brown cardboard boxes on brown cardboard box

Moving can be emotionally and physically taxing and can be more expensive than you bargained for. While moving expenses like hiring a moving company or investing in a new home should be expected, some moving costs can sneak up from behind. 

When it comes to personal finances, knowledge is power. If you’re ready to make some serious money moves, make yourself aware of these nine things that can skyrocket the cost of your move. 

Moving long distance

Of course, a long-distance move is likely to be more expensive than a move within the same city or state. For example, California car shipping to New York will be more costly than California car shipping within the state or to neighboring states. 

Still, shipping a car is often less expensive than driving it yourself, especially if you have several vehicles to move. Hiring a trustworthy company to ship your car for you will save you hours of time and stress. What’s more, you’ll save wear and tear on your vehicle and reduce costly fuel expenses. 

Poor packing job

Your moving expenses can increase when the movers determine you’ve done a poor packing job. If your moving company has to repack any of your items or furniture due to sloppy or insecure packing, you’ll have to pay the price.

If the moving company doesn’t catch on to your improper packing, you could still shell out to replace damaged or broken items. As such, packing your items carefully and using quality packing supplies is critical to ensuring that you don’t spend extra money during your move.  

While you might think you’re saving money by scrimping on bubble wrap and other items, the cost of replacing broken items or paying your moving company to repack is worth doing a proper job at packing the first time around.

A broken elevator

A broken elevator can significantly elevate your moving expenses if you live in a high rise or move to one. When movers have to carry items up and down the stairs, they charge a hefty fee. In fact, most movers have a stairs fee that can amount to over $50 per flight of stairs. The fee increases if the movers carry cumbersome items up and down the stairs. 

You can save money on stairs fees by communicating with the company about the situation before the movers arrive. When you arrange your contract with the moving company, discuss the possibility that the elevator could break to ensure that your move goes smoothly. 

Far away parking for movers

Some situations force movers to park far away from your home. When they cannot park in front of your old or new home, they may charge you extra to carry your items to and from the truck. If the moving company has to use a smaller truck as a shuttle, your expenses will also increase. 

Forgetting to cancel your utilities and subscriptions

Your moving expenses may increase when you fail to cancel or change your utilities. Your utility company will continue to charge you, even if you no longer live in your former residence. 

Contact your utility companies at least thirty days before your expected moving date to avoid hefty and unnecessary payments. Otherwise, you might end up paying the utilities for the new family living in your former home. 

If you have gym memberships or other local subscriptions, don’t forget to cancel them on time. If you pay for your local subscriptions with automatic withdrawals, you could run the risk of accidentally overpaying even after you’re long gone. Subscription costs can add up quickly when you forget to cancel them, so make the cancelations a priority. 

Unexpected challenges

Your moving expenses can increase when unexpected situations force the moving company’s costs to increase. Unforeseen fuel charges are often guilty of upping the moving company’s expenses. Since gas prices are out of the moving company’s control, your moving fees will also increase if the moving company has to pay more than expected for fuel. 

Holiday expenses, problems related to weather, and unexpected illnesses can also cause moving costs to rise. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic caused moving prices to increase due to pandemic-influenced staffing shortages experienced by moving companies.

Lack of preparation 

Since your moving company operates based on a predetermined schedule, they will likely increase your fees if you aren’t ready when they are. 

While packing can be stressful, it’s imperative to complete the task before the moving company arrives to avoid extra charges. Unfortunately, if the movers have to help you pack, they will charge you for every box they touch. You may experience sticker shock once you see your final bill unless you stay on schedule.

Undercounted items

Before you sign your contract with your movers, you can save money by accurately counting the items you need to move. Ensuring your count is accurate is critical since the movers keep close tabs on furniture items and boxes and will notice if you accidentally or intentionally undercount. If you exceed the number you listed in your contract, you’ll suffer an additional bill. 

While you might think you’ll save money by undercounting your items, the last-minute changes will cost more than if you told the movers the correct number in the first place. 

DIY problems

When it comes to moving, most people get by with help from their friends and family. While it may be tempting to cut costs by refusing to employ professional moving services, you may do more harm than good. Unfortunately, many do-it-yourself movers end up causing damage to their vehicles and trailers because they don’t have access to the proper tools or strategies to move their items safely. Movers have the equipment and know-how to safely get your items from the old house to the new one. Repairing and replacing damaged goods or paying medical bills from moving-related injuries can be more expensive than hiring professional movers. 

Wrap up

Moving can be a pain for everyone involved. Luckily, with thoughtful planning, you can take control of your relocation costs and prevent your wallet from unexpected drainage.

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