A little while ago, I wrote a post on our estimated moving costs. I ended up estimating that it would cost about $3899 (based on what I could project).
Here’s the follow-up, now that the dust has settled!
Background: we sold our house and moved an hour away to be closer to my husband’s job and my brand new job! That sound you hear is the ozone layer sighing with relief that we will no longer be contributing as heavily to its demise. An extra note: the money that was budgeted was squirreled away in our savings account (I keep a spreadsheet with the different categories on Google Drive so I can update it from anywhere!).
I had only two budgeted categories, and you can see how our expenses stacked up in the end:
So, while we thought it might be $3899 to move, we ended up coming out ahead at only spending $3609 (although there was $409.08 that we had to pay out of our regular budget rather than savings).
Now, the notes….
First month’s Rent & Deposit: I technically believe that this isn’t really a “moving cost” in the general sense of the phrase; after all, the deposit is money you’ll get back at some point, and the first month’s rent is just money you would have spent on housing otherwise. However, it’s still cash coming directly out of your pocket – and it’s a pretty big chunk of change – so I knew we needed to budget for it.
Movers: Yes, they were expensive, but I knew it going into it and I saved up for it. So glad, especially since I was as sick as a dog the week before and was basically incapacitated. How we would have rented a moving truck and moved all of the furniture (including a piano) ourselves and made those two trips in one day (even with the help of friends)… well, we couldn’t have.
For the next categories, well… we simply couldn’t save enough money in the time we had to cover all of the other expenses that came up, but it wasn’t like I didn’t know they would happen.
Utilities: The tricky thing about utilities when you move is that you have to settle up with the utility companies at your old place as well as get the utilities turned on at your new place, which seems like a double-whammy. We knew that the water would require a deposit, but we were happy to find out that the electric company didn’t require a start-up fee. The internet people did (of course), and the amount you see above is the installation fee as well as the first month’s payment. (From now on, it should be $35 + taxes/fees, which should end up quite a bit lower than our former internet bill – yay!) The propane is interesting – we knew that there was $169 worth of propane currently in the tank, and we decided to buy it from the landlord. (The other option was that he could sell it back to the propane company.) Since our movers moved some of his items down to the basement on the day we moved in, however, he said we could call it even! (We came out slightly ahead, I have to say, since the cost of the movers was less than the cost of the propane!) Also, we’re still not sure, but we may end up with a big propane bill in the next month or so, since I keep hearing it’s gonna be a cold winter and the electricity has been known to go out in our area. Gotta be prepared with an alternate source for heat…. Eep.
PO Box Rental & Change of Address fee: Well, if you want to change your address, they “have” to charge your credit card to verify you say who you are! WHAT THE WHAT. I mean, yes, verify who I am, but COME ON. And we had to pay it twice because I don’t have the same last name as my husband. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Also, now that we live in the tiniest of “burgs” in a small town, we can’t get mail delivered directly to the house – we have to have a post office box. Not a big deal – the post office is only two houses away from us! It’s super easy (and nice) to walk there after work with L to pick up the mail. The only downside is that if there are packages to pick up, it’s hard to get there when the PO is open (since it is only open from something like 10 am to 4:30 pm). Still, not a huge deal. They totally know my name and box number now when I come in – small town living, man!
Renter’s Insurance: This is a must, right? You know that, right? So we got ours through GEICO – easy peasy. Also, this number reflects the initial payment, which is more than it will be monthly going forward. It should be a little under $25 a month – a pretty small price to pay for some peace of mind (and I’m pretty sure it’s a lot less than what we were paying for homeowner’s insurance!!!).
Moving supplies: Tape, boxes, etc. from Home Depot. We used as much as we already had from previous moves, but we simply did not have enough. Also, did you know those Rubbermaid tubs might LOOK as though they’ll last forever, but they will eventually crack and split?! We learned that they may only survive about 7 moves…. Not that we didn’t use them anyway. Because we totally did.
Other supplies: Turns out that when you try to install a nice newer dryer into an older home, you might need a different kind of hose/plug. Had to get a new one (but saved our more modern, yet older, one for our next move…which is hopefully waaaay in the future), and we had to invest in some other things (like two coolers to move the food from our freezer – but dudes, I totally returned the biggest freezer after we used it that one time! shhhhhh, don’t tell).
Total Cost: $3609.08 – and it basically was paid for with cash! Well, we put everything we could on credit cards to generate points, and then paid them off. The last time we moved, we had some serious CC debt ($1500) that we couldn’t pay off immediately. So apparently we’ve learned something! I’m glad I saved up for it this time, instead of assuming we would just pay off the credit card debt “somehow” over the following months.
Bottom line? Moving is expensive. Ugggghhhhh. I really am hopeful that our savings will start to show soon – not driving the crazy commutes each day and the difference between our rent and the mortgage we used to pay… those should add up!
How do you cut costs when it comes time to move? Any ideas are welcome – always looking for ways to minimize the hit, and I know we won’t be living in this rental forever, so the time will come to move again…. sometime.