Don’t let moving day pack your budget away

Moving into a new home brings excitement and energy into our lives.

Whether it’s your first apartment or that adorable starter home or the lifelong dream-come-true abode, the potential for new beginnings fills hearts with anticipation of the memories yet to be made and the establishment of new traditions.

Even if you remember the last-minute closing costs and borrowed boxes from your neighbor, there may be a few expenses you blanked on budgeting. Instead of beginning your new adventure with worry and overspending, try these tips instead.

Curb appeal

No one wants to feel like they live in someone else’s house. Set aside a few dollars to make some minor purchases to help bring your personality to your new home. There’s no need to buy the farm and re-landscape the entire property. In fact, it might be best to wait six months to a year to know what plants are already there, including perennial flowers and bulbs that only bloom during specific seasons.Instead, budget around $20 for a new doormat and maybe a small potted plant. This amount will set a boundary to keep you from going overboard.Light bulbsRarely can you view a desired new residence at nighttime. That means when you move in, you may realize things weren’t quite as bright as they once seemed during the midday hours. Don’t forget to plan to purchase extra light bulbs and maybe even a lamp or two. It’s a good idea to investigate whether your electric company provides complimentary energy audits.

A qualified professional will come to your property to evaluate ways you can save money on your utility bills, many times bringing a box full of energy efficient light bulbs and other goodies for absolutely free. Log on to your light company’s website to see if they offer such a service and you might not have to spend a single penny.

Cleaning supplies

Moving in and moving out can really kick up some dust. From that grimy spot behind the refrigerator to the muddy bootprints your best friend tracked in, you’ll want to be sure to allow a few extra dollars to buy cleaning supplies. Especially if you’re looking to get back a deposit from your prior landlord, you’ll need to leave your former domicile spic and span.Rather than purchasing commercial cleaning products, stick with the basics your great-grandmother probably used. White vinegar, baking soda, washing soda and borax can clean nearly any surface, and all will cost you much less per ounce than a high-end flashy new-to-the-market product. Reusable rags or even old towels and T-shirts make much more efficient scrubbing tools and cost less, too.

Meals for a week

If you’ve ever moved or helped someone you love move, you know one thing for certain — moving works up a hefty appetite. With little time to pause and even less energy to prepare a seven-course meal, you will need quick prep meals that keep you full and out of the drive-thru. Skip the chips and candy and buy whole fruits and vegetables.Drive right past the doughnuts and buy a box of oatmeal or cereal. Pass by the pizza and purchase sandwich ingredients that can be assembled quickly at any time during the day.By the way, if you know someone who is moving, the best thing you could do to show how much you care is to show up with food. You may also want to invest in some disposable dishes and flatware just for a short period of time. You might not even be able to find that box of dishes for a few weeks.

While certainly a lot of work, there’s no reason why you can’t keep moving a joyous occasion. Save money where you can, so you can spend on the updates that matter most to you. Careful planning is always worthwhile and keeps you and your budget from getting caught off guard.