5 unexpected moving costs to include in your budget

Moving from one home to another is a big event in your life. It can be a reason to celebrate, but it can also be very stressful and expensive. Whether it’s a local, and you are looking for moving companies in northern California or an international move, you have to know these 5 unexpected moving costs to include in your budget.

All the unexpected and hidden costs when moving

Moving costs are one of the most difficult budgets to plan. Expenses can easily mount up little by little without you noticing. This can take a large part out of your total budget. Preparing and listing the estimates of these unexpected and hidden expenses goes a long way. To ease you in on the looming budget-related stress and unexpected moving costs, check out what we have for you.

A couple carrying cardboard boxes in a room with a plant on the side.
Try and collect empty boxes from your family and friends.

1. Utility fees or costs

If your current home is heated with propane or oil, you may need to pay to leave a full tank. Some electric companies are charging a fee for switching over the billing party. A lot of internet providers will offer you conditions as if you are a new customer who has never had the internet with them. Check what you’ll need to manage before you can leave your current household. Also, it is important that you know what you’re stepping into with utility costs in your new home.

A local move may allow you to keep the same utility providers and simply switch the service to your new address. However, for intrastate relocation, you’ll need to call off your current utility accounts (including gas, phone, power, and internet). Afterward, you will open new accounts for your new household. These would both mean having premature closing fees, enrolment, deposits, connection, and set-up fees. Have in mind to include these expenses in your budget. This way you will keep it from being an unexpected and hidden cost. It’s highly recommended to call the utility companies months before the move to check all the conditions and costs.

2. Packing supplies and storing your belongings

Packing boxes and tools are important when it comes to unexpected moving costs. But it’s amazing how much the packing costs can build up! If you already know you’re soon moving, a smart idea is to collect boxes over time. Here are some options for gathering the boxes:

  • Gather boxes through your family and friends.
  • Visit recycling centers.
  • If you know any local businesses, you could check if they have any extra boxes laying around.

However, the upcoming move can be unexpected, or you simply don’t have space to store empty boxes.

If you have to buy all of your moving supplies, then you should use a moving calculator. Several reliable online resources have them available. They will provide a rough cost estimate of packing supplies you’ll need. After all, you can always look into packing services and pay for service altogether, without worrying about it yourself. 

A woman in a white protective jumpsuit cleaning a leaving room.
Cleaning is commonly one of the most overlooked unexpected expenses when moving.

When a moving company is doing the service for you, they usually include the cost in the final bill. However, have in mind that some companies don’t charge for labor but are charging you for extra boxes, etc. Keep in mind that, for example, Salinas movers may have different policies and prices than movers from other places.

3. Cleaning your home

One of the situations that may cost you unexpectedly is cleaning. Your new place can be dirty from the previous owners. The expense of deep cleaning your new place to make it nice and fresh for yourself can get pretty high. If it’s not too bad, you can pick some cleaning supplies and do the job yourself. However, if the place is in such a bad state, it is best that you call in professionals. This rule applies vice versa. You should leave your current property in a decent state for the new tenants. Put these expenses into your budget so you will be prepared for it. You may not have to use all of the money, but it’s better to be prepared just in case.

4. Unexpected moving cost – additional storage

Having a plan doesn’t mean everything will go exactly according to it. In case current tenants do vacate the property on time, you may need some temporary storage for your stuff. These are some of the most common unexpected costs when moving. If this happens, you should look for onsite storage facilities you can rent for a few weeks. Check if the moving company you hired is offering storing services. This will come in handy in case any delays occur, especially during an interstate move.

5. Unexpected moving costs during the move itself

Take into account the travel time from your current place to your new home. The journey may take one day or a few days of travel. It all depends on where are you relocating and your method of transportation. These are some of the facts to consider:

  • You might need more money for fuel, flights, or parking fees.
  • Do you need to find a place for a layover?
  • How much money you’ll need for eating out? Remember until you’re in your new place you might not be able to cook straight away.
  • Time off work.

Don’t be surprised if these unexpected expenses during the move reach staggering heights. You may require a parking permit for the street when the movers’ vehicles arrive. You’ll also need to think about how long they can be parked? How much would it cost to have private parking? Writing these down can help you clarify any costs and reduce the shock of unwanted hidden costs to your move.

Long street with trees and cars parked on each side.
Make sure you know your parking possibilities at your new home.

Moving takes time and isn’t usually something you can do in just a couple of days. You may be moving because of your job and thus you have some time off. If that’s not the case, then you need to think about how long the move is going to last. If you’re able, use any available vacation. However, you may need to take some unpaid days off work for the move. Be sure to also check these money-saving tips for your moving process. Keep these things in your moving budget and you’re one step closer to minimizing unexpected and hidden costs during a move.

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Great experience; they were on time, professional, friendly, and provided an excellent deep cleaning.

Pamela K