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Hidden Moving Costs

Planning makes a difference when you move. If you've decided to pack and move yourself, you've probably already estimated the costs for the boxes, the rental moving truck, and possibly for hiring a moving company. So that you don't break the bank, though, be on the lookout for these sneaky hidden costs.

Just a few more boxes

Take into account these less obvious costs of packing and loading.

  • What if you run out of moving boxes or packing tape on the very last day of packing? Or maybe you forgot that hand truck. Even if you get a package deal on packing and moving supplies, anything you have to buy piecemeal or rent at the last minute might cost more than expected. Also, hired movers might have to stand around and wait-and continue to be paid-until you return with the needed supplies.
  • If you're taking time off from work to pack your goods, load and drive the truck, unload, and unpack, you're losing income. At best, you're losing hard-earned vacation time that would just as well-spent playing the slots.
  • Food is tremendously appreciated by all workers, and can make a big difference in morale. Consider offering bagels and coffee in the morning, and sandwiches or pizza for lunch. Provide water throughout the day.
  • You might want to tip your movers when the job is finished. You'll need cash on hand for each individual.

Wait a Minute, There's More

  • Under certain adverse conditions, might make you incur these additional costs.
  • Hourly paid packers and movers might work more slowly to squeeze out yet another hour.
  • Packers paid by the job might tend to rush, putting your belongings in jeopardy. Fragile items could be broken, furniture might be damaged, and items might be assembled poorly or not at all.
  • Even your friends might not handle your possessions as carefully as you would wish. As a result, you could incur costs from damaged items that might not be covered by insurance.
  • You may find that there is damage to the home you're moving from, such as marred floors, stained carpets, or gouges in the walls. If the new owners do their walkthrough and find such damage, they might want an allowance. If it's a rental, the landlord might retain your security deposit to cover the repairs.
  • Heaven forbid, but if you injure yourself while lifting or moving, you could spend quite a lot on medical bills and physical therapy over years to come.

Not Done Yet…

  • Budget for additional hidden costs you might rack up while on the road.
  • You'll need to buy truck insurance, as your auto insurance does not cover rented moving trucks. Truck insurance only covers damage to the vehicle, not to the contents. Also, your standard homeowners' insurance does not cover your goods while they're in transit. So you might need to buy a rider to cover your contents.
  • Remember the cost of gas to your destination for the moving truck and any other vehicles being driven for the move.
  • If you're moving a long distance, add in the other costs of cross-country driving, especially hotels, restaurants, and tolls. If you're driving the truck, and your spouse is driving the car, you might need two-way radios or cell phones. If you're traveling with children, you might need extra cash for activities to keep them happy during the trip.

More Dollars Leaking Out!

  • If you end up driving a difficult truck or experience less-than-ideal driving conditions, you could be shelling out even more money.
  • If you get a moving truck that's older or poorly maintained, it could take longer to reach your destination and burn more gas than expected.
  • A truck in bad repair could break down. You might have to lay out cash for repairs or towing until you get reimbursed by the rental company. Even if they provide a different truck, you would still have to move everything from one to the other, causing a need for more manpower, not to mention the risk of damage due to additional handling.
  • A broken-down truck could delay your moving schedule and cost you valuable time. You might have movers lined up on the other end who would need to be rescheduled and possibly paid a cancellation fee. Plus, you might have to pay for additional days' rental on the truck until you get it to its destination and unloaded.

You can only do your best to prepare for these kinds of hidden costs. It’s a good idea to put aside a little extra cash and have back-up plans for unforeseen events. Who knows, you might even end up with some unexpected cash left over.

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