I had roughly budgeted how much money we’d spend on our move between the U-Haul trucks and the help we hired. I also budgeted in the deposit on our new place and weighed the expenses of the new rent with the savings in utility costs. What I hadn’t budgeted in was the cost of transferring the utilities and phone service. It had been so long since our last move, I had forgotten that transferring phone service would cost about twice the amount of a regular phone bill. I had also forgotten that the utility company charges a “New Service” fee even though we have been customers of theirs for years.
Total under-estimated utility costs: $325!
Now at the same time, our U-Haul truck rental and hired help ended up slightly under budget and our renters insurance is crediting us $44 annually for moving to a better area, though only 4 miles away from our previous address. But that’s how many city/suburbs work: one block is great and the next is slightly better than a slum.
After revising my budget given our increase in rent, but decrease in overall monthly utilities our housing costs equate to 47% of our total budget (only 1% higher than where we were previously living). However, that includes all phone bills, utilities, rent, renters insurance, and storage which we will need temporarily until we get a little more organized. We might be able to forgo the storage unit which would save us $50 a month, but that only lowers our overall percentage toward housing to 46%, or back to where were in terms of percentages for housing.
Yes, housing costs is a big chuck of our expenses, but I guess I’m paying for the sunny weather, better neighborhood, smog-filled skies, and traffic congested arteries. If I wasn’t such a wimp when it came to cold weather, I could always relocate to Nebraska and slash my housing budget in half or in third!
Have you moved recently? Were there costs you hadn’t thought about or had underestimated? Do you calculate your total budget in terms of percentage points, or just whole dollar figures?