Moving Costs You Never Considered & How to Minimize It

Are you planning on a big move soon? There may be some costs you have not yet considered! Here are some of those costs and how to minimize them!

In the modern age, it’s not unusual to live with your parents until you’re well into your thirties. A $10,000 deposit would’ve been enough to set you up just a few years ago, but that’s barely a drop in the ocean now. As such, many of us opt to stay at home and save everything we can towards our home funds. It’s either that or jumping into the rental world and kissing goodbye to homeownership forever.

There is, however, one major issue which the savers among us often forget. When plotting out how much we need to save, many of us focus on the amount necessary for our deposits. But, that’s far from the only cost of moving to a new house. When you’re moving out for the first time, you also need to consider moving costs. The expense of moving your home will add up to a fair amount.

Of course, you don’t need to kit your whole home straight away. There’s nothing wrong with holding fire on less necessary aspects, such as the spare room or dining area. But, even when you take things slowly, there are some items you’ll need right away. Without them, your house won’t be a home. Worse, it won’t be a functional space.

In truth, though, even the essentials are sure to cost more than you’re expecting. When you’ve never gone it alone before, it’s near enough impossible to anticipate how expensive the most functional features can be. After all, your parents have always dealt with that stuff. But, to give you some idea, we’re going to look at the more pricey additions, and consider ways you can cut the costs of each.

Moving Costs You Never Considered and How to Minimize Them

Kitchen Supplies

A whisk here, a cutlery set there; surely kitchen supplies can’t cost all that much, right? Wrong. By the time you’ve kitted your kitchen, you’re looking at a hefty price tag. The stuff may not be pricey, but the sheer number of things you need boosts the cost. When you’ve used someone else’s kitchen all your life, it’s a shock to realize just how many things are essential. But, to give you some idea, we’re going to look at a few of the must-have kitchen accessories:

And, oh, the list goes on. Spend an average of $20 on each of these things, and you’re soon looking at insane amounts of money. The good news is, there are some tricks and tips for reducing the sting at least a little.

The best thing about kitchen supplies is the fact that they’re portable. Each item is relatively small, meaning that you can buy it well in advance and store it without hassle. Buying a bed before moving may not be practical, but you’ll barely notice a box of pans under your bed. The sooner you start, the more you can spread the cost. You won’t notice a small amount from each monthly pay packet, but you’re sure to notice a significant sum going out at once.

It’s also worth asking around friends and loved ones for anything going spare. Most people end up with duplicates in the kitchen, so you never know what you might be able to find free of cost! Maybe even browse the local second-hand stores and garage sales to see what you can find for little to no cost!

Moving Costs You Never Considered and How to Minimize Them

Beds & Bedding

The chances are that you’ll also need to stock your new home with new beds. Sadly, bed frames are a lot more expensive than you would expect. Even an Ikea special will set you back a good $200 or more. Cheaper options are still pricey, at around $99. If you spend the bulk of your money one anything, I would suggest that it’s your bed. It may not seem like it, but it’ll be an investment down the line.

The bad news is, if you’re moving a spare room too, you’ll need to buy two beds. You can do the math of how painful that would be. Not to mention that the bed frame isn’t all you need to consider. You’ll also want to think about a mattress and a decent duvet. Then there are pillows and duvet covers to consider. Let’s be honest… it’s getting expensive.

As mentioned above, it’s not always worth cutting costs on your bed. At the end of the day, a decent option now will last you for many years. But, there are ways to lower the initial outlay. If you’re kitting a spare room too, why not invest in a daybed or sofa bed option? These are a lot cheaper, and much more practical. You’ll get a lot more use out of a sofa than you would from a bed which is used occasionally.

Again, you want to pick a high-quality option which will last. But, there are high-quality selections on the cheaper end of the scale. Mattresses pretty much cater for every price range, read about it here and decide which would work best for you. Remember that compromising on price doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality in this instance.

Lastly, remember that you can cut costs on duvets. Quality isn’t as important here, as it’s recommended that you change your duvet every five years or so anyway. Not to mention that many people opt for lighter choices during the summer, such as a blanket or a sheet. With that in mind, don’t be afraid to try cheaper options. It’s also possible to buy cheap duvet covers if you know where to look for them. These won’t impact your sleep quality in any real way, so it’s not worth spending money on top-quality options. Instead, shop around for some bargains, and opt for appearance over quality. That is, after all, the primary purpose of a duvet cover.

