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?


  1. Squirrelers Reply

    Moving always seems to cost more than one might think, up front. Really, there’s always something that comes into play. In my experience, however, it’s been the costs that come into play immediately after the move. You know, when you realize that your stuff doesn’t perfectly work in your new place, and that you need to make some purchases. Those aren’t direct costs of moving, but indirect ones that can often add up to far more!
    .-= Squirrelers´s last blog ..Squirrelers Thanksgiving Giveaway Contest =-.

    • @ Squirrelers – Oh Yes, I’m already hearing my husband compile a list of things we need for our new place. It’s adding up quickly!

  2. I’m probably going to have to move in the next 5 years. I’m dreading it because I now have my house just the way I like it. Hopefully by then I’ll be ready for a change. I’m with Squirreler. It seems like new places need a ton of work to make them just right, but your place sounds nice, so maybe you’ll luck out. Good luck getting settled in.

  3. We last moved almost 10 years ago, and I would have never thought about the cost of transferring utilities.

    It seems that all big things in life always cost more than we anticipate…
    .-= Everyday Tips´s last blog ..Top 5 Movie Car Crashes =-.

    • @Everyday Tips – I think you’re right. There are so many hidden costs that I didn’t anticipate; thankfully that’s sort of what an ER fund is for.

  4. Amanda L Grossman Reply

    Yeah…when we moved into our new home last year we under-estimated by about $400! Yipes!

  5. Those little account maintenance fees can definitely sneak up on you, but surprised by your overall amount!

    Moving is such an infrequent practice that many people fall victim to the same traps you did – so no worries 🙂
    .-= FinEngr´s last blog ..3 Strategies To Envision Your Way To Debt Freedom =-.

    • @FinEngr – I too was surprised when our phone company had an outrageous “technician fee” for setting up our new/transferred service to our new apartment. That’s where the majority of the fees came from!

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