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October 20, 2015

6 unexpected moving expenses

Make sure you consider all of your expenses when creating your moving budget.

Moving tends to be an expensive endeavor. You have to budget for gas if you're shuttling furniture yourself, or you have to allocate money for hiring movers. These are pretty obvious expenses you'll face when relocating to a new home, but have you considered all of the other costs?

Not budgeting correctly for a move can saddle you with a nasty shock by the time you've settled into your new house. Avoid any unpleasant surprises by staying aware of common unexpected moving expenses. Here are a few things people typically don't consider when calculating the cost of a move:

"Save money by asking friends or family members to watch the kids."

1. A babysitter

Young kids tend to be little balls of energy, which can be problematic when you're packing. Trying to keep an eye on the kids while you organize items into boxes can be distracting. Children also need a lot of attention, which means it'll probably take you twice as long to store everything in boxes. That's why hiring a babysitter for an evening or two is beneficial.

However, depending on the amount of items you need to pack, the cost of a babysitter can quickly add up. Most caregivers are paid around $10 an hour, so if you need your child watched for five hours, you're already down $50. Make sure you note this expense on your moving budget list so you aren't surprised by the charge later.  

If you don't want to spend money on a sitter, ask nearby friends or family members for a favor. Overall, it'll help you save a little cash - just remember to send a thank you card after the move.

2. Hotel rooms

Long-distance moving will probably require an overnight stay in a hotel. If you're making a long trip with kids, you might even have to stay a couple of nights in one location. Depending on the quality of your lodgings, that's an added $100 to $200 to your total costs.

If you want to minimize this amount, determine whether your traveling route takes you near any friends or family. Staying in a guest room for even one night can save you a considerable amount of money.

3. Utility fees

People often forget about the fees required to have utilities turned on at a new place. The price will vary depending on everything you need added to your home. A few examples of features people have installed at a new place include Internet, cable and a home security system. Terminating your utilities at your old place can also cost you a fee.

To minimize the fees you have to pay, do a little research before the move. This will allow you to take your time finding reasonable service providers instead of feeling rushed.

4. Broken items

Damaged or broken furniture and other items should be expected. Moving all of your belongings from one place to another is hard enough without expecting everything to be in perfect condition when it arrives. Sometimes objects are also misplaced during relocation. Setting aside a certain sum for replacing lost and damaged items will allow you to quickly restore any important furniture or dishes you can no longer use.

If you've hired a moving company, you probably have less to worry about since careful professionals will be handling your things. However, just to be safe, make sure you ask about valuation options, as well. This will help protect you from some of these damage costs.

5. New decor

Your new house will probably have a different overall style than your previous home, which means your furniture might not match. The house may also be bigger than your other one, which means you'll probably want to purchase some new decor.

Waiting several months to save enough money to purchase an area rug to accent the living room can be frustrating. Instead, keep the decoration additions in mind after you've purchased the new house. This will allow you to budget for added furniture or other adornments so you can easily purchase what you need after move-in.

"Groceries may be your largest unexpected moving expense."

6. Restocking the pantry

It's impossible to take much food with you when moving, especially if you're traveling a long distance. Groceries are a major expense that's easy to forget about. You don't realize until you're shopping how much you're going to spend. However, since you'll not only need to completely restock the refrigerator, but the pantry and cupboards as well, you're looking at a hefty sum. Getting enough supplies to fill your kitchen could run you a few hundred dollars alone. Aside from new furniture, once you add in cleaning supplies and other products you may need for your new place, and groceries may be the largest unexpected moving expense there is.

To at least slightly minimize the cost of these much-needed items, try finding some coupons or deals at local stores. You may also want to do some quick research on cheap shopping centers so you know where to find affordable groceries.

While budgeting for each of these costs may seem tedious, being aware of these added expenses can make the financial impact of your move seem much more manageable in the end.