Can Your Budget Handle a Big Move?

Moving often ends up costing a lot more time and money than you first expected. This is something my husband and I are discovering firsthand as we prepare for a big cross-country move this summer. 
Are you saving enough to cover all the added expenses that may pop up? How do you get in the habit of paying higher rent? In order to prepare your budget for a big move, make sure you plan for these lesser-known moving expenses.
  • Apartment fees. When signing a new lease agreement, whether it’s for an apartment complex or an individual landlord, you’ll likely have to pay additional fees. Your moving budget should include funds to pay a security deposit, application fees, administration charges, and a pet surcharge if you’re a pet owner. 
  • Replacement costs. During the process of packing up your possessions, loading them into the moving truck, and putting them away in your new apartment, it’s likely that some of them will get lost or be broken. No matter how hard you try to pack everything carefully, the moving process often comes with replacement costs from everything to furniture, to dishes, to clothing.
  • Moving and travel expenses. Moving across the country requires a good deal of travel expenses. Apartment hunting in a new city means you’ll have to stay in hotels, as well as pay for gas and food, while you’re scoping out a new place. When calculating your moving budget be sure to include these added expenses so you don’t have to cash flow them at the time of your move.
  • Double rent payments. My husband and I currently live in an apartment complex so we’ll have to pay two months of rent while our current lease expires and we sign a new lease. If you’re lucky enough to be able to stay with friends and family until you move, you may still have to pay double rent payments if your new place forces you to pay your first month's’ rent up-front.
  • Utility transfer fees. In all likelihood you’re moving to a bigger and better place, which means the cost of utilities and other bills will go up. You also have to account for any transfer charges to move your current internet, phone, and TV services. If you choose to cancel your service and sign with a new company, you’ll have to pay cancellation charges, and installation fees.
When evaluating whether or not your budget can afford a big move, be sure to include extra money for additional expenses and unforeseen fees.
A good way to make sure you can afford to move is to pretend to pay these added expenses for several months leading up to the move. This is especially helpful if your rent payment is going up. But instead of paying a company you’ll be paying yourself and putting the extra funds into a separate savings account. This can be used to fund your moving expenses later, and give you the added financial cushion you need.
Don’t be blindsided by additional expenses when planning a big move. Be sure to include these extra costs into your moving budget and create a contingency plan in case more expenses come to light during the process.
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