If you're moving into a new home, there can be all kinds of hidden expenses that you hadn't thought of. Here are a few things to bear in mind when moving home that might save you a few pennies, or even pounds - which can really help if you're moving house on a budget.
- Buy second-hand packing boxes. You could go to an online retailer or bid site to do this. Supermarkets don't tend to give out boxes anymore.
- Ask friends or family to help you move. If you haven't got much stuff, you might be able to fit it all into a few car journeys, saving you the cost of hiring a van.
- If you buy any new furniture, consider buying flat-pack furniture because it'll be easier to dismantle it and move it in the back of a car next time, which is cheaper than hiring a van.
- Make sure you have paid all of your bills from your old address. If you change electricity provider, for example, make sure you've settled your balance with your old provider. It's not unheard of for old gas or electricity debts to turn up months or years later, which at best could leave a mark on your credit report, and at worse, leave you with debt you were unable to repay. Speak to a debt adviser if you have arrears.
- By the same token, make sure you are registered for your Council Tax, gas and electricity and water at your new home, as soon as possible after you've moved in. If you set up a Direct Debit and keep on top of your usage, you shouldn't get an unexpectedly high bill three months after moving in.
- It can be expensive to call 0845 numbers, which you might need to do when setting up the utility bills, talking to your bank and so on. You can often set up bill payments and Direct Debits online - just bear in mind that when you move in you might not be online right away, so you could ask a friend or relative if you can use their internet instead.
- The first month that you move into a new place is going to be strange for your finances, because you're likely to have lots of different payments coming in and going out of your account. Keep a careful track of anything coming into or leaving your account at this time, which can help you to avoid blowing the budget.
- If you move into rented accommodation, make sure you do an inventory of your new home with your landlord, recording any damage. You could also take photos. This should help you to get your full deposit back when you move out.
- If you're short on furniture, cutlery, or any other essentials for your new place, you could accept hand-me-downs from family, or try second-hand furniture shops or online retailers that sell second-hand goods. Factories sometimes sell 'seconds' or ex-display furniture too, and that's worth looking into.
- Making your home energy efficient can save money on heating bills. If you think you use less water than your average household, having a water meter fitted could save you some money overall too. And you'd be doing your bit for the environment at the same time.
It's always a good idea to have some money set aside as a buffer for additional expenses when you're moving home. As a customer, we can help you to budget for bills and additional expenses like these. Read more about our account here.