by Jason Clark

Moving can be expensive, and keeping spending under control is a challenge for many. Advance planning and discipline are key to creating and maintaining a budget for moving. Moving calculators can help, and providing an allowance for emergencies and other unforeseen expenses can keep financial stresses to a minimum. But by nature, “unforeseen” expenses cannot be predicted. Surprises can be minimized, however, by planning with this list of frequently unexpected moving expenses in mind:

Boxes and packing materials — It’s easy to underestimate just how many boxes are needed to hold the average household. If you run out at the last minute, buying more in a rush can be costly. It’s less expensive to buy in bulk and end up with a few extra, than to purchase in small batches at high rates.

Transferring utilities — Utility providers often charge for starting, stopping and transferring service. Fees can vary from just a few dollars to several hundred, but a simple phone call will let you know what to expect.

Meals, snacks and groceries — Your standard grocery budget may fall short over the first few weeks and months in your new house because household staples like condiments, cleaning supplies, light bulbs, etc., will all need to re-purchased, and learning where the best bargains are in a new neighborhood can take time.

Emergency storage and travel accommodations — Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, something as simple as a flat tire or inclement weather can be all it takes to create the need for additional hotel stays and self-storage fees.

When it comes to moving expenses, the easiest way to plan for the unknown is to intentionally save additional unassigned funds in your moving budget. Either create a separate “emergencies and surprises” allowance, or pad individual categories of expenses – such as furniture – with an extra 25%. Then don’t touch that money unless the worst happens!

Jason Clark is the Manager of Sales for, a leading source for connecting online consumers with licensed and insured moving companies. is part of the Move network of sites, which includes®, and offers a comprehensive selection of resources to assist before, during, and after a move.

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