Moving Costs You Never Considered and How to Minimize Them

Seating & Other Furniture

Seating is also sure to set you back a fair bit while moving into a new home. The chances are that you’ll want somewhere to take a break in quite a few of your rooms. You may want stools for your kitchen, a sofa set for your living room, and a vanity chair for your bedroom. All of which are set to cost more than you’d think.

Obviously, a sofa set will be the most expensive seating outlay. But, you’ll find it difficult to feel settled in your home without one. The good news is that you can get many good bargains on decent sofa sets. Thanks to the trend of selling second-hand furniture online, you should be able to find what you’re after with little hassle. Searching on sites like Gumtree could even lead you to a free option if you’re lucky. Bear in mind that it’s worth looking out for complete sets. That way, you won’t have to buy more chairs when hosting guests. Bear in mind too, that, when shopping this way, you may not get exactly what you’re after. But, you can always reupholster anything you don’t like.

As for the rest of your house, it may be worth investing in a set of chairs to go in various rooms. A set of three stools, for example, could last throughout the house. Again, you could change covers to make them match each room. All it takes is a little creative thinking. One good resource is VarageSale, a mobile app that works like a garage sale on your phone. What’s great about this app is that most of its sellers are open to negotiation, so name your price and see what happens!

Moving Costs You Never Considered and How to Minimize Them

Décor

Last, but by no means least, is the cost of decor. While you may think this is a job which can wait, you’d be wrong. Decorating your space is essential if you want to feel at home once you are done moving. And, the chances are that you’ll want to settle as soon as possible. Thus, you’ll need to fork out on paintbrushes, rollers, paint, and any other supplies necessary. Plus, once the decoration is done, you’ll need to consider those small things that make a house a home. Art prints, rugs, and coffee tables all fall under this subheading.

The bad news is, the costs here will quickly add up if you’re decorating every room in your new home. It may seem like a small job, but none of these supplies are cheap. Even the additions could get pricey, with art prints alone costing sometimes hundreds of dollars. But, yet again, there are some ways to lessen the blow.

For one, it’s worth considering an ongoing color palette throughout your home. If you’re willing, this will ensure you can keep costs on paint down by using one color throughout. It’ll also save you money on supplies because you’ll only be working in one color.

You could also make a lot of your additions by hand. If you have a creative streak, why not paint your art prints? These will have a personal touch you’d never find in a shop and therefore make you feel right at home. If painting isn’t your strong point, you could always buy postcards and frame them instead. These options will cost next to nothing but create the same effect.

For those of us less artistically inclined, try checking out Mr. Kate. Mr. Kate is a fantastic YouTube channel with hundreds of easy and beautiful DIY tricks for the home!

Regardless of your budget or level of planning, you are likely to end up spending more than anticipated when you’re moving. There are always things you will forget. Anticipate these obstacles by making smaller purchases in advance and storing them, exploring second-hand shops and phone apps, and getting creative…literally. Trust me, these tips will be life-saving and make your home just what you hoped it to be!



This post was written in collaboration. This means that while I have added to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation.

Moving Costs You Never Considered and How to Minimize Them

My 735 Mile Move: The Reality of Moving Far From Home

I recently made a long-distance move and it was difficult. Here I will focus on the emotional and practical challenges of my move.

If you read part-one to my 735-mile move, you know that I recently moved from Michigan to North Carolina—and it was difficult. The trip was 13+ hours of driving. If you want to know more about the challenges I experienced when moving long distances, head on over to part one. For this part of my story, I want to focus on the emotional and practical challenges that arose.

1st Month

The first weekend was easy because my family and boyfriend were still in town and we were keeping fairly busy. I was emotionally overwhelmed and found myself getting extra emotional, but in hindsight, the weekend was really good. Even after my family left, I was doing fine. It was very emotional when they left, but I was soon busy organizing and decorating all of my things.

It was the second week where I started finding myself getting lonely and tired of being in my apartment. I decided it was time to start looking for a job. Not only did I need the money, but it would provide me with a social network. Finding a social network to plug into is so important early on because it helps with those pesky lonely feelings.

potted cacti

Finding a job in a new area is very stressful. Not knowing anyone, or having any connections meant that I had to start from scratch. I decided to target cafes at first. First, I created a list of cafes near my apartment and took a day to drive to each and drop off my resume and fill out applications. I got lucky and got an interview that day, ultimately getting myself hired in. This really did help with the lonely.

