Even before marrying into the military, I did quite a bit of moving. Each time I moved, I learned a little more about how to expect the unexpected when it came to moving expenses. Everyone knows to budget for the truck and boxes and the first month’s rent on the new apartment. But what about all those (not so) little expenses that seem to creep up out of nowhere? Now most of my experience is in the long distance move category, but I really think these can be applied to any move!
Food: I would prepare for $50-$100
You are going to eat out a lot more than you realize around the time you move. First, there’s the fact that you do have to eventually pack your kitchen. Then once you get to your new place, you can expect to eat out a little more than usual until you get settled. Even with the best intentions, food expenses are going to increase a bit surrounding a move. Oh yeah, and then there’s stocking your new kitchen…
Gas for the Moving Truck: I would prepare for $50-$100
This one has crept up on me several times. You’ve done it. You’ve managed to pack up all your crap and get to your new digs in one piece. And then you go to return the moving truck and realize that you either have to pay the surcharge for returning it without filling up or go shell out the $50+ it’s going to take to fill up that monster. Bummer.
Randoms for the New Place: I would prepare for $100-$200
Did you budget for new garbage cans? Because I guarantee you’re going to need some. I don’t know why, but every time I’ve moved, I’ve needed at least one small garbage can for a bathroom or office or something. What about cleaning supplies? It’s amazing how toilet bowl cleaner mysteriously disappears from one place to another. And hangers. I always end up needing more hangers.
Baskets, Bins, and Other Things for Organizing: I would prepare for $25-$75
Even if you’re able to reuse a lot from your previous home, your new place will be laid out differently. The closets and cabinets will be different, and so will your organizing needs. So be sure to budget for some new stuff to get your new place in order. You’ll be happy you did when your stuff is nice and organized!
Furniture: This could vary quite a bit depending on your needs.
I know, I know. You had everything you needed in your old place. But I’m sure there’s going to be a need for an end table or a stool or something that you didn’t expect to need in your new place. And there’s nothing worse then sitting down to relax on your couch in your new home and having nowhere to set your Diet Coke.
You get the picture. Expect the unexpected.
Moving usually involves a big change of one sort or another and dealing with a budget crisis is not something you’ll want to add to your plate. So do yourself a favor and over budget for your moving expenses so you don’t get caught with your budget-pants down. And just think, if you come in under budget, you can always just throw that money in savings!
Please keep in mind that while this is what I would budget for it’s important to take your unique circumstances into account when budgeting for a move!