Photo by Brooke Cagle via Unsplash.com
I knew moving would be a huge expense, but it was difficult for me to determine exactly how much I’d pay in every part of the process. This is why I wanted to write it all down as I went along to give others a sense of what a similar move might cost. I moved in with my partner Brian, so many of the costs were split down the middle. I also moved to a different state(ish) so I had some DMV payments to make as well as a change in insurance. It’s specific to my situation, but I hope it gives you a good idea of what your own next move might cost.
Here’s every cost, broken down by category:
Cost of the apartment: These are all the fees and costs associated with switching to our new apartment. As you can see, they’re the most substantial fees.
Application fee: $50 total; $25 for my half
Deposit: $700 total; $350 for my half
Prorated rent: $1161 total; $580.5 for my half
First month’s rent: $1800 total; $900 for my half (A note on splitting rent: I believe the best way to split rent between partners is by percentage of income, however, Brian and I make a very similar amount per year right now, so we decided to split it down the middle).
Cost of furniture: We had a lot of what we needed between the two of us already, but there were a few big items still on our list. Luckily, the previous tenants were selling all of their furniture before moving abroad, so we were able to buy a few things from them. They left their TV, TV stand, armchair, microwave, spice rack, hallway mirror, and shower curtain (it’s tough to find one that fits out bathtub) to us for $365. On top of that, we purchased a file cabinet, shelves for the bathroom, picture frames, and other necessities like a plunger and toilet brush for about $95 altogether.
Furniture from previous tenant: $365 total; $182.5 for my half.
Other furniture: $95 total; $47.5 for my half.
DMV fees: Because I moved from Maryland to DC, I had to get a DC license and tags. I also had to transfer the title of my car from my mom’s name to my own, so the whole process was pretty expensive. Fortunately, I had a friend who went through the same process and told me exactly what to expect to pay so I was able to budget for it. But you don’t need an insider: I called the DMV a few weeks before I had to take care of everything, and on top of giving me helpful instructions, the employee told me the exact cost of everything.
Transferring title of car: $26
Temporary tags: $13
New license: $47
Parking ticket I got before I was able to visit the DMV: $100 (just being real… lol)
First month’s insurance & utilities: These obviously replaced my old utility & insurance costs, so they weren’t so much of an adjustment.
Renter’s insurance: $16
Auto insurance: $69
Internet: $50 total, $20 for my portion (our apartment includes internet, but my partner works from home doing Virtual Reality stuff that requires fast internet, so he’s paying for a larger chunk of it since I wouldn’t have purchased it on my own but benefit from having it).
Moving day costs: Everything spent for the big day.
Transportation: The UHAUL ended up being $202, but my mom graciously offered to cover this cost in exchange for me doing some last-minute housesitting (and home business-sitting) while she was on vacation. I got free labor from my parents and two younger brothers as well. It was a pretty grueling day, though, so Brian and I are considering budgeting for a moving company next time we move.
Packing tape: $12. When I say the exact cost, I mean the exact cost!
Which brings us to…
The total cost: $2614.5
Total cost of one-time expenses: $1029
I can’t lie, these are tough numbers to look at. But at the same time, these are the costs I’ve paid over two months since filling out the application fee. And sitting in my new apartment writing this as the sunset fills the room and I’m watching cute dogs play in the park, I know I don’t have any regrets.
I can’t stress enough how important planning and budgeting along the way was– especially because it’s summer, I’m a teacher, and I’m only getting paid for my part-time work at the moment. I made sure to add up every possible cost and budget for it with my money from the school year. Thankfully, I was able to cover the costs without having to dip into my emergency fund. The way I was able to accomplish it was by putting a hold on my midterm savings. I barely put any money aside towards my car fund, travel fund, or gift fund for two months. Instead, this money went towards the cost of the move. It wasn’t ideal in terms of my savings, but it’s the best way I could think to make it work.
I hope this deep dive into the exact costs of my move is helpful for you and your next big move! As always, thank you for reading my blog 🙂