Money Smart Mom – Costly Moves
by Sarah Deveau
When my husband and I bought our first home, we knew it would be an expensive endeavour. Our first mortgage, bigger and better furniture, and renovations to get things just the way we wanted them. We expected and budgeted for these costs, however, the physical act of moving came with a lot of unexpected expenses. Doing it with kids in the mix? Twice as difficult.
We priced out moving services, and figured we’d save hundreds by doing it ourselves, with the help of a few friends of course. In the end, after shelling out for snacks, beer, and pizza for the friends, the cost was nearly the same. In addition, we wouldn’t have had to steal our friends’ Saturday, and we wouldn’t owe them moving time. Finally, we had to loan out the kids to grandma for the day – hiring a babysitter would have been another added expense.
You Break It, You Buy It
Though we packed carefully, a few things were broken in the move, including enough glasses to make buying a new set a must. Along the way a box went AWOL, requiring a few new small appliances to be charged to the credit card. Though it’s great to get older children to help pack, they do have a tendency to just throw everything in the box regardless of breakability. Oversee their packing if you can.
Take-Out Tight Spot
We had five days in which to move a lot of little things by ourselves, and decided to live in the new house during that time. It was a costly decision, as we hadn’t moved or unpacked the necessities of life, or even gone grocery shopping. We ended up eating out nearly every meal, at a cost of $30 – $50 a day depending how many people stopped by unannounced to check out our new home and stay for dinner. After a week of take-out we were counting pennies and dying for a home cooked meal.
Keep the Necessities at Hand
Those five days in limbo meant many of the kids’ toys were packed and inaccessible, or still at the old house. Same for their gear. This meant having to run out and buy sunscreen, sun hats, and other miscenellaneous items we already owned when the opportunity arose to get them out for an afternoon at the beach while Dad was reassembling furniture. If you’re planning on moving, set aside “moving money” for the first week in your new home. You’ll find your expenses may be higher than you anticipate – but informed planning should eliminate the sticker shock.
Sarah Deveau is a mom of three, and the author of Money Smart Mom: Financially Fit Parenting.
Visit her website at www.moneysmartmom.ca or pick up
her book from Chapters Indigo.