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Moving can be incredibly hard and stressful, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune. In this video Chelsea and Lauren share tips on how to move without going broke. Learn what Lauren wishes she hadn't bought for her first apartment here:

The Financial Diet blog:

[Chelsea] H, I'm Chelsea.

[Lauren] And I'm Lauren.

[Chelsea] And we are...

[Together] the Financial Diet!

[Chelsea] With our glorious fall makeovers...

[Lauren] Ah yes.

And today, we're gonna be talking about how to prepare for moving so that it's easier and less expensive.

[Chelsea] Lauren and I actually both moved recently in what is probably, objectively, the worst possible city to move in - New York City.

Um, for example, my boyfriend and I, when we moved just like last month, between the move itself, the brokers fee, all of the costs when moving in, we came out at about ten thousand dollars -

[Lauren] Yiiiikes!

[Chelsea] - which sounds insane, but if you consider that there are apartments in the city that rent for ten thousand dollars a month for a one bedroom, it's all relative.

[Lauren] Yeah.

[Chelsea]  The point is that it's a huge amount of savings that you really have to prepare for.

[Lauren] One of the first expenses you're going to incur is the application fee, which basically covers the check that the landlord has to do on your history and your credit score.

Now this is paid per person, so if there's two people renting, both of you pay.  And it ranges from 60 to about 150 dollars, roughly.

[Chelsea] And then depending on what you're looking for, you might also need to work with a broker.  Mark and I, for example, were looking for a two bedroom minimum uh cause TFD needed an office, and we actually ended up in a duplex.  But we knew that we needed a broker to help us navigate that.

Brokers are typical in cities where the market is very competitive and things move really quickly.  And generally, you can expect to pay between 4 and 15% of a year's rent on the broker fee itself.

And trust me, you will resent every moment of signing that check because even though sometimes they're absolutely necessary, they really don't do that much.

[Lauren] Next you'll have to pay the first month's rent along with a safety deposit, which usually takes the form of the last month's rent, which you get back at the end of the lease so....that's exciting.

[Chelsea] money!

[Lauren] You might also be asked to pay a good faith deposit, and for us it was about 500 dollars.  And this can really vary, but it usually goes towards your first month's rent.

[Chelsea] And once you're all moved in, you're gonna want to have things that we can call settling in expenses -

[Lauren] Yeah.

[Chelsea] - like painting supplies, cleaning supplies, and everything you'll need to actually prepare the apartment.  And by the way, paint is like 40 dollars a gallon - 

[Lauren] Yeah.

[Chelsea] - and you need several of them to paint a big room, so don't think that that's something you can forget about.

[Lauren] You'll also want to clean your space before you get in, which will require a boatload of cleaning supplies, which is something that I personally didn't budget for.  And so I went to Target and 100 dollars later, I was all hooked up.  But it's expensive.

[Chelsea] And you're also gonna want to budget for the actual moving day, which is things like a van, movers, and everything you need basically to get your furniture from one place to another.

And this obviously varies in terms of cost depending on where you live and how much stuff you have.  But for me, it was about 600 dollars plus tip for four hours, two guys, and a truck. 

[Lauren] eeeeee

[Chelsea] So, it's expensive as hell.

[Lauren] And don't forget to budget for renter's insurance, which typically costs ROUGHLY 20 dollars a month.  

[Chelsea] And if you're moving into a place for your first time, don't forget to do a sweep of all the family members to see what stuff you can get for free secondhand.

[Lauren] Yeah.

[Chelsea] Because often it's of pretty good quality, and people want to get rid of it anyway.  So, check aunts, uncles, all of that - see what you can get.  Uh, I personally missed out on a KitchenAid Stand Mixer because I didn't think to ask, which yes, is one of the greatest tragedies of my recent life, so...

[Lauren] It's helpful to downsize your life and declutter and get rid of belongings that aren't even worth the cost of moving anyway.  And it's a great opportunity to make a little bit of extra cash for yourself by selling things on Craigslist, having a stoop or a yard sale, and just use word of mouth with friends to get rid of stuff that you don't need.

[Chelsea] And when it comes to movers, what's really important is minimizing the cost as much as you can before the big day comes.  Now that means making smaller trips in your cars with the stuff that you can fit.  As she said, downsizing some of your furniture that's not even worth making the move.

Uh, and making sure that everything's packed up and ready to go as much as possible so that the movers just have to come in, get the stuff, and get out.

[Lauren] Totally.

[Chelsea] Because often they charge by the hour.

[Lauren] Another way that you can reduce the overall cost of the move is trying to negotiate down the broker's fee with the actual broker.  

[Chelsea] I know several people in New York who have gone to the signing and said. "Look, we want to take the apartment but at a 10% fee, not at 15."

Don't underestimate how much it's the broker who really wants to close that deal and move on, especially in rentals.  So, definitely negotiate.

[Lauren] And don't forget to plan ahead for what you'll need in your new space to minimize the time wasted going back and forth between your old place and your new one.

[Chelsea] Things like cleaning supplies you should order online to have arrive the day after you get there, so you don't have to make any unnecessary trips and it's already waiting for you.

[Lauren] Moving is tough and expensive, but there are ways to be smart about it.  And remember that the more you plan ahead of time, the less it'll suck.

[Chelsea] So don't forget to hit the subscribe button and go to for more.

[Together] Bye!