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The Hidden Costs Of Moving: The Best New Start

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Forge Your Wealth is meant for education and entertainment and should not be used for financial advice.

You are probably looking for your next place to call home. However, like everything in life, moving will cost money. Sure you know about down payments, deposits, and hiring a moving company, but there are many hidden costs of moving that can break your budget. In this post, I will address strategies to avoid these costs.

Housing Value And Deposit

Using any consumer good causes damage to it in terms of lowering market value. You would be surprised at what damage you can find in your abode. Even a little smoke from burning candles or overcooked dishes can cause damage that only professionals can reverse.

If the house is thoroughly vetted and damages were not assessed the inspector could report he has seen some damages. And all you can do is try to explain it and hope that the buyer will take your word about the damages being fine. The most likely result is you will have to sell for a lower value. Ignoring the observed damage would mean missing out on a discount and what good buyer would not want a discount. The only way to avoid the discount is to restart on finding a buyer which could take time and money that could cost more than a discount.

A similar event occurs with renting. Instead of the value decreasing the landlord can take the damages from the security deposit or even charge you for damages. Like a buyer trying to buy a house, they are not likely to overlook damages because that would mean less money for them.

The best way to avoid this hidden cost is to avoid these damages. Treat the place like it is your own. Treat it like you have sweated and possibly bled to live in that place. The next best thing is to take care of the repairs yourself. Sometimes a kit that costs less than $10 and a little time can save you $100 or more.

New Consumer Goods

How many times have you moved and actually taken everything with you? Where is your old chair right now? A landfill would be a good guess. Is it because the items broke? Not always.

While some consumer goods break, many are thrown out because you do not want to take your old life with you whether out of convenient of prestige. Some people are embarrassed about where they got some of their consumer goods and items for prestigious reasons. One of the first things to come out a person’s mouth about any consumer item is where they got it from, but only if it came from a high end store. If the item came from any low end place, they may try to avoid bringing up where it came from altogether.

Here’s a good question, why do you need to tell anyone where you got your goods? You could completely lie and no one will know any better. Heck, I could tell people my hand me down furniture was carved by the Amish. Honestly, they might have been, they have been on this rock longer than I have so whomever made them knew what they were doing. Why not do the same so you do not need to spend over $1,000 just for new consumer goods when you move?

Strange Justifications To Throw Out Your Old Life

There are many reasons I have heard people say that they needed to throw out their goods when they move. There are roaches, fleas, bed bugs, mold, Coronavirus. While these arguments have some ground to stand on, they can also be taken care of. Cleaning can remove most bugs (germs or the ones with too many legs) so you do not need to worry about taking anything with you when you move.

Vehicle Insurance

Granted, most moving companies do not require special insurance to use their vehicles, most will also hold you responsible for any damages to their vehicle. Imagine that you are moving. An accident happens, it may be your fault and you need to pay for damages, most personal insurance will not cover it since the moving vehicle is not a personal vehicle.

Imagine if an accident happens and it is not your fault. Best case scenario, you will have to wait to receive the money for the damages while the moving company is not that patient. Sometimes it could even be a legal battle. Worst case, the person speeds off, or the person is without insurance and broke, they cannot pay for the damages. You could be stuck with a bill that is larger than a down payment for a house.

There are policies offered by moving companies that are essentially temporary insurance policies. These include damage waivers and even some health insurance when on the road. Many of these cost less than $10. This small hidden cost of moving can keep a large well hidden costs from ever showing their ugly face when you are making a major step in life.


On one occasion, my family helped my brother move in Florida when he served actively in the US Navy. The new place was not set because of a livability reason. Luckily, my brother had a backup plan and did not have to rent a hotel for a few days. However, people are far more capable and willing to welcome less than a cubic meter of flesh, blood, and bone they know and care about in their abode than dozens of cubic meters of cardboard, packaging, and consumer goods they do not know nor care about. So he needed to rent a storage space for his goods.

Luckily, the storage center was helpful especially since he is in the military. If you are in the military, you may know that stories like this are way too common. Active military people move more frequently than civilians. They know better than most people how stressful moving can be, and particularly because not everything lines up perfectly. If you are moving, you could require storage which may be one of the many hidden costs to moving you will have to face.

The best way to get around this is to plan accordingly, but even the best laid plans can fall apart. Another thing people in the military know too well. Sometimes, life just happens and you will have to chose to change your plans and take on all the costs of changing the moving date or pay some extra money for storage.

You May Need More Space For Your Stuff

While moving can be a new step in your life there will be many times the next step in your life has little room for what you own. This is especially true if you are downsizing. Are you going to sell those items you have sweated and possibly even bled for? The better question is: can you even sell those items?

More often than not, people who cannot find a place for their goods in their next step of life find a permanent home for them in a storage container. This may be one of the many hidden costs of moving that can blindside you harder than almost anything else.

When you move, you are moving your life from one place to another. You cannot move less than your life. If you have a minimalist lifestyle, you will not need to move too much when you move your life. If you live the life of the typical consumer, you will have much to move. Even if it is inevitably moving those items into storage, or a landfill. If you want to avoid paying for storage forever, you should live a life where you do not need to have items that need storage.


Speaking of changing plans, imagine if my brother did not have a backup plan, the next best thing would be to rent a hotel. This is all but guaranteed to cost more than storage and is one of the many hidden costs of moving that really bites at the mental stability, or lack thereof, when people move. Like storage, this would be a cost to avoid by planning ahead, but that will not always work.

Moving Valuable Items

If there are any items you dread the idea of getting so much as scratched you may not want just any moving company to handle it. You may not even want a loved one to handle it (trust issues much). If that is the case you may want to hire movers who pride themselves on handling valuable items. You should even get insurance on those items.

If you live a minimalist lifestyle or even trust your loved ones this should not be an issue. I do not need to transport an medieval aged stained glass window or anything that is valuable and particularly fragile. However, there are some items I would rather know exactly where they are when I move. Plus, one or more members of my family may or may not feel a certain way about some of those items. Those items will be in my personal vehicle because if nothing else I trust myself more than even specialists. I know the things that I own better than anyone else.

Final Thoughts

Moving is one of the most stressful times of your life. It will also be a time you spend more money than you expected. However, most of the costs of moving are hidden and will eat away at your budget and your mental stability when you need it the most. You can plan ahead to avoid these as much as you can. Even the best laid plans do not work perfectly. However, the plan will keep surprises at bay so you can maintain your mental stability during one of the already most stressful times of your life.

Author: Papa Foxtrot

Most of my life I was careful with money and learned where I should invest it. I was very lucky to have parents who taught me financial literacy when I was young. Unfortunately, I am very lucky because many people lack the financial literacy I know. The purpose of Forge Your Wealth is to teach people who are just starting out in life how to obtain their wealth or anyone who just realized they may need to learn more to handle their finances. I currently have a PhD in biochemistry, just started a job in industry (will not disclose where exactly for personal and professional reasons) and am currently married to the love of my life. I am one of the lucky few people in America who graduated with no student debts, my wife was not. Over the series of a little over 3 years we paid for our wedding with no debt and paid off her federal student loans.

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