” as bad. In a perfect situation, I would recommend everyone have at least 5-7 days where you can truly just focus on moving in, but that’s impractical- not everyone will have that kind of time. So to help you expect the unexpected, here are my top 5 surprise expenses during your move in!

5. Start Up/Transfer Fees

When you move into a new apartment, you will encounter a fee from almost all utilities that covers the cost of setting up your new account, or if you are moving from another apartment, the fee covers the transfer of your account to a new location.

4. Ability, or Lack Thereof, to Get Packages

When moving into my first apartment, I found out that packages left at my door would be snatched within minutes, if I was not home. Not a foreign concept if you live on a busy street. The options were: stop ordering from online retailers (no thank you), get a PO Box address ($$) or schedule packages so they arrive only when I’m home. I went with the latter because it worked with my schedule, but there are other options that may be viable for you.

3. Treat Yo-Self Occasions

With all of the effort it takes to move into a new place, especially up those flights of stairs, you will probably end up with a few treat yo-self expenses. Especially in your first day or so with no groceries, you will want to go out to eat. Maybe even a spa day when you’re all done. It’s totally fine to have those occasions, just make sure you budget accordingly

2. Cleaning & Household Supply Cost 

Just as you would expect with your first round of groceries, your first round of cleaning and household supplies (vacuum, Windex, light bulbs, etc) will rock you with the bill. However, most of the items are desperately needed for a sanitary move-in. Thankfully though, after this initial trip, you will probably not need to purchase most of the items for at least 6 months.

1. Holy Moly WIFI

For most of us out there, myself included, we understand the basics of WiFi. There’s a router and Ethernet and it gives us Netflix and Pinterest and all the things we love. And at the end of the day, it works and I happily pay the bill. However, during my recent move I learned the dark side of WiFi. To avoid getting into the nitty gritty, I’ll just say if your apartment is 700+ sq feet or has an oddly shaped floor plan, expect the possibility to pay $50-$300 for additional devices and accessories to make your WiFi work how you need it to.

Ed. comment: One of our bloggers recommends simple, relatively inexpensive WiFi extenders, like this one for $29.99 from Amazon, that plug into your electrical outlets.


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Author My First Apartment

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Marisa Rinchiuso is a Design+Production major at Carnegie Mellon with a passion for DIY, budgeting and event management. She's always on the search for a great deal and new projects. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafts and travel.

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