6 min read

Unexpected costs to budget for during your next move

Whether you’re moving locally or across the country, the cost of a move can easily balloon out of control if you don’t plan properly.
Unexpected costs to budget for during your next move

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Moving house? Many people get hung up on the timeline of moving and forget about planning for the expense of a move.

Little by little, moving costs can build up and eat into your monthly budget.

Whether you’re moving locally or across the country, the cost of a move can easily balloon out of control if you don’t plan properly.

To save you from added financial pressure, we’ve compiled a list of the unexpected costs that often crop up during a home move. From packing to redecorating, here’s how to budget for any unexpected costs during a home move.

Redecorating and furnishing

If you’re moving from a small home into something bigger, you might be surprised at how much more space you now have. A bigger home means more space for furnishings and more bare walls. Once you’re settled in, resisting the urge to furnish your space immediately is important. Instead, take some time to consider how you want to use your new home rather than just filling it with furniture or items you don’t need.

How to keep redecorating costs down

There are lots of ways to keep redecorating and refurnishing costs down. There’s no rule that says you have to fill your home with unnecessary clutter. You can also shop second-hand, vintage and retro stores and scour Facebook Marketplace or TradeMe for unique pieces without the expensive price tag.


A mvover driving his moving truck to an available parking spot

If you’re moving into an apartment in the middle of the city, or even a suburb with limited on-street parking, don’t forget about this. You may have to factor the cost of parking into your budget. Before you move, find out what the parking situation is like.

Does your city or suburb require you to have a permit to park on the street? Does your apartment have a free parking space, or does it come at a cost? If your new place has no parking, you may have to pay for a permanent car park at a steep cost. Even if you don’t want to pay for parking, don’t forget about the time cost of searching for a park.

How to keep parking costs down

Consider car sharing if possible. Most places in New Zealand with limited parking capabilities have better public transport. If you can split the cost of a car and parking with a flatmate or partner, you may save a lot of money.

Packing supplies

A moving box, along with moving blankets, bubble wrap, and a packing tape

There is a time cost and a financial cost to packing. First, you must find and purchase packing supplies, including boxes, tape, scissors, speciality boxes for delicate items, stuffing or bubble wrap and any other items you need.

Then, you need to spend time (which equals money) on packing up your belongings. Consider whether or not it's worthwhile to pay a mover to pack your stuff. Movers include the cost of boxes and packaging with their quote, leaving you to get on with your work or other responsibilities.

How to keep packing costs down

A woman wrapping a frafile home decor with a packing paper

There are plenty of ways to keep the cost of packing your items down. However, if you are time-poor, paying removalists to pack for you could save you more in the long run. If you want to save money on supplies, it’s important to note that this will take longer than just buying boxes and tape from a supply store.

Keep an eye out for empty boxes on recycling day. Many businesses in New Zealand put their recycling out on the street for collection. Alternatively, visit your local corner store or supermarket and ask them to put aside some empty boxes for you to collect. You can also borrow stationery supplies from friends, family, flatmates or work (just make sure you bring them back) to keep the cost of your packing down.


While you may have a plan for your move, not everything goes to plan. There are times when your move won’t align with the availability of your new house, and you may need to sort out alternative storage for your stuff. Renting a storage unit is a good solution, but it costs money, so it’s important to budget for this delay.

You may also end up paying for storage if you downsize your home and don’t declutter or remove enough of your belongings. While you should still budget for a storage unit, it’s a good idea to set yourself a deadline for getting rid of your belongings.

How to keep storage costs down

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the size of your new home and the move-in date. There’s nothing worse than being blindsided by either of these situations at the last minute. Storage units are a good solution for the short term. In the long term, studies show that most people waste money storing items they never use.

Sleeping and eating during the move

If you are moving long distances, don’t forget to budget for sleeping, eating and refuelling during your journey. While you’ve probably factored in the cost of your removal van, you’ll also need to think about where you will stay and eat while you’re on the road.

Plan your journey with enough pit stops along the way. If you are driving long distances, don’t underestimate how often you will need to stop or your need for a proper night's sleep. It’s a better idea to budget for a night in accommodation than to sleep in your car. If you’re travelling long distances, it’s important that you are well-rested enough to drive the next day.

How to keep costs down on the road

Pack some snacks and prepare proper meals you can eat on the road. This will save you money and ensure you’re not just eating chips, popcorn or lollies rather than nutritious food that will make you more satiated and comfortable.

Pack large containers of water and use these to fill up a smaller water bottle while you’re on the road. You’ll save money rather than buy lots of little bottles of water.

Connection and termination fees

Some utility provers will charge a termination fee when you move. Luckily, most of New Zealand’s electricity and wifi providers operate nationwide. Even so, checking any terms and conditions before you move house is a good idea. You may save money by using the same provider at your new location.

If you have a gym membership, see whether your membership is transferable to a new location. Most gyms have a minimum 30-day cancellation period. Check all your memberships to ensure you have enough time to terminate them. Otherwise, you’re wasting money.

How to keep connection and termination fees down

Go through your bank accounts and note all the services that charge you a regular fee. Then, find out what their termination policies are. You’ll be able to transfer some services and others you may have to terminate. Do this a few months before you move to avoid eating into any stand-down periods.

Want to save even more money on your move? Book an affordable mover with us. You’ll get access to same-day services, reliable transport options and professional movers no matter where you’re based in New Zealand.

Movers services at low-cost

Budget-friendly moving service trusted by thousands of customers across Auckland and the rest of New Zealand
What are you moving?
Newshub Stuff SCOOP Yahoo!

What do our customers say?

Read reviews of Wise Move to learn stories from our customers.
Extendable Rimu table and six chairs
Northcote, Auckland
Avondale, Auckland
Reviewed 6 hours ago
Great Comms, good price and professional delivery. Thank you
Electronic drum kit
Karori, Wellington
Whitby, Porirua
Reviewed 8 hours ago
Really helpful and easy to work with! Thanks!
Drawers, Sideboard
New Brighton, Christchurch
Reviewed 9 hours ago
These guys are great communicators. They were in touch throughout the move. Our goods were wrapped and arrived nice and safe.
Sleepyhead Sanctuary Queen Size Mattress Only
Onehunga, Auckland
Awapuni, Palmerston North
Reviewed 11 hours ago
Very friendly and helpful operator. Thanks for delivering my mattress safe and sound.
Remuera, Auckland
Ellerslie, Auckland
Reviewed 13 hours ago
No issues, good and easy move
Steinmayer Upright Piano
Rangatira Park, Taupō
Forrest Hill, Auckland
Reviewed 13 hours ago
Service was great. Initial communication was great. The guys did a FABULOUS job of transporting the piano - they really handled it with care. Would have appreciated a phone call or message prior to delivery time, so it was lucky that someone was home when they arrived. Overall a great experience and the piano was well looked after. Recommend.

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