Read more about coping with the loneliness that comes with moving far away from home HERE!

Bus vs. Driving

The next decision I needed to make was between driving my car everywhere or learning how to ride the bus. I had never ridden the bus at home because they did not come anywhere near my house, also, I have a car and did not feel the need. However, because of having a very tight budget, I was stuck trying to figure out what would be cheaper and more realistic.

I looked up bus fare and routes then calculated how much it would cost me to drive to school for the semester (over $300: gas and parking) and how much it would cost to take the bus ($250). There was still a dilemma because it would be a two and a half hour commute on the bus and a 15-minute commute in my car. Despite being more expensive, I opted to drive in order to reduce my own daily stress and to save myself valuable time. I experience a lot of anxiety in new and crowded situations, especially those that are out of my control. So, it was better than I dip into my financial aid to buy a parking pass and drive.

It sound like a methodical decision, however, I was extremely stressed about it and it affected my health. I highly recommend you look into transportation before moving, so that it isn’t something you need to worry about last minute like I did.

Making Friends

Making friends is actually the hardest part of this move. Remember, moving far away from home all by yourself is lonely. So, making friends is essential. I have managed to get along with several co-workers and classmates. But I am referring to finding a close friend to come to with problems. This is a lot harder because it means trusting a complete stranger with your emotions and inner thoughts. I really struggle with this.

essential oil square shelves

Making friends is something I am still not sure how to do, and I have been in North Carolina over a month now. I will keep you guys in the loop and I learn and improve my friend-making abilities.

Graduate School

Graduate school was the entire motivation for my move to North Carolina. This meant that graduate school took all priority. With two jobs and full-time graduate school, I found myself struggling the very first week. I was faced with a dilemma—I needed money to pay for school, but I needed more time from work to stay in school. After I spent a few weeks thinking about quitting my second job, I decided that this was the best idea for not only my education but for my mental health. I chose to pay for school and some of my bills using my financial aid (despite hating the idea of going further into debt). If you find yourself in a similar situation, always, always take into consideration your mental health and sanity, always.

I had originally expected to work two jobs and then complete my homework in the evening. And with my schedule, I was able to. However, I found myself overwhelmed with no time to myself. The deciding factor was reducing my stress.

Finances and Budgeting

Another huge area of stress immediately after my move to North Carolina was finances. Not only was moving expensive but paying bills without an income is expensive. I felt like I was constantly spending more money than I had to spend. Especially since I did not expect to be paid for my graduate assistant job until the end of September. I had to sit down and create a list of my bills and figure out how much was due and when it was due. I then had to make sure I put aside most of my tips from my serving job. This meant that I had to create a budget that had little wiggle room and I had to stick to it.

Not having a previous conception of my bills, outside of rent and car insurance, before the move I felt underprepared. With the help of budgeting, I never fell behind in my bills; however, I highly recommend that if you are planning a big move, set aside more money than you are expecting to need.

The point of this post was not to complain or to brag, show off, or complain. I simply wanted to provide a reality for someone else who might be preparing for a long-distance move for the first time. There is so much more to the process, that I had realized.

Want to know what happened while I was planning my move? Check out Part One to my 735 Mile Move: The Reality of Preparing For the Move

elizabeth signature
I recently made a long-distance move and it was difficult. Here I will focus on the emotional and practical challenges of my move.

My 735 Mile Move: The Reality of Preparing For the Move

The first thing you need to know about my move to North Carolina is that it is at least an 11-hour road trip…not including making stops. Because of the distance, I had to make most of the arrangements beforehand over the phone or online. For a lot of things, this didn’t really matter much, but for others, it made things feel impossible.

My hope for writing this post is to better inform others of what to expect if they chose to make a long-distance move. I’m going to talk a lot about my struggles and the process. By no means am I discouraging anyone from doing what I’ve done, just know that it’s really hard, be informed.

Getting an Apartment

Getting an apartment was one of the most stressful aspects of the move. Without a place to live, I wouldn’t have gotten here in time for the semester to start, or I would have had to spend way too much money living in a hotel.

Step One: Research

The first thing I had to do was research apartments. This was difficult because I didn’t really know the area, and I wanted to live somewhere safe but also near school and work. Because of these unknowns, I created a list of about 6 apartments that seemed to have what I needed/wanted, had photos that made them seem like they were in a good area, and were within 15 minutes of my school.

