People always talk about how to save up money and build credit to rent an apartment, but never the costs of moving. There are a lot of hidden expenses that can break you financially if you’re not careful. These costs come out of left field for most people, so here’s a cautionary list of the things you should build contingency plans for: 

  1. Your Mover’s Parking Ticket: Don’t be at the mercy of a third party — try to save a parking space for movers. If they park illegally and get a ticket, they will pass the cost on to you.
  2. Your New Place Has No Elevator: Movers charge a stairs fee if your new place is a walk-up. Even if your building has an elevator, but it’s not working that day, you’ll be charged a stairs fee.
  3. You Did Damage: The longer you live in a place, the more likely you are to do damage without realizing it. Things like aquariums or heavy appliances could be leaving a mark that you were oblivious to until moving day.
  4. Your Pet Is Freaking Out: Trying to move while keeping a cat or dog in the house is no fun, and rarely a situation people want to repeat. Veteran movers know that even the stress of boarding a pet is infinitely preferable to your kitty or puppy running away.
  5. Your Security Deposit Went Up In Smoke: Besides the damage you may have done without realizing it, landlords tend to make it difficult to get your security deposit back. Leases will often specify that the landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit — but many renters find that their calls go unanswered after the 30 days.
  6. Your Movers Damaged Your Place More Than You Did: Hiring cheap movers has consequences. In one situation I know about, bargain basement movers took a huge chunk out of ornate wooden paneling with a desk. That ended up costing the renter $200. 

The canvas of financial health is woven with knowledge and planning. Yes, I’ve had a lot of Earl Grey today, but the first thing you should be doing is figuring out how much money you have and what your projected income will be. Only then will you be equipped to make a realistic spending plan — and that’s when you become the picture of financial health. 

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