Financial planning for moving is essential
MAIN IMAGE: Dawn Bloch, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Area Specialist
Moving house is not only stressful – it can be a very expensive exercise, especially if you have just borne the costs of buying a house. And these costs can quickly add up, especially if you leave everything until the last minute.
However, with a little planning and creativity, considerable savings are possible.
Moving house is usually an exciting time as it symbolises new beginnings, but it can also be an extremely stressful and costly exercise, so it’s important to save money where you can, especially if you have just borne the costs of buying your own home.
“Unfortunately, there’s no avoiding it – moving and settling into your new home is a big undertaking and, with so many payments going out in the run-up to move day, your bank account is going to take a bit of a battering,” says Dawn Bloch, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Area Specialist for Kirstenhof, Lakeside and Zwaanswyk.
“There are a multitude of costs to factor in when you’re moving house and they can quickly add up if one isn’t careful.”
“However, with advance planning and a little creativity, many of these expenses can be significantly reduced and you’ll also avoid last minute or unexpected bills which could break the bank as well as drive stress levels to breaking point.”
Bloch adds that planning is the most critical step because when people are rushing and under pressure, they are very likely to spend more money than they would have otherwise.
“Begin to plan your move as soon as you know it’s definitely happening – even if it’s still months away. This will not only save you money but will alleviate a lot of the pressure and allow you to circumvent potential pitfalls.”
She suggests the following steps for a more cost-effective and seamless move:
- Do your research – Get at least three quotes and carefully scrutinise them to ensure that each removal company is quoting for the same services.
- Be wary of a quote that’s significantly lower than the others. It could mean they have omitted a major element and you’ll end up paying add-on costs later. Rather opt for companies that offer fixed estimates and, if unsure, look online for references and reviews.
- Ask for a deal and be flexible in return – because most people move on weekends and at the end of a month, often moving companies will agree to a discounted rate if you move mid-week or mid-month.
- Bear in mind that removal firm costs tend to rise during major holiday periods – and especially at Christmas – so try and avoid these key dates if you can.
- Declutter before you start packing – Working around clutter is not only frustrating, but it also often leads to packing everything in sight which will cost more in transport costs – and if you’re moving to a smaller space you will have to pay for storage or live with even more clutter.
- Take only what you need – Moving home is the best time to get rid of what you no longer use, and it can also reduce your outlay even further by adding to the moving kitty as many items are saleable.
- Get creative with packing supplies – Instead of buying reams of packing paper, your linens, sheets, and towels can be used to wrap and protect items like mirrors, ornaments, and paintings.
- Start gathering boxes from local supermarkets and grocery stores a few weeks before your move and keep an eye on community social media sites to get boxes from people who have recently moved.
Pets can be traumatised by the disruption in their worlds when packing gets to the final stages and move day can be especially traumatic – for them and for you. Try and arrange beforehand for a friend or family member to take them for a couple of days until you have moved into your new home as kennelling will add additional costs.
Pack a box with necessities and emergency supplies and transport it in your car on the day of the move. It will save you from buying what you already have and from the frustration of having to take time out to do so. Include items like headache tablets, chronic medication, snacks and bottled water, pet snacks and cell phone chargers.
“Unless you really need something like a new kettle or curtains for an additional room, try to resist the urge to spend any money for at least two months. Not only will it afford your wallet some breathing space, but it’s also always best to take time to settle in and live in a new home and decide which features you like before investing more money.
“Moving can be a large financial burden and taking the time to really consider all of your options is important. The more time you give yourself to plan, the more you’re likely to save,” concludes Bloch.
“Moving is costly and can be overwhelming when you think of the many things you need to consider. If you have not prepared for the moving process, the physical and financial implications can be felt long after you have settled into your new home. So, preparing ahead of time by finding ways to save money can help, “warns African Bank.
“If you think about all the expenses involved in moving into a new home, whether in the same city or not, you’ll find that there are costs you could have minimised if you prepared financially. Some of the ways to prepare include looking for savings options that will help you to start saving for the move.
“Moving expenses have categories: before the move and after the move. The largest portion of your expenses will often come before the move. Here are some ways to financially prepare yourself, they say.
Before the move:
- Know why you’re moving and research: Whatever your reason is, always bear this in mind when making your decisions. Take time to research the type of areas in that city that you can afford and tick them off on your checklist of preferred places.
Consider the cost:
- Now that you are certain you want to move and you know where you would like to move to, it’s time to consider the cost. This means creating a budget. Look at what the costs of moving will be and match that against what you can afford. Here, costs such as transportation, rent, deposit, new appliances and furniture will feature.
One of the best things you can do for yourself when financially preparing to move is to start saving. Think about the different ways to save money and compare savings options to find the high interest savings account that suits you.
Research the best savings account for your goal of moving. Look at timeframes and find out about interest rates, notice periods, tax-free returns and so on. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Having your own home is very rewarding but making sure the costs of moving don’t cripple you financially, is key.
Now that you’re settling into your new home, turn your attention to any extra expenses. You may need to purchase new items, so be sure to include that in your budget. This is especially true if you are moving from an apartment to a bigger house or if you are getting married and moving in with your spouse. Be sure that you know exactly what furniture you’ll need once you get to your new place.