Moving Expenses I Didn’t Budget For

So, you’re about to move to your first apartment. I’m sure you’ve already planned out your moving budget, but there may be some expenses you didn’t plan for yet. I know I certainly hadn’t figured these things into my move.

Startup/Connection Fees

Did you know that for things like utilities, internet, etc., they don’t just charge you a monthly fee, they often charge you to begin your services, too? I wasn’t aware this was a thing until I went to actually start all these things. I find this whole thing really dumb, but it’s inescapable, and I really wish I had been warned about it beforehand.

Budget: about $100

Gas (if you’re driving)

This is one I completely forgot about. Like, it 100% did not occur to me that driving 1000 miles would cost a lot in gas money until the little light on my dashboard started flashing and counting down the miles I had to an empty tank. In the end, I think it cost me around $100.

Budget: $15-$100 (depends on the length of your drive, the current price of gas, and your car)

Eating Out/Ordering In

Whether you’re the kind of person who loves cooking for yourself or not, the first few days after you move are not going to lend themselves to meal production. If you’re like me, several days will go by before you even finish unpacking everything in your kitchen. Even if you’re super excited about using your new kitchen, it may take a day or two before you can get to the grocery store. Plus, you’ll want to celebrate your new apartment, right?! So, plan in some extra cash so you can at least order a pizza while you unpack.

Budget: at least $20

Stocking Your Pantry (and other cabinets)

While a weekly trip to the grocery store might only cost you $50, your very first trip is going to be expensive. Like, however much you think it’s going to cost, double that. Buying your staples, your weekly groceries, your cleaning supplies, toilet paper, light bulbs, paper towels, etc.,  etc., all in one trip adds up.

Budget: $200-$300

Getting Started with Your New Life

Chances are, there’s a reason why you moved. Did you get a new job? Are you going to school? Whatever your reason, getting started with it will most likely cost some money. And while this doesn’t technically count as a moving expense, it certainly didn’t occur to me that around the same time I was spending all this money on apartment bills, I would also be dropping a lot of money on school books and professional clothing for my job.

Budget: It totally depends on why you moved. (Between getting a couple professional outfits and buying a semester’s worth of textbooks, I probably spent at least $300).

Overall,  whatever your moving budget is, tack on another $500-$600 to account for these things and other surprise expenses. Better to not need it all and be pleasantly surprised than to need more money than you planned for.

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Taylor LaSon is a recent Hamilton College graduate who is currently living in Memphis while seeking her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology. She and her cat prefer a quiet, introverted lifestyle full of Netflix binges and arts and crafts, but when she does go out, she enjoys rock climbing and making silly faces at small children.

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