Budget Whisperer: 4 Hidden costs of moving

So you’re tired of your over-priced apartment and decide it’s time to find a place for less so you can have a little extra pocket cash.

Maybe you just want to move to the side of town you hang out all the time anyway so you don’t have to drive everywhere (avoid that Atlanta traffic, am I right?). You’ve debated whether or not it’s worth going through another move and resolved to labor for a couple days of transitioning to a new abode.

READ: The highs and lows of budget living

But before you sign that lease, consider the hidden costs of moving to see if it’s actually worth it in the long run.

  1. Signing the lease. As if finding a place suitable to all your needs isn’t draining enough, let’s add driving costs to check potentials out, possible time off work to meet landlord schedules, and maybe even some stress eating costs to the mix. Found a place or two you’re really interested in? Pay those application fees. Finally sign a lease? Deposit’s due – likely an entire month’s rent. You’ve probably doled out a fair chunk of change before even thinking about packing your things into boxes.
  2. Transferring utilities. You may consider the cost of utilities in the place you’re looking at – especially if it’s an older building – but just because you’ll be using the same company at the same rate of usage doesn’t mean you’ll see the same price on your next bill. You’ll easily pay the equivalent of a decent dinner out just to have the services transferred to your new residence. But beware in your quest to avoid these charges. Landlords will tack on a substantial amount to the value of the rental just to include the words “utilities included.” Everyone knows ease comes with a price tag.
  3. Physically moving. Boxes, packing tape, newspaper – check. U-haul, dolly – check. Filled U-haul gas tank, paid mileage – check. Lunch, dinner, and beers for friends that help – check.  The physical action of moving all of your belongings to a new place can bare a hefty price as well. Unless you are an extreme minimalist and can fit everything you own in your small sedan, moving is never as simple as you think it’s going to be.
  4. Getting situated. Just when you think all the bad things have run their course in this moving marathon, you realize you are sitting in a place where none of your old things fit or look quite right. Extra space here, needed storage there – it’s just not the same as your old place and your furniture is letting you know it. You’re going to need to invest in some things to really call this place home and even if you’re a Craigslist junkie like me, it’ll probably cost more than you’d care to spend. Has anyone noticed how ridiculously overpriced throw pillows are?

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