Then I created a spreadsheet comparing each of them, and naturally, I had two favorites.

Step Two: Visit

Next, my grandma, aunt, and I took a weekend trip to North Carolina to visit each of these apartments. During this trip, I learned several things.

  • Nice pictures online, while helpful, can be wrong
  • Prices are generally higher than they say online
  • If I wanted to live in a nicer area, I had to be willing to pay at least $100 more each month
  • An upgraded apartment simply means a new paint job (probably not done wonderfully), new appliances (probably just black instead of white), and new fixtures (whoop-de-doo)
  • There are more costs than you think: application fee, the fee to hold the apartment, deposit, and additional couple month rent, etc.

I expected this trip to be fun and easy. I was wrong. It was incredibly stressful. My family was immensely concerned about my safety, which isn’t a bad thing. But, the safest places were WAY out of my price range. So, I had to choose from a step down in safety, not necessarily unsafe but probably no security cameras or security workers or gates. A large portion of the trip (and sometime after), my family members kept making comments about where they thought I should live despite knowing that I couldn’t afford it. This stressed me out, because I didn’t even want to look at places out of my price range, yet they wanted to look at all the really nice places. Money is tight, I couldn’t, my choices were limited and I had made up my mind.

Step Three: Getting An Apartment

Now that I’ve finished visiting and all my research, I have to apply. There are application fees, so I couldn’t go out and apply everywhere. I gambled—I applied to only one apartment complex (the only safe one in my price range). I crossed my finger and hoped that they let me in and THEN that they had an open apartment in time.

After the application went out, all I could do was wait. And, my luck, their phone calls were not going through, nor were their voicemails. It took me from the end of April to the middle of June to really get ahold of them outside of them telling me my application was accepted. Getting accepted wasn’t good enough though and I was calling almost daily to no avail. Thank goodness that I decided to shoot them an email.

They responded to my email very quickly and gave me an alternative number to call. They then called me every other day to update me on apartment openings and verify information. June 15th (only 2 months before classes start), they called me telling me that they had an opening. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but I was desperate.

I had a month to prepare for the move.

Preparing for the Move in One Month

Getting a Job

Getting a  job is really hard to do from such a huge distance. Especially because I was looking for part-time. I had applied to become a graduate assistant at my school and got accepted at the same time I got the apartment, but this wasn’t going to be enough. I needed another job. The pressure was on, but I also felt as if I couldn’t really do anything because of a lack of responses I was getting using online means. I needed to go into the offices and facilities, but I couldn’t. I put this aside until after the move, but I knew I was going to have to kick my butt into gear immediately to be able to pay the bills (Stay tuned for Part 2 of My 735 Mile Move where I talk about this).

Tight Budgeting

This was my first apartment, so I had nearly nothing that I needed. So I had a lot of very strategic spending to do. I did not have a lot of money to spend, but I had a lot of things to buy. I started with the apartment fixings and utilities.

Finances

Utilities

When you get an apartment, you have to take care of a lot of things: insurance, gas, electricity, water, rent, trash, etc., most of which you need to have before you even move in. This wasn’t particularly stressful, but it was expensive. I had to make A LOT of phone calls and spend hundreds up front just to be able to move in. Because of this, I had a lot less money put aside for emergencies, and to spend on the apartment.

Buying all Necessities

I started by making a list of necessities like furniture, toiletries, a bed, appliances. Then I got on VarageSale. VarageSale is an app that would be similar to going to garage sales online. I was able to get a few bits of furniture using garage sale at a pretty good price. Including this lamp!

I also got super lucky and one of my grandma’s friends gave me a large amount of free (yeah, free) furniture. This was so amazing because I was so stressed about money and still needed larger items like a couch or somewhere to sit. My grandpa also gave me his old tv, which was very nice.

Planning Ahead

Not only did I have to be careful about my spending before the move, but I had to be saving a lot of money for after the move. I saved up a couple thousand, but a lot of that was gone before I even got to North Carolina. Naturally, this made me even more stressed about getting another job. I needed a couple thousand just in case I couldn’t find a job or an emergency happened, and I barely had this. But I trucked along, spending wisely.

The point of this post was not to complain or to brag or show off or anything. I simply wanted to provide a reality for someone else who might be preparing for a long-distance move for the first time. There is so much to the process.

Want to know what happened after I move? Check out Part Two to my 735 Mile Move: The Reality of Moving Far From Home

elizabeth signature