One of the most stressful parts of moving home is organising and moving around the finances associated with the house you currently live in and of course, the house you’re planning to move into. Whenever you think you’ve got your money and finances sorted and in all the right places, something else always crops up that leaves you wondering how you’re going to adapt to suit the new situation.
Fear not, there are ways to plan ahead and efficiently budget for a home move. In fact, if you don’t plan a budget you’re more than likely going to run into various unexpected expenses that will cost you more in the long run because they simply were not anticipated.
Get a pen and paper, a spreadsheet, a graph, or a whiteboard and marker if you like – whatever suits you – and whip yourself up a budget, you will thank yourself for this later down the line.
Here are some of the key areas to budget:
Your Removal Company
If you are going to hire a removal company, firstly check any quotes you have received including all extras (VAT, packing, fuel etc). If you haven’t selected a company at this stage, simply use the highest quote as the cost to budget. If you’re not using a removal company, budget in fuel costs for trips to and from the new house.
If you’re moving far away from your current location and your move includes a stopover look on a hotel comparison site, get an average costing for accommodation and use that amount as the cost and also remember to also factor in food, drink and fuel as this can add up if you are away from your regular cooking routine for a period of time.
Often families will lodge cats and / or dogs in kennels for a few days during the move to avoid pets getting stressed and to enable pets to enter a settled new home rather than a chaotic one full of unpacked boxes and removals employees coming in and out. Factor this cost in if you plan to do it, and make sure you book early if you’re moving during peak holiday seasons.
Sometimes it can be best for children and parents for the kids to stay at a babysitters during a move. Check your babysitter is available to look after the children and factor in the cost of the care.
Packaging and Storage
If you opt for your removals company to pack your items for you, this will generally cost you more so if it is a service you want to use, make sure you use the quote that includes it. If you’re packing yourself you can choose to purchase strong storage boxes or you can go to supermarkets and high street shops to ask if they have boxes they are throwing out. Many shops have to pay to get their cardboard removed so will be more than happy to give you some free boxes. You’ll also need bubble wrap, packing tape and lots of newspaper so factor those products into your costings. If you’re using a storage facility you should easily be able to obtain a quote you can work into your budget.
Cleaning and Decorating
You will inevitably have to give your current house a good scrub for the people moving in, and you’ll want to get your new house fresh and clean as well, so budget for some good quality cleaning products to be used on both houses.
For the purpose of this article, we are assuming your house is already sold, however if it isn’t you’ll need to firstly consider the decorating costs for your current house (if you’re freshening it up for resale). Then focus on the exciting bit – your new home. Whatever your level of decorating, whether you’re going to be giving it a lick of paint or much more detailed work, do a recce that budgets more money than is probably necessary so you know you have more than enough to do what you need to.
Gas, Electric and Water
Be prepared to pay up-front for your utility bills. Although you often register yourself as a new owner and receive bills after a month or quarter (however you have set it up) sometimes you need to pay up front depending on the company, so enquire about this and budget it in if that’s the case.
And The Extras
This will be a sum of money you put by for any extras that crop up. When you have your budget for everything else, work out a percentage of that (5-10%) and save that amount for extras. This is a really sensible thing to do and should give you peace of mind that you’ve prepared in case you need extra money.
Remember it is always better to have budgeted more than you need, and the more organised you are, the more you will feel able to deal with what will inevitably be a stressful course of events.