Plan for the Costs of Moving

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 27 million people move every year. Moving can involve equal parts excitement and apprehension. One thing you can count on with any relocation, though, is the financial costs of moving.

Here are some of the most common costs that come with a move:

Moving Supplies

Factor in costs for moving boxes, tape, and packing supplies. You might check with local warehouses or grocery stores to see if they give away used boxes or packing materials. If you plan to do it yourself, you’ll need to include costs for truck rental. And think about the distance between your old home and new, as you may need to account for mileage or fuel costs.

Moving Services

If you intend to hire movers, the American Moving and Storage Association recommends getting three written in-home estimates. Make sure you — and the movers — carefully evaluate your stuff. Determine what you will take and what you will donate, sell, give away, recycle, throw away, or store before requesting an estimate. Consider large items that require special equipment or disassembling, such as a piano, pool table, or outdoor swing set. Also, depending on the time of year you’re moving, services may be more expensive or competitive — especially during more temperate months. The day of the week can also impact your expenses, so inquire if moving mid-week could lower the costs of moving.

Time Off Work and Child or Pet Care

If you are self-employed or don’t have paid time off, you may lose income while you move. You may also need to hire a sitter for your kids or pets during your move. Even do-it-yourselfers may need help with children or pets so they can focus on the task of moving.

Cleaning and Repairs

If you rented your old place, you may need to buy supplies or hire someone to clean or repair your old place to recoup a deposit. If you can’t sell or give away your old stuff, you may need to pay for trash hauling or recycling fees. And if you’re buying your new place, you may need to do the same to get it move-in ready.

New Fees and Deposits

From water service to alarm system monitoring, many providers have set-up and installation fees. Some companies might also require a deposit in order to begin service. If you’re renting, you will likely also be required to pay the landlord or rental company a deposit upfront. If you’re buying a home, you may want to factor in the cost of changing the locks within the first few days of moving in. And whether you’re renting or buying, your home may come with additional costs for parking, monthly association dues, lawn maintenance, etc.

Old Memberships and Accounts

Before you move, list all monthly bills, and contact service providers to let them know of your new address, pay off your final bill, and close accounts that won’t transfer to your new home, so you don’t incur late fees. Check whether any of your accounts will charge a fee to end contracts early.

Home Products and Furniture

You may find that you need products, furniture, decorations, linens, and appliances for your new place. Consider things like the purchase of rugs if your new home has hardwood floors, or additional towels, mirrors, and toiletries if your new home has multiple bathrooms. Window treatments — either blinds or drapes — may also be an added expense to account for in your budget.

Updating personal information

When your address changes, you’ll need to update your personal information on credit cards, accounts, and more. You’ll also want to factor in the costs of updating state IDs, driver’s licenses, and other identification documents.

Eliminate the hidden costs of moving by creating a contingency plan to handle anything that may come up. For more tips to help you plan your move, read our checklist for relocating.