Money Mistakes to Avoid if You’re Moving House

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The costs of moving house can add up. We break down our top money mistakes to avoid if you’re relocating, so you can save your cash to spend on your new home.

Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, moving house is about the planning if you want it to be stress free. If you wait until the last minute to organise your move, you’ll probably overwhelm yourself. This can result in poor decision-making that can lead to some hefty moving costs.

So, keep organised and stay well clear of these moving mistakes to ensure there’s more money in your pocket at the end of the day:

1. Waiting too long to book a moving company

The chances are if you’re using a removalist service and you wait too long to book them, it’ll cost you more than expected. Typically, moving companies will charge more during their busiest times. So, give them a call at least a month in advance, and try to schedule your move for a weekday, when you might get a better rate than at a weekend.

2. Picking the cheapest moving company 

Shop around and do your research if you’re going to use a removalist service. Word-of-mouth is often a terrific way to find a trusted and good-value moving service in your area.  And don’t just pick the cheapest service. A couple of blokes and a van might be economical, but do they offer a professional service? And are they fully insured in the event of an accident?

Hiring a bigger van with more removalists might cost more, but they could transport all your possessions in one go. The cost of repeat trips soon adds up if you’re paying a removalist by the hour.

Also make sure you choose the right level of support you need. Will a packing service work out cheaper than you having to take valuable days off work? 

3. Underestimating the amount or weight of your belongings

You may be asked to estimate the weight of your belongings, or how much space they’ll take up in the truck when you book a moving company. Be careful not to underestimate this, as you could face an excess fee if it turns out you have more belongings than you thought. Canstar offers a look into the exact costs of removalists in our story: How Much do Moving Companies Cost?

4. Failing to spring clean your belongings

When you begin to pack, you may realise just how much stuff you have! Think about whether you need to organise a skip bin to dispose of rubbish and/or a garage sale for any unwanted items. Donate what you can to charity shops. Then when you’re packing what you do want, clearly mark the room the box is intended for. As this will speed up the unpacking process at the other end.

5. Not having an insurance policy

When you buy or rent a new place – and even before you move in – you should consider organising home and contents insurance to protect your possessions. Also ask your provider about cover during your move, just in case anything doesn’t survive the journey.

6. Not checking all your boxes have arrived

Moving day is often exhausting, and by the time the movers have finally finished, all you want to do is to sign off that everything has been delivered and send them on their way. But before you sign, check to make sure that every item on your inventory list has been delivered. If something is missing and you’ve already signed for it, getting it back can be tricky.

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7. Forgetting to cancel or set up your utilities 

If you forget to contact the utility companies in your new area, you could arrive at a very cold and dark home. And if you don’t alert your existing water and power providers to transfer your billing, you could end up paying for utilities you didn’t use. When you know your move-out date, you can arrange for your utilities to be disconnected at the house you are moving out of, and connected ready for your arrival at your new house. These include:

  • Landline/broadband
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Water

Sometimes utility providers will require access to your new house, which may mean a delay in getting connected, so make sure you have a contingency plan in place. For advice on getting the cheapest electricity deal, read our story: How to Switch Power Companies. Canstar compares electricity providers, so checking you’re on the best deal is just a click away:

Compare electricity providers for free with Canstar!

Canstar Blue’s latest review of NZ power companies compares them on customer satisfaction. The table below is an abridged version of our full results, available here.

See Our Ratings Methodology

8. Forgetting to pay outstanding bills

Double check if you have any outstanding rates or utility bills. Make sure they’re paid before you move, to reduce the risk of losing the paperwork or accidentally accruing late fees.

9. What else is there to consider?

Update your address details

Ensure you advise all your service providers of your new address, to make sure you don’t lose important correspondence. These include:

  • Banks and any other financial institutions
  • Tax and legal advisors
  • Medical and dental practitioners
  • Electoral Commission
  • Clubs, associations and other groups
  • Children’s school
  • Any subscription services (e.g, magazines)
  • Road authority
  • Any online shopping websites you use like Amazon, Trade Me and Book Depository

Redirect your mail

Even if you are sure you have proactively updated your address with all your providers, it’s surprising how much mail could still be received at your previous home. By redirecting mail for three months you can see if there are any companies or friends and family who missed the memo. You can apply to redirect your mail on the New Zealand Post website.

TV subscriptions

If you have Sky TV, you’ll need to arrange to have the service transferred to your new home. 

But with streaming services like Netflix and NEON, you might not need to do anything other than ensure you have great broadband speed at your new home. Check out broadband providers with Canstar to check you’re on the best rate for your household.

Compare broadband providers free with Canstar!

Make moving cheaper with recycled boxes

If you’re using a moving company, they usually include boxes, or in some cases will lease the boxes to you. But supermarkets can be a good place to find reusable boxes, and you can also buy large quantities of boxes from hardware stores and other specialist box providers in NZ. You can also rent or buy boxes through Kiwi Rent-a-Box